Mindless Searching

While I was listening to a podcast, I heard about a book that I might be interested in reading. I popped open my browser to Amazon.com, and crazily enough twenty minutes had passed before I realized I was, at least, six books deeper in my mindless search through book after book following the connections, Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought & Inspired by your browsing history. 

On Being Tired

I was tired. It was late. So why was I still up and browsing books? I was in a trance. I had followed the first book but I ruled it out. Still I connected it to a second book then a third and so on. The mind game. The whirlpool grabbed me, swirling me into its game of mindless searching. I had no interest in any of these books. Their topics or titles were similar. I’ve noticed that I do this a lot lately. I read articles when I’m not interested. I watch videos when they don’t hold my attention.

Mindful

The knee-jerk reaction is for me ban myself from the internet. Absurd. Not going to happen. I’m going to browse. I love researching weird shit. The more bizarre the better. The trick is keeping my mind engaged in the activity. Mindful. Attentive. And always be aware of how long I’m doing the activity. Most importantly, asking myself, am I having fun?

Are you having fun?

This girl understands what I mean:

Random Sweetness – Mindless Searching

What If – Repost

If I could ask you to do one thing, I would ask you to watch, Living On One Dollar. It’s available on Netflix and goes well with this post.  And now for the re-post–

What If

What if we changed our culture? What if we no longer applauded great wealth at any cost? What if we applauded generosity, compassion, and forgiveness? Yes, it’s easy for me to say these things since I’m not wealthy, but I’m not alone in saying them.

Malcolm is targeting the systems we’ve built, the truths we hold so dear and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we can produce some more heroes. – Seth Godin in review of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book.

http://www.squidoo.com/david-and-goliath-malcolm-gladwell-s-tour-de-force

From ABC news –

Hugh Evans presenting the Global Poverty Project
Hugh Evans presenting the Global Poverty Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the age of 14, Hugh Evans spent a night with cockroaches crawling all over him. That experience turned out to be life-changing for Evans, now 30. Far removed from his comfortable home in Australia, he traveled to the Philippines with an aid organization that set him up with a host family. Their home was in Smokey Mountain, a teeming slum in Manila. A boy in the family, Sonny Boy, was the same age as Evans. The disparity between their lives struck him hard. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/05/could-you-live-on-a-dollar-a-day/

In some circles we have improved. But there are enough sub-pockets in our culture that keep the generosity movement bogged down. We are a generous nation and so are people all over the world. You can see groups which care about cleaning up oil spills, those concerned about animal endangerment, and many are helping provide clean water for those in need. But we need to start at the bottom, at the base of society. Our desires. Our ambitions. Our vision of ourselves. There is a level of crud and corrosion that we must clean or we will all drown. We envy and want great wealth because we are afraid. I am afraid. If I don’t get that job, that bonus, that raise, that particular car, I’m afraid I will starve. I will perish. I will not exist anymore. I feel jealous, unloved and abandoned. Over an iPhone that I didn’t get. It’s ridiculous. My whole mindset needs rearranged. I live in a rich country. So rich that I have never missed a meal because of lack. Others around me live the same and yet we feel poor because we don’t have cable television. Or internet. Or whatever latest gadget that someone else has.

There’s an experiment going on all across the world now, or I should say it’s a conversation. It’s called by a variety of names, but in essence it’s living at the poverty level for days or months, voluntarily.

The next post in the continuing frugal gastronomy series features a pair of schoolteacher-writers who gave themselves the toughest of all restrictions: All their food had to cost no more than $1 per day per person. Amazingly, if they invited guests over to eat, the guests’ food had to be covered by the $1 allotment. You’d have to really like the guest, I suppose.

Once again, I’ll repeat: Eating on a budget is not a contest; it’s a conversation.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2009/08/18/how-to-eat-on-a-dollar-a-day/

And the most famous instance is probably Ben Affleck and his challenge from April 29 through May 3, 2013.  Could you eat for $1.50 a day?

The challenge is simple: Agree to spend no more than $1.50 on your daily grub from April 29 to May 3. That figure represents “the accepted global figure used to define extreme poverty,” according to The Global Poverty Project, which created the challenge. – Live Below The Line

Some advice from Joe Vigil:

  • Practice abundance by giving back
  • Improve personal relationships
  • Show integrity to your value system
  • Eat like a poor person

What can you do?

Get involved.

To help other countries:

  • Micro financing – KIVA.org or others like it.
  • Help with clean water Charitywater.org

Help your local homeless shelter or food pantry. If you don’t know if one exists in your town call your town council or a YMCA.

Help to change attitudes one person at a time. Start small. Show them how changing one life makes a difference. Immigrants and the homeless aren’t nameless or faceless. They are people. They are you and me. They hurt. They dream. They cry. They smile.

 

Trouble Makers

wordart forget the dog beware of the kids

Trouble kids.

What is your definition of trouble makers?

When I was 16, we had a new pastor come to our church. When I first met him I was sitting on the counter, legs swinging, in the church’s kitchen. We had a decent size youth group in our small church for the size of our town.

We were active, loud, and enthusiastic. Normal. The one thing I later learned was that I looked like trouble, or so my pastor thought. This perplexed me since I believed I was a good girl.

Going back in time, in junior high about 7th grade or so, I got into a scuffle on the bus ride from school. I was in the coveted back seat, and a bigger boy wanted my seat. I didn’t budge. We scuffled, and we both got suspended from the bus. I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

So, is it better to raise quiet, subservient children? Not in my world. Sit and take it or cause a fuss?

If you want a quiet, compliant, factory worker then fine, don’t hire me. I taught my children to think, to question what they read. Don’t believe everything. Investigate.

We need to feel free to speak up, to call attention to injustice, and to think of solutions for our problems.

More recently in my life, I’ve had a few minor verbal scuffles. And by a few, I mean six months worth of hell. When asked to help on a project at work, I dove in feet first. I asked questions.

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What do we want to see as a result?
  • How hard do we need to push the software company to modify their product or do we adapt?
  • Are we missing any steps along the way in this process?

I ran across some gaps in our process, so I spoke up. In one instance I noticed we’d have a noticeable loss of income in 2 months. I ruffled feathers. The birdies got angry with me. Would I do it again? Hell yes.

Maybe it wasn’t my job, but it affected me. I knew the software, and I knew the steps that needed to be taken to get the money in the door.

What concerns me is how we define a trouble maker. I see accomplishing a task as getting things done, even if you have to bump a few noses along the way.

Trouble making is causing a problem because you want to stir up attention. I avoid attention, but I like to do a job well. Work done well is what counts.

Or as in the song “Stand Out.”

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud

And if your gonna take a stand stand out

I highly recommend you listen to this episode of This American Life – Is This Working. Act 3 specifically talks about a school with an unusual method of discipline. When the method reached the real world things got interesting. This episode made me want to punch an idiot. The shortened version – Act 3 Is This Working

The Talking Cure! Yeah.

Ugly Zones

Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast
Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast (Photo credit: zoomar)

We all have one, that one room in the house that’s not finished. Or the drawer that always sticks or falls out of its carriage. We cringe when someone sees the broken shower tiles because it’s our bad side. Our ugly parts. Maybe you don’t show your belly because of the stretch marks and no matter how tight your abs would ever become, those scars will show. It’s okay. We all have ugly zones.

I read an older book a while back called Body Outlaws. It’s a collection of essays about self-image. Here’s an excerpt,

Ironically, I’ve had a better career as a big-girl model than most skinny models have in their lifetimes! And the best part is, I did it all on my own terms. I love to witness the moment when someone’s perspective shifts before my eyes. It’s the moment I go from being “pretty for a bigger girl” to just being pretty. – Kate Dillon, Body Outlaws excerpt 

I’m a perfectionist by nature, but over the years I’ve developed tolerance. What helps me the most is to drop the expectations. For example, I listen to a lot of podcasts. They keep me entertained while I’m working my 9 to 5 job. The thing about podcasts is they have few rules. The subjects vary from science to poodles to Magic the Gathering gaming. On some you never know what they’re going to talk about and if they’ll even hold to their topic. They’re fun. They’re entertaining. They’re not perfect. And for me that’s what I like. The same goes with my friends. I have no perfect standard for them other than friendship. Low expectations mean low judgement. And that leads to fewer ugly zones.

Even as we continue to embrace the diversity of sizes among us, we must ask, what does a healthy body feel like? -Dyann Logwood-Young Body Outlaws excerpt, (emphasis mine)  

  • fill your life with activities that have fewer expectations
  • befriend other non-perfectionists
  • read less Cosmopolitan and more Oprah or Reader’s Digest
  • listen to fun podcasts
  • change your perspective
  • interact with others on the web or at your local library
  • share your experience with others

Here’s a list of my favorite free podcasts:

  1. Savage Lovecast
  2. The Thinking Atheist
  3. Dogma Debate
  4. Caustic Soda
  5. Freakonomics
  6. Geologic Podcast (not geology)
  7. Mysterious Universe
  8. StarTalk Radio
  9. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
  10. Irreligiosophy
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