Sunrise to Sunrise

 

 

 

 

And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

 

Each day is a new beginning, a chance to begin again. We shed the confining skin of yesterdays troubles, concerns and “mistakes” and emerge anew full of life and with the vitality of hope and exuberance, at least I hope so. At least that is what I tell myself at 7:15 a.m. while on my way to my newest adventure.

My year and a half long foray into retail at a well known-they-have-a-parade big chain department store has ended and I am stepping right inside another and very different job with just one day in between.  It was an easy decision to make.  I am getting more hours at more pay with less work.   It was sad to leave nonetheless.  I have met so many wonderful and amazing people there and that is what makes a place; the people I work with. I also liked the quick pace and flurry of activity, and although I excelled at that job and felt comfortable there, my dissatisfaction with a lack of opportunity has made me seek it elsewhere.

 

It’s scary to go out of one’s comfort zone as I am doing it once again. I was just settling in which I found myself jumping.  Truth be told I do feel like I need to make up for lost time, which at 46 I really do.  I have been feeling more outgoing and confident in the last year and this has prompted an ambition in me which I didn’t know I possessed and this has surprised me.

 It seems everything is beginning to come together and it feels great.

Sunrise Portland Oregon

 

These thoughts race through my mind as we turn the corner and the mountain comes into view.  MM is so correct when he told me about the sunrises here.  The morning sky is a vibrant purple erupting with  brilliant tangerine. Wow! It is an almost surreal scene and it lends an air of excitement to the morning I didn’t expect…like I needed more excitement on my first day. I choose to see it as a good sign and MM sees at as a sign that he should pull over because I will want to snap some shots and he is so right again.

 

I am not the only person compelled to stop and take a pic. (haha)
I am not the only person compelled to stop and take a pic. (haha)

I marvel at the way life can abruptly change; just like that.  One day  you wake up to one reality and then the next day you can be living an entirely new one.  Each day has it’s own distinct sunrise, it’s own set of challenges and moments of serendipity. Some days are so bloody fantastic that you have to pinch yourself just to make sure you aren’t dreaming. While others are more akin to nightmares. Most days fall someplace in between.  Every day memories are being created and etched into our minds, memories that make us who we are and what we will be.  There are days that can break us but these are the days that can make us stronger. Every day is a risk. To leave your house is a risk, to never leave is one also. The uncertain is fraught with perceived risk. Whether this is entirely justified is unclear to me.

Taking on a new job is a risk. To go out of one’s comfort zone and try anything new takes a fair amount of courage.  I will confess I am a bit nervous on my first day but the sky invigorates me.   I  take it all in. My heart pounds, my pulse races. I feel so alive! A warm surge of excitement fills and tickles my every molecule. I’m living in the moment from sunrise to sunrise, one step leads to the next and I take it all in like I do the sky; my  life, the new people that I meet. This is scary but it is good…

And now two weeks have passed…

I have good days. I have had not so good ones. All in all it’s been a positive experience. I now work in an office out by the airport that has big windows so I can always see the sky. I keep regular hours and have weekends to spend with my family. During lunch I go for “nature” walks. So far I have seen a fox and a bumblebee and numerous birds.  Spring will soon be here. I can feel it. I can see it in the tiny crocus erupting from the ground in my backyard, I can hear it in the song of the birds in the morning and I can see it in the glorious sunrise I see in the morning.  I am happy and content.  Life is good and it’s getting better all the time.

 

~NLM

A sampling of the beauty I am fortunate to witness . My cheap little camera does not do it justice…

P1080605


Norah Jones-Sunrise

 

TIME LAPSE :: Beautiful Ocean Sunrises & Sunsets

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way to work sunrise today


			
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The War on the Poor

 

POVERTY-AMERICA- poor homeless

 

 

It’s difficult to believe that it’s in everyone’s best interests to support a system that bestows elite status only to a privileged few on the backs of the underprivileged many. Do we think it’s alright because we hope to someday become one of these lucky few; those one percent?

Could it be that the deck is stacked against us poor huddled masses? Could it be The American Dream is only for those who have the greenbacks to pay for it ?  And if you have to ask how much…you can’t afford it.

I suppose it is unfair of me to say that we the people support such a system per se. I mean if we all had a chance to have our say we may find some of our citizens are fed up with all this damn economic inequality that is deepening by the day. Some may dare to suggest, shudder the thought, that some reshuffling may be in order.

You heard it right; I am suggesting that perhaps the all-mighty capitalistic society where markets regulate themselves and corporations are people too, may not be all that it is cracked up to be.  It is a system that rewards avarice. It promotes those who can take, take, take for themselves. It favors unhealthy and unjust competition and creates an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and mistrust. How can we love thy neighbor if we are continually competing with them?  In this kind of game there must be many losers for one winner. And for the most part the winners are chosen not solely by merit but by luck of birth. We do have a Monarchy in this country, in the world. Money is king and those one percent aim to widen the gap between those that have it and those that don’t.

It’s hard to blame anyone; it is the system after all. I think people should be entitled to what they have worked hard for. Industry should be rewarded. I don’t blame people for wanting to hold on to what they have. It seems that the more money some people have the more they worry about losing it. Our society has driven in that fear of poverty and homelessness.

Many of our community governments and police have adapted ordinances and laws that unfairly punish those who can least afford it. It seems as though they are waging an undeclared war on poor people.

Homeless spikes under-bridge in China  Photo:  Daily Mail
Homeless spikes under-bridge in China Photo: Daily Mail

 

 

Where are we going with this? What is happening to our humanity?

 

St. Louis City street sign
St. Louis, Missouri. USA

 

anti homeless bench
Orlando, Florida. USA

We all know this. There’s no surprise here.  The question is what to do? What can we do? We cannot simply tax the rich to the hilt and expect to save ourselves.  Our problems go way beyond that. It sounds great; Make the rich pay for everything.  This causes people to want to hang on tighter to what they have and that makes it all the worse.  And really it’s not very fair or practical. I’d like to offer an answer or at least part of one. The problems are so massive. It’s hard to know where to begin.  I do know it cannot go on this way forever.  The world is changing regardless of what anyone wants. The sun shines and sets on us all alike. Nothing is forever. This cannot go on.  And the ones on top; those one percent…they can’t believe it can last.  Can they?

 

 

“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.”  ― Philip Slater
“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.”
― Philip Slater

 

“A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things. ”  ― Herman Melville
“A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things. ”
― Herman Melville

 

This wild ride we are on is not the least bit sustainable. It is expensive, messy and just plain stupid how we exploit our dwindling resources. Our value system is wonky. We tend to miss what is truly important. We glorify the empty and the greedy. The perfect smile and the right sound bite being sold to us night after night…and we the people lap it up. The great economic machine feeds on us, then spits us out when it’s through. It asks for our children too and doesn’t give a damn about anything but the bottom line.

We are products of our environment. It can be difficult enough to see someone else’s point of view, but to actually feel how they do; to truly understand…that requires a special insight that is hard to acquire in a life insulated from want, from unsightliness, unpleasantness and misfortune. An extreme hardship for one person may be a mere annoyance for another.   I think some of the more fortunate have no idea how difficult it really is to be poor.  It is easier to blame the victim of circumstance rather than the circumstance itself; that the poor somehow deserve their fate. Otherwise that would mean that bad things happen to good people who try really hard and that we are more at the mercy of the fickle finger of fate than we would like to comfortably acknowledge.

 

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

The rain falls on us all and sometimes a gut of wind can take your umbrella and you are left to get wet. Fate is a funny thing.  Who would have thought? I feel as though we are living in a bad Science Fiction movie with a horrible ending.   What sort of world are we leaving our children?

Something must be done. A lot of somethings must be done….by us all. We cannot afford to wait for it all to trickle down.

Our priorities are skewed but they do not have to remain that way. I think we need a new way of thinking about what success means; what it means to be rich. Perhaps in the future the measure of wealth will be not be what one has but what one is able to give…and we will need more givers in the future if we are going to make it. We are all going to have to work together–all 100% of us.

 

 

 

~Nancy

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“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
Nelson Mandela

  save the world postive children kids happy

 

***References and Related Articles***

John Lennon – Working Class Hero (YouTube)

Woody Guthrie- This Land Is Your Land  (YouTube)

**

The Koch Brothers and the Danger of American Plutocracy (billmoyers.com) 
America’s wealth gap ‘unsustainable,’ warns Harvard study that finds corporations are growing richer as workers grow poorer (Financialpost.com) 
The Republican War on the Poor (Huffingtonpost.com)
Homeless Spikes Popping Up All Over the World — Oligarchs Rejoice
GALLERY: WHAT INEQUALITY LOOKS LIKE   (Ted.com)

Fresh Quotes: MAY~The words I live by

fantastic blue sky.with quote this one
Credit: Einstein, Mother Nature and SBI

I found this quote a couple of years back. I was at a crossroads in my life, I was lost and searching for answers. I felt time was ticking away and eating at my soul. I felt empty and answerless. I was searching….searching for something…I did not know what. Answers perhaps…meaning, at least a direction. I was spiritually and physically low but ready for something…I didn’t know what at the time…and then I ran across this quote. It was contained in a quote book I picked up at the library, before that I wasn’t one for quotes. They seemed old and stuffy. I could not see how they could be the least bit interesting;  old rehashed bits taken out of context…but for some reason I checked the book out, brought it home and opened it up. I thumbed through a few pages before I came to this one above….I admit I took extra care in looking at it because it had Einstein’s name attached to it but it was the clutter part that piqued my interest. I read the quote in it’s entirety….again and again. It was as if I had discovered something…it hit me like a ton of bricks and it seemed to be speaking just to me; telling me what I needed to hear at the very time I needed to hear it….every word of the quote was essential. It was a blueprint; a map to where I needed to go…it seemed so complex yet so simple and I proceeded to follow it to the letter and I still do. That quote changed my life, literally and for the better. Before I could never comprehend how the wonderful could be hidden smack dab in plain sight right in the middle of the awful, but there it was….there it is…as strange as it sounds before that I felt unjustly persecuted by the events in my life…it all seemed so unfair and all I could do at the time was selfishly think of myself…I will admit this. It is something I am ashamed of now, but it is the truth. Of course I thought of my kids and the people I loved but that was it, as far as I was concerned the rest of humainty….all those people I didn’t know…all those strangers, what did I owe them anyway…these strangers I had never met….they never did any thing for me…and I wasn’t doing so hot myself. I had just found out  I was Aspergers and I had nowhere to turn. I was alone but I couldn’t see why…this is when that quote came out of the blue like that and struck me.

Since that time I have changed dramatically. I started this blog and started reaching out into this wonderful wide world of ours and I have found so much wonder, awe and compassion in myself that grows daily. Just the other day I took these wise words written by such a wise man, printed them into a photo of the sky I had just taken and merged them together. This photo now hangs on the wall at work, right next to my computer. I look at it many times during the day and I take each word to heart.

I am now a quote person. I have many favorites and have learned so much from them. I don’t know why I never caught on to this before but I suppose the time came when it needed to . I have amassed quite a collection. For this month’s edition of Fresh Quotes I will be including my all time favorites; the very words I live by…I hope you find some  you like too…

By the way, HAPPY May, yes, it is May already.  😀

~SBI

Nancy before interview 2
Me before the “big job interview.” I was scared witless but I went anyway and got the job! Now it’s just a place I go to and complain about…haha.

“DO ONE THING EVERYDAY THAT SCARES YOU.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt

November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds celebrated the opening of border crossings along the Berlin Wall.
November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds celebrated the opening of border crossings along the Berlin Wall.

“Many small people, who in many small places do many small things, can alter the face of the world”

(By anonymous, found on a piece of graffiti on the Berlin Wall.)

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all.”

~Emily Dickinson

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Life is short, Break the Rules.

Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.

Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably

And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”

~Mark Twain

Credit: Hulton-Deutsch
Credit: Hulton-Deutsch

“FORGET SAFETY.
LIVE WHERE YOU FEAR TO LIVE.
DESTROY YOUR REPUTATION.
BE NOTORIOUS.”
~Rumi

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Credit: Pixelcharlie
Credit: Pixelcharlie

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

 ~Neil Gaiman

Credit: Public Domain
Credit: Public Domain

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.”
~Winston Churchill

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Fresh Quotes PEACE March

peace sign in public domain

There is a movement afoot called Bloggers for Peace. It is a crazy dream started by my friend Kozo from Everyday Guru’s. Kozo is a big-hearted person who believes that we can achieve this dream of living life in peace. I happen to agree and the more people involved the better. This blogging for peace is growing and growing and with every post published, we inch our way closer and closer to achieving this seemingly farfetched goal.  It had to start somewhere and Kozo wasn’t the first person to yearn for peace and he won’t be the last. Perhaps this is futile after all, but peace is a beautiful song and the more people who sing it the more beautiful it becomes and all the more powerful.

Please join us. Add your wonderful voice, let it be heard. All that is asked of you is devote your talents and energies to at least one post a month for peace. The details are here.

So in honor of Peace. I thought this month’s helping of Fresh Quotes would be devoted to this lovely cause.

Much happiness to you my friends, 

Strawberryindigo.

Life is beautiful!
Life is beautiful!

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
~Buddha~

Flower Power
Flower Power

“I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.”

~Mahatma Gandhi~

Sgt. Shane Pudgett hugs his wife goodbye as his son, Bryce, age 5, sheds a tear.
Sgt. Shane Pudgett hugs his wife goodbye as his son, Bryce, age 5, sheds a tear.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
~Albert Einstein

Peace + Love=Happiness
Peace + Love=Happiness

“Imagine all of us living in peace, it’s too beautiful to just be a dream.”
~John Lennon~

We can all do our part!
We can all do our part!

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

~Eleanor Roosevelt~

The faces of War
The faces of War

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
~Mother Teresa

PEACE is the word
PEACE is the word

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”

~Francis of Assisi~

Just say "NO!"
Just say “NO!”

NEVER GIVE UP…No matter what is going on…Never give up…Develop the heart… Too much energy in your country…Is spent developing the mind…Instead of the heart… Be compassionate…Not just to your friends…But to everyone…Be compassionate …Work for peace…In your heart and in the world…Work for peace…And I say again…Never give up…No matter what is going on around you…Never give up”

~Dalai Lama

Our future lies in the heart of a child
Our future lies in the heart of a child

” If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
~Mahatma Gandhi~

bloggers forpeace6
Click to join!

Related Peaceful Articles

**The post that started it all**

****We can make a difference right here right now (everydaygurus.com)****

Monthly Peace Challenge: Marching towards Forgiveness (everydaygurus.com)

Sharing Some More Thoughts (Inspirational) On “The War For Peace” (peacepursuit.wordpress.com)

Bloggers for Peace on Facebook (facebook.com)

The Peace Garden (picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com) **My other blog**

B4Peace – February (sarahneeve.wordpress.com)

 Living My Dream: I will fight for you people (summer4soul.wordpress.com)

PEACE is Possible (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Peace & Love Are Eternal… (spiritualworldtravelerblog.com)

Spiritual Peace (motherwifestudentworker.wordpress.com)

Peace-peace-and-love-revolution-club-25246170-1500-1050