Cousin Ernie developed a yen for flight early. His dad liked to throw him high in the air and then threaten not catch him, of course his dad did catch him, well most of the time, but these experiences instilled a deep-seated fear in Ernie.
The last time his dad threw him high into the air his instinct for fight or flight overtook him and he took to the skies floating high out beyond the horizon. They found him weeks later across the ocean living in a small village near the Yangtze River. He refused to come home. The natives had taken his great ability to fly as a lucky sign and had made him their leader. He still lives there today tethered to a pole, Stop by for a visit.
“The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
Hey! It’s wide eyed cuteness giving you that come hither look, almost daring you with it’s abject innocence, it’s helplessness. it’s downright adorableness.
Its purr sounds so sweet, so smooth and comforting.
Eyes that speak to you, pleading.
You are my savior. The only one in the world that can help me. I cry out for you to love me, to protect me. I am innocent and small. This big bad world is much too big and bad for the likes of me.
How can one resist one such as this? Admit it, you like I are a sucker for a cute face and most of us are. Studies have shown that just looking at pictures of cute babies causes the release of dopamine, one of the chemicals released by the brain that makes us happy. Dopamine motivates us to take action and gives out a surge of reinforcing pleasure when we do.
We are awash in a sea of chemicals and emotions. Cuteness relies on this and demands our attention. And cuteness rewards that attention.
And cuteness sells. This is no big advertising secret.
People today spend more time looking at cute things than ever before. The internet is awash in cute images. A virtual zoo of furry kittens, big eyed owlets, cuddling otters and prancing baby goats.
We watch the minions bumble about on the big screen, buy Hello Kitty merchandise, or watch a Pikachu convention dance on YouTube.
The appeal of these characters may seem trivial, but it actually highlights an evolutionary force — one that can trigger billions of dollars a year of consumer spending.
THE MIGHTY POWER OF CUTENESS
Cuteness has power, never forget that. And never turn your back; cuteness can attack. Cuteness tends to be underestimated and it has much more power than it leads on. Those same cute little fuzzy paws can have retractable claws capable of ripping us to shreds. Be careful.
The Slow Loris:
Irresistibly cute. but dangerous. The only living poisonous primate on Earth. They have glands on the sides of their elbows. When slow lorises are threatened, these glands would release a foul-smelling toxic fluid. Then, this primate lick some poison from the gland and mix it with its saliva and bite the one who disturbed it. This poison could cause allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.
They may be our favorite stuffed toys and animals really don’t come much cuter than bears. But in reality they are also one of the most deadly and will not only kill humans, but will actively hunt them down (they are one of only a very short list of animals known to do this). Grizzly bears and polar bears are considered being the most deadly, but all large species of bear are potentially dangerous to humans… even pandas.
Poison Dart Frog:
The frogs’ poison is found in their skin, making them too toxic to touch. While most species are considered toxic but not deadly, they are distasteful to a predator and can even be fatal. The poison can cause serious swelling, nausea, and muscular paralysis.
Big Cats: They look so soft and cuddly. And they do remind me of my cat Mocha. I don’t have to tell you that if you encounter a big cat whether it be a lion, tiger, cougar, or just a stray panther in your neighborhood grocery store. Don’t pet it. Admire it from a distance. And try to refrain from flash photography.
What is cute and could I be cute already and not know it?
According to the Urban Dictionary.
(What us young and hip and happening young writer types use. )
attractive, esp. in a delicately beautiful way; pleasingly pretty; affectedly or pretty or clever; precious; mentally keen; clever; self-consciously cute mannerisms or appeal.
Konrad Lorenz’s Kindchenschema, or baby schema, as defined in the Nobel prize-winning scientist’s 1943 paper on the “innate releasing mechanisms” that prompt affection and nurture in human beings: fat cheeks, large eyes set low on the face, a high forehead, a small nose and jaw, and stubby arms and legs that move in a clumsy fashion. Not just humans: puppies, baby ducks and other young animals are included in Lorenz’s theory. ( Neil Steinberg for theguardian.com)
Often cuteness does not recognize itself and this is part of its appeal. And sometimes cute doesn’t even want to be cute, this generates even more cuteness. Odds are that you are in fact very cute and just don’t know it.
Do people ever say “awwwwww” and pat you atop your furry head? Do children stop and talk to you in sweet little voices reserved for dolls and animals? Can little old ladies resist pinching your cheeks? You just may be adorable indeed.
And what if you don’t have a furry little head, or whiskers or a bushy tail? It does help to be cute on one’s own but everyone can harness the power of cuteness not just babies, little furry animals and people like myself.
I have been called cute on more than one occasion but seriously, it doesn’t hurt to have a little backup cuteness in your back pocket.
Last summer I was walking around downtown in the sun. A crowd had gathered around a band on the street corner. Three or four twenty something guys, not especially cute. Garage-ish sounding and not special except for the littlest member; someone’s little sister doing basic strums on an over-sized guitar, now she was cute. Everyone loved them, their jar was overflowing and the spectators were happy.
And what if you don’t have a cute little sister or a kitten in your back pocket?
We can all harness the Power of Cuteness!
Being adorable does not require a certain something beyond an attitude of adorability.
Simply put: You are as cute as you feel to be and don’t accept anything less. So get out there. Be cute. Be powerful. Know that in being yourself you can rock whatever you set your cute mind to.
Have an adorable day!!
Cute is when a person’s personality shines through their looks. Like in the way they walk, every time you see them you just want to run up and hug them.
I think people should look cute all the time.
Everything looks cute when it’s small.
I myself never feel that I’m sexy. If people call me cute, I am happier.
Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.
“There is a distinct evolutionary advantage to being fuzzy, as much of the mammal kingdom had discovered, particularly when you wanted a human to scratch your back.” ― Jeffery Russell
I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.
Coming in whispers that speak to that child that lurks within
the one that plays in grassy fields and kisses the sweet spring wind
she who laughs at chickadees and muses with birds
Quietly knocking one over the head with her simple earthy words.
I have been literally brought to tears on more than one occasion by this immensely talented writer and poet.
Mary Oliver is an artist who more than paints pictures with words. She illustrates profound feeling in vivid and not so vivid colors and hues. They hit me deep down in my soul.
Never before have I so connected with another’s words. It reinforces to me the greater connection we all have with each other and our beautiful planet.
What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this Pulitzer Prize winner.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work. But people grow up, and they work with a sorrow upon them. It’s duty.
“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.”
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”
Yes…yes I do Mary Oliver… thank you for your inspiration.
Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Maple Heights, Ohio. She attended both Ohio State University and Vassar College. As a young poet, Oliver was deeply influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay and briefly lived in Millay’s home, helping Norma Millay organize her sister’s papers.
Oliver is notoriously reticent about her private life, but it was during this period that she met her long-time partner, Molly Malone Cook. The couple moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the surrounding Cape Cod landscape has had a marked influence on Oliver’s work. Mary Oliver held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001. In addition to such major awards as the Pulitzer and National Book Award, Oliver has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also won the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
I have always felt an affinity for the extraordinary, the misunderstood lone marcher to a different beat. I want to be an advocate for the underdog. A champion for the unique, the quiet, the humble and the meek, for the underestimated and under-appreciated, for the kind, for the strange and beautiful, for those who feel out of sorts, out of time and out of place, for the anxious and the disturbed, for the sad but hopeful, for the awkward and the shy, for the anxious and the brave, for the deep thinkers and sensitive souls, for those who feel the system is rigged and life is unfair…
For we who feel voiceless in this loud world. Fate has not forsaken us.
We not alone… We contain multitudes…
It is through alliance and unity that we the unique can make a difference as a force to be reckoned with. It is up to those of us who have a voice to speak up!
If I accomplish anything with my wring it’s that the ones who feel that society looks down upon them for their uniqueness. I want to tell them that you are not alone. There are others who may be different from you, others from different times and places, others who who may be different in every way but share this same longing, the doubt and insecurity, the same fears. The same need for love and understanding and for peace, a need for a place to grow in the sun and become more.
There is that great untapped potential that many of us still have hidden deep inside. We all have our treasures. They should be encouraged to come out with exuberance like Spring and cultivated like exquisite orchids. Like fine art this wonderfulness should be shared with everyone.
Society gets hung up on the package and not the contents. We are a judgmental lot. So much gets lost in the roar of the crowd.
It is up to all of us to be there for us all…as they say we are after all just walking each other home.
We can help each other. It is through alliance that we the different, the unique and the misunderstood can make a difference. We are a force to be reckoned with. We can celebrate our uniqueness and that of others. Our strength lies in our diversity, our unity and our willingness to speak up for each other.
There are many more of us than them…
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” ― Walt Whitman
“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” ― Bill Watterson
Just another winter’s day, just another icy commute in the dark. You can hear the shuffling of footsteps on the frozen ground. No one speaks, no one smiles, we all just keep moving..
People waking to and fro, many in a hurry, most of them with the same look; that same glazed over gaze which extends beyond the person right next to them as if the other person, the fellow human is not there at all. It is a tunnel vision of sorts, it could be more of a selective vision. It is an acquired ability. We are not born with it; this talent for ignoring the obvious.
It comes out of necessity and takes practice. In this rapidly changing world, many of us are getting a lot of practice. If you live in a large urban area you probably know what I mean…
I know you’ve seen them: Their swelling number are almost impossible to ignore. The tents and blue tarps under bridges, the huddled sleeping figures in crowded doorways. It’s not just in my city or yours, it’s everywhere.
And it scares the hell out of me. And I shiver. From the cold or that icy fear or both I don’t know.
Last night in my city of Portland, Oregon a newborn baby died possibly from exposure, sitting in its homeless mothers arms. This would be the 5th person to die from the cold in the last 2 weeks here.
What kind of people are we? We forsake our most vulnerable citizens. It is a sickness I think this indifference. One of ills of our society and one that just seems to be growing.
We are told those less unfortunate deserve their fate. It is easy to want to believe that. That means if I work hard and toe the line and do what I am told. I too won’t be one of those less unfortunate ones, it is tempting to want to believe this; it feels safer.
At least I think it does…
I think of all the people in the US who have just lost their health insurance. Again I could be indifferent here, I have mine. To me, seeing a doctor is not a luxury…yet.
I have a warm home and enough food to eat.
Why should I worry about these strangers? Many of them are probably drug addled or mentally ill. They probably want to be out here. They like living on the fringes of society. No bills , no responsibilities. Not my problem… Right?
The man at the bus stop with the unkempt beard and the wild eyes. He is hard not to notice; wrapped in a tattered blanket he is shouting obscenities at the sky. My pulse quickens; I am scared and I tiptoe past him hoping he doesn’t notice me, I walk down to the next stop.
Nothing is all black or white. But we are all human from the innocent babe to the wild man at the bus stop. We are all part of the same human family. I admit it is easier to care about the pretty, the untarnished, the salvageable.
I imagine the man with the wild eyes was that too once; pretty, untarnished, salvageable. Now he is just part of the wreckage left behind to lurk in the shadows, in the cold doorways, watching everyone look away…
Something to ponder on…
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
― Stanley Kubrick
Kindness is magic.. It is a warm glow that uplifts the heart and nurtures the soul. We are social creatures and we rely on the milk of human kindness. It is simple yes, but too eluding in this world. It is all too rare and oh so beautiful like a lone purple wildflower among a sea of indifferent green.
As I’ve grown older I appreciate simple acts of kindness more and more.
There are two sides to kindness; the giving and the receiving. Both teach us valuable and distinct lessons and at some point in our lives we will have experienced each side to varying degrees.
I have found those who have suffered the most, endured the most, to be some of the most understanding, generous and kindest people I’ve ever met, but that road is not easy, these are the exceptional ones, the stronger ones, there are others, ones that have fallen by the wayside. The ones that society is all to eager to overlook. There are those with hard outer shells forged out of fear, the ones that seem too tough to crack. They may be gruff, indifferent or just plain mean. All of them are human beings and nine times out of ten all they need is some simple human kindness. One could say that there are those who don’t deserve such a precious commodity as kindness. I say they are the ones that need it the most. It’s not easy to be kind to some. Be the stronger one.
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.
To openly express empathy for someone else, especially a stranger is sometimes looked upon as weak or at least eccentric in our society. How off the mark is that? It requires strength to practice compassion. Being kind is not always so easy. It often requires putting aside our natural selfishness to put someone else first. It may involve some sort of sacrifice however small or large, and no one said it would be easy. We have all heard stories of great kindnesses done upon others. It makes my heart sing to hear of these good deeds but it is those simple kindnesses; the one’s we do everyday unto each other, the one’s that seldom get noticed. To me, they are the most important, the most crucial in adding some peace, love and understanding to this eclectic mix of lifeforms on this lovely planet of ours.
If we as a society can collectively decide to put a greater focus on kindness and it’s cultivation, our world would be a kinder place. Kindness is an asset to our civilization and it should be treated as a precious commodity.
Empathy and kindness should not only be encouraged in schools but taught. We are not born being kind. It isn’t until at least the age of two before we show our natural capacity for empathy and it isn’t until four or five before we exhibit a theory of mind, meaning that we are able to understand that other people may have feelings and beliefs that are different from our own.
We learn kindness from others; by how we are treated and our experiences. We are shaped by this. Those of us who have experienced kindness, gentleness and love in our lives, especially in our younger years are more apt and more able to express those very same emotions and sensitivities to others. It is our young people who will form the world of the future. It is these same people that are being exposed to constant messages of civil unrest, violence, bigotry and hatred. Our society tells us one thing and does another. The civilness of what we deem a civilization is eroding at the edges. I fear we are being desensitized to the suffering of others–there’s so much of it. The media puts this suffering on center stage dressed up as infotainment and presented to us through the safety of our screens. It’s easier to be indifferent, it’s easier not to care.
All the more reason to care…
I am compelled to make up for every little pain I have endured in my life, every unkindness done to me, through indifference or pure malice. I try not to take the acts and attitudes of others personally. I’ve found most of those who strike out in anger do so not out of hate for the victim but out of a hatred for themselves. Hurt travels. It is infectious; a vicious cycle of contagion. This is something I try not to succumb to.
It is kindness that I like to spread as my defiant act against a cold and heartless world. For every unkindness done to me, I try to do a kindness to make up for it. That warm glow is priceless my friends and it feel so good. Simply put: Doing good makes us feel good.
This is the stuff that can change the world. We can change the world! One smile at at a time, one act of kindness multiplied by seven billion..and then some and then some more..until those acts of kindness cover us all and heals the hurt that ails us.
Music effects me like nothing else; pure sound melts into my body and fills my every pore. It travels down deep through my veins and capillaries straight to the heart then to the soul where it lingers a while, resonating like a fine wine. I am intoxicated. Even amid what may seem like chaos one can feel those fine melodic tones pushing through to the surface. They cover me like a soft blanket of warm sand. They scintillate and tickle me, tantalizing my arm’s and legs. I feel a rush of joy like a child in the sun. I am warmed and revived. Music does that to me. Good music, harmonious music.
I carry this with me, in snippets of memory; in songs that get stuck in my mind and play as a soundtrack to accompany parts of my day. This inner soundtrack lifts my mood and encourages me. It strengthens my spirit and resolve. It calms me, makes me happy but also allows me to feel a million moods from sunny yellow to deep stone black. Through music I hear the song of the singer. I feel their thoughts and hear their dreams, even experience their heartbreak in a small way. I hear their soul singing out and I hear a hundred million others.
Music is that powerful.
According to string theory, absolutely everything in the universe, all of the particles that make up matter and forces, including you and I and my cat Mario are comprised of tiny vibrating strings. Because of this some have likened the universe to a symphony.
Michio Kaku the famous Physicist once said ” We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.”
Playing the song of the cosmos I suppose…
I think that is how we are connected and why music holds a universal appeal with us. It’s something we can all share. It is a ancient connection that’s been wired into us since the beginning. It is the ultimate in communication.
I’ve had musicians tell me that playing with others in concert operates on a very intimate level and that doesn’t surprise me. I have felt similar feelings when engaged in a slow dance with a partner. I think most of us possess the ability to connect with others through music and with music itself.
This makes me think how life on earth is like a orchestra and we are all members of that orchestra. We hum along, creating our own music in everything we do, think and feel. I can see how imbalances could cause the music to distort and become unpleasant. Only when harmony is restored are we whole and playing beautifully once again.
I believe we on the planet are in a state of extreme disharmony. There are too many voices that sing songs of hate and exclusion, inequality, indifference and greed. Songs that disrespect and pillage our planet, songs that kill the soul and lull desire. We need to sing together for the common good; for peace and love, for kindness and understanding in concert with the earth and with the universe itself.
Most of us go about our lives encased in a hard shell that we have developed from our own personal experiences of being alive and living in the world we do. Many of us hide our true thoughts and feelings from each other and to an extent I think we rarely realize, we are all connected by circumstance, by fate and by our very atoms themselves, down to those tiny vibrating strings but we act like strangers to each other. I think society teaches us this; that we should be wary of the different, have disdain for the unusual and mistrust the independent minded. Our mutual fear of each other causes misunderstanding and disharmony. Children have a natural affinity for other beings. They don’t see what adults have been trained by society to see. We share so much and yes we are capable of singing a beautiful song in harmony made up of beautiful voices, of varied colors and hues of thoughts and ideas.
Together we are the song of the universe.
And as I go about my week I am going to keep this in mind and try to remember that we are all connected, even those that may disagree with me. We all share the same needs, wants and fears. We can attune ourselves to the same frequency if we listen and find some common chords.
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ― Alan W. Watts