Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Blessing For Peace from John O'Donahue

A Blessing for Peace
As the fever of the day calms toward twilight
May all that is strained in us come to ease.
We pray for all who suffered violence today,
May an unexpected serenity surprise them.
For those who risk their lives
each day for peace,
May their hearts glimpse providence
at the heart of history.
That those who make riches
from violence and war
Might hear in their dreams
the cries of the lost.
That we might see through
our fear of each other
A new vision to heal
our fatal attraction to aggression.
That those who enjoy
the privilege of peace
Might not forget their
tormented brothers and sisters
That the wolf might lie down
With the lamb,
That our swords be beaten
Into plowshares
And no hurt or harm be done
Anywhere along the holy mountain.
~ John O'Donohue ~

I Love You Because - A Guest Post by Pam Bickell

Thursday, April 28, 2016

SNOWDEN - Official Movie Trailer

Published on April 27, 2016

Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

Welcome to Earth Time-lapse Video by Luc Bergeron

Published on February 13, 2013

Time-lapse footage from 179 different and beautiful places around the planet. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Kids Who Play Outside Are Smarter, More Creative and Better Adapted To The Challenges of Real Life by L.J. Devon

Why kids who play outside are smarter, more creative and better adapted to the challenges of real life

by L.J. Devon

Natural News,     26 April 2016

(NaturalNews) Somewhere deep inside every one of us, beating as natural as a heart's pulse, is innocence and goodness. Somewhere deep inside, our inner child desires a sense of freedom, to take up the calling of who we are, to build something of our own, to explore the unknown, to be unique. Somehow along the way we've been instructed to follow along, to get in line, to learn a certain way.

As our childhood innocence and desire for freedom is beaten out of us, we become adults constantly searching for meaning – always drawn back to a box of comfort, of confinement.

Our childhood experiences determine much of our psychology as adults. Allowing our children to play outside freely in an unstructured, natural environment may be one of the best decisions we ever make as parents. Letting children create games and play along freely with their friends provides them with ideal conditions so that they can develop leadership skills, teamwork, problem solving skills and visionary traits. It's these qualities that help them adapt to the challenges of real life as they grow up.

I remember the way I felt when I was 12, cutting trails through the woods, building bridges across creeks with fallen longs, erecting tree houses and forts with scrap lumber. It was these moments of unadulterated childhood freedom that I remember the most to this day. It's these moments, hammering nails and hanging out of trees, where I was alive, creating my own space, adapting to my surroundings.

Sometimes it's as simple as a sandbox, a bicycle ride with friends, or making games up on a trampoline. The possibilities are endless. I remember playing late into the summer evenings, in muddy ditches and creeks, shooting hoops and playing pickup football games.

Electronics stunting children's ability to adapt to the real challenges in life

Today, free-spirited childhood experiences are being replaced with artificial reality and long hours behind electronic screens. As face-to-face interaction disappears, children lose their ability to communicate, to dream. The stereotypical American child now spends an average of seven hours inside, behind an electronic device! How will they ever be able to cope with the real world when half their waking childhood is consumed in an artificial world?

The upcoming generations are being deprived of their inherent creative abilities. As they are consumed with electronic devices day and night, their interpersonal and inner-personal growth is stunted. By being separated from nature, the mud, the trees, the birds and the bees, children lose their connection with all life. According to a study from the University of Michigan, just being outside with nature improves the memory and attention of children.

On top of that, children who play outside are healthier and smarter, because their immune systems are exposed to the real world of germs and therefore allowed to adapt to it all.

According to a Swedish study, when children engage in cardiovascular, outdoor activities, specific proteins and growth factors actually stimulate their brains.

Organizing children's lives and planning their academic success stunts their problem-solving skills later in life

The more we organize and micromanage our children's activities, the more we stunt their ability to figure things out on their own. Parents feel so pressured to get their children to succeed, that they push them into organized clubs, groups and extracurricular activities. Many times children just need unstructured, free-flowing, imaginative fun, where they make the rules – where they run freely through the woods, the yard and the neighborhood.

It's hard to fathom, but the average American child today only spends 30 minutes outside in unstructured play. Those 30 minutes outside each day would never have been enough for me growing up. Sometimes our kids need free time to just lie in the grass, catch bugs, talk with friends or drift into imaginative thought for hours.

As we script and plan our children's activities and force them into structured environments, they go into adulthood and become followers, herded and shut up. Our number one goal should NOT be to push them toward academic excellence or to push a college plan on them at age 12. Kids need freedom to make up their own minds, to pursue their own paths, just like adults. If we continue to script their lives for them, they will grow into adulthood as dependents, clinging to false versions of themselves. As they strive to conform to the structure that's been thrust upon them, they become too afraid to venture onto paths of their own.

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