Archive for April, 2012
Seems there’ll be a lot of love around, this week.
It promises to be a rally on a truly global scale, welcoming the shift of consciousness that is taking place and the countdown to the end of the Mesoamerican long-count calendar. If you are fortunate enough to be able to take part, and would like a meditation that you and your co-celebrants can use, here’s a link to an MP3 – http://bighug-2012.de/media/meditation/Big%20Hug%20Meditation%20English.mp3.
Global Love Day video:
Then, on Saturday, it will be Join Hands Day, in the USA and Canada.
This is the day when non-profit and civic organisations, faith groups, youth clubs, schools, government agencies, and others are invited to take part in projects that bring young people and adults together, in an atmosphere of cooperation and equality, volunteering to improve their neighbourhoods. It is run by the American Fraternal Alliance, which is an alliance of 70 not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies, but it is open to everyone. Organisations that have participated in the past have included: the Salvation Army; the American Red Cross; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; the National FFA Organization; and Future Business Leaders of America.
Well, here’s to not just a week of love and compassion, but a world where concern for others is something we express every day, and where young and old increasingly work together for the benefit of society and our planet.
Just heard some great news from Kina Grannis – thanks to everyone’s amazing generosity her initiative to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been even more successful than anticipated. In addition to the $50,000 required to finance a research grant a further $21,886 has been donated, and will now be used to boost the charity’s funds. A terrific effort from Kina’s fans, friends and supporters, and she is understandably quite emotional about this fantastic result. Hear her reaction in this brief video:
Most of us recognise that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And for no-one is it more important than our school-age children. Higher academic performance, improved health (with reduced obesity), and better behaviour have all been linked with intake of a proper breakfast. Having been on a healthy juice & salad diet for a few weeks, and successfully lost around a stone in weight, I am especially conscious of the importance of getting the right food intake. So I applaud a $200,000 donation from a new foundation set up by philanthropist Megan Chernin and LA schools Superintendent John Deasy, to fund a ‘Food for Thought’ breakfast programme in LA schools. Under the programme, which is scheduled for the next academic year, nutritious food will be actually brought into the classroom, during a 10-15-minute breakfast break, and teachers who will receive nutrition training, will ensure that their pupils receive a proper start to the day. It was given a boost a few days ago, by Columbian actress Sofia Vergara and American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, producer of the Emmy-award winning “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”, which highlighted America’s current obesity problems. More than 200,000 Los Angeles students will benefit from this healthy initiative.
Just a quick reminder from the Arbor Day Foundation…
Today is Arbor Day, in the USA – a day set aside “to celebrate the wonders of nature, and to plan for an even greener future by planting and caring for trees”. Arbor Day was started in 1854 by J Sterling Morton, one of the early settlers in the Nebraska Territory, and its importance hasn’t diminished, as we now realise how fragile our environment can be, and how much it depends on the continuing existence of healthy forests.
The Foundation has produced a handy guide to observing this important event: it begins with the words, “Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future”, and gives loads of fascinating information about the Day, how to best observe it, about trees in general, and even a special song for the occasion. Well worth a read.
For equivalent dates in other countries, see the list on the Foundation’s website – http://www.arborday.org/arborday/arborDayDatesInternational.cfm
“It is the responsibility of society to protect its companion animals, since humans have made them a part of that society. Stray animals [are] first and foremost a human problem.” (Korea Animal Rights Advocates – KARA).
According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals around 75% of the world’s estimated 500 million dogs are strays. This is a particularly pressing problem in Korea, where (in common with some other countries such as China, Vietnam and the Philippines) dogs have traditionally been regarded as food. Indeed, it was because of concerns over the fate of such animals that eBay was persuaded by KARA to disallow the sale of pets on its Korean website, less than two years ago. And until the South Korean government took steps to outlaw the sale of dog meat, following the 2002 World Cup there, companion animals were rarely treated as such by most of its population. (Recent reports suggest that things may now be improving, with dogs increasingly being kept as pets.)
So it’s encouraging to hear that a Korean celebrity, Lee Hyori, has recently donated 5 million Korean Won (about $4,400) to a local animal shelter charity, match-funding the cash they’d raised for their latest project – relocating and improving shelters in the Imokdong and Imundong districts of Seoul.
Celebrities – especially the young – can have a huge impact on national consciousness by acting as role models for children and young adults. While the sum involved on this occasion is not particularly large, the repercussions may well be. Congratulations to this young lady… and let’s hope public figures around the world will continue to set this kind of example, increasing the chances of compassionate future generations.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.