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With This Tree, I Thee Wed August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Nature, People, Sustainable Living.
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In Indonesia, newlyweds in the Garut district of West Java must donate 10 trees to the forestry department to finalize their nuptials.

What a great idea! 

Couples wishing to start a new life together must first add new life to the landscape around them.

“Home to some of the largest remaining tracts of tropical forest, Indonesia has the world’s highest deforestation rate ~ losing two percent of its remaining forest annually ~ primarily because of agriculture, fires, and illegal logging.” 

To stem the tide of falling trees, officials instituted the program in 2009 to re-vegetate the landscape. 

Getting married requires couples to donate 10 trees.   Getting divorced is “cheaper” as it only requires providing a single tree to reforestation efforts.

Source:  Susan Cosier, Beats Candlesticks, Audubon, May-June 2010

If you’re interested in adopting a similar gift-giving custom, check out Plant-A-Tree Ornaments sold by National Wildlife Federation.  

Plant-A-Tree Ornaments are the perfect gift for someone who has “everything” . . . including a desire for a more sustainable future.

In addition to ornaments, NWF sells Plant-A-Tree jewelry, key chains, bookmarks, and greeting cards.

To learn more about Global Warming, visit Audubon: Global Warming.

Quick Quiz August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Spirit & Ego, Writing & Writers.
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As a writer, what should you do when you don’t agree with feedback you’ve received:

A.  Retaliate in kind by chasing the reviewer around the site until you catch him/her making a glaring error, then point it out with glee. 

In other words, don’t get mad, get even.

B.  View it as the gift that it is . . . it means someone took the time to read what you wrote. 

The pickier the comments, the better . . . since it means that they took time to hone in on the nitty-gritty of your writing because you and your writing are WORTH it. 

C.  Let it out, and let it go.  Don’t absorb it into your being.  Let it drift away into the ether and evaporate.

Don’t waste your creative energy hanging on to negatives.  

D.  Bow down to the reviewer’s superior wit and intelligence.
In virtually all situations, B and C make the most sense in the long run.

Unless, of course, you are getting feedback from  your agent or publisher . . . in which case the correct answer is (almost) always D.

While written for writers, this quiz (with a few nips and tucks) applies to unsolicited opinions received in daily life as well. 

You can’t please everyone . . . so you’ve got to please yourself.

Paternalism Produces Whiny Babies August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Sustainable Living.
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Did you hear the one about the check-out girl who thought “they” should provide free insurance to people who didn’t bother to purchase it for themselves?

I can no longer remember whether she was talking about homeowner’s insurance or auto insurance.

The clerk in question had sustained a loss due to an act of Mother Nature.  She had no insurance because she had chosen to spend her money on other “more important” things (e.g., clothes, shoes, handbags, and the latest gadget and gizmo).  Rather than paying for the repairs herself, she felt “they” should chip in to fix the problem for her.

Who is they???  

She sounded infantile in her naiveté ~ like a toddler crying “that’s not fair!” when the planned picnic is canceled due to impending rain. 

Perhaps we have been treated paternalistically for so long that we have forgotten how to think, act, and evaluate actions and consequences for ourselves?

Sure, we’re all “guilty” of being the grasshopper at times ~ living for today, focused on momentary pleasures, without concern for the consequences.  

That’s fine . . . as long as we recognize our contribution to the consequences if and when they ultimately arise. 

Obviously, she didn’t. 

Instead, somewhat like Paris Hilton, she wanted “daddy” to step up to the plate and protect her from herself. 

In like vein, people who complain about the unscrupulous practices of credit card companies sound more like whiny babies than adults to me.

Yes, credit card companies try to lure in unsuspecting consumers, just like barkers on the mid-way try to lure in gullible circus goers to see the Fat Lady, Rhinoceros Man, and the Snake Charmer.

From my perspective, the problem is not the fisherman tossing out the bait ~ although they may have some karmic baggage to deal with down the road.

The problem is the gullible “fish” taking the bait. 

When we learn to think for ourselves, we no longer bite at offers that sound “too good to be true,”  and unscrupulous lenders (and circus barkers) are forced to either develop scruples or go out of  business.

If we all behave like whiny babies . . . who gonna mind the store?

Quote:  If the whole world followed you, would you be pleased with where you took it? – Neale Donald Walsch

OVERLOAD (via The only Cin) August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
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The Only Cin’s blog rocks my world most days. Her observations on life are always “spot on.”

Unless, of course, she chooses the “OFF” switch instead!

OVERLOAD   Chaos Surrounding cacophony of Streaming data Noisy images Saturating my senses And I Like a chameleon lying Abed a bowl of psychedelic coloured candy Absorb it all, Until Brittle I must flick a switch OFF! … Read More

via The only Cin

Happiness: A Theory of Relativity August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, People.
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220px-TennieldumdeeI stumbled across some rather inane behavior in the blogosphere recently.

I suppose I must be more specific.

Here goes:  Two individuals arguing about who was happiest.


It reminded me of Tweedledum and  Tweedledee.

What a way to be less happy than you could be.

Happiness is relative.  No one knows how happy YOU feel inside . . . they only know how happy you appear to be on the outside.

Likewise, you never know how happy others feel inside . . . you only see the mirth they choose to share.  Even clowns cry when no one’s in earshot.

Happiness is relative.  And YOU are the ONLY frame of reference.

You cannot prove that you are happier than someone else.  And, really, why would you want to???

The goal is not to be happier than others.  The goal is far simpler ~ just be happier than your previous self.

On a related note, check out:  Jesus H. Christ: Happier Than You (Track 10:  I hope you’re happy ~ I hope you’re where you want to be ~  I hope you’re happy ~ Just not happier than me!)

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Kk August 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, People.
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The universe is a karma machine.  Collective karma shapes our world; individual karma shapes our personal destiny. ~ Lama Surya Das

Even if we don’t believe in Karma, our actions have consequences since they impact what we think of ourselves when we see “the man in the mirror.”

I’ve never liked the quote, “Good guys finish last,” because it implies that greed, and power, and arrogance will get you to the finish line first . . . but that’s not the finish line that I’m aiming for.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

If the whole world followed you, would you be pleased with where you took it? – Neale Donald Walsch

Karma is the law of cosmic cause and effect.  For every action, there is a reaction.  As we sow, so shall we reap.  The more you give, the more you get back. ~ Lama Surya Das

Do not overlook any good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.  ~ The Buddha

Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain. ~ The Buddha

Skillful action is cultivated and encouraged because it helps lay the groundwork for good karma.  When we behave in ways that reflect wisdom, sanity, and compassion, we produce better results. ~ Lama Surya Das


You have not lived a perfect day unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you. – Ruth Smeltzer

The more you focus on viewing others with love, kindness, compassion, and acceptance, the more your view and God’s view will merge.

Each day, practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Whether we have 5 minutes, 5 hours, or all day, we can be the change we wish to see in the world . . . transforming ripples of kindness and peace into a tidal wave  of love and compassion.

Kindness is key. ~ Axiom

We can change the world . . . one random act of kindness at a time.

Kindness is its own reward. ~ Maxim

Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary. ~ James M. Barrie

The older you get, the more you realize that kindness is synonymous with happiness. ~ Lionel Barrymore

Kindness echoes ~ Mother Teresa

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

Listen to your heart, it’s calling to you.
Be guided by the heart in all you do.

To handle yourself, use your head.  To handle others, use your heart. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Related Post:  Karma’s A Bitch (PB & Chutney)