Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Disability: Finding a balance





This article ran in the Arizona City Independent/Edition on October 16, 2002. Since then, our feline family has changed completely. We continue to cherish fond memories of Ray Lee, Baxter, and all the kitty-kids that have brought so much love into our lives.


 

While I was mulling over how to introduce this article series, something happened that symbolizes exactly what I want to say about living with a disability. For the first time, my ‘fur-son,’ Ray Lee, who was born in 1991, couldn't jump onto the cedar chest next to the table where I often sit to watch TV.

Knowing he likes to sleep in the window behind the chest or step up to my table and spread himself across my newspaper, I picked him up and set him on the chest. He gratefully managed the next step onto the table, where he draped himself over a sack full of fabric, providing both cushion and the lovely crinkle of plastic.

I knew this day would come. Besides his advanced age, for half his life Ray Lee has had arthritis that began in his feet. He also sleeps a lot more than he used to, something you only notice if you’re really paying attention.

In spite of his growing disability, Ray Lee doesn't feel sorry for himself, as some humans do. We've always had at least one younger ‘sibling’ to keep our older felines energized. That role now belongs to our 2 1/2 year-old ‘fur-daughter,’ Baxter, who loves to hunt and fight.

Since Baxter joined the family in late 2000, Ray Lee has tolerated her exuberance, even when she teases and taunts him. She often runs straight at him, leaping over him at the last second. Or she walks up and bats him across the head then runs away to fight another day.

For his part, Ray Lee has taught his little ‘sister’ how to nose-kiss, and he occasionally joins her in an exciting race from one end of the house to the other. He's not altogether invalid, in spite of being an octogenarian in cat years.

The upshot of this little tale occurred a few hours later. I feared I’d have to help him up to the chest from then on, but the next time he couldn't jump up, I stood up to help him and he scampered around my chair and hopped onto the seat, a little over three inches lower than the chest. From there he made it to the table on his own. He knew what he wanted and figured out how to get it himself, in spite of his disability.

This precious cat, with his natural feline sense of independence even as he relies so much on me, symbolizes the spirit of most people with disabilities. We hate to be dependent, but sometimes we have no choice. At other times we just need to figure out how to get the job done a different way. While I stand ready to help Ray Lee when he needs it, I let him do what he can for himself so he can maintain his self-esteem.

This is exactly what people with disabilities want. We don't need to be swaddled in cotton wool, protected from every one of life's bumps and bruises; we do not want to be patronized, treated as if we can't make a decision for ourselves; and we cannot survive without someone who loves us enough to provide help when we need it. Like every human being, a person with a disability thrives in a perfectly balanced relationship of interdependence.

That balance is tricky. Where disability is concerned, people often go to extremes, for good or ill. Either they do too much or too little. Most people choose to do nothing at all, avoiding any contact with anyone with a disability.



Cats and other animals love you
even when you have a disability.
(Obama Cat and Ditto in ‘Conference’)





In future articles, I'll discuss what people with various disabilities need to be productive citizens. Like Ray Lee, we might need help, but we also want to be useful. Ray Lee did that for me by being his lovable, cuddly self.

 

 
 
WEB EMAIL WORKING AGAIN - SORT OF: A few weeks ago, I was finally able to switch my website and email service to debbie@imaginetheworldatpeace.com to a new host. I still have to update them. We’re working on a long ‘Life List,’ but that task is moving up the agenda fast. I’ll keep you up-to-date here and on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks so much for all your love and patience.



 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.
 
 

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Protesting Campaign Calls: It won’t stop the Madness but it helps me feel better

Hallelujah, it’s Primary Season, followed never-soon-enough by the General Election. Let the Celebrations begin!

Those euphemistically described festivities consist mainly of campaign phone calls.

Millions of them.

At least it seems like that.

We’ve received up to three calls per day most of the past three weeks, all for Republican candidates. Trouble is, we’re registered Democrats. It’s a question of timing.

If you vote in your state primary, you know if you declare for one of the two main parties, at this stage you vote for your party’s candidates. Early calls from the opposition are wasted. That’s why the escalating call pattern led us to suspect the Graying Old Party’s got a strategy going here. We call it our ‘Great Election Conspiracy Theory.’

All but one of the calls are recorded. We can’t tell them what we think of their campaign. We just have to hang up for relief - usually! The pattern developed this way:

Step 1) The calls begin, three per day, all for one candidate.

Step 2) A week into the process, primary ballots go out to people on the Permanent Early Voting List. As usual, we complete and return our ballots within two days.

Step 3) The calls, still for the same candidate, stop registering on Caller ID. We let most go to the answering machine. If the call continues on the machine, we pick up, hit ‘Off’ and ... blessed silence.

Step 4) One evening a call goes to the machine. I pick up, hit off - the recorded voice drones on ... and on and on and - I call Jim. We meet at the base station. The machine still spews. We marvel at the genius of the latest technology. (Not!) Jim finally unplugs the phone base from the wall, plugs it back in ... aaah, peace reigns once again in the Jordan household.

After that miserable escapade, I sit down at my computer to compose the following email:

 
To Whom It May Concern:
If anyone in the Republican party actually believes that the current policy of harassing Democratic voters via the telephone will actually convince anyone to vote for GOP candidates, you'd better make sure long-term mental health services are firmly included in your medical coverage. If we weren't already determined to cast a vote in every single election for every Democratic candidate we can possibly support, this abusive Republican policy would do the trick!

This evening, the latest RWNJ Dirty Trick finally forced me to ask the telephone company for complete instructions in how to block these disruptive calls. In the next few days, we'll be implementing this tool and sharing it with as many people as we can.

Thank you for reassuring us that we've been going in the right direction for the past 35 years, even if the rest of the country wasn't quite there yet! And if you're curious about the details of our latest experience with your abusive campaign calls, I'll be posting reports on my blog in the next few days and sending the link out to our numerous Twitter and Facebook friends!

In peace,
Debbie Jordan
imaginetheworldatpeace.com


I send the missive to the Arizona Republican and Democratic Parties. I copy Jim. Everybody knows the score.

Step 5) On each of the next two evenings, we receive only one recorded call inviting us to participate in a political poll. As soon as I hear those words, I hang up.

Step 6) Saturday morning a young man calls to invite me to answer questions for "a political research survey." I tell him I’m not interested and hang up.

Step 7) Since Sunday, we receive different numbers of calls each day, all recordings, all register on Caller ID, each for a different candidate, none for the subject of the earliest calls.

And so it goes.

I don’t know whether my email rant helped. I do feel better since I hit send.

Stay Blue, everyone. Vote for Fairness and Equality in your Primary and, especially, on November 4!






 
Believe it or not, I heard a few of the good ideas in this
book from pre-1980 Republicans. Pity they aren’t in
office today. I hope their successors will one day lead
a party that is again Grand instead of Grotesque.



WEB EMAIL WORKING AGAIN - SORT OF: A few weeks ago, I was finally able to switch my website and email service to debbie@imaginetheworldatpeace.com to a new host. I still have to update them. We’re working on a long ‘Life List,’ but that task is moving up the agenda fast. I’ll keep you up-to-date here and on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks so much for all your love and patience.


 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.
 
 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Poem of Peace

The earliest version of this poem appeared in Xenomorph Magazine, a one-issue Peace magazine published in 1988, and I updated it for my essay collection, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace. I hope this version makes clear that the only way we can experience real progress is to stop glorifying the destructiveness of war and truly honor all those who work diligently to establish a peaceful society. Only then will everyone around the world be able to enjoy the benefits of a prosperous economy.




ODE TO WAR
(Or: Peace Is Dull)
(Revised version)
by Debbie Jordan (1989)
 
Peace is dull.
War is far more exciting.
So what if war kills people?

Peace takes a lot of hard work.
Day in and day out,
nothing but sameness;
slow, dull peace.

War may be expensive,
but peace certainly isn’t profitable,
except for those privileged few
who rake in
all the profits of war.

Where are the memorials to peace
and the peacemakers?

 

PERSONAL (including INACTIVE WEB EMAIL): In recent months I haven’t posted as much on this blog as I’d hoped. I haven’t been idle though, as Jim and I have been working on several things together. We’ll soon be dealing with the last issue on our list: getting my website email up and running again. I won’t go into detail here, but when we do make progress on that task, I’ll let you know. Positive thoughts, everybody. Ple-ease. Healing Thoughts!
 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Better Summer ahead?

I’m BA-a-ack!

Yes, I’ve been silent for much too long, for several reasons. But I’m finally nearing the point of resolution with a couple of life’s larger hurdles and plan to be more productive through the rest of the year--Robert Burns’ ‘best laid schemes’ notwithstanding!

Part of that plan involves sharing more of my often scattered thoughts in this space. I’ll continue to write about my dreams for a better world in which every person on the planet is treated with kindness, every animal and plant is respected for its vital role in our ecosystem, and we finally begin to take tender care of the only home we have in the vast universe, this wonderful Planet Earth.

I hope to avoid the ‘woe is us’ approach to the many problems of our present society. Instead, I’ll try to focus on the complete absence of logic in the current system and why certain changes would make life better for everyone, not merely one ‘special interest’ group or another. Many articles will be similar to my first essay collection, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace.

Along the way, I’ll sprinkle in some articles written just for fun, about cats and baseball and anything else that pops into my head. We could all use a break once in a while. It’s good for the psyche.

So, remember: Nothing ever happens until someone shares an idea. That’s why I keep on writing this blog. I hope to see you soon!


WEB EMAIL STILL INACTIVE: One issue still on my To-Do list is to bring my website email back to life. Now that we're nearing the end of our long Spring agenda, I should be able to tackle the issue by early June. When that miracle occurs, I will definitely post the Good News here. More reason to keep in touch. Hope and Love to all!


The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 18, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 18, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Pinal Ave.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

This will be Tony Fasline’s last vigil in Casa Grande for this season. Next week he’ll be heading up to the chilly northern confines of Youngstown, OH, and won’t return to our sunny desert till that Yankee chill runs him back to spend another winter in our wonderful desert Paradise.

As he does every year during his northland sojourn, Tony will join has many friends holding vigil for peace every Friday afternoon in and around Youngstown. I’ll try to post notices of those peace vigils at least a couple of times a month. Meanwhile, I’m working my way down a (now) much shorter To-Do list and hope to share more of my own writing before the end of the month. Stay tuned!

 


EMAIL INTERRUPTION:

I regret to report that I still haven’t been able to get my website email back up again. I do hope to cross that item off my agenda within the next few days. When that miracle occurs, I will definitely report the blessed event in this blog. So, please, PLEASE, send wonderful thoughts my way, and watch for that announcement, coming soon. I hope!

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 11, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 11, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Casa Grande Ave.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

After reporting my latest spell of more severe illness last week, I had a worse downturn for the last few days. As often happens, while I was forced to slow down even more I discovered a new item from my diet that might be causing my latest sensitivity. As always, it’s another food item that is extremely good for normal, healthy people. But the nature of my autoimmune illness is such that most of the foods that cause me trouble are among those that are highly recommended for their health benefits. Ah well. Just gotta go with it, I guess.

This means that I still haven’t been able to do any of my most favorite activity, writing on my book and blog articles. I’ll try to keep you apprised when I’m finally up to doing that work again. Meanwhile, please, please remember that I really need your positive vibes and, from those that believe, prayers. I’m still thinking of a much better world for each one of you, and for everyone everywhere.

 


EMAIL INTERRUPTION:

Just one more thing I haven’t done this week is solve my website email problem. As with the rest of my long-postponed agenda, I’ve finally formulated a plan, and when I’m up to it, I’ll follow through with it. Please don’t give up on this vital work. Thank you.

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 4, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 4, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Trekell Rd.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I am so predictable. You’d think after a lifetime of riding the chronic-illness roller coaster up and down in unison with the seasons, I’d remember to monitor my activity level as the temperature rises. But no-o-o. When things warm up and I feel better than I did during the long months of frigid weather, I forget past experiences and dive head-long into a belated to-do list.

That’s when I hit the Wall.

I am now in my fifth day of intense exhaustion. Fortunately, the last two days included several short respites of strength. I’ve applied uncommon wisdom, gained with great difficulty from this last lesson, by limiting myself mostly to mental tasks when I have a little energy. Then I fill the relapses with TV and/or sudoku. The puzzles are a bit much for my fried brain, and I make frequent mistakes. But it helps me focus and be very still so I can refuel over time.

Even these few paragraphs have taken several long hours to complete. I’d add a sentence or two then have to rest. But this is the first time I’ve shared so much detail in a public forum. It’s possible that fact will help jog my memory the next time I consider playing ‘chicken’ with that dreaded Wall.

Hold onto good thoughts for me, please. I really need the support!

 

EMAIL INTERRUPTION: Just a note to say that the server for my website email has been down at the same time I have (see above). Now that my brain is regaining short spells of relative function, I’ll try to address the issue, probably by setting it up on an alternate server, at least for the time being. When I’ve accomplished that task, I’ll try to remember to post that news here. I don’t know if I can promise, but I do intend to try to get everything right. More upbeat thoughts for that too. Please!

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, March 28, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, March 28, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Florence Blvd. & N. Trekell Rd.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

This has been a productive week, but now that I’ve reached this point, I can barely remember what I actually accomplished in all that time. That’s probably because I woke up at the halfway point of my usual sleep last night, and I couldn’t get back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. Then this afternoon we went to Sun Lakes, 30 miles away, to see our primary-care physician. We always enjoy seeing Doc, but the round trip is tough for me even under the best of circumstances. Tonight I am just totally wasted!

That’s why I beg your indulgence, boys and girls, while I wrap this up quickly. I plan to to get some good solid sleep tonight and well into the morrow. I need to be rested and refreshed in time to enjoy the official state-side opening of the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

I promise to be more alert by this time next week, and maybe I’ll have done more writing by that time. I hope you’ll be back then.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, March 21, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, March 21, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Florence Blvd. & N. Colorado St.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

This week I’ve handled one medical errand and we have an appointment with our doctor in Sun Lakes, 30 miles away, next week. That’s the reason my brain’s already in medical mode. Add the fact that we’re in the most pollenous days of spring, and I don’t plan on doing much beyond rote day-to-day tasks for, maybe, another month or so.

"Wait! Pollen?" you say. "In the Arizona desert? Isn’t it completely barren land?" you say.

"Yes and no," I say. "Pollen in the Arizona desert. You really should see the lovely flowers that pop out of the Saguaro standing right outside our front door and looming twice as high as our house. It’s amazing when these tiny specks of glory just burst from the rugged terrain of an ancient cactus."

 

This is how our resident Dove of Peace
views her own private rooftop garden
atop her Cactus Condo.
(Photo: Jim Jordan)
 
This sign of spring may seem insignificant to most people, but once my respiratory system collects thousands of floating flora germs, my bronchials prove even more fertile than the entire expanse of the Sonoran Desert from New Mexico to California. I can promise you, it ain’t purty!


So I blow my nose and force myself back to Pollyanna mode. My brain will be about as useful as fuzzy Swiss cheese for a few more weeks, but I can still enjoy another wonder of our paradoxical paradise. Since before we’ve owned this house, a female dove has claimed the narrow crook of one of several upraised Saguaro arms for the nest where she’s raised several generations of offspring. I think of her as my own resident Dove of Peace.

 

My own little Dove of Peace
has been here about as long as we have,
providing me with a dose of spiritual inspiration.
(Photo: Jim Jordan)
Still, we walk past the squatter’s condo, and she pays us scant attention. Intruders in her universe, we don’t seem to rate much bother. On the other hand, the sight of a winged mama with her annual flock of offspring in this harsh climate really blows the mind.


For me, spring isn’t a completely lost season, even though my normal agenda must wait till all this new life settles and no longer sprinkles noxious seeds into my delicate biosystem. At least it will end soon, and then I can think again--and Jim can start complaining about the heat that bothers him every summer.

And I? My innocent reaction will be: What [blessed] heat?

And so it goes.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, March 14, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, March 14, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Florence Blvd. & N. Peart Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I finished this knit cable cap I was working on last week, the fourth of 12 Caps for Cancer Patients I’ve vowed to make in 2014:



This cap is for a young girl with cancer.
I really enjoy making something that
might help a child in distress
feel better about herself.

I hope to make one more cap for the project in March while I also make progress on another, more personal, needlework project I’ve been thinking about. Meanwhile, I’m slowly doing some writing, so I should be posting more articles here as well. Stay tuned.


As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, March 7, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, March 7, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Florence Blvd. & N. Arizola Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

While many people continue to shiver in the depths of this harsh winter, we in southern Arizona are enjoying the beauty of spring. It’s one of the many reasons we moved here from back east. But many of our loved ones continue to endure the cold weather, so I’ll try not to mention the weather again till we’re broiling in the intense heat of the desert summer. Deal? Good.

We did have some much needed rain last weekend, which does no good for either my body or my brain. But that’s over now and we’re back to the usual sunny and warm. Oops. Sorry about that.

Anyway, aside from tidying up the usual end-of-month accounting early in the week, I’ve just finished knitting the fourth of my promised twelve Caps for Cancer Patients for this year. I’ll block it over the weekend, so I can post the picture with this vigil notice next week. Be sure to check back then.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, February 28, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, February 28, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. McMurray Blvd. & N. Arizola Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I wonder why I plan to accomplish certain things each week, then when that time is past, I look back on the different things that I got done instead. Must be the result of that old saying: Life happens while you’re making other plans.

I did complete one thing that was on my agenda: I crocheted a cap in a cable pattern, a brand new stitch for my repertoire. Decades ago, I knit several cable sweaters, but doing cables with a crochet hook is a different matter altogether. It requires a bit more patience than making cables with an extra knitting needle. But I do believe this crocheted cable stitch looks great:


I followed the pattern for this cap from the wonderful
website for crocheted items at Rheatheylia.com:
http://www.rheatheylia.com/index.php?page=patterns&id=8



Next I’m going to knit a couple of caps in different cable patterns, so March is pretty well set for me, as far as my work on Caps for Cancer Patients is concerned. This cap makes a total of seven for 2014. But since four that I’ve made are in the colors of the Gay Pride flag, I’ll also offer them to members of the LGBT community, whether they have cancer or not. That means three are definitely for the Caps for Cancer Patients program, and four others could go for either cause, or both.


At least I’m accomplishing something useful, but not all I’d like to get done. Ah well, there’s always next week. Come back then.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Top Ten Steps to Achieving World Peace

Since I began to write mostly about what we need to do to establish a peaceful society, I’ve tried to balance my message with ideas for ending poverty. That’s because I believe we‘ll never end conflict on this planet until no one is forced to wallow in a state of destitution. Thus, my list of steps to reach the goal of world peace consists of the ways we can make our economy function for everyone currently experiencing financial devastation, rather than just those who fear physical and political insecurity.


1) Implement a system of full employment, so even the lowest-paid full-time worker on the planet is able to earn at least twice the cost of all the basic goods and services necessary to enjoy a dignified existence.

2) Implement a worldwide system of fair wages and anti-pollution rules, so no employer or region can undercut another by denying workers or residents access to essential goods and services, and no entity can win a labor contract by fouling the planet we all depend upon for survival.

3) Establish an educational system in which everyone can learn at their own pace to the extent of their individual capabilities.

4) Provide adequate health care for everyone, according to individual need, with no restrictions of discrimination based on health status or the cost of services received.

5) Provide decent basic housing for everyone.

6) Provide healthful, nutritious food for everyone.

7) Provide "green" transportation and utilities for everyone.

8) Balance employment opportunities with basic services for the young, the old, and disabled people, so everyone has access to all they need in exchange for contributing what they can, no matter their limitations.

9) Establish a system in which every individual enjoys full civil rights balanced with community responsibility.

10) Establish a system in which every resident participates in the process and success of their community.

The essays in The World I Imagine not only discuss
each of the 10 steps to achieving world peace,
they contain extensive cross references to show
how improving one area will have
positive effects in several other arenas.

This list includes some of the most vital issues that must be addressed in order to end poverty, but there are countless other details I have yet to discuss. That’s why I plan to continue writing on this subject for as long as I can--or need to. And while I’m grateful for the opportunity to write here, I hope this is only the beginning. I’ll continue to look for more outlets for my columns. In time, I’d like to syndicate. It can happen!


Meanwhile, to everyone who asks about the impact this work can have, I have a simple answer. The first step toward making things change for the better is to share positive ideas. I hope my efforts will spark others to share their own creative ideas for ending poverty and building peace. We all need to "think outside the box," because the same old ways of doing things simply are not working. In fact, those same old ways are the reason so many problems exist in the first place.

Can one person have an impact? Just think about two people who ignored the "nay sayers" and did the right thing: Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi got the English to leave India and established a "home rule" government, while Mother Teresa transformed the way many people treat the poor and sick in India and around the world. Citizens of the subcontinent still have a long way to go to control poverty and conflict, but at least they have many role models to inspire them to take the best course to strive for a prosperous and peaceful future.

In the U.S., people as diverse as Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr. have pushed "green" living for years. Only recently have more people accepted their message as the only hope for the future of the planet. There are still those who can’t see the pollution for the profits, so we must keep talking about both the necessity and the practicality of "being green."

As a child, I was inspired by the Christophers, an organization founded in 1945 by Father James G. Keller "to encourage people of all ages, and from all walks of life, to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the world." Their motto is: "It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

These words encouraged me through years of fighting not only illness, but the people who continued to deny my basic rights and needs because of my disability, even as I tried to use my gifts to help others. Now I’m finding a handful of people who not only care about me but encourage me to continue this work--not only for myself, but hopefully, for the future of all of human society and the planet we call Home!

 

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, February 21, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, February 21, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. McMurray Blvd. & N. Trekell Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I’m delighted to say I’ve finished our taxes for the year, two months ahead of schedule, so now I can tend to all those other things, little and big, that sat by the wayside while I worried about getting that done. As soon as I finish writing and posting a couple of articles to this blog in the next few days, I can finally get back into the flow of that book I’ve been trying to write for the longest time, Two Worlds. I have nine or so chapters now, but it would be more appropriate for me to call them -ish.

This book won’t have a straight chronological timeline. I have to wrote at least three different plot lines separately, then try to blend them into what I hope will be a cohesive narrative of the greater story. That means I probably won’t be using every single scene that I’m putting into the separate stories because they’re more for my benefit, so I can envision the lives of characters that’ll be shuffled together into the final version of the novel.

This is a new experience for me. Or perhaps I should call it an experiment. Any positive thoughts you can send my way will be much appreciated and will help me keep slogging away at it while I keep hoping it will one day make sense.

And just to keep the thought of what I’m trying to say in this blog and in my books, and any other way I can, here is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that perfectly reflects the point of all my work and, I hope, my life:
 






As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, February 14, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, February 14, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Trekell Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

Well, I finally blocked and got pictures of the hats I’ve made for the last several weeks. A little background here: I found the pattern online for a simple crocheted cap in the rainbow colors of the colors of the Gay Pride flag. Since we have friends in the LGBTIQ community, I decided to make a few of these, some for people who have cancer and are either gay or want to support a gay loved one. I also have a gay relative and want to make something for him and his partner.
 

The fashion colors in this cap are a bit off
from the basic rainbow colors of the
Gay Pride flag, but some people might
prefer them to the traditional colors.

When I started the first hat, I had only four of the six colors required, so I could only do so much before I had to go to the nearby Jo-Ann store to buy more. But when I scoured the yarn section, I couldn’t find any yarn in the ‘true’ colors I need for this particular project. I had to settle for ‘fashion’ colors, shades that aren’t quite the good old-fashioned basic colors to match those of the flag. Just to be able to do at least one full cap, I bought one of each of these fashion colors, then went home and went online to find that Red Heart still has traditional colors in the same yarn I used to buy years ago. So now I have enough yarn in the colors I want to make several hats before I have to order more.

This is my first attempt for a ladies cap.
I’ll make them in two sizes so
more people will have choices.

Now, it’s time for me to try a different theme and pattern for my next Cap for Cancer Patients and alternate that project with more writing. This is what we should all aspire to in our lives, to be productive and useful, contributing our best gifts to make life better for someone who is in need.


As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Peace Voices from the Past foreshadow "The World I Imagine"

A few days ago, Jim posted on my Facebook page a quote from a speech Omar Bradley delivered in 1948:


"We have men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner."

Omar Nelson Bradley, General of the Army, (February 12, 1893 - April 8, 1981), Armistice Day speech (November 11, 1948), published in Omar Bradley’s Collected Writings, Volume 1 (1967)

I wasn’t surprised that more than 65 years ago the decorated combat veteran predicted that, even then, we humans were heading toward self-annihilation if we didn’t change our ways. Six decades later, the end seems closer than ever. I emphasized one of the main reasons for that in a column first published in September 2004 and reprinted in my 2008 essay collection:

"Another problem can be found in the strong emphasis being put on education in science and math. At the same time, little or no attention is being made to the great need to train highly intelligent and creative people in such vital areas as sociology and political science so they can develop solutions to the global problems that threaten the very existence of the planet--many of which were caused by an over-reliance on science, without applying conscience in every decision."

from The World I Imagine, Chapter 8: Universal Education: Learning Problems

In a 2007 column reprinted in the final chapter of my book, I explained why one of the more bizarre ideas to avoid destruction is unworkable, and I offered a more reasonable solution:

"In the current world crisis, some people who are considered to have great scientific minds claim that the solution is for humans to travel to other planets. It sounds simple, except for the megatrillion dollars and centuries of effort it would take to bring even a small part of mankind to the point where they’d be equipped to perform that operation and take the trip--if they could even identify another planet in the vast universe on which they could actually survive!

"The real problem with that idea is that transporting humans who destroyed the earth in the first place into outer space so they can trash up the rest of the universe wouldn’t solve anything. People have no business leaving their own back yard until they first learn to behave themselves. If we can’t do the right thing here on earth, we certainly can’t be expected to do so out there in the rest of the cosmos!

"The only way to solve these problems is to establish entirely new ways of organizing every aspect of society. The goal of this effort should be to build a society in which each person is able to purchase all the basic goods and services necessary for a dignified existence at a cost of no more than half the amount earned by the lowest-paid full-time worker on the planet.

"Only then will we be able to end poverty everywhere on the planet. Only then can we begin to build a peaceful society all around the world."

from The World I Imagine, Chapter 12: Poverty and Politics: Institutions versus Individuals

The World I Imagine provides a positive look
at what our society would be like if no one
were forced to exist in a state of poverty
anymore and we actually lived together in peace.

Although The World I Imagine has received generally positive reviews, some people question whether it would ever be possible to implement ideas discussed in the book. I respond that every great social advancement began with a dream, an idea that was shared with and repeated by people of like mind, first one and then a few at a time, until positive change was implemented by thousands and, finally, by a majority of the people.

All we have to do to accomplish Step One is keep dreaming, discussing, and sharing win-win-win solutions for managing our problems. Sooner or later, they will become standard practice, replacing the destructive policies that have driven us so deep into the current social and political quagmire.

This view was shared by another peace lover who called herself Peace Pilgrim and who, coincidentally, died shortly after Bradley passed:

"In order for the world to become peaceful, people must become more peaceful. Among mature people war would not be a problem — it would be impossible. In their immaturity people want, at the same time, peace and the things which make war. However, people can mature just as children grow up. Yes, our institutions and our leaders reflect our immaturity, but as we mature we will elect better leaders and set up better institutions. It always comes back to the thing so many of us wish to avoid: working to improve ourselves. "

Peace Pilgrim aka Mildred Lisette Norman Ryder (July 18, 1908 - July 7, 1981), Steps Toward Inner Peace : Harmonious Principles for Human Living

"You have much more power when you are working for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing. And, of course, if the right thing is established wrong things will fade away of their own accord. Grass-roots peace work is vitally important. All who work for peace belong to a special peace fellowship — whether we work together or apart."

Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words (1982)
Ch. 11 : Transforming Our Society

And though many people look for simple solutions to our complex problems, my first essay in the collection, originally published in March 2004, includes these details about what needs to be done:
" ... while we dream of these goals, we need to understand that peace is not merely the absence of conflict. None of these artists mention the vast amount of labor that will be needed to end poverty and establish a just society for everyone in the world. Such information is too complicated to be contained in a single song. Establishing and maintaining a peaceful world will take a heck of a lot more creativity, dedication, and plain old hard work than the tradition of war ever exacted from the human race. Granted, a true state of peace would be a whole lot cheaper and far less traumatic than any old-fashioned war, but, to date, no one seems to know how to pull it off.

" ... I must be clear about certain points. I'm not talking about classless socialism or a totalitarian government. Those things have been tried and have failed miserably. But then, so has the current system of runaway capitalism that denigrates social conscience. As long as even one person goes hungry, cannot find a job, or is denied protection from abuse, the government we should all be able to depend upon is not working.

"But it can work. Every one of these problems could be managed and more, but not the way we're dealing with them now. The current system has too much wasteful redundancy, and too, too many gigantic cracks through which the weakest drop into oblivion. While some people have more than they could ever use, others are denied the help they need to lead productive lives as contributing members of society.

"So, while we must be clear about the ends, we must also be diligent about cleaning up the means. We must ensure that no one is being hurt or left behind, and we must ensure that everyone receives the basic services due to every member of a truly just and democratic society."

From The World I Imagine, Chapter 1: Building Peace Without Poverty: The World I Imagine

Finally, my publicity for The World I Imagine contains the following information about the book:

"Political and sociological experts consistently use three buzzwords when discussing solutions for social problems like poverty: holistic, systemic and systematic. [My] approach to the issues satisfies all these requirements. For example, [I] carefully [explain] how the archaic practice of feudalism continues as the model for labor and employment in the 21st century and fuels poverty.

"We have to make better use of human resources. When a person is laid off, they shouldn’t be paid a pittance for not working while they slip steadily into a lower economic strata. They should be able to use their expertise to help themselves and their neighbors until they can find a job that’s comparable to their previous position. Without unemployment, we wouldn’t have recessions, or their nastier ‘big brother’: depression, ... .

"[I approach] issues such as education, health care, disability and old age in similar fashion. Though [I organize] The World I Imagine into sections and chapters according to each subject, [I don’t] treat any one as a single issue that can be solved on its own. Instead, [I make] numerous cross-references to demonstrate how all these social issues relate as part of a complex social tapestry. [I share] the headlining belief of the Obama/Biden administration – that we should not only believe in Barack Obama’s ability to bring about real change in Washington, but also our own."

from Press Release for The World I Imagine

I will continue to add my voice to the chorus of activists stretching back over the millennia, who come from many different walks of life but end up sharing their positive ideas and precious energy in order to move us steadily forward in the cause of peace. I welcome people of like mind to join me in this effort. You’ll find many ideas for making many positive changes in my book so we can all do much more than merely dream of The World I Imagine.

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, February 7, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, February 7, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
W. Florence Blvd.. & N. Trekell Rd.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I’ve had too many things to take care of this week to reach the goals I’d hoped this week, so I’ll be quick about this update so I can post this notice of Tony Fasline’s weely vigil for peace. At least it looks like I should be back to my own things next week, so we’ll have to see how that works out.

At least I have been able to keep on crocheting, but the final step on each hat remains to be done, so no pictures this week. If you come back next week, I should have more than one of my Caps for Cancer Patients to share with you then. Hold onto great thoughts and dream big dreams for the future, everyone. We need to be positive as we move forward every single day of our lives.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 

The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Identifying Issue Number One


 
If a pollster called and asked what you consider the most important political issue in the country today, how would you respond? Would you say it’s the economy? The war on terrorism? What about health care?


No matter which issue you choose, your answer would probably be correct. Not merely because it’s your opinion, which is what the pollster expects to hear, but because each of these areas and many more represent extremely difficult problems which must be solved if we are to have a well-functioning society. The problem is, these are merely symptoms. What we really need to do is focus on those steps that would lead us to truly effective solutions to the entire range of our economic and social problems.
 
Now, what would you say if the pollster asked you which problems are so important they must be addressed first? Which are the issues that, if we could turn them around in a short time, would begin to have positive effects on most of the rest of our social and economic calamities?
 
I’d say there are two areas: education and employment. Notice, I didn’t say unemployment. I’m talking positive here. Unemployment is the problem; employment is the solution.
 
In fact, I would venture to say that these issues are so vital that if we could address both areas simultaneously, everything else would fall into place. Not without a whole lot of effort on the part of every citizen, of course, but just imagine:
 
  • What if every single person were educated to the limits of his or her abilities and interests?
  • What if everyone made learning a lifetime habit?
  • And what if every person were able to work at a job that was both interesting and fulfilling?
  • Most importantly, what would happen if every single person on the planet who is at all capable of doing some measure of work earned at least twice as much as it costs to purchase all the necessary goods and services required to enjoy a dignified existence--so that even the lowest-paid person has at least some extra money to spend beyond their basic needs?

 

The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace is a collection of essays discussing how providing universal job training, education, and employment would provide the tools necessary to solve most of the other economic and social problems in our society.

 
If we could resolve the issues of education and employment at the same time, then society would have enough resources available so that solutions to almost every other problem would be within reach. All that would be needed would be to apply common sense and the combined effort of every member of society. It’s as simple as that!
 

For instance, a lot of people say the economy is the biggest problem we face these days. They cite the housing crisis, lack of access to health care, and other gaps in the delivery of basic goods and services to millions of people in this country and billions around the world.
 
But imagine what our society would be like if everyone earned at least a little more than it takes to pay for their basic needs, including health care (as opposed to the insurance system that enriches for-profit businesses while denying care to many people who actually need it), housing, food, basic transportation, and especially job training and education.
 
In that case, everyone would be able to participate in a universal saving program in which everyone invested a small percentage of their salary for a preset length of time. Such a plan would not only ensure that everyone could build personal wealth but would provide a static economic base to strengthen businesses, in this country and around the world. Costs would stabilize, thus putting a brake on the scourge of inflation.
 
If everyone received a good basic financial education and were assured of continuous employment as long as they’re able to work, few people, if any, would spend themselves into the deep holes in which so many people find themselves today. There would be few, if any, foreclosures. Business could rely on a strong and steady market for goods and services, depending more on the quality of their products and services rather than the vagaries of shifting economic sands.
 
The elimination of the conditions that perpetuate poverty--inadequate job training, education, underemployment, and unemployment--would also lead to a marked reduction in crime, which would lower costs for everyone and eliminate much of the stress we now experience in our everyday lives. And the natural reduction of stress that results from a thriving economy would reduce health problems for most people, which would be a big step toward reducing currently out-of-control costs of medical care.
 
Of course, I could list many other areas in which the resolution of these basic issues would affect a host of problems that many people rarely think about but are a sad fact of life in our system. In fact, I’ve done exactly that in the columns collected in my book, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace, and I'll continue to do so in future columns and articles.
 
I’ve often had the pleasure of discussing these issues in radio interviews, and I hope to have more chances to discuss these issues whenever public forums are available. Perhaps something I say will help people to focus on finding and applying more win-win-win solutions to the root causes of our problems, instead of just "picking at the scabs."
 

The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, January 31, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, January 31, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
W. Florence Blvd.. & N. Cameron St.

Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I may be growing older, but I promise I’ll never grow up!

Yup. It’s that time again. Time for me and the Chinese to turn to a new calendar. And just like the Asians who count years in series of twelve, I’m about to face an entire new decade. Ouch!

But life goes on and it beats the alternative. And the truth is, I’d much rather know what I know now than what I did when I was young and foolish. Now I’m just old and foolish!

Okay, I promise I’m done with all the cliches. My other news this week is that I have finished crocheting my next cap, this one for a special type of cancer patient. I still have to block it so we can get photos. But since I’ve already started another, I’ll wait to finish that one too and block them both at the same time. I promise to post at least one picture here next week. Stay tuned.

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.