Lets Keep America Beautiful

Flag in Snow Forest Lane032This year the annual birthday celebration for our country on the Fourth of July has been muted by the corona virus. Yet though it is important to be patriotic and to celebrate, it may be that one day is not enough to show our patriotism. Parades are wonderful, fireworks are lots of fun to watch, and of course backyard barbecues are almost mandatory, however what is most meaningful is to celebrate our patriotism all the year round.

To be patriotic is to demonstrate our love for our country. To my way of thinking one of the best ways we can do that is by showing respect for as well as taking care of the environment. Some can do more than others yet everyone can do a little. Recycling is important, as is reducing waste. Bringing our own bags into stores once we are allowed to do so again is another. Conservation of resources is vital to the health of the planet, as is avoiding leaving our waste around.

Most people pick up after their dogs when they are out walking. This is very important. Once no one even thought about this. Earlier yet, people threw the contents of their chamber pots into the streets. Many died from illnesses that were pollution born. Today there are people who throw their plastic bags and other plastic and unrecyclable products down when and wherever they use them. This often results in harm to wildlife, as well as to the woods or beaches where it accumulates.

Some ways to care for the environment come naturally to me. Because I was brought up to be tidy, it’s easy for me not to litter. I’d no more throw trash away on the sidewalk or worse, in the woods, than I would throw it on my living room floor. Like me, those who see the earth as their home tend to treat her differently than those who do not. They treat her and her resources with respect and gratitude. They treat her like the home she is.

Those people are setting an example for others. I believe that is one of the best things we can do to be of help in the world. Teaching by example is an extremely important way to prompt others to improve their behavior. Often what people are told goes in one ear and out the other; what they have observed and experienced is more powerfully remembered. It is important to show our patriotism on an everyday basis. One simple way is to turn off the water faucet when it is running unnecessarily.

I thought about this one day recently while I was brushing my teeth. I try to remember to shut off the water after I have wet my toothbrush and filled the little cup I use for rinsing. I also try to shut off the kitchen faucet at intervals as I wash dishes: between pots, for instance, or when I am drying anything. There is a true story called the Hundredth Monkey of how monkeys on an island washed their food. Somehow the habit spread between islands that had no contact. This occurred when the critical number of food washing monkeys had been reached. Perhaps if we all contribute to the consciousness of conservation, one day everyone will take care with our precious environment, and the earth will truly thrive.

It Tolls For Thee

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As Above, So Below Photo by Tasha Halpert

Heartwings says, “Love is the goal and love is the way to achieve it.”

When a huge tragedy occurs we are all affected. As John Donne, the 17th century metaphysical poet said, Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. On April 15, Whether we were on the scene or safely watching it on TV, we were there. Even if we hadn’t yet heard about it, we were there. It is my feeling that in some mysterious way, we are all connected, interwoven with one another like the cells of a finger or an eye. Yet each functions as we are created to do by our unique makeup.

As we are all connected, when we harm one another, we are harming ourselves. It makes more sense to be peaceful, yet human beings seem to continue to pursue conflict as they always have. Animals that live by cooperation live longer, healthier lives than those who do not. Why is it that part of us attacks another part of us? There may be many reasons given, as many as there are speakers. Not one of them is either right or wrong. It is what it is.

Regardless, the healthier each one of can become, the healthier we all will. Much progress has been made in the last century in so many ways. Most recently is the trend toward men spending quality time with their infants and toddlers, changing their diapers and bathing them. How wonderful for a child to have the care of both mothers and fathers at such a young age. Cigarette smoking was once prevalent throughout our society. Now it is frowned upon by many. Recycling is common, conservation is growing.

Progress is made slowly. Yet sometimes that is best. The slow plow turns a deep furrow. The loving responses of the many as the Marathon tragedy unfolded is heartening to see. Little tales of compassion continue to surface. We might take some small consolation that the tragedy has brought out our best selves, teaching us what  we can do to change the world to a more compassionate, loving place to live. Little by little with each act of kindness and compassion we add to the sum until little else is left but love.

May you find joy in sharing and caring. Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert