Wednesday, July 26, 2017

People Nowadays

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I Love Mountains

Dear Joe,  

This week, the American people gave Barack Obama four more years to demonstrate his leadership of our nation. We congratulate the President on his victory, but also must hold him accountable to his promise to lead based on science and fact.

With that in mind, we're reminding President Obama that there are no excuses to legitimize the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains and there never have been.
After he was elected in 2008, President Obama said:
"Science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation ... It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient especially when it’s inconvenient."
But four years later, after more than 20 new scientific studies have been published linking mountaintop removal mining to health problems including significantly higher rates of cancer, heart disease and birth defects in Appalachia, the administration continues to approve permits for mountaintop removal mines.

To date, more than 100,000 people, including you, have pledged to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Now it’s time to make our voices even louder.

Join us today in sending a strong message to President Obama: No More Excuses, End Mountaintop Removal!

Over the next few months, as the President begins his second term and a new Congress comes to session, we will be ramping up our efforts to put a definitive end to mountaintop removal coal mining. But we can’t do it without you.

We know it won’t happen overnight, and that’s why we need you to recommit your efforts, recruit your friends and get involved like you never have before.

Stand up for the mountains and communities of Appalachia today.

For the Mountains,

Matt Wasson

Sunday, July 23, 2017

13 Things Mentally Strong People DON'T Do...


Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.


They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.


Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.


You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.


Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.


They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.


Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.


Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.


Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.


Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.


Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.


Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.


Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Saturday, July 22, 2017



“What we see is mainly what we look for.” ~Unknown
Years ago I was fortunate enough to travel on a Mediterranean cruise. I had just graduated from college and was in that difficult transition stage where I didn’t know what would come next. I was looking to relax, but also hoping that some soul searching would lead to clarity, epiphanies, and answers.
One day I thought I found them on the island of Santorini, Greece.
Between the blinding whites, the sapphire blues, the sun-kissed streets, and the black-sand beaches, I felt like I had been dropped ina utopia.

There, where everything was crisper and brighter, my mind felt clear and my heart felt hopeful. I suddenly had the feeling I would find my way and all would be right in my world.
As I lay on the beach made from volcanic ashes, overflowing with happiness, I knew I wanted to remember the moment, capture that feeling and preserve this place.
I strolled down to the shore where hundreds of rocks were piled together. They were all jet black, oval shaped, and glistening. I picked some up and felt like I was holding little pieces of paradise in my palms.
I collected a dozen or so. The plan was to wrap them in a towel, bring them home, put them in a decorative jar, and always be reminded of the beauty of Santorini.
I imagined my future self, back at home, thousands of miles and hours away from this peaceful sanctuary.
I thought these rocks would become miniature touchstones any time I was feeling down or confused—that I would look at these black slabs, be transported back to this moment in time, be reminded of Santorini, and feel instantly better.
When I got home, I unveiled the rocks and immediately felt disappointed.
These rocks weren’t pieces of paradise anymore.
Without the shimmering sun and the sparkling Aegean waters, the rocks had lost their magic, their glory.
All I had in my hands were a pile of greyish looking stones. In the light at home, away from the Grecian sands, I could see the rocks weren’t breathtaking or naturally shiny and they certainly weren’t that memorable.
They were just…. well, rocks.
I wasn’t reminded of the feeling on the beach. Instead I was upset that what I wanted the rocks to be was clearly not their reality. Somewhere the rational part of my brain knew this was ridiculous, but I was still angry.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized how these rocks did in fact, give me a gift. They taught me a few important lessons.
In life we can have a tendency to take something and try to make it into another thing. Does it work? Sure, sometimes. After all, we can take lemons and turn them into lemonade; we can take a blank canvas and turn it into a beautiful painting.
But more often than not, we can’t change something into something it’s not meant to be.
Sometimes, a rock is just a rock. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just a rock. And no amount of wishing, manipulating, forcing. or hoping can change that.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Knowing this can help save a lot of energy that gets wasted on frustration and sadness.
The rocks hadn’t changed—not one bit. My perception of them had. The feelings they evoked and the moment I had in Santorini simply passed. I was stuck between wanting to hold on and having to let go.
We often try so hard to hold onto something from the past that we miss what’s right in front of us, in the present.
The same is true for the people in our lives. We sometimes try—accidentally or purposely—to get the people we love to be more of who we want them to be instead of appreciating who they already are. We want them to be who they used to be or who they could be, instead of who they are in the present.
I remember when I had the realization that one of my oldest and closest friendships was falling apart. There were many reasons for this split, but ultimately I think it came down to the both of us not seeing each other for who we were in the moment.
We kept trying to squeeze each other into the roles of who we were when we first crossed paths years and years ago.
We put this pressure on ourselves too. We attempt to perfect a million things, instead of just acknowledging our weaknesses and strengths and working with them. 
We rarely accept who we are in the present because we are so consumed thinking of who we want to be in the future—or remembering a younger version of ourselves.
I don’t know what just now made me remember those rocks from Santorini—the ones I didn’t put on a pretty display—but I am glad I did.
I am grateful for the reminder that we need to accept things or situations for what they are and people for who they are. When we stop looking at everything the way we want to see it, and start seeing it simply as it is, life flows much more smoothly.
After all, it’s better to let things and people shine where and how they are meant to.

Wisdom from a Poor Man

Wilmington's $1 million winner says life won't change

Staff Photo David Reynolds
Robert White buys lottery tickets Monday night at the Greenfield Food Store in Wilmington. On Saturday, Carolyn Daise (left) sold a $1 million winning ticket to Joe Demello, who plays scratch-offs at the store almost every day. White, who plays occasionally, said he was happy to see a winning ticket sold at the local store on Greenfield Street in Wilmington. "Wish it was me though," he said.
Published: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 5:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:05 p.m.
Almost every evening Carolyn Daise would hand Joe Demello a pair of $10 scratch-off lottery tickets – the most expensive she sells – and tell him he was a glutton for punishment.
Demello, who has played scratch-off tickets at the Greenfield Food Store on Greenfield Street in Wilmington for years, didn’t argue. Daise said he’d usually just shrug and say: “I’ll just get broke and get through with it.”
But on Saturday around 5:30 p.m., Demello, a 56-year-old painter from Wilmington, won $1 million.
He scratched off the ticket in the store, left without telling anyone, then returned the next day to share the news.
Demello is one of just six people to win a $1 million prize since the $130 Million Blockbuster game started in August, according to a statement from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
Back in the store Monday night, Demello said he’s glad he won, but that his life won’t change.
He’ll get the money in annual after-tax installments of $34,000, he said. Nice, but not enough to give up his day job. His lottery habits won’t change either. Demello says he’ll go back to winning $10 or $20 one day and nothing the next.
“I like to gamble,” he said. “I always have.”
He handed folded up bills to Daise and Sylvia Ayala, another clerk at the store as they rang up orders. He said he’s also given away $2,000 of his first check to a longtime friend who needed money.
While Demello played down his winnings, other shoppers at the store Monday said they’re thrilled one of the regulars hit it big.
Clifton Norman, 51, was one of several who said they were happy for Demello, but wished they’d played the ticket.
“Where was I?” Norman said, adding that for any one of the 52-year-old store’s customers to win is great. “This store has been here a long time and served a lot of people,” he said. “For somebody to win here is a blessing.”
Raymond Keels, 58, said it’s especially nice for someone to hit the lottery during tough economic times.
Demello said the economy hasn’t affected him much. “Hell, when you’re poor – all times are tough,” he said.


Don’t ever believe that it is too late for you to become spiritual, that you have done too much damage.

The most important thing is our desire to become someone better, to find little ways to let go of our selfishness every day.

The main thing is to do a little more today than yesterday, and tomorrow a little more than today. And to keep in mind that we are not doing anything for anyone else but ourselves.

All the Creator desires from us is our heart.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Send in the Clowns? Trust me; they're here!

CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of clowns plans on taking part in protests in Chicago during this weekend’s NATO Summit.
The ClownBloq, as they call themselves, will be a group of protesters who will appear in clown suits.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, while some protesters might throw a bottle of urine, the clowns say they will throw a pie.
“Joy and laughter and celebration is resistance,” one member said in a Hyde Park cafĂ©.
The group will be armed with 1,000 whipped cream pies, and one member said he does not expect police to take it all in stride.
“I think it will be very telling of the violence of this state to see the response of the police officers to a pie,” another ClownBloq member said.
The ClownBloq also has a Twitter feed which repeatedly references plans to throw pies at opponents.
“Knock Knock. *Who’s There?* The #MSM (mainstream media), and we want interviews. *You can haz interviewz, and piez,*” one tweet reads.
The Web site for the group says it must be “consistently reiterated that Clown Bloq is both a joke and NOT a joke.” A member said the best comparison is a court jester.
“The court jester was given the ability to question the absurdity of leaders,” she said.
The group says its intention is to be “both disarming and tactically militant,” and its members are trained in “hard blocks, soft blocks, de-arrest techniques as well as other historically significant tactics.”
The group also provides basic training in clowning.

Never the Owners

 “Nothing in this world is really ours. Even if we work for something, what we receive as a result is not really a possession… We should see everything in this world as if it came from heaven.”

It’s a powerful concept, isn’t it? Nothing we receive in the world, nothing we are born with for that matter, really belongs to us. We are merely a receiver for all we are blessed with and it is our job to change from being a cup to being a straw – sharing those blessings – our money, our time, our love, our friendship, our talent – in the best ways that we can. 

When we begin to believe we are the source of the blessings in our lives and that we deserve or single-handedly created all that we have, we are in essence saying we don’t need the Creator. And with that consciousness we disconnect ourselves from the Light. The Light only rests where there is a true desire for it.

The way to receive more Light is to share the Light that we have. To truly live this wisdom means we start viewing ourselves as the managers of our blessings instead of the owners. Then we can become a channel for the Light of the Creator!

It’s such a dramatic shift in our consciousness and not easy to do, but the results of the effort are worth it. 

We are never the owners, just the managers.