Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


32 Comments

My Debate Speech on Confederate Statues

In Saturday’s stream of consciousness, I mentioned my participation in a local Braver Angels zoom debate. Below is my three minute speech opposed to the following debate “resolution”:

“Removing statues and monuments will erase important parts of our nation’s history.”

I was one of three people speaking the “con” side of the statement. We had fewer speaking in favor of the statement. One interesting point made by an African American woman disagreeing with the statement was that relocating statues to museums would likely give more opportunity for learning and discussion by visiting school groups, etc. She also talked about subliminal messages and healing.

Braver Angels seeks to depolarize America with workshops and debates intended to foster respect and understanding. We are encouraged to say what we believe and to speak from our own experience. After each prepared speech, people can ask questions of the speaker and responses can be up to one minute. If there’s time, we have “flash speeches” and share what we learned.

This first debate by our local group went well. There was concern from some that if we start removing statues, that other statues and monuments, like the Lincoln Memorial, could also be removed. My question to this was to ask if the speaker thought some statues could be more harmful than others, and that seemed to be a point of agreement. All statues are not the same.

Now, for my speech. (Respectful responses from your own experience and feelings are welcome. )

Hello, thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening

If we remove a statue or monument, we are not erasing history. We cannot change what has already happened. History will still be available…in books, films, and on the internet. Many statues and monuments can be re-located to museums where a much of history is saved, or to private historical sites, cemeteries, or to the families of the artists who created aolstatues.

When I first read the debate resolution, I thought of the confederate statues I’ve seen in downtown Wilmington.

I’ve lived in Wilmington since 1980. All that time, I’ve felt very uncomfortable with the confederate statues glorifying men who fought for slavery. One of the things that bothers me most is the prominence of the statues. If you live anywhere near downtown, you’ve seen these statues on a regular basis. What kind of message do they send?

One example is the prominent 8-foot-tall statue of George Davis recently removed from Market Street. George Davis was the last attorney general of the confederacy.  The pedestal describes George Davis with glowing words like “stainless integrity, virtue, refinement, and the true heart of chivalry in southern manhood. Is this an accurate portrayal of history?  It leaves out the fact that George Davis gave a “… public speech1861 in which he argued that North Carolina should secede from the United States …. to protect (in his words) the economic interest in “chattel slavery.” Chattel slavery in which human beings are bought and sold as property.

I am deeply troubled that this man has been celebrated and honored as a hero for so many years.

When I’ve passed by this statue, and the one on third street honoring the soldiers of the confederacy, my feelings of discomfort and embarrassment linger. I want to cringe at what they represent…..

 I can only imagine what black and brown citizens think and feel when they’ve passed these statues. 

We need to ask ourselves, what people and ideals do we want to honor? Do we want to promote the ideals of the confederacy? Do we want to honor men who fought for slavery and the oppression of a whole race of human beings?

Or do we want to promote values of equality, equity, community, and inclusivity?  ……

The statues representing confederate soldiers and statesmen have stood for many years in prominent positions in our city. But times are changing.

 Maya Angelou wrote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

It’s time now for our city to move forward, and to honor positive and inclusive ideals.

Thank you for listening.


15 Comments

Mayors Call for “Peace, Not Patience” (2020.May.31)

One of my favorite Gandhi quotes from Doggedly Yours:

Doggedly Yours... Howling, Humor, and History.

A nation braces for another night of unrest.

Demonstrations Resume as Mayors Call for ‘Peace, Not Patience’ (New York Times 20/05/31)

IMG_5047 copy_1500x900

Some will draft letters to the government, others will create signs for protest demonstrations, I may do so tomorrow though today on this day of pain …

….I elect to write a post to this blog.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

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10 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday: Calling for Peace, Not Quiet

 

“There’s a difference between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet.”

___The Rev. Al Sharpton in a Eulogy for George Floyd

 

When brutal racism has taken black lives, we cannot be quiet, and peace may be hard to find. But we can be non-violent.

 

2019 1linerWeds badge

 

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. for more one liners, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/06/10/one-liner-wednesday-june-10th-2020-moooommm/


24 Comments

What Flames are You Fanning?

72530873-4C03-4E67-80E2-39270B3FC76F

Today’s SoCS prompt is: “fan.” Use it by itself or find a word that starts or ends with it. Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

 

Fan the flames of peace.

Sing out to bring the dove.

The road might not be straight.

Let me start with my own heart.

 

Fan the flames of justice.

Not with violence, but with strength.

Be persistent.

We can’t always wait for Karma.

 

Fan the flames of love.

Speak your heart’s desire.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Remember we all belong.

 

What do we want to speak into existence? Our thoughts and our words are powerful! Focusing on what we want, not what we don’t want, brings our heart’s desire. Yet, there are times when we must vent to release and make room for something better. Just don’t linger in the darkness. Don’t let the negativity become toxic.

Imagine the best. 

That’s the fifth step in my new book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. The e-book will be available on Amazon tomorrow! (June 7) I’m still trying to get the cover right for the paperback. It looks good digitally, but the printed proofs….. Oh well.

I will imagine that this book will help people. The principles work not just for finding a healthy relationship, but for many other goals.  Here are the steps:

  1. Clarify Your Heart’s Desire
  2. Request Help from the Divine
  3. Love Yourself Well
  4. Focus on Friendship
  5. Imagine the Best

 

On another note:

Fan blades remind me of flower petals. So I’ve recycled ? upcycled a couple.

B25DF7EB-A82D-47A5-A82A-3A4144B862AB

Painted with alcohol ink and soon to be a sunflower

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This one spins in the wind.

 

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2020/06/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-6-2020/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


16 Comments

Spay, Splay, or Spray Your Way to the Peace Train

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Today’s prompt for  Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

“…spay/splay/spray.” Use one, use two, use ’em all, it’s up to you. Have fun!

There’s so much I could write about, but I’ll start with the prompt.

Spay or neuter your pet. There are so many homeless dogs and cats, so many killed because they were abandoned….   I’m feeling tense right now and sad because of the news in the US, and now, thinking of abandoned pets being killed in shelters…. I don’t want this to be a downer post, but that’s where the stream of consciousness is going for me right now. Consciousness sometimes means being sad or angry or afraid because of what’s happening….

Going back to spaying and neutering, there aren’t enough homes for them all, so I don’t understand why people would find it acceptable to breed more dogs and cats when you can adopt from a shelter and save a life. If we get another dog, when we get another dog, I’ll be looking for a shepherd mix from a shelter. But who knows who will find me.

Doodle, our Treeing Walker Coonhound, may she rest in peace, was adopted from a shelter or rescue by my husband before we got married. Her big walker feet would splay out when she got excited. It was involuntary. I wish I had a picture of her feet splaying. Here she is sleeping on our bed with her big feet.

Doodle hiding on bed

 

Spray. The first thing I thought about with that was pepper spray. I’ve been watching news on the protests in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd. When I watched the video of the police officer kneeling on George’s neck for several minutes even after he became unresponsive, I was yelling, “get off him! Just put him in the car!” (He was already handcuffed!) But when I was watching the video George was already dead. Bystanders were yelling for the policeman to, “check his pulse!” and “He’s unresponsive!” Afterward, I cried. I don’t wish I hadn’t watched the video. It was important to see it. So many black men (and women) have been killed by police officers or “vigilantes.” This one was the worst I’ve seen. But they’re all horrible.

I’m usually optimistic, and I still have hope that we can do better. Sometimes things have a way of getting worse before they get better. I believe this is enough. My heart is heavy.

I know there are plenty of (?) some good cops in the world and in the US. I know at least one personally. There must be more. Police suicide in the US is very high. Some big changes need to happen. Police officers and cadets need a lot more training in de-escalation and community relations.  That’s an understatement. They need routine screening and supportive counseling.

Here’s my hope and vision for the future of my country where violence and injustice are concerned:

The US stays involved in the United Nations. We have a Department of Peace that gets just as much funding and status as the military. We have offices of peace and peace workers in every city and town that get just as much funding as law enforcement agencies. We organize for peace. We seek it diligently. We nurture peace and each other. It will not be easy. But it is possible.

I haven’t been smiling lately, but here’s some medicine:

Oh, yeah, my husband David just made a peace chair protoype. I’m going to paint some color on it. Painting is my medicine, too.

Peace chair unpainted

Peace Chair from Reclaimed Wood

For more on SoCS visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-30-2020/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


15 Comments

#WATWB: Veterinarian Cares for Homeless People’s Pets for Free

We Are The World Blogfest in white

For the past nine years, Dr. Kwane Stewart has been visiting homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and walking the streets and alleyways of California to take care of homeless pets for free. He and his vet tech, Genesis, do this work in their spare time. They understand that pets are family.  Dr. Stewart has a gofundme page for help with supplies, medication, and pet food.

You can read more about the the street vet in the following story from from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/veterinarian-treats-homeless-peoples-pets-for-free/

Paw print from pixabay

This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light.

This month’s co-hosts are:

https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/“Sylvia McGrath
https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/“Peter Nena
http://shilpaagarg.com/“>Shilpa Garg
https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/“Eric Lahti
https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/”Belinda Witzenhausen.

Please visit WATWB Facebook Pagefor more stories of light and hope!


14 Comments

Dr. Martin Luther King on Peace & an Old Song

Organize for Peace MLK

On Monday in the US, we honor the life and teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote about peace is one of many gems he gave us. You can find more MLK quotes here.

I strongly believe that we in the US need a well-funded Department of Peace to focus on building communication and understand and to seek compromise rather than violence.

Anybody here remember this song?


19 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Special Santa, Green Light for Migraines, Nurse Ingenuity, One Love, and Rain in Australia

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Sensory-Friendly Santa for Kids with Special Needs

A mall in Lexington, Kentucky open early to create a safe and comfortable environment for kids with special needs. Dimmed lights, less noise, engaging activities, and wheel chair accessibility make it easier to include more kids in the Santa experience.  Here’s the story with a video.

green lights Christmas

Green Light Could Relieve Migraine Pain

There’s something about green. The following article explores research using green light for migraine and other kinds of pain. The main study has people sit in a dark room with a green light for an hour a day with reduction in symptoms over time. Of course quiet time in a dark room might also be a factor. I can’t help but wonder if being in a room full of green plants would also help.  Here’s the article from the Good News Network

 

Nurses Turn Surgical Wrap into Sleeping Bags for the Homeless

2000 large sterile wraps were being thrown away every day. But nurses at Tampa General Hospital had a different idea.  Imagine if every hospital did this?

One Love

This is not new,  but it came across my bow wanting to be shared again. In 2018, a thousand strangers, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, got together and sang Bob Marley’s “One Love.” Here’s how it turned out.

 

Rain Dance

It’s been raining in Australia! Some fires might still be burning, but we celebrate the joy of rain where it falls.  This video shows a group of firefighters with one breaking out in dance. If you can’t see it, go to the YouTube link.  There’s one more below.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

Wishing you comfort, peace, and joy through the holidays.

Merry Christmas!


29 Comments

The Only Real Coup d’état in US History

socs-badge-2019-2020

The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ght.” Find a word that contains the letters “ght” in that order, and use it any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use three or more different words containing those letters. Have fun!    (From Linda G. Hill)

The Stream:

Fight or flight. I’m Sooooooo glad I’m not in that mode much anymore. It can be addicting and distracting from what we really need to focus on. But sometimes, it is warranted, a matter of survival.

In 1898 in the city I live in, the only successful coup d’état in US history took place.  People had to run for their lives because of the color of their skin. Yesterday, I attended a ceremony to unveil a historical marker to to remember what took place.

1898 Memorial Marker

It was surprisingly cold yesterday at the ceremony. But there was a good crowd. Ten names were read of the people who were known to be murdered in the coup. But we will never know how many people were killed.

Why is it important that we remember this coup, sometimes called a massacre? We need to know it happened to understand the history of our city, to understand the pain passed on through generations, and work to not let it happen again.

In 1898, Wilmington was a model city of restoration. African American owned businesses flourished as did diversity in government and the press. I imagine a city, a country, a world, where we work together and cooperatively in diversity and peace.

I thought I was going to write about my own move toward peace. I guess that’s where it starts. At least we need to work toward inner peace as we work toward peace with others.  We can do both.  It’s not always smooth, in reality, it can be hard work, but peace is possible.

You can read more about yesterday’s ceremony and the history here.

There is also an excellent novel, Cape Fear Rising, including the history which I read a few years ago.

I just want to add, getting back to “fight or flight,” that the African Americans involved in the 1898 massacre did not fight, they did not riot, they mostly fled for their lives. Now, there are different ways of fighting racism and injustice so that we can move forward together in peace and diversity.

The Info:

For more on SoCS, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/11/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-9-19/

The Rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


20 Comments

SoCS: Stepping Away from Toxic News

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

Welcome back to our SoCS host, Linda, and thanks again to Dan for filling in last week.

Here’s today’s prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-tast-.” Find a word that contains “tast” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

The first word I thought about was “fantastic.” But I haven’t been feeling all that fantastic lately. Not awful, nothing serious. But why am I so tired sometimes for no apparent reason?  I can rally to get the basics done, but sometimes I feel drained.

Sue Dreamwalker writes about how our energy is affected by what’s going on in the world, and sometimes we need more rest to cope. Maybe that’s it. I generally don’t watch much news. I’m picky. But lately, I’ve been getting sucked into the news about the impeachment inquiry.  Then on Wednesday,  I took my car in for maintenance, and though I had my computer and worked on yesterday’s post, the TV in the car dealer’s waiting room was on Fox News. It got toxic after awhile. Other people were there on their phones or with books and didn’t seem to mind. I kept thinking Fox News would move on to some other topic, but no, it went on and on with clips of 45  that one political issue.

It turned out I need to go back for two tires they had to order. The staff person asked it I wanted to wait on Monday or drop off the car. I asked her,

“Do you always have Fox News on your TV?”

“No, we usually have it on HGTV.”

“That would be better. I can tolerate the news for a little while but after awhile it gets…..”  I shook my head indicating crazy.

“I understand. There’s a remote there for anyone to use. If you decide to wait Monday, I’ll make sure it’s on something else.”

My plan is to have my husband take me to lunch while they put tires on the car. AND not to watch the news. I need to go back to being more choosy. Using the internet allows me to check the headlines, and I have to resist the urge to watch certain clips and also seek the balance of good news.

But back to fantastic. It’s related to the word fantasy. We can all use a little healthy fantasy, especially when the fantasy is about something we want to happen, and it’s realistic, or at least possible, which everything ultimately is. I fantasized about a soul mate who would be a good fit, and eventually, that’s what I got.

What if we fantasize about world leaders who have intelligence and compassion, who care about the environment and realize that it’s crucial to take care of the planet. A Department of Peace, imagine that. Imagine/fantasize/dream about a world that puts more energy and resources into peace than war. Imagine all adults acting like grownups.

I’m expecting fantastic weather this weekend. We’ll be going from the upper 90s to the 70s for a high. I bet that will give me some energy. And not watching any news this weekend. That’s my plan.

For more information on SoCS, visit Linda Hill’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/10/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-5-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!