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Blogiversary Giveaway November 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Writing & Writers.
6 comments

Julie’s blog, Write Up My Life, is 363 days old . . . just 2 days shy of its First Anniversary!

To celebrate that milestone, Julie is waving her magic wand to select a winner in her Blogiversary Giveaway this Thursday night ~ as soon as the clock strikes midnight.   

To enter, think Hogwarts, Harry, and Hagrid . . . so you can identify your favorite Harry Potter book and movie.

And while you’re there, check out Julie’s Harry Potter Wishlist . . . full of great ideas to round out your Holiday Shopping List this year.

Real Reform November 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Less IS More.
9 comments

Social  Security and Health Care reform in the United States would benefit greatly if one small change were made ~ put our representatives in Congress into the same sinking boat with the rest of  us.

Then sit  back . . . and see how fast  they would plug the leaks!

As it stands, the disconnect between the reality of millions of Americans, struggling to make ends meet, and the average member of Congress boggles the mind.

Congressmen and women do not pay into, or collect from, Social  Security.  Years ago, they  decided they should have a  special plan for themselves.  So, they voted in  their own benefit  plans for both retirement and health.

Surprise.  Surprise.  Surprise . . . while our plans are like rusting VW Beetles, their plans are as sumptuous as brand new Cadillacs.

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsWhen they retire, as young as age 50 (with 20 years of service) or at age 62 (with as few as five years of service), they draw an average pension of $53,500 a year, with some collecting more than $100,000 a year following longer tenures on Capital Hill.  And those amounts increase annually for cost-of-living adjustments.

In short, being a public servant in Washington is a pretty sweet gig.

In contrast, under Social Security, which “we the people” pay into each and every payday until we retire, taxpayers can expect to receive an average of $1,000 per month once we reach a suitable retirement age.

Their health plan is not too shabby either:   the “Cadillac plan” features a $250 deductible and covers . . . everything!  And representatives cannot be denied coverage or rejected due to age, pre-existing medical conditions, or any bad habits like smoking, drinking, or carousing with young women (who may or may not have communicable diseases, but probably do).

“I want a p-l-a-n like that!”

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel strongly that the best way to represent the people is to live more like the typical American.  Since Congress seems just a bit out of touch with the reality faced by millions of Americans, let’s help them to “Get Real!”

How?

Get in touch with your representatives and let them know (1) about your own health care, pension, and wage struggles; and (2) how much you resent the plum deals they picked off the tree for themselves.  Just type in your zip code at www.congress.org to connect with the disconnected representatives from your district.

Attend public meetings and ask pointed questions . . . designed to embarrass them into working for suitable reform for “all the people,” not just for the elected elite.

Or elect me to Congress.  I promise to work from the inside to bring about real change ~ all the while enjoying fabulous perks and exciting benefits!

* * * * *

This PSA has been brought to you by LOL Enterprises – no politicians were harmed during the making of this commercial, but we hope that more than a few will be voted out of office in the next election!

For a commentary on Taxing The Poor to Feed The Rich:  Stop, Watch, Listen, Consider, Repost (Senator Bernie Sanders ~ Vermont)

I Am Truly Humbled . . . November 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Spirit & Ego, Word Play.
12 comments

Turns out that humility (like virtually every other word in the English language) is subject to interpretation. 

What a shocking surprise!

In short, whether humility is a virtue depends upon  what type of humility we mean: 

If humility liberates us from the sufferings of life and the vexations of the human mind, as Buddhists believe, humility is most certainly a virtue or strength to which I aspire. 

The quieter my mind becomes, the more I see.

If humility involves ignoring Ego (and its petty concerns) to focus on our true spiritual nature, as Hinduism teaches, I am happy to be humble. 

The more humble we become, the less we stumble over pebbles in our path.

For me, the stumbling block to seeing humility as a virtue is (or was) feigned or false humility . . . people who pretend to be humble in order to get others to feed their Egos:

“False humility consists of deprecating one’s own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others.”  [Wikipedia ~ Humility]

When I said the other day that I didn’t see humility as a virtue . . . it was this type of false humility I had in mind:  People who feign humility as a way of “fishing for compliments.” 

Ack!

As far as I’m concerned, if you’ve got an Ego, feed it yourself.  Don’t expect others to feed it for you!

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Let Go, Ego! * You’re Full Of . . . Hubris * Is Humility A Virtue? * Pop Goes The Ego *  WTF (Watch That Feedback)

Be Here Now November 16, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
12 comments

The New York Times recently ran an article on mindfulness which supports the idea that remaining “present” in the moment adds to our happiness, while getting “lost in thought” (even pleasant daydreams) subtracts from it:

When the Mind Wanders, Happiness also Strays

The happiest people?

Those who remain in the moment . . . while having SEX!

Mindfulness allows us to “be” in the moment, focused on what is taking place right here, right now.

When we are mindful, we are “connected” to the present, and use that awareness to see, taste, smell, touch and hear what is being offered.

It involves bringing all our awareness and concentration to the task at hand, whether we are chopping wood, peeling an orange, reading Aristotle, writing an article, meditating, pondering the mysteries of the Universe, or . . . having SEX!

Related posts:  Your Brain On Bliss * Mindfulness Meditation: A Miracle Drug