Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Heirs to our Ocean Take Action

HEIRS TO OUR OCEANS.  That’s who we are, along with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and newly-spawned zygotes.

Heirs to our oceans are the next generation and the future generations who will inherit this planet and all that comes with it…. after your generation is done with it.

We live just near the Pacific Ocean.  We have learned about and seen the atrocities to our ocean.  We have studied what is happening to know why action is needed to end the human impact on our planet’s oceans.

We are sad.  We are mad.  We are motivated.  We are inspired.  We are hopeful.  We are tenacious.  And together we are taking action.

We are committing this next year, summer 2016 through summer 2017, to diving further into learning about the issues we and our oceans face.  We will take you along in our voyage so that you too might learn and be inspired to join us in our efforts to ensure that the oceans and the magnificent and necessary life within them are on this planet, alive and well, for our generation and our children’s.

And, we are making a movie.  No not a dull drab documentary.  A movie.  One that will move you, make you laugh, make you cry, make you excited, make you concerned, make you want to change, make you want to encourage others to change, make you want to join us.

We are the Heirs To Our Oceans, and we have a job to do.

Hop in and ride this wild wave with us.
--from the Heirs to Our Oceans website

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

8 Tips to Create Positive Social Media

We've shortened for posting length, 8 Way to Express Your Highest Self on Social Media, from the Chopra Center.

1. Share positivity. When people visit a social media page or app, it’s unlikely that they do so seeking negativity, rants, tirades, or comments that make them feel bad. Therefore, make the choice to be an uplifter while online.

2. Reflect before you post. This is simply a reminder to consider the consequences of what you say online. The Law of Karma reminds us that every action (uploaded content or post) creates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind, so it’s vital that you carefully consider the effects you are setting in motion when making a comment or posting a meme.

3. Commit to sharing the truth (accurate information). ... Social media is a great environment to communicate ... information; however, real danger exists in the spread of misinformation or false news. Consequently, you should strive to be vigilant in verifying the accuracy of the stories you share as well as being sure to not present a heavily biased or one-sided depiction of an event.

4. Reel in your ego. When posting, remember to consider how you can help serve the larger world conversation regarding the issues you share or comment on.

5. Commit to peaceful interactions with others. It’s important to understand that social media is a community of individuals expressing widely varied ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. Those views will not always be in agreement with your own and when that happens, you must remain true to peaceful and compassionate exchanges with others.

6. Share life’s most precious gifts. Social media presents you with a wonderful forum to share gifts that you find so rewarding to receive: attention, affection, appreciation, and love.

  • Give attention by liking posts, sharing content you think a friend would enjoy, or acknowledging what they have shared.
  • Give affection with a personalized greeting, a photo, or some way to ‘touch’ a friend and let them know you were thinking of them.
  • Appreciate another by giving a shout out to let them know you are grateful for something they did or who they are.
  • Love others with regular acts of kindness, sweetness, and support.
  • These simple acts carry great weight for the recipient and can open the door for receiving more of what you give.

7. Share quality, not quantity. We all have busy lives and no one likes being inundated with an endless stream of posts and Tweets that perpetually distract us from our daily responsibilities. Therefore, keep the quality of what you post high, while keeping the quantity of posts low. A few words, an inspirational quote, a thought-provoking article, or a beautiful picture can have a far greater impact on your social network than dumping tons of content on your followers they don’t have time to read.

8. Practice the five Yamas. The first of the eight limbs of yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is known as the Yamas, commonly translated as the “rules of social behavior.” When applied to social media, these guidelines provide an ideal framework for all our online interactions ... As they relate to social media, the Yamas are:

  • Practicing non-violence: Speaking, posting, and sharing peaceful, non-hurtful content.
  • Speaking truthfully: Distinguishing observations from interpretations and communicating in a genuine and truthful manner at all times.
  • Appropriate energy management: Maintaining control over your passions, remaining balanced, creating moderation in all your activities, and avoiding the temptation to become addicted to an illusory online life.
  • Not stealing: Giving due credit to the owner of shared content, not taking what hasn’t been given (such as photos or personal content), and not engaging in online activity that fuels exploitation, social injustice, or oppression.
  • Non-coveting: Letting go of the need for material or ego possessions, being a detached participant of the online world, and remembering your true nature as spirit.
  • These suggestions can go a long way in transforming your social media interactions from ego-based to spirit-based. Use them to come from the level of your soul as you play the fascinating role of a virtual being in an online world. But remember, social media can never replace the quality, intimacy, or soul-bonding possibilities of living and breathing real-time relationships. Know its limitations, have fun with it, and enjoy the dance.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Journey Through the Black Experience

Since the mid-19th century, Black Americans have sought to ensure their culture's history is understood, celebrated, and incorporated into the larger narrative of American history.  Inspire 365: A Journey through the Black Experience builds on the foundation of presenting and celebrating the legacy of Black Americans in America.  Through introducing and discussing the historical concepts, Inspire 365 seeks to become a catalyst in motivating all people to recognize their power as leaders and use their gifts to impact society despite all barriers.  The series is being offered by the Fayetteville Library and will be streamed at 5 P.M.. CT.

This 4-week program utilizes the biographies of important yet little known figures in the Black Experience to connect the audience to larger historical concepts and practices such as: double consciousness, segregation, integration, slavery and resistance. For more information about the series visit the Foundations: Black History Education link at The series moderator is Raven Cook.  Raven will be offering a special session for the Charter for Compassion, sponsored with by our Education Institute on February 13, 8 A.M.. PT.  Register here  There is no need for you to have seen Raven's previous sessions, though it would be helpful.

January 10: The Peculiar Institution - The discussion will explore the beginnings of slavery, examine where America began to make distinctions, and look at resistance methods to bondage.

January 17: Is Freedom Really Free? - The discussion will explore slavery and the Civil War, as well as post-Civil War challenges for Black Americans.

January 24: The Problem of the nth Century: The Color Line - The discussion will examine the beginnings of Jim Crow, Harlem Heaven, Double V, and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.

January 31: Black Lives Have Mattered and Always Will - The discussion will explore the the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power and it's legacy, and the current issues facing America.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Drum Major for Justice, Peace, Righteousness

"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. "

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

NOAA Lists 13 Good Things for the Seas in 2016

C. Coimbra photo

  1. We are days away from formally proposing the first two national marine sanctuary designations in nearly 20 years– Wisconsin-Lake Michigan and Mallows Bay – Potomac River.
  2. We approved two new national marine sanctuary nominations for the inventory: Lake Erie Quadrangle and Chumash Heritage.
  3. We also have received four new nominations for national marine sanctuaries: Mariana Trench, Baltimore Canyon Urban, Hudson Canyon, and St. George Unangan Heritage.
  4. Building on more than 30 years of scientific studies, we announced a proposal to expand Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to protect additional critical Gulf of Mexico habitat.
  5. We proposed the expansion of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to include additional WWII heritage sites.
  6. Using cutting-edge technologies, including manned submersibles, 3D laser scans and photogrammetry, we conducted research to document and preserve an important World War II battlefield found off the North Carolina coast near the shipwreck site of the USS Monitor.
  7. On March 23, we joined the U.S. Navy to announce the discovery of the USS Conestoga, a Navy tugboat, in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 95 years after it sank with a 56-man crew aboard.
  8. We published the inaugural issue of “Earth is Blue: Magazine of the National Marine Sanctuaries.”
  9. Focusing in on diversity and inclusion, we formed the ONMS People’s Committee and provided funding for six projects designed to enhance our diversity and inclusion.
  10. On June 25-26, sanctuaries across the system welcomed the public to the second national “Get into Your Sanctuary” celebration under the unifying theme of building awareness of these iconic destinations and encouraging responsible enjoyment of their natural and cultural resources. More than 8,000 visitors took part in sanctuary activities that included guided kayak, maritime history and eco-tours.
  11. On August 26, President Obama signed a proclamation expanding Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Previously the largest contiguous fully-protected conservation area in the United States at 139,797 square miles, the expanded boundaries made (for a short while) it once again the biggest protected area on the planet at 582,578 square miles, nearly the size of the Gulf of Mexico.
  12. In September we hosted 10,000 people from 192 different countries around the world at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. Our team put national marine sanctuaries, marine national monuments, and marine protected areas on world stage and a very positive light.
  13. In December, we held our first ever Sanctuary System Recreational Fishing Summit with members from advisory councils to continue to improve our efforts to support and improve recreational experiences in sanctuaries.

---From NOAA

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

22 Reasons to Love Trees

C. Coimbra photo

From the Tree People:

Trees combat climate change

Excess carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by many factors is a building up in our atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

Trees clean the air

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

Trees provide oxygen

In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.

Trees cool the streets and the city

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased.
Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

Trees conserve energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

Trees save water

Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

Trees help prevent water pollution

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.

Trees help prevent soil erosion

On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.

Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds - where children spend hours outdoors.

Trees provide food

An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest urban lot. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.

Trees heal

Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

Trees reduce violence

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

Trees mark the seasons

Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Look at the trees.

Trees create economic opportunities

Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees.

Trees are teachers and playmates

Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages.

Trees bring diverse groups of people together

Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.

Trees add unity

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.

Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife

Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

Trees block things

Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.

Trees provide wood

In suburban and rural areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood.

Trees increase property values

The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.

Trees increase business traffic

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic – enough to allow the drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Inspiration from Positive Actions in 2016

The following 10 Inspiring Moments from 2016 are an edited (for length) version of a post in the Greater Good in Action 

Veterans ask Native Americans for forgiveness
The Standing Rock pipeline battle pitted Native-American tribes against corporations, law enforcement, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One of the little-noticed dimensions of the conflict is that many U.S. veterans joined the effort to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline construction. In December, a group of veterans formally apologized for military violence against Native Americans. The statement read by Wes Clark Jr.—son of U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO, Wesley Clark Sr. In the ceremony, Chief Leonard Crow Dog offered the veterans forgiveness.

Texas man stands up for Muslim neighbors
When armed anti-Muslim protesters gathered outside of the mosque in Irving, Texas. One man did what he could: Justin Normand made a simple sign that started, “You belong,” and stood alone outside of the mosque in a gesture of support. As he later wrote on Facebook:
This was about binding up the wounded. About showing compassion and empathy for the hurting and fearful among us.

Michigan students form circle to protect Muslim classmates
After November’s election, Muslim students at the University of Michigan received death threats. In response, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff formed a circle around Muslim classmates who gathered to perform one of Islam’s five daily prayers.

Opposing protesters come together for dialogue in Dallas
July 7 gave us one of the most awful moments of 2016, when Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas. A few days later, Black Lives Matter sponsored a small march in Dallas to protest police violence against unarmed black people. When they encountered counter-protesters waving American and Texas flags, a cop named Sgt. Jeff Hall successfully brought them together for a dialogue that ended in prayer. “

Champion kid soccer players console the losing team
At the Junior Soccer World Challenge in Tokyo, Barcelona’s under-12 team beat local favorites Omiya Ardija 1-0. In a show of good sportsmanship, the Spanish players sincerely and graciously consoled their distraught opponents.

Runners help each cross the finish line at the Olympics
In August, American runner Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin got tangled up and fell during the 5,000-metre race at the Rio Olympics. Both injured, they helped each other to cross the finish line.

Volunteers fulfill India’s climate promise
At Paris Climate Conference in 2015, India agreed to reforest 12 percent of its land. On one day this summer, 800,000 volunteers took a solid step in the direction of fulfilling that promise, by planting 50 million trees throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Floridians step up to help survivors of Orlando shooting
In June, a man motivated by hatred of gays and lesbians killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in an Orlando nightclub. It was the worst mass shooting in the history of a country where gun massacres are depressingly common. When blood for the survivors ran out, massive lines formed around banks across the city. According to BuzzFeed News, some areas were overloaded with donors.

Construction worker brightens the days of sick kids
Construction worker Jason Haney was helping to build a new section on the Memorial Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. One day, he noticed the children (who all suffer from debilitating and even terminal conditions) in the wing across the street watching their work. So, he created an eight-foot-tall wooden Waldo that he’d put in a different spot every few days on the construction site. Soon, the kids were racing to the windows to play “Where’s Waldo?”

Judge spends a night in jail with the veteran he sentenced
Green Beret Sgt. Joseph Serna did four combat tours in Afghanistan, where he was almost killed three times. On returning to the United States, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and he was arrested repeatedly on charges related to drugs and drinking, including drunk-driving. On the 25th time he came before North Carolina District Court Judge Lou Olivera, Olivera sentenced Serna to one day in jail—and personally drove him there. “When Joe first came to turn himself in, he was trembling,” Olivera told the Fayetteville Observer. “I decided that I’d spend the night serving with him.”