- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”
Souvik Ray : India Times
Saalumarada Thimmakka lives in the Hulikal village of Karnataka. At 103, she still lives on to tell the story of her life which was filled with hardship but bore fruit in a different kind of way. As a young girl, she was married off to a farmer who made a meagre income and was looked down upon by his fellow villagers for not fathering a child with his new wife. Instead of following social protocol, they decided to plant tree saplings and tend to them as their own children.
Nurturing the 10 grafted saplings on a bare stretch of land four kilometres from their village (between the villages of Hulikal and Kudoor, about 80 km away of Bangalore) they endured the hardships of tending to the plants despite their limited economic resources. The following years, they planted more saplings, in the hope that they would grow and beautify the land. Today, the fully grown banyan trees are at an economic value of Rs. 15 Lakh and are managed by the Government of Karnataka.
Despite being felicitated and awarded by several state and national organisations, Thimmakka still lives below the poverty line. Her home cannot accommodate the certificates and medals while her bills still remain unpaid. Her only means of income is a government pension of Rs. 500. She is still a staunch supporter of afforestation and does all she can to spread awareness. Her belief is that every person should leave behind an asset that benefits all humanity.
After adopting a son, whom she inspired to be passionate about the environment, Thimmakka still dreams of starting a hospital. She hasn't given up on her hopes and aspirations yet.
This story, with more photographs, can be found here.
Vic Bishop : Waking Times : 06 Jun 2016
Many of the world's most inspiring entrepreneurs and inventors never fit the typical mould and have made their marks on the world after abandoning standard education. From India, Mansukhbhai R. Prajapati is one such person, and even though he never finished high school, he has built a very successful and forward-thinking company that provides needed jobs in his community manufacturing products that are changing the world for the better.
Mansukhbhai R. Prajapati grew up more interested in sports and fun than in learning, but after working in the clay industry for some time as a potter he started his own company and first revolutionized the way clay roof tiles were made.
"During his childhood, he saw earthen pans/hot plates being manufactured manually on the potters wheel. Using this, one person can only make about 100 units per day. He had seen roof tiles being manufactured in large quantity on hand press, which made him think why cannot earthen pans be made the same way? In 1988, he left his job and took a loan from a money lender to start his own earthen plate manufacturing factory. He purchased a small piece of land for the factory, dyes and presses, soil mixing machine, electric potters wheel and other scrap objects. Then he modified the roof tile making hand press and developed a hand press machine having capacity to produce 700 earthen pans per day." [Source]
While very successful with this idea, his ingenuity led him to develop a line of products that is even more revolutionary than his industrial tile maker. Mitti Cool, as his company is called, produces an entire line of kitchen products made from clay.
"He has developed an entire range of earthen products for daily use in the kitchen. These products include water filters, refrigerators, hot plates, a cooker and other such items of daily use." [Source]
The refrigerator he designed uses the science of water evaporation to keep food cold in a small earthen fridge that uses no electricity and is already being sold in several countries.
His idea is taking off globally, and Mitti Cool is receiving much international attention, so much so, that Mansukhbhai has even met with important public figures and he has been featured in televised talks to explain his green products that are changing the lives of many poor people.
The rest of the article, together with two videos, can be found here.
Published on Feb 23, 2015 : www.facebook.com/thejourneyofpurposeTJOP
What if this life is a dream and when we die we wake up?
Frances D'Emilio : The Big Story : 29 Apr 2016
© AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino : Volunteers clean the banks of the Tiber river, Rome, as part of the Retake Rome gathering, Sunday April 17, 2016. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees and do other work, Romans are starting to take back their city.
Armed with shovels and sacks of cold asphalt, Rome's residents fill potholes. Defying rats, they yank weeds and bag trash along the Tiber's banks and in urban parks. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees, neighbors dig into their own pockets to pay for new ones for their block.
Romans are starting to take back their city, which for years was plundered and neglected by City Hall officials and cronies so conniving that some of them are on trial as alleged mobsters. In doing the work, Romans are experimenting with what for many Italians is a novel and alien concept: a sense of civic duty.
One windy recent Sunday morning, Manuela Di Santo slathered paint over graffiti defacing a wall on Via Ludovico di Monreale, a residential block in Rome's middle-class Monteverde neighborhood. Men, perched on ladders, used mechanical sanders to erase graffiti on another palazzo. Women and children swept up litter, filling black plastic trash bags provided by the city's sanitation service, which is only too glad to have someone do the job for free.
"Either I help the city, or we're all brought to our knees," said Di Santo.
Splotches of paint stained a blue bib identifying her as a volunteer for Retake Roma, a pioneer in an expanding array of citizen-created organizations in the past few years aimed at encouraging Romans to take the initiative in cleaning and repairing their city.
© AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia : Volunteers clean a sidewalk as part of the Retake Rome gathering in Rome,
Sunday, April 10, 2016. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees and do other work,
Romans are starting to take back their city
Local politicians had been in cahoots with gangsters, shady go-betweens and corrupt city hall bureaucrats, prosecutors allege in investigations that have led to dozens of arrests since 2014. Some defendants are accused of using Mafia-like methods of intimidation to get their hands on lucrative public-works contracts.
Rome's last mayor, who failed in the Herculean task of cleaning up Rome literally and morally, was virtually forced to quit halfway through his term in 2015. Until mayoral elections this June, the Italian capital is being administered by a government-appointed commissioner, under a formula similar to what happens when Italian City Halls are under the grip of organized-crime syndicates.
Retake Roma, which does cleanup projects all over the city, has been enjoying a surge of citizen support, especially since the explosion of the scandal in 2014 led Romans to realize that much-maligned city services like transport and sanitation had been used for patronage jobs for years.
With prosecutors still combing through hundreds of municipal contracts to expose even more alleged kickbacks, payoffs and other corruption, and processes to award contracts are scrutinized under tightened City Hall anti-corruption measures, services for the public have been deteriorating further. Trash piles up. Potholes sprout like weeds, tripping up pedestrians and sending motor-scooter drivers into nasty spins.
Gaetano Capone, who serves on a local district council, joined some 30 neighbors one spring Saturday to rake up broken beer bottles, soda cans and cigarette butts from outside a commuter train station. Volunteers at the local Monteverde Vecchio 4Venti Neighborhood Committee paid a gardener to cut down waist-high weeds.
Romans "understand that the city machinery doesn't work anymore," said Capone.
Calls and text messages pour into Cristiano Davoli's cellphone from citizens alerting him to ominously widening potholes on their block or routes to work. On weekends, Davoli and four helpers — an off-duty doorman, a graphic artist, a government worker and a retiree — who call themselves "Tappami" (Fill Me Up) load their car trunks with donated bags of cold asphalt and fan out. "Sometimes it's the municipal traffic police who call me," said Davoli, a shopkeeper.
After the first anti-corruption arrests, Sicilian anti-Mafia magistrate Alfonso Sabella was summoned to Rome for the hastily created post of city legality commissioner to get a handle on just how badly corruption, favoritism and ineptitude infected City Hall. "It was worse than I thought," said Sabella, who was frustrated that his office wasn't assigned more personnel.
Starting with the run-up to the 2000 Holy Year, when government funds flooded the Italian capital to prepare for millions of extra pilgrims, "big projects became popular" with politicians, recalled Sabella. "If you do maintenance on city buses, nobody notices; if you make a new metro station, yes."
Rome's mass transit system is roundly scorned. Not infrequently, passengers have to yank shut doors after drivers pull away from bus stops as malfunctioning doors fail to close, with riders perilously close to falling out of the bus.
American architect Tom Rankin organizes river bank cleanups by Tevereterno, a volunteer group dedicated to making the Tiber, which winds through the heart of Rome, more pleasant for strollers and cyclists. He noted that Retake Roma was inspired by an American who cleaned up the Rome building where she lived, exposing Romans to a deeply rooted American tradition of working together for one's community.
Sweeping sidewalks on Via Ludovico di Monreale, Brunella Fraleoni, who is married to an American and previously lived in the United States, pondered a moment when asked why pitching in with neighbors to clean streets is only just catching on in Rome. "The idea of fixing up something is very poorly rooted in Italy. Maybe it's because we're used to ruins," she said with a wry laugh. Then she turned serious. She and her neighbors were out there, she said, to "inspire public opinion. Not just cleaning to clean."
TOGETHER WE CAN CLEAN UP THE WORLD'S WATER
Let’s Remember ALL Water is Sacred
Join us as we come together to Bless The Water around the World and take the first step towards cleaning and restoring the world's water. On the Equinox, Saturday March 19th at 5pm Pacific, we will join together in a Synchronized Meditation and Water Blessing all around the world. Join us!
Join us here online for a special guided meditation and the FREE world premiere of the new film 'Water is Sacred', created by UPLIFT, that will be broadcast from the banks of the Sacred Ganges river in Rishikesh, India.
It begins with a Blessing. It continues with restoring, replenishing and cleansing the World’s Water. In support of:
Read also : Can Our Intentions Heal The Water?
From Kryon Live Channel, “Un-defining the Spiritual Path”
September 2005, Pierce, FL; October 2005, Sedona, AZ
As we have in the past, we will say again. The great winds that have torn your country apart for two seasons were predicted and should not be a surprise. We told you over sixteen years ago about the coming weather shifts of significance [Kryon Book One]. They echo a polarity in Human nature. As goes Humanity, so goes Gaia. As the polarity between the dark and the light increases, so will the polarity between heat and cold. There will be extra cold and extra hot, and where they meet together are the seemingly dangerous areas. Just as the polarity of spiritual rage has torn many off the fence of their normalcy, so it is that the planet also responds to this energy, exactly as we told you it would [Kryon Book Eight -2000].
~ KRYON - through Lee Carroll, the Original Kryon Channel
Jeremy Dean : PsyBlog : 05 Dec 2015
What can waiters, the TV series 'Lost' and the novelist Charles Dickens teach us about avoiding procrastination? One of the simplest methods for beating procrastination in almost any task was inspired by busy waiters. It's called the Zeigarnik effect after a Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, who noticed an odd thing while sitting in a restaurant in Vienna. The waiters seemed only to remember orders which were in the process of being served. When completed, the orders evaporated from their memory.
Zeigarnik went back to the lab to test out a theory about what was going on. She asked participants to do twenty or so simple little tasks in the lab, like solving puzzles and stringing beads (Zeigarnik, 1927). Except some of the time they were interrupted half way through the task. Afterwards she asked them which activities they remembered doing. People were about twice as likely to remember the tasks during which they'd been interrupted than those they completed.
What does this have to do with procrastination? I'll give you another clue... Almost sixty years later Kenneth McGraw and colleagues carried out another test of the Zeigarnik effect (McGraw et al., 1982). In it participants had to do a really tricky puzzle; except they were interrupted before any of them could solve it and told the study was over. Despite this nearly 90% carried on working on the puzzle anyway.
Here's another clue: one of the oldest tricks in the TV business for keeping viewers tuned in to a serial week after week is the cliffhanger. The hero seems to have fallen off a mountain but the shot cuts away before you can be sure. And then those fateful words: "TO BE CONTINUED..." Literally a cliffhanger. You tune in next week for the resolution because the mystery is ticking away in the back of your mind.
The great English novelist Charles Dickens used exactly the same technique. Many of his works, like Oliver Twist, although later published as complete novels, were originally serialised. His cliffhangers created such anticipation in people's minds that his American readership would wait at New York docks for the latest instalment to arrive by ship from Britain. They were that desperate to find out what happened next.
I've started so I'll finish
What all these examples have in common is that when people manage to start something they're more inclined to finish it. Procrastination bites worst when we're faced with a large task that we're trying to avoid starting. It might be because we don't know how to start or even where to start. What the Zeigarnik effect teaches is that one weapon for beating procrastination is starting somewhere...anywhere.
Don't start with the hardest bit, try something easy first. If you can just get under way with any part of a project, then the rest will tend to follow. Once you've made a start, however trivial, there's something drawing you on to the end. It will niggle away in the back of your mind like a Lost cliffhanger.
Although the technique is simple, we often forget it because we get so wrapped up in thinking about the most difficult parts of our projects. The sense of foreboding can be a big contributor to procrastination.
The Zeigarnik effect has an important exception. It doesn't work so well when we're not particularly motivated to achieve our goal or don't expect to do well. This is true of goals in general: when they're unattractive or impossible we don't bother with them. But if we value the goal and think it's possible, just taking a first step could be the difference between failure and success.
Stephen Messenger :Wake up World : 29 Nov 2015
The forest, called the Molai woods, is a safe haven for numerous birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss.
A little over 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acre of jungle that Payeng planted single-handedly.
Jadav “Molai” Payeng
The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape:
It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested," says Payeng, now 47.
While it's taken years for Payeng's remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn't take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell. The forest, called the Molai woods, now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deers, rhinos, tigers, and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss elsewhere.
Despite the conspicuousness of Payeng's project, Forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 — and since then they've come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable, but perhaps not enough. "We're amazed at Payeng," says Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia. "He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero."
Source - treehugger.com
About the Author
Stephen Messenger is a freelance writer and linguist based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He covers issues related to the environmental movement in South America, as well as to the political and social challenges of sustainable development in the region and throughout the world. Stephen's work has appeared in numerous publications both on-line and in print, including the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!, and the Huffington Post.
First shall the Son of Man seek peace within his own body; for his body is as a mountain pond that reflects the sun when it is still and clear. When it is full of mud and stones it reflects nothing.
Then shall the Son of Man seek peace within his own thoughts .... There is no greater power in heaven and earth than the thought of the Son of Man. Though unseen by the eyes of the body, yet each thought has mighty strength, even such strength can shake the heavens.
Then shall the Son of Man seek peace with his own feelings. We call on the Angel of Love to enter our feelings, that they may be purified. And all that was before impatience and discord will turn into harmony and peace.
'The Essene Gospel of Peace', Book 4: Szekely
Quoted in 'The Isaiah Effect' by Gregg Braden
Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals,
whereas culture has invented a single mold to which all must conform.
It is grotesque. "
~ U.G. Krishnamurti
RT : 09 Aug 2015
A young entrepreneur in San Francisco has created a new housing project, in an attempt to circumvent skyrocketing rents in big US cities. He is now ready to share his ideas with others, he told RT.
Luke Iseman, 31, rented some warehouse space, and installed shipping containers to create 11 original residencies.
"We shouldn't have to live in the middle of nowhere to afford to build our own house. We should be able to do that in the middle of the most expensive cities in the world,"Iseman said. "We were tired of paying our rent, so for less than rent on two-bedrooms, we're renting this whole half-acre, and [told] the landlord, 'We're just going to build small houses here, and you're going to get an automatic payment of rent every month, so don't worry about it," he said, explaining how the project started.
The profit isn't huge, but the main goal is to share it with others and trigger housing perception changes, Iseman told RT. "We make a little bit of money from it, not a ton, but we're also able to share what we're doing, and encourage others to copy it. For me, success in this project is how to change people's ideas about housing," he said. "Everyone should be able to experiment with the roof that they put over their heads. We can change that if we create that norm, and we'll see much more innovation in housing, and it will be much more interesting houses if they are made of shipping containers and all sorts of other objects," Iseman added.
It comes as the rents are soaring in San Francisco and its vicinity: a 16-percent hike for the city ($4,272 the median number) and 15 percent in the metro area ($3,237) over the last year alone. The median sales price is $1.14 million in San Francisco and $660,000 in the outskirts. The prices make as many as 60,000 San Franciscans turn to illegal housing, with offices becoming lofts, and garages turning into studios.
RT : 21 Feb 2015
Images from seenimages.com/homelesshomesproject
An Oakland artist is ingeniously battling homelessness in Oakland, California: he builds small houses out of materials he can find in the streets, with each edifice costing around forty bucks. The tiny homes are made of pallets, bed boards, washing machine doors, and other bizarre objects that catch Greg Kloehn's attention. Mr Kloehn first noticed that homeless people built shelters from whatever they find in the street, and he wanted to make a house like this.
He jokes that he constructs "illegal homes out of illegal garbage."The cost of one house is "$30 to $40," Kloehn told RT. "The real cost is just in the wheels: I buy large casters for the bottom, so that they are mobile, and then nails, and screws, and paintbrushes. But everything else I get for free," he said.
The houses are just comfortable enough to lie down in a warmer place than a cardboard box, and the homeless in Oakland are "so happy," Kloehn told the Independent. "One cried and got on his knees to thank me. They think I should make them bigger and suggest improvements. They like to decorate them themselves."
This section is for interesting items which are brought to my attention but which do not merit a separate article.
I welcome your comments, questions or suggestions on any topics you wish to contribute to this section.