We are immersed in relationships. The relationship to ourselves, relationship to our spouse or partner, relatives, friends, co-workers, relationship to our environment. How we interact with ourselves, others, and our physical world shapes and defines us, others and our environment.
We communicate with more than words. Often times it is the unspoken word or glance that packs the most punch. We talk with our bodies, too. Our faces communicate more messages than any other part of our body. Starting at about age five we become self-conscious about using facial expressions and begin to purse our lips, etc. Time to loosen up! Use your face to express yourself. Open your eyes wider, raise your eyebrows - show some enthusiasm! Smile - you will put yourself and others much more at ease.
Within this section, we'll give you some ideas on how to communicate and be in relationship with yourself, others and the environment more satisfactorily.
Ten Steps to Better Communication
1. Out of fairness and respect, choose a mutually convenient time and place to discuss ONE issue only. Also agree on the length of your session.
2. Beforehand, prepare and calm yourself. Do your favorite relaxation technique or simply take 3-4 very deep breaths and let them out with a sigh. Perhaps do some stretches or some kind of movement to relax your body.
3. Become aware of your thoughts, feelings and any intuitive insights you might have around the issue. What do you want to convey to him or her? What DO you want?
4. Establish and maintain relaxed eye contact. Remember to blink and and breathe! Periodically check in to your body tension levels. Loosen up those tight muscles! Tensing, then letting go of your neck and shoulder muscles helps. Also, raising and alternately knitting your eyebrows then letting go will relieve scalp and forehead tightness. Opening and closing your mouth helps jaw tension. Do what you need to do to get comfortable. Maybe you need to change where or how you're sitting. To make whatever adjustments might be necessary, Take time out and agree on when to resume.
5. Become clear of your INTENTIONS.
6. State them or it, by first saying what you are thinking feeling and wanting. Here is a great place to interject some non-derogatory humor - if it feels appropriate and natural.
7. With a pleasant tone of voice (no whining!), use "I" statements. This takes it out of the blaming, judging arena. Ask yourself a few questions: "Do I want to fight?" Am I insisting on being right, no matter what?" "Or, would I rather create an atmosphere of mutual trust, safety and understanding?" Am I coming from a place of love or fear?" If feeling intensely angry, which is usually fear-based, let the other know and excuse yourself. Walk, breathe deeply, whatever it takes to get calm. Choose a time to resume. Don't talk until you have vented adequately.
8. Ask the other person to repeat back what you have just said. They may have incorrectly heard and/or misinterpreted your communication. This crucial step will give you more clarity and understanding around the issue.
9. Now, it's the other person's turn. Listen openly, attentively and compassionately. Tell him or her what you think was said.
10. Brainstorm for solutions. Open up to creative ideas that may not occur to you normally. Be willing to compromise. Agree on at least one action and/or implementation you can initiate immediately to resolve or relieve the tensions around the issue. Give each other a big hug! And tell how much you appreciated their input.
Do not be discouraged if the resolution is incomplete at this time. Reschedule to come back to the issue again or for however many times it takes to resolve or relieved. At the end of your "session" you will feel empowered knowing you have taken vital steps toward having what you want.
Tips For Happier Relationships
First and foremost is the relationship to yourself. How you think inwardly and outwardly about yourself will reflect inn your relationships. Many of us have learned to know ourselves by what we dislike about ourselves. Only when you're able to accept responsibility for your thoughts will your life begin to change and move towards what you want. Above all, practice self-love. Below are some ways to teach you how to do that:
1. Stop criticizing yourself. It won't change a thing. Accept yourself as you are. When you approve of yourself, your changes will be positive.
2. Quit scaring yourself. It's an impossible way to live. Everytime you have a terrifying thought, replace it with a pleasant mental image. For example - a bunch of roses, a waterfall, a peaceful meadow - you get the picture!
3. Be gentle and patient. Give yourself the time you need to learn new ways of thinking, being and acting. Treat yourself as if you were someone you really love. If it's difficult, simply "act as if." Gradually you will catch on.
4. Stop hating yourself. Self-hate is only hating your own thoughts. When "ugly" thoughts surface, gently change them (see #2).
5. Give yourself lots of compliments and praise. Praise builds you up. Criticism drags you down and breaks you down. Tell yourself how well you've done with even the smallest little thing.
6. Support yourself! When you need help - get it. It's a sign of strength to ask for help.
7. Lovingly release negative thoughts, patterns and habits. You needed them at one time. It was alright to have created them. But now, you no longer need them. Now, you're creating new, positive ways to fulfill the same needs.
8. Nurture and care for your body. Learn about exercise and eating well. Discover what you need to operate optimally. Then, apply it!
9. Look in the mirror. Look into your eyes and express the growing sense of love you have for self. Forgive yourself, talk to your parents, or whoever you want to imagine, while looking into the mirror. At least once a day, say, "I love you, I really love you!"
10. Love yourself NOW - don't wait until you lose weight, have more money, better clothes, a mate, get well, or so on. You're well worth the investment in time and energy it will take.
* APPRECIATE each other and yourself! The desire for appreciation is one of the deepest of all human cravings. Tell them often with loving words and actions. However, it is important to not do ALL the giving. Be sure something comes your way. If you don't you might wake up one morning and wonder what happened. By then it will be too late. Let he or she know they're still attractive to you. Don't stifle the urge to hold hands, hug or kiss!
* Respect each other's opinions, beliefs, ideas and desires. Stop thinking you can force them to change. They'll only resent you for it. Let them do it themselves. Trust that they have their own resources to change. Be patient - it may take awhile!
* Grow gracefully with one other. Respect their timing. It is more than likely different than your own! Grant them their birthright of individuality. Only they know what's best for themselves, even if you are sure you do!
* Give lots of encouragement to do what they need to do. If needed and they want you to, help them to boost their confidence.
* Put yourself and your spouse, family, partner before work, money and material things. If you don't, the one you love may start packing!
* Don't assume anything. And don't expect him or her to be a mind-reader. Ask for what you want and need!
* No matter how busy you are, take the time to air your feelings. Holding them in will only create distance and resentment. Talk it out! You can find the way to work things out. You are capable and have all the resources you need!
* Trust each other. If you are unable to trust, search yourself to learn what is keeping you from doing so. If unable to discover it on your own, seek professional help. Without trust, there can be no love.
* There needs to be give and take. You can't have your way all the time!
* For you "marrieds" - remember in your early days before you married? You were friends - right? If you find yourself being more of a mom or a dad to your spouse, or some other equally as unpleasant role player, stop before you destroy your love. Do what it takes to reestablish your friendship. You'll have a lot more fun! Remember, good friends laugh and cry together, prop each other up when the chips are down. Friends don't pester or pretend. They can be themselves when they're with one another. True friends respect each other's values, beliefs, feelings and opinions whether or not they agree with them. They don't have a driving obsession to win by being "right."
* Real friends display gentleness and compassion when their friend is down. They cherish and treasure their friendship above all else. True friends are loyal, devoted and honest to one another. They support you in what you want to do (not if you would be placing yourself in imminent danger, etc, of course). They don't demand that they do what you think is "right." True friends are kind and listen with open hearts and ears to what's hurting to you. They don't pelt you with words of blame, judgment and criticism. A real friend will love you unconditionally. So - if you want your friend to stay around for awhile, accept him or her just as they are.
* Allow for individual strengths and differences. Give each other space.
* Act as equals. Don't compete or compare.
* Let your spouse or partner know that he/she IS "good enough" for you. Even more importantly, let YOURSELF know that you are ENOUGH, exactly the way you are NOW.
* Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays in your own specialized ways together. Make up special occasions!
* Be flexible and shift gears if the situation calls for it.
* Be his helpmate, not his slave. He will respect you much more when you establish that. And, you'll respect yourself. Besides, if you're behaving like the guy's mom, your not going to feel romantically inclined - if you know what I mean!
* Be one another's lover, friend and confidante. That'll keep the sparks flying.
* Spend quality time together, playing, laughing, talking walking, just simply being close. Take a weekend vacation to somewhere you've never been. You needn't go far. Stay at a local bed and breakfast or in a honeymoon cottage. Bring each other a fair share of joy!
* Choose and read a book together. This is very nurturing.
* Write each other love notes. Put them in unusual places.
* Be spontaneous - surprise each other with little gifts and notes often! Men - do bring us flowers, especially wildly colored big fat bouquets - we love them.
* Quietly contemplate one another's good qualities. Then write them down and exchange notes.
* Think before you speak - is is true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If not, let it be left unsaid.
* Have beautiful thoughts for they may break into words at any time!
* Let others know you value your loved one(s). Express this to your friends, family and fellow community members.
* Respect one another's silences and need for privacy and solitude.
* Be proud of each other's accomplishments. Give praise where praise is due.
* Validate each other's feelings. Tell him or her that you know that they're not imagining things, and that yes it is real if he or she is experiencing/feeling it.
* Touch, hold, hug, cuddle a lot!
* Reassure each other when needed and wanted.
* Let one another know when a job was well done.
* Take care of yourself - inside and out!
* Believe in each other and don't keep it a secret.
* Be generous with compliments. Do it for no reason.
* Be an interesting and pleasant person to be around.
* Be a wonderful companion.
* Generate love and happiness within yourself and spread it!
* Inspire yourself and spread that too!
* Above all, relax and do what comes naturally. What you have just read will bring peace to your heart and hearth only if you PRACTICE it. Peace begins at home. If we stop the war within, collectively we could possibly end all war.
Getting and keeping a positive focus will greatly enhance all your relationships. Here a few ways to help you do that:
* Before you go to sleep at night, tell yourself that you'll wake up refreshed with a cheerful, positive outlook. If done with a strong intention, it will work.
* Read positive, uplifting material and literature.
* Get up early, if possible, and do your favorite exercise. For high stress levels, exercise channels the adrenalin away from the stomach and cardiovascular system. If you walk, be extra aware of nature's beauty - this will soothe frayed nerves. If you look for beauty you will find it, even downtown.
* Organize and simplify your life. Strike a balance between work, play and family time.
* Take charge of circumstances in your life and don't let circumstances control you.
* As much as possible, live peacably with ALL life.
* Learn to respond instead of reacting.
* Relax and recharge yourself at regular intervals during the day.
* Eat well so that you have the nutrients for balanced mental and emotional function.
* Be patient and seek wisdom. There are a few people who have gone further down the path and know more than you do. Imagine that!
* Listen to happy music.
* Read an inspirational message upon awakening.
* Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a 'pep' talk. If you're taking yourself too seriously, look in the mirror and laugh. Start with some fake ha ha ha's and before you know it the real thing will come spilling out.
* CHOOSE to be positive.
* Then, make a conscious effort to be positive. If you notice yourself thinking negatively, without reprimand, pivot from there to a positive thought. Gradually the preferred way will win out. Eventually your whole outlook will be brighter. It takes practice to get to Carnegie Hall!
* Focus on what is going well in your life.
* Magnify the positive world events.
* When feeling overwhelmed, tell yourself not to let momentary frustrations cloud your view. Step back from your cloud and think about the things you like in your life. Think of the excitement and adventure that lies ahead. Better yet, be in the moment and find your joy there. Then you might find that the challenges were trivial.
* When you are about to get frustrated, instead of dwelling on it and amplifying it, immediately put it out of your mind and focus intently on what is going on around you. Then you might find that your concerns were quite minimal!
* Act before the fact! Put on a happy face when you are grouchy. Soon your outward smile will transfer to the inner.
* Make a list of things that need to be done for necessity, pleasure, profit and helping others. This will minimize time for negative thinking.
* Take a country drive. This may give you the alone time you need to change your perspective to a more positive one.
* Call a friend, ask for support and encouragement.
* Call a friend, give him or her your love and support.
* Ride your bike.
* Invite a friend to lunch or to a movie.
* Maybe you just need to pull away from the routine. Unplug - do something that gives you pleasure. Dance around the house, paint, play piano, whatever it is that gives you joy.
* If you are busy with all kinds of chores and errands, relax between tasks with some good belly laughs! Play with "Comedy" (on the main menu) or watch some comedy clips on tv or videotape.
* Don't sweat the small stuff. Start smiling at little disasters. Look on the bright side - find humor in the exasperating events.
* Sometimes writing down your worries and negative thoughts can bring you around the bend to positive thinking once again.
Focusing on the positive is powerful psychological protection against the effects of chronic stress. Besides, you'll feel a lot better about yourself when you are positive. So, how about starting now?
Our Relationship to the Environment
Our relationship to to the environment is equally important as our relationship to ourselves and others. Without it, we simply would not exist! Now, more than ever, we need to be accountable for the way we interact with the environment on a daily basis. Even the "smallest" individual act to nurture and support our environment is significant. In this segment we've included some eye-opening facts and things that you can do to help.
Here are some carefully researched environmental facts supplied by John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America" and "May All Be Fed."
* Number of people who could be adequately fed using the land freed if Americans reduce their intake of meat by only 10 percent would be 60 million.
* 20,000 pounds of potatoes can be grown on 1 acre.
* On 1 acre of land, 165 pounds of beef are produced.
* 56 percent of U.S. farmland is devoted to beef production.
* 16 pounds of grain and soybeans are needed to produce 1 pound of meat from feedlot beef.
* The groundwater is contaminated by pesticides* in 38 states. This means that more than half of the American population's groundwater is fouled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
* The U.S. loses 3 billion tons - plus of topsoil in one year, according to the Soil Conservation Service. This means that the loss is 7 times faster than soil is generated. Whereas organic farming puts more in that it takes out. Organic farmers build and protect our rich dowry of soil. Let's support them!
* U.S. topsoil lost to date, 75 percent. U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising, 85 percent.
* Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million.
* Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds.
* It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.
* It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat.
* Get a water and money saving, low flow shower head. They provide an invigorating (especially the special massage heads) and efficient shower and save nearly 20 gallons of water each time you shower!
* Also, get water-saving devices for your toilet and faucets.
* Sweep your garage, driveway and sidewalk rather than hosing them. Water the lawn and garden in the early evening so the sun does not evaporate the moisture so quickly.
* The world's known oil reserves would last 13 years if every human ate a meat-centered diet. They would last 260 years if humans no longer ate meat.
* 33 percent of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by the U.S. is devoted to the production of livestock, while only 2 percent of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. are needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet.
* 55 percent of all the antibiotics in the U.S are fed to livestock.
* In 1960, 13 percent of staphylococci infections were resistant to penicillin. In 1988, 91 percent were resistant.
* Fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues.
* 99 percent of U.S. mother's milk contains significant levels of DDT. 8 percent of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk contains significant levels of DDT.
* Contaminations of breast milk, due to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides in animal products, found in meat-eating mothers versus non meat-eating mothers is 35 times higher.
* Primary cause of greenhouse effect: Carbon dioxide emisions from fossil fuels, fossil fuels to produce a meat-centered versus meat-free: 3 times more.
* Dave Scott, 6 time Ironman Triathlon winner, chooses a vegetarian diet.
* Use water-based paints when possible. If using enamel-based, buy the non-toxic brands. Also, seal wood with linseed oil, it is just as effective as chemical sealants. Whenever you can, purchase environmentally safe furniture. Avoid particle board, artificial fibers and pressed wood which is processed with toxic, fume causing formaldehyde. These can exhaust toxic fumes into your living space.
* Avoid buying colognes and perfumes with rosewood oil in them as it comes almost entirely from rainforests. Speak out to protect our remaining rain and other forests. After all, we would not be able to breathe! They release precious oxygen from their pores allowing (along with plants and algaes) enabling us to live! Write to your local and state government officials and put pressure on them to stop destroying our trees! Support ecology groups financially and/or by planting trees, etc.
Here are some natural ways to control pests while protecting yourself and the environment from harmful chemicals. This material was reprinted with permission from the April, 1990 issue of Delicious! Magazine, a publication of New Hope Communications in Boulder, Colo. It has been somewhat paraphrased.
1. Handpick insects from house and garden plants. A strong water blast from a hose also works.
2. To get rid of ants - squeeze a lemon onto their entrance and leave the peel. Talcum powder, chalk, boric acid, bone meal, mint plants and cayenne pepper will work too.
3. To zap aphids and red spider mites, apply soft soap to the plants leaves and stems. For fleas in your carpet or on your dog or cat, use citrus oil.
4. Leave spiders alone. They eat damaging insects.
5. Mix one part molasses to two parts vinegar and place in a yellow container to trap moths. Cedar chips also do the job.
6. Hang cloth sacks of black pepper in food bins and storage areas to repel weevils. Place small piles of boric acid to get rid of cockroaches.
7. Pyrethrum, which comes from chrysanthemums is effective against aphids and most insects. Since it's indiscriminate, spray directly on unwanted pests.
8. Copper sulfate controls mildew and blight.
9. To de-bug houseplants, blend three hot peppers, 1/2 onion and one clove garlic in water. Boil, then steep for two days, then strain. This formula won't hurt indoor or outdoor plants. It can be frozen for future use.
10. Plant these herbs and vegetables to chase away bugs: dill, pennyroyal, broccoli and radish. Plant these flowers: Queen Anne's lace, marigolds and poppies attract bad-bug predators like ladybugs, honeybees and parasitic wasps.
Editor's note: If you have lots of poison oak and you're allergic to it, find someone who's not to remove it manually rather than to spray harmful poisons that may end up in your body.
Here are some more ways to help the environment:
* Plant a tree and care for it. Trees play a key role in converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
* Start seeds in beverage boxes. The large soy, brown rice and almond milk boxes are best. The small fruit juice "drink boxes" work well too. Here's how to do it:
1. Open the top of box and rinse thoroughly.
2. Put two holes in the box's bottom and place on saucer.
3. Fill the box three quarters full with soil.
4. Sprinkle a few seeds and cover with one-quarter inch of soil.
5. Keep in a warm, sunny spot.
6. When your plants have grown to a healthy size, tear away the drink box and re-plant them in your garden or a large pot.
* Americans produce 230 million tons of trash a year (5 pounds a day per person).
* Recycle at home and perhaps organize community and office recycling programs. Newspaper, glass, plastic, computer and and office paper, tin, aluminum, motor oil and batteries are all recyclable.
* Make it a habit to switch off lights, T.V., stereo, oven, stove burner and anything you're not using.
* Set you air conditioner's thermostat at around 78 in the summer. Turn down the heat just a few notches when you are sleeping. Be sure all lights and appliances are off, too.
* Use fans in conjunction with air conditioning.
* Insulate well, caulk and seal all air leaks in windows, doors and attics. This can save you up to hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling bills.
* Be efficient, use only the electrical power you need.
* An average home uses nearly 10,000 gallons of water a month. Cut down by turning off faucet while shaving, brushing teeth, washing hands, in between washing and rinsing dishes, and by fixing leaky faucets. One drop of water a second equals 700 gallon a year. That's around 50 gallons of water everyday!
* When doing laundry and dishes - fill the machines full and use cold water for washing clothes whenever possible. Remember to use environmentally safe and biodegradeable soaps to wash and clean with. Editor's note: To find out about an expansive line of biodegradable cleaning products, write to: Encover INC, P.O. box 1576, Norwalk, CT 06852-1576, or phone Trish Silay at 1-800-927-2527, extension 1053, say "Cleaning Products."
* Clean and re-use food storage bags. You can buy racks especially designed for this purpose.
* Clean and re-use containers for bulk purchase, beauty and household cleaners and supplies.
* Properly use and maintain your car to decrease oil and gas use. By keeping your car tuned, you can help the environment and save hundreds of dollars a year in gas. Keep your tires correctly inflated. Cars burn more gasoline when they are out of tune or the tires are low. You'll spend a lot less on gas this way!
* Get your car and home air conditioners serviced at centers who use freon recycling freon equipment.
* Use public transportation or car pool whenever possible and COMFORTABLE. One gallon of gas produces nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide gas. However, you may be uncomfortable with facing people at 7 in the morning! Perhaps you use this commuting time to quietly reflect and would not what to give it up. Refrain from jumping on the "green bandwagon" just because it's the thing to do. You are an integral part of the environment, so factor in your feelings, needs and comfort levels around environmental issues. Then and only then decide what you are and what you are not willing to do to help out.
* Avoid non-biodegradable and toxic and harmful products, such as the aerosols including hair sprays, mousses, deodorants (choose stick deodorants), pesticides because they contain ozone destroying chlorofluorocarbons. Instead, use natural, biodegradable soaps and shampoos, wear natural fiber clothing, use compost (all peelings, discarded foods and scraps) and natural, organic fertilizers and soil amenders on your garden rather than chemical and artificial ones.
* Ask your recycling center how to dispose of toxic wastes you might create.
* Do not dump toxic wastes down the drain. This means no chlorine bleach (use natural cleaners, cleansers and the new hydrogen peroxide, non-chlorine bleach) in the sink or toilet. Also no paint, paint removers, etc.*
* Take an inventory of all toxic chemical cleaners in your home, and dispose of them gradually - replacing with non-toxic, safe to the environment products. you can make your own natural cleaners by mixing vinegar, lemon juice with water or baking soda.
NOTE: Hydrogen peroxide and water will disinfect and bleach.
* Pack mail parcels with popcorn, newspaper, shredded paper or cardboard instead of styrofoam.
* Light your home and office with compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances. full spectrum lighting is said to be healthier. It also helps with the wintertime depression which some people who stay indoors suffer from.
* If financially possible or otherwise feasible, avail yourself of the abundant alternative power sources such as solar, wind, water, etc.
* Save your energy and the earth's resources by shopping by phone first, then pick up your purchase. Also, it works well to call around to comparison shop and to see if the store you had in mind has what you want at the best price.
* Choose non-animal tested beauty products. These are usually marked "cruelty-free".
* Buy eggs in cardboard cartons instead of plastic or styrofoam.
* Use paper products sparingly - have lots of cloth kitchen towels and napkins around.
* Use a cloth shopping bag and and recycle disposable shopping bags.
* Buy fresh unpackaged produce.
* Avoid disposable plates. If you must use throwaway items, choose paper rather than styrofoam products.
* Avoid irradiated foods.
* When baking, toss a few potatoes or winter squash into the oven, or cook a pot of rice alongside. You'll save energy and generate leftovers.
* Buy food, beauty and household products in bulk whenever possible.
* Collect rainwater for watering plants.
* Start a community garden or your own home-garden.
* Create a neighborhood recycled toy co-op.
* Teach your children environmental responsibility.
* Donate money to an environmental or charity organization for the friend or family member who has everything. Or do it for yourself.
* Support recycling projects in your community. Speak up at town meetings, PTA meetings and social gatherings. Talk to your neighbors, write to your local newspaper, congress person, etc. citing the advantages of recycling. Encourage the purchase of recycled paper in your home, school, workplace and wherever and whenever you can.
* Join an environmental organization.
* Get some recycling bins. They save space through stacking and encourage recycling. Easy to use and carry, they're perfect for curbside pickup or trips to the recycling center.
* Buy an aluminum can crusher to solve storage problems. This easily turns cans into small space saving disks.
* Mend and repair clothes and items instead of tossing them. Here are some other ways young people can make a difference:
* Draw and paint with beeswax crayons and water-based paints, markers and glue on recycled paper.
* You can save nearly nine gallons of water when you wet your tooth brush, then turn off the water - then turn it on again when you need to rinse the brush.
* Use soy inks for printing. They are non-petroleum based and they don't contain volatile organic compounds which are toxic to people as well as the environment. Another reason soy inks are better is because they're derived from soybeans is because they are a renewable resource - petroleum is not.
* Take a trash bag to the beach. Fill it, then dispose of it appropriately.
* Have your mom, dad or someone help you erect a bird house or just a cat-safe feeding platform for the birds. Put out some wild bird seed and sit back and watch the show! You also can tie unsalted peanuts in a shell on yarn strings and hang them here and there on tree branches.
* Be kind and gentle to animals.
* If you come across a bug on the street or in your house, pick it up and move it out and/or away from feet. Many insects help our environment.
* Turn off all lights and electrical things (computer, toys, etc.) when not in use.
* Before throwing out six-pack rings (the plastic rings that hold soft drinks, etc. together), snip each circle with scissors.
* When you buy something small, say no thanks to a bag or bring a cloth bag with you.
* Tie helium balloons to your wrist because if you let them go some of them will end up in the ocean where fish and birds eat them. If your school is going to release balloons, tell them of the dangers to animals.
* Ask your parents to have a garage sale! You can help by searching your closets, drawers and the basement for toys, books or clothes you and your mom and dad longer want or need. Perhaps you can help with selling the stuff and get a percentage of the customer's money for doing it!
A Case for Recycling
Manufacturing one ton of paper from waste paper instead of
1. Save three cubic yards of landfill space
2. Reduce air pollution by 74 percent
3. Reduce water pollution by 34 percent
4. Use 58 percent less water
5. Consume 64 percent less energy
6. Save 17 trees
7. Create 5 times more jobs
* Use paper towels, toilet paper (best to buy unbleached paper products), gift wrap, cards, office supplies and stationery made with recycled paper. Why use recycled paper? Because it's better for the environment
The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible. Civilization begins in the imagination. The wild dream is the first step to reality. It is the direction-finder by which people locate higher goals and discern their highest selves. If our purposes are frail, if our concern for the next generation is uninspired, if the value we attach to the idea of progress is small, then we'll bow low before the difficulty. But if we have some feeling for the gift of life and its uniqueness, if we have confidence in freedom, growth and the miracle of vital change, then difficulty loses its power to intimidate.
We must restore optimism and sharpen our inborn instincts for life, for what is positive and for human fulfillment. We must turn to the mysterious, self-generating powers of hope, creative thinking, love, faith and affirmation of life itself.
We need to harness our positive emotions to a system of world law, commerce, finance, and governance. Every major problem in the world today calls for a world response. Education can help us to become more world responsive. The great failure of education - not just in the United States but throughout most of the world as well - is that it has made people tribe-conscious rather than species-conscious. It has attached value to the things people do but not to what people are but not to what people are. Power is heralded but the preciousness of life is unsung.
Education can help us to move out beyond the narrow and calcifying confines of the ego, so we can identify ourselves compassionately with the mainstream of humanity. The highest expression of humanity, I feel, is not the arts and science, but the supreme tenderness that people are strong enough to feel and show toward one another. If our civilization appears to be in trouble, it's not because we lack the brainpower to meet its demands, but because our feelings are being dulled.
What our society needs is a massive and pervasive experience in resensitization. With this in mind, I think the first aim in education needs to be to prepare young people to enable them to develop respect for life. Young people also need lessons in exploring and refining human sensitivity; in the naturalness of loving and the circumstances that enhance or enfeeble it; and in the need to endow government with the kind of sensitivity that makes life and all its wondrous possibilities its most insistent concern.
Our challenge, then, is to recognize that our thoughts, words and actions along with everyone else's create a "collective consciousness." (Editor's note: Together, we have created what is going on in our world today. So - we need to unite our wills to work for a more harmonious and healthier collective world vision. Refuse to give up your individuality for some "higher good" by becoming passive and nondescript). By accepting our responsibility to this totality, we in fact experience greater freedom and self-expression.
By converting the world neighborhood into a community, we align ourselves with the forces moving us toward greater growth and development. The ability of a species to chart its own course - not just in its own generation, but in history - is perhaps the most significant thing about human life. I believe that when we steer through our present difficulties, we'll have an enlarged sense of that underlying drive. At that point, we'll do more than just concern ourselves with staying alive. We'll have that capacities and the collective goodwill to create a culture beyond the imaginations of our greatest poets. End