VALERIEMAHA   50,894
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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

The Ripple Effect of a Kind Act

Friday, November 26, 2010

YES -- taking good care of this body I've been entrusted with is vital! We learn more and more about basics of proper food with portion control and the variety of exercise which supports that here on SparkPeople, with myriad resources to help us in our journey.

And the flip side of loving self-care is reaching out in kindness to others.


This is Yoovie, in her professional role!

Yoovie, a dynamic young SparkWoman, is leading many SparkFriends to success in taking care of the body. But this week she posted another amazing blog, "Operation Brooklyn Lighthouse Part Uno" --
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3803762

-- about her intention to open her home to friends through the holidays instead of just being glum and depressed about being alone. THAT'S what I mean!


Stephanie, the professional!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=SL
ASALLE


SparkFriend Stephanie, also knows a lot about reaching out. Among other service, she manages a local food supply outreach at her work site and helps to support a youngster in Chile. She hopes to visit this child there next summer.

And I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that these two SparkFriends represent the smallest tip of the iceberg in terms of how the SparkCommunity reaches out to others and "pays it forward" in myriad ways!

Steph will be especially engaged by this global example of reaching out from a favorite site, KarmaTube, which touched me deeply. It shows how a small act can have an amazing ripple effect.


Chris Mburu

When Hilde Back, a Swedish woman, sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor. Using a strong narrative, the film interweaves seemingly separate lives into a cohesive whole. With clarity and grace, A SMALL ACT, bears witness to the ripple effect a single action can create:

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HERE is the short video:
www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2179
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Two options for reaching out:

Educating bright Kenyan children from poor families
www.hildebackeducationfund.com/about
-us.html


Global loans for youth desiring college/vocational education
www.vittana.org/howitworks

Hmmmm...just $25 can help???

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EOSTAR_45 12/17/2010 3:13PM

    Hey Maha: I am just now getting around to checking out the wonderful resources you included in this blog. Pretty amazing--ripple effect indeed. Thanks for sharing these.

Hope all is smooth your way.

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KAT573 12/2/2010 9:43AM

    To gift another with no expectation of anything at all in return is the most loving gift one can give, and I have always loved this idea, of giving anonymously, as well, to maintain the purity of that gifting.

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YOOVIE 11/29/2010 10:33AM

    emoticon thank you Maha oxo

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TKADEEPBREATH 11/28/2010 11:17AM

    You are so right. A sincere "touch" from the heart means more than anything else no matter how small it might seem to us.

Great blog, thanks for sharing . . .

As always, Jan emoticon

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KALIGIRL 11/28/2010 9:43AM

    Great blog and great ideas about active thanksgiving.
emoticonfor sharing.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/28/2010 9:02AM

    Mmmm, another wonderful blog from my dear friend, Maha!

Thank you.

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PEACEFULONE 11/27/2010 12:23AM

    Inspirational as always!
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SLASALLE 11/26/2010 8:34PM

    Maha, my dear friend and one of the kindest souls I know - YOU have caused quite the ripple!!! I knew naught of this organization, vittana.org. What an INCREDIBLE concept.

I LOVE Kiva (www.kiva.org) and have several microloans out there because I truly believe in helping others help themselves out of poverty through entrepreneurship. BUT I DID NOT KNOW there was an organization doing microfinancing for EDUCATION. In my mind, education is an even BETTER way to help others help themselves!!

So off I went to www.vittana.org - in search of students needing loans (since I just learned that most other countries don't offer student loans) - only to find out that all existing student applicants ARE FULLY FUNDED!!!!! They are now looking at more student loan applications and I've added my name to the waiting list.

I thought it was so totally awesome and heart-warming to see the generosity out there - so much so that all of the students needing funding at that time (if I remember, it was 300+) were taken care of. My time will come, I'm sure of it. And I am ready and waiting ... the $25 you questioned in your blog is simply the minimum amount you can loan, and then they lump the small loans together, just like Kiva does.

Then I sent the organization's link to my new bro-in-law, who is also already involved with Kiva. I have no doubt he'll be adding his name to the waiting list also.

So you see, my dear, the ripples continue ... all because of you. Bowing in gratitude for your presence in my life, your love and understanding, and most of all, for the many opportunities you share with me ...

With love,
Stephanie

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CARRAND 11/26/2010 7:41PM

    Great blog. Very inspirational.

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WATERMELLEN 11/26/2010 7:30PM

    It never hurts to be kind. Really enjoyed this blog,thank you!!

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TX_3XDAD 11/26/2010 4:06PM

    Thank you for sharing this post. Well written.

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WALKINGANNIE 11/26/2010 3:40PM

    SP is a wonderful community of people who are parts of virtuous circles. At its best, ripples of kindness and positivity radiate outwards and touch so many people.

You, Maha, are an active participant in many of these waves of energy for good.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 11/26/2010 12:01PM

    Love it! Thx MAHA for sharing these lives here.

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STLRZGRRL 11/26/2010 11:49AM

    Aren't SP people just The. Best. ?

I love them all and you are ONEUV'EM!!!
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DOR2BFIT 11/26/2010 11:01AM

    Wonderful real stories, thank you! emoticon

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DDOORN 11/26/2010 10:36AM

    Paying our SPARK forward...one act at a time...!

I see SO MANY of our SparkFamily engaged in this way...it seems to be a natural extension of taking gentle care of ourselves...taking gentle care of the world around us! :-)

Don

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JLWOF1 11/26/2010 10:07AM

    Wow, such wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing!

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LAGREBE 11/26/2010 10:02AM

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for your blogs, always thought-provocing!

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Starting ever again....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've been going through some rough patches as we all do on this earth plane, doing this and that to remedy the malaise...the lethargy...the lack of enthusiasm. This morning I got, by way of my daily poetry subscription, a "message from the universe" so to speak. And I share it with you as my wish to you for a Day -- and LIFE -- of Thanks Giving, in ALL ways and in ALL things!

Blessed be!
Maha


Baby golden mole

STARTING WITH LITTLE THINGS

Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --

Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.

Tomorrow the world.

~ William Stafford ~
(The Way It Is)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Starting_Wit
h_Little_Things.html



William Stafford, 1914-1993

"Stafford's poems are often deceptively simple. Like Robert Frost's, however, they reveal a distinctive and complex vision upon closer examination. James Dickey, writing in his book Babel to Byzantium, notes that Stafford's 'natural mode of speech is a gentle, mystical, half-mocking and highly personal daydreaming.'" From:
www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/224

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STLRZGRRL 11/26/2010 11:12AM

    That little guy needs a manicure!

Which reminds me that I want YOU to do something nice for just YOU today, Maha... you wonder of energy and light, you...
MWAH!
/t.



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SLASALLE 11/26/2010 11:02AM

    One of these days, you are going to run out of new poets to introduce me to, my dear friend!!! As always, thank you for sharing with all of us exactly who you are.

xoxoxo

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LIVELIGHTENFREE 11/25/2010 1:57PM

    This is just beautiful, Maha.

The delicacy of making change through gentleness and love.

I wanted to write something profound, but you know where my thoughts went?!?!

... emoticon...

I don't know if you've ever seen the Austin Powers movies - but there's a scene in one of them (I think it's Goldmember?) where Austin's lines are "Moley, Moley, Moley!!!" - which in context is such a funny scene. Well, now I will think of this meaning of 'mole' as well.

So I will be laughing AND have my heart warmed at the same time..."love the earth...pink and loving" ...making the earth move with nuzzles!!!

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TX_3XDAD 11/25/2010 1:35AM

    What a beautiful poem: I must read more of his work. Thanks for your kind words on my blog; have a blessed holiday!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:06PM

    So true! The smallest of love filled intentions can make miraculous changes in our world, for the better!

"Tomorrow the world."

I say... TODAY! I have to believe it is right NOW... otherwise, it will always just simply be within our grasp... slightly out of reach.

In my humble opinion... emoticon

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ROBINSNEWNEST 11/24/2010 12:07PM

    "Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow."

hmmmm... perfectly timed, as usual...as we "nuzzle"...

with love -
Robin

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1HAPPYSUSAN 11/24/2010 11:02AM

    When I received this poem yesterday I had to really give it some thought, but then the light came on and I was delighted with the message!

I'm so glad you shared this, Maha, and I'm pleased that we share such good taste (heehee!)!!

Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

((Hugs)) and abundant blessings to you!
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FLORIDASUN 11/24/2010 4:00AM

    Yes...we do need to be more mole like...we need to nudge up and see things very close. Most of us are so involved in our own little scenarios that we forget to look close and see that we can always help another. If by only being there. Hugs to you my beautiful Maha...I adore you up close and from far away! emoticon emoticon

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CBACH71 11/24/2010 3:16AM

    Great! Have a wonderful day!

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LOSETHEWTIN08 11/23/2010 9:09PM

    Just what I needed thank you for sharing.

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CARRAND 11/23/2010 8:35PM

    Wonderful poem. Thanks so much for sharing.

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MOOKBALL 11/23/2010 4:37PM

    Leaves me "in the dark." emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/23/2010 4:37:35 PM

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KAT573 11/23/2010 2:53PM

    AWWWWWWW I am sorry to hear you are struggling yet hopefully the struggle will lead to a way back up into the sunshine, dusted with the discoveries from within and beneath!
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PUDLECRAZY 11/23/2010 2:47PM

    I love the poem, and the sentiment, and the photo. I hope you are making your way through the rough spot without too many snags.
I have been thinking of you and wishing you well.
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Chris

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DDOORN 11/23/2010 12:44PM

    Great thoughts which to hold fast during these long, dark months...struggling here also! But we'll prevail and SPRING forth anew soon enough!

Don

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MISS_VIV 11/23/2010 12:19PM

    Beautiful - have a great day. emoticon

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ERIN4771 11/23/2010 12:15PM

    love the baby mole!!! makes you want to snuggle, doesn't it? have an awesome tuesday!! emoticon

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What does it really mean to be kind?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato



In honor of World Kindness Day on Nov 13th, Karma Tube offers this video by Humanity Healing Network...a journey through the teachings of kindness.

With a soundtrack by Enya, mesmerizing photos and wide ranging quotes from an Arabian proverb to Mother Teresa to Marianne Williamson, this photo essay asks:

What does it really mean to be kind (including to ourselves)?

www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2172

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 11/25/2010 2:02AM

    This is so lovely! Definitely a link to keep and watch again and again. Thank you and bless you!
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PUDLECRAZY 11/22/2010 4:08AM

    Wonderful, thank you!

Chris

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TX_3XDAD 11/18/2010 4:59PM

    & peace be with you!

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LIVELIGHTENFREE 11/15/2010 10:50PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Maha. I so like how seeds of kindness / seeds of our "loving universe" are represented by the seeds of dandelions. Dandelion seeds also remind me of childhood wonder. And the soundtrack featuring Enya - the best! I so enjoyed this beautiful video and will also be sharing it.

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ERIN4771 11/14/2010 9:47AM

    you really do have an awesome energy chica!! thanks for spreading it thru sparkland!!!!

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CBACH71 11/14/2010 3:46AM

    Kindness is individual just like everything else. If it truly comes from the heart and is well intentioned I believe it is kind. No matter how awkwardly packaged or presented. Nice post!

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XENA1956 11/13/2010 11:34PM

    Thanks, this was so great that I pasted onto my FB page. What a wonderful idea! emoticonTeri

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DDOORN 11/13/2010 11:17PM

    Thank you 'Maha for paying YOUR kindness forward and inspiring myself and SO MANY to do the same!

Don

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CARRAND 11/12/2010 10:11PM

    Lovely. Kindness is something I've been working on for a long time. I think every act of kindness enriches me and makes the next act of kindness easier. One of the best things about SP is the opportunity to meet so many kind people, and to practice kindness myself.

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DEUSMACHINA 11/12/2010 5:55PM

    Thanks Maha! I've really come to believe that kindness is essential. I wasn't a very kind person when I was younger. But now I strive to be kind, compassionate, considerate and non-judgmental. I don't always achieve my lofty goals, but I'm trying! Thanks for the focus!

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FRANCESCANAZ 11/12/2010 5:36PM

    I really liked the links on this site. There were many random acts i could share with my students. Hey did you get the DVD in the mail yet? Jim says "Hi" Love ya, Francesca

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KAKIPOPUP 11/12/2010 5:34PM

    This is lovely - thank you!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/12/2010 5:10PM

    Thank you for sharing that. It is beautiful.

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PENNYAN45 11/12/2010 2:23PM

    How appropriate that this comes from YOU -- one of the kindest people I know!

Thanks for posting and sharing this with us!



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GIRANIMAL 11/12/2010 1:39PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Maha.

Much love and light,
Angie

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WALKINGANNIE 11/12/2010 12:53PM

    emoticon Maha. Great idea - although I agree that we shouldn't need a special day. That said, anything that encourages more kindness, empathy, understanding and humanity has to be a good thing.

Thank YOU for being a consistently positive influence in the world.

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SLASALLE 11/12/2010 10:53AM

    OK - Now I've signed up for KarmaTube myself!!!! Maha strikes again!!! xoxoxo

Hope you have an amazing day since you're an amazing woman!!!

xoxoxo

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ROSIE777 11/12/2010 10:14AM

    emoticonthank you for sharing it. emoticon
¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨) Many Blessings, Rosie
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
;¸.•*´¨`*♥


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SUCHAHOOT 11/12/2010 9:56AM

    Hey MAHA!

this is very beautiful. I linked to it from a blog. Thanks for sending it our way!

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MOOKBALL 11/12/2010 9:54AM

    Isn't it a shame that we have to have a day to practice kindness? But it's a start for those with ice in their hearts and a ready middle finger for salutes.

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More: War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thanks to special SparkFriend Don Doorn who just sent me this important information. I'm shaking my head...in sadness, disgust, and amazement. Will we ever learn...change...raise our collective consciousness?

Hope springs eternal....



Here is the link to the article. It's not a short, easy read, but a very important one:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
www.truth-out.org/war-over-genetical
ly-modified-crops-gets-ugly-birth-defe
cts-superweeds-and-science-intimidation64915

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Maha

BTW, here is the other recent Monsanto blog -- www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3759710

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 11/25/2010 1:54AM

    Monsanto is evil. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:11PM

    P.S. We have to continue to believe that world peace will come, no matter how utopian the idea may seem. It's the only way that the awakening can spread.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:09PM

    I too am equally frustrated with my present day view of the world.

You said it bang on...

"Will we ever learn...change...raise our collective consciousness?"

I have been brewing up a blog on this. HUGELY been my area of focus. SO much, as that I am exhausted, and my husband is zoning me out when I speak of it... hahaha!

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CBACH71 11/12/2010 3:47AM

    I'm glad you are posting these articles. Our need for money is fueling our decline environmentally and socially. Corporations don't care about us, they care about the bottom line. It's a very sad commentary on the world today and also an indicator from the past of the decline of a culture. Greed and glut are precursors to failure. Moderation in all is recommended but rarely heeded.



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ONECOOKIETWO 11/10/2010 7:20PM

    This makes me sick.
In so many ways.

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IUHRYTR 11/10/2010 5:40PM

    Before she died, Mom was a member of a class-action settlement against Monsanto in Alabama where it had been shown that the company for years had polluted the soil and water with cancer causing ingredients. But it apparently is a better business decision for companies like this to pay out millions of dollars in lawyer fees and settlement costs and then continue doing what they had been doing. The payout, though, doesn't heal Mom or others who contracted cancer after growing up in that area, playing in the water, using it for crops and bathing, etc. So sad. -- Lou

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LOSETHEWTIN08 11/10/2010 5:14PM

    It hurts me deeply when I read about exploitation of any type.I found one way to wage my own personal war against such companies...I make sure my financial portfolio only has conscientious companies and subsidiaries...its a small gesture but it works for me.

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GOANNA2 11/10/2010 3:48PM

    It's all about money, isn't it?
Shame on them and what do we
do as humans - stupidly the majority
buy Monsanto stuff. Ugh...
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WALKINGANNIE 11/10/2010 2:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

Their actions might well be costing the earth.

I get a feeling of utter impotency to challenge this on the necessary scale and this makes it all the more upsetting, annoying, frustrating and depressing.

We can all make small changes ourselves and influence those who we can influence others with more power.

Thanks for raising awareness.

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MARCHMAID 11/10/2010 2:22PM

    I doubt we will change. Humans are a stupid bunch in general--fully capable of destroying themselves through ignorance as much as greed.

Now that the Supreme Court has sanctified corporations as persons, I may begin to favor the death penalty. : )

My thoughts (via Aldo Leopold author of A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC):
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." And this: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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ERIN4771 11/10/2010 12:58PM

    just a creepy company in general.....i think the scariest part of them is the "world domination" they seem to be going for, the not caring about anything but themselves mentality.....and at the cost of who?

Comment edited on: 11/10/2010 1:00:29 PM

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VEGGIE_POWERED 11/10/2010 12:56PM

    Best way to fight them is to go 100% organic, raise as many of your own vegetables as possible in your garden or window sill, and encourage others to do the same. The only way to defeat a corporate giant of this magnatude is to slowly but surely remove the demand for their product. Take the power back!
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HARISHABAD 11/10/2010 12:38PM

    Corporations' hunger for profit and lack of decency will destroy our planet.

So sad.

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FRANCESCANAZ 11/10/2010 11:39AM

    It saddens my Soul. emoticon

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CONTENTANDFIT 11/10/2010 10:42AM

    My goodness! The sad thing is that neither party has the political interest in the USA to do something about frankenfoods.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/10/2010 9:52AM

    I believe what goes 'round, comes 'round....Monsanto will eventually reap what it has sown and regret the decisions they are currently making.

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MOOKBALL 11/10/2010 9:14AM

    There are some warped business plans out there, sales at any price. When did "making a better produc" get replaced by "a product you can't refuse?" Monsanto and companies like it that monopolize markets need to be found guilty and do some community service, such as providing care for the persons affected by their GM crops and herbicides.

It's enough to make you stop eating!

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DDOORN 11/10/2010 6:38AM

    Truthout and Alternet do a terrific job of reporting such important news as this...!

Thx for forwarding, 'Maha! :-)

Don

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NANABABY5 11/10/2010 6:07AM

    Leaves a sour spot in the stomach. Truly this is about greed in money, and not about the health of any person, or the Earth itself.

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DOR2BFIT 11/9/2010 11:38PM

    They are truly despicable.

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And a little child shall lead them....

Saturday, November 06, 2010



I shared the video of Birke Baehr with various friends yesterday, and decided that it needs a wider audience! Birke is an extraordinary home-schooled child, 11 years old, ranting about what's wrong with our food system on TEDx(*) in Asheville, NC. It's a MUST-WATCH!
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www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2132
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I just found a blog, OUR NATURAL LIFE: Provocative Discussions About Leading A Holistic, Sustainable, and Healthy Life, that featured Birke and how he inspired his own family:
ournaturallife.com/blog/2010/09/birk
e-baehr-inspires-his-family-and-a-move
ment/


I also think this sweet comment from Birke's mom to someone who had criticized him on the YouTube site was worth sharing here:

"As this 11 yr. old's mother I can assure you Birke plays outside more than most kids and he doesn't sit in front a computer 24/7. He also reads more than just about organic foods -- he is quite the historian, knows a lot about geography, sports and other subjects. His 'soul' is quite intact and isn't lost or pitiful. He has a mind of his own and is curious about the world around him and is allowed the freedom to follow his interests. He is also much better at spelling than you are."

(*) BTW, for those of you who are familiar with TED, here's the scoop on TEDx:

Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, "ideas worth spreading," the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.
www.ted.com/tedx

(TED: www.ted.com/ )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOKBALL 11/7/2010 2:13PM

    The message was good but the kid needs to control his hands. I felt nervous just watching him.

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CONTENTANDFIT 11/7/2010 10:24AM

    Can I repost your blog post on the San Antonio Sustainable Living blog (with credit of course)? The video is great and so are your comments.

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DDOORN 11/6/2010 10:00PM

    TED has many, MANY great offerings...and THIS is quite the addition!

Thx so much for the head's up!

Don

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CARRAND 11/6/2010 7:16PM

    What a great kid. He can inspire us all.

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WALKINGANNIE 11/6/2010 5:16PM

    emoticon He is being educated in the truest sense.

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DOR2BFIT 11/6/2010 4:24PM

    What an amazing boy! emoticon emoticon

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BLUBUTTERFLY4 11/6/2010 3:53PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I really loved this!!! Birke is great!!! I hope that this gets out to other people especially kids. Thank you again. emoticon

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