VOTE

It’s frickin’ fundamental. You’re given a voice, a say in the matter! USE IT.

We completed our ballots. Dropped off the envelopes at the County Registrar’s Office this week.

Your vote is your voice in a democracy. It’s a fundamental tenet of our society.

Don’t squander it. Your opinion matters. Your voice matters. Let it be heard.

Let The Noise Go

Let the noise go. Life’s too short to let that noise distract you for long. Let it go, fall away, “like water off a duck’s back,” so the saying goes.

It takes a certain strength I think, To let acknowledge whatever “it” is, and feel some of what it offers, and then, THEN, let it go.

What is the noise?

Divisive rhetoric, negative attitudes, gently grating relationships, loud little kids, a meeting that doesn’t resolve its intended purpose, etc. You get the idea, right?

If it might bring you down, it might be noise I’m talking about.

LET IT GO.

And then circle back to what matters, and get after it.

Lions Work: Saturday Service Project – Greenhouse & Garden, Cupertino

A couple hours is all it took.

We were set to gather up some compost and complete delivery. Simple enough. A simple path to a little more GOOD.

The destination? A greenhouse and garden beds in need of good soil. This Saturday morning work was a short chapter in a bigger, new project underway from a few months back.

A bit of organization, a few simple tools, a good plan, and a residence card, that’s what was needed. And some sweat equity, something Lions are good at.

The reward? Dark and damp, rich and warm compost, two truckloads — or actually, one small pick-up truck, one Bronco filled with bags.

A few Lions, good fellowship, and we made pretty quick work of the job at hand.

Compost transferred to a greenhouse and garden beds at Camp Via (Via West Campus), which provides residential respite care with special needs camping programs to children and adults in the hills above Cupertino.

The greenhouse at the camp has been dormant for a few years. The DeAnza Lions Club was given the opportunity to bring it back to life, and a few of our members jumped at the chance to get their hands dirty and give the greenhouse and garden beds a fresh start.

Many different aspects of GOOD here:

1/ refreshed purpose of an unused resource.

2/ an opportunity to provide organic, fresh produce to those in need in the community, and for the campers when they return after the pandemic subsides;

3/ a fantastic opportunity to engage others in the community with Lions Work.

Like I said…GOOD. And Lions? WE SERVE. A great way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning.

When In Doubt? Shakespeare!

As a vegan to drift off this came to mind; from The Muse himself; some six hundred years ago written, two score years I heard it for the first time.

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

It’s what we do with it that matters.

Rise Above the Blah

Yesterday it was blah; aware of the inertia, the drag, fighting to steady, to focus, to go forward. Mulled down.

Then our son had an allergic reaction to something he ate. His stomach was upset; he felt uneven, unsettled. He was anxious, uneasy. He was sick a couple of times, emptying things out.

Through all this things come into quick focus; the blah falls away.

We helped him through, helped him clean up, settle down.

It’s a moment to rise. These are the moments we’re called to, parents helping their kids through the struggle; it pushes our own struggles aside.

Rise above yourself; rise above the blah. Somehow I did. You can too.

Do It Anyway

I’ve thought a lot lately about anxiety, worry, and fear. In fact, it’s been a topic I return again and again to most all of my life.

I wonder how to respond, cope, battle, persevere through these feelings; to not let them consume, devour, destroy; instead, to transcend.

I’ve lived with these emotions the whole of my life; at different times, different levels, and different powers, these feelings have had.

In the end we can’t let them win; we have to thrive anyway. Thrive, and Live.

Each day. Forward. Live.

Lights Out!

I’m a little too young to have been an active listener to “Lights Out!”, the famous early horror radio show from the 1930’s and 40’s, but I recall my folks talking about it. And I do remember Bill Cosby talking about it in his famous bit “Chicken Heart.” I listened to hat bit over and over, and laughed anew every time. That funny story made my heart sing!

This piece isn’t about that radio show, however. It’s about learning good habits, including turning the lights off when not in active use. It’s a little about how we might attempt to teach our kids these values, how we might instill in them the lofty and also practical benefit of such a habit as turning the light off.

I find myself walking around the house pretty well constantly turning lights off on rooms where no one is.

It’s a simple lesson. Turn off the light if no one’s in the room. Learn that lesson, and apply it regularly. That same mindset can be applied to leaving the water running, and monitoring the thermostat. Using natural resources carefully, thoughtfully, that’s the underlying ideal I’d like our kids to absorb, and practice every day.

Walking around the kitchen this morning, I noticed a piece of broken tortilla chip; when I saw it I remembered seeing it yesterday. At the time I thought, “Let’s see if anyone else picks it up. No one did. So this morning, I picked it up and threw it away. There was a bit of wrapper next to it, too. That went to the trash as well.

That’s another fundamental ideal. If you see garbage, pick it up and throw it away. This approach might well apply only in your home, but on that planet. How much cleaner would things be, how much healthier would nature be, if everyone did that? And the pre-step of course too: Don’t litter.

So the turning off the lights, picking up around the house, and everything in between; do a little more, or at least, do what you should do. I know it’s often more complicated, but maybe it shouldn’t be, influencing our kids. Just do what you should do.

[Disclaimer: I suspect some reading this piece might object to even mentioning Bill Cosby in a positive way, given his falling from grace and crimes for which he’s been convicted. That said, he was also one of the great comedians and entertainers of his era. I do not condone in any way his behavior otherwise, Full Stop.]

Do What You Can Do

Two examples here I’d like to share. Two men who believe in taking care of the planet: Doing the right things around that every day.

The first guy I know; he’s family. He’s a dad and a public servant and a bike rider and an outdoorsman.

And he picks up the trash when he’s out in nature as well.

This next guy I know only by what I read and podcasts I’ve listened to. Similarly, this guy is a dad, public servant, and outdoorsman.

And he picks up the trash when he’s out in nature as well.

Love for Others…YES

From Francis yesterday:

“Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives.

Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.

#FratelliTutti”

And then today:

“It is not enough to accept the invitation to follow the Lord; one must be open to a journey of conversion, which changes the heart.

The garment of mercy, which God offers us unceasingly, is the free gift of his love; it is grace.

#GospelOfTheDay”

Amen, AMEN.