Sunday, December 12, 2010

It Is Better To Give Than Receive- Narayanan Krishnan One Of CNNs Top Ten Heroes Of 2010

In the Bible (Acts 20:35) it is said that "It is more blessed to give than to receive", but most any one with a spiritual nature knows this to be true. Most every religion encourages the act of giving, and although it's lovely to be on the receiving end of gifts, in whatever form those gifts might take, it's an even greater high to be able to give to others. The act of "giving" can take many different forms- from monetary donations and gifts of kind, to the gift of time. Some people practice this on an occasional basis, whereas others make it their life's work.

Take award-winning Indian chef Narayanan Krishnan who chucked his bright future after a short visit to his home town before returning to Europe:

"I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food," Krishnan said. "It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime."

Krishnan was visiting a temple in the south Indian city of Madurai in 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. Haunted by the image, Krishnan quit his job within the week and returned home for good, convinced of his new destiny.

"That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame -- to serve all the mentally ill destitutes and people who cannot take care of themselves," Krishnan said.

Shortly thereafter, he founded his Akshaya Trust foundation, and since 2003 has dedicated his life to feeding the predominately elderly and mentally ill poor within 125 miles of his home town. Truly selfless, Krishnan and his foundation survive on donations and a pittance of rent he gets from a home he was given by his grandfather. He does not pay himself, sleeps in the kitchen with a few other co-workers, and survives with help from his parents, who initially balked at his new career choice.

"They had a lot of pain because they had spent a lot on my education," he said. "I asked my mother, 'Please come with me, see what I am doing.' After coming back home, my mother said, 'You feed all those people, the rest of the lifetime I am there, I will feed you.' I'm living for Akshaya. My parents are taking care of me."

Krishan was nominated for- and won -one of CNN's Top Ten Heroes of 2010. And well deserved. If you feel like donating to his foundation you can donate via Paypal , or perhaps this will inspire you to donate to some organization that helps the poor in your home town.

What I admire most about Krishnan, however, is the fact that he is not only feeding the poor with food to sustain them, he is also providing them with love. Feeding Souls is as important as feeding mouths. I also love the fact that all donations go directly to helping the poor and not to administrative costs, including the huge salaries that some CEOs at charitable organizations often get. Bravo Krishan, may your organization grow and prosper.

Source: CNN

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn't just a time to gorge on Turkey or Tofurkey along with all the various fixings that are part and parcel of the autumnal harvest celebration. Yes, it's wonderful to spend time with family and friends munching on all the yummy dishes we come to expect- the yams, the cranberry sauce and stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the pumpkin and apple pies. But we should also take stock of the blessings in our lives, be they few or abundant. There is always something to be grateful and thankful for, whether it's having a roof over our heads and food on the table, or a job, or good health, or the fact that we are alive.

I wish you all a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving in the company and warmth of good friends and family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recipe For A Disastrous Life- What you cook up in your mind you create


1 cup of Negativity

1 cup of Lack of Faith

3/4 cup of Fear

1/2 cup of Doubt

1/4 cup of Resentment

4 heaping teaspoons of Jealousy

A dash of Regret

In the Bible's 'Book Of Proverbs', Chapter 23, Verse 7, it was written "As A Man Thinketh In His Heart, So Is He". James Allen, back in 1902, wrote a short essay entitled "As A Man Thinketh" which was inspired by that biblical verse. Many other spiritually enlightened individuals have also spoken about how our thoughts create our reality. In other words, if we continuously allow all the negative emotions and thoughts that inevitably arise within our minds on a daily basis to sit there and fester, we will only attract negativity into our lives. There is no way we can prosper, on any level, with negativity clouding our hearts and minds; and there is absolutely no way GOD can work through our lives with that darkness hanging over us.

With our day to day challenges, and particularly in these hard economic times, it can be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude. When we lose our jobs and can't pay our bills, or we have health issues that seem insurmountable, it's of tantamount importance to ramp up the faith factor even more. As hard as it might be to think positively while struggling through the storm of life, we must force ourselves to change the negative thoughts that slam into our minds like a hurricane, into positive ones. But it won't help if we just simply pay lip service by changing a negative to a positive, we must truly believe what we are affirming. Affirmations, of course, are a start, but we must change our whole mindset from one of lack and limitation to one of prosperity. Of course, prosperity means different things to different people; for me, the most important things one can have are shelter, food on the table, the love of friends and family, and good health to enjoy life. The rest is icing on the cake.

We need to remove all negativity in our lives, which means eliminating- fear, doubt, lack of faith, resentment, jealousy, regret, judgement, worry, anger. These things act as major impediments to a fruitful, joyous life.

Thought in the mind hath made us. What we are
By thought we wrought and built. If a man's mind
Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes
The wheel the ox behind . . . If one endure in purity
of thought joy follows him as his own shadow - sure.

To download Allen's e-booklet for free, click here. Or to read it on-line, click here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Unconditional Love- GoD and DoG by Wendy J. Francisco

Unconditional love. Not many of us know what that truly means. We often 'love' others with conditions. We expect them to love us in return and often punish them when they don't. Unconditional love is loving someone without conditions, pre-conditions or obligations, and is not something that comes easily to us humans. Two great examples of unconditional love are GOD and dogs, and Wendy J Francisco has penned a lovely little song about just that. She explains here how she came up with the idea for the song. Someone apparently claimed it was blasphemy to compare God with a dog, but that's really not her point, as she explains and as I understood it.

I think it's just a wonderful example of how important it is to be forgiving and unconditional.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers day to all you mamas out there, whether you're a mama of a human or pet, hope you had a wonderful one.

Love this video. Perfect for Mothers Day. Sometimes animals have more nurturing instincts than some humans.

Crossposted on Confessions Of A Closet Republican

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Inspirational Animals: Ricochet The Surf Dog

Humans aren't the only ones with the power to inspire. Animals can be just as inspirational, helping us to see things we might not ordinarily see.

The following video demonstrates how one dog, Ricochet, who had been trained as a 'service' dog from birth to help people with disabilities had to be released from the programme because the trainer was unable to control her bird-chasing instincts. Initially a disappointment to the trainer, she decided to focus on what Ricochet was good at- which just happened to be surfing. So Ricochet uses those talents for fundraising events and has even surfed with quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison. Ricochet has raised a lot of money for various causes.

Her success just proves that if given the right direction and encouraged enough, even if it's not what we planned or others planned for us, we can excel at anything.

Grab your tissues.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What Next? Light At Night Can Cause Cancer

Small or weak bladders are a major annoyance. It means stopping a zillion times on road trips, dealing with smelly, public restrooms or, worse yet, port-a-potties at those venues that lack civilized facilities. We don't have the option of entering, taking one whiff and walking right back out, opting to hold it in rather than offend our senses.

We also have to contend with unsatisfactory sleep patterns when our bladders force us to rise multiple times throughout the night to relieve ourselves. But for those of us who make nightly trips to the bathroom not only do we have to deal with the annoyance factor, switching on the light can actually be harmful for our health. Not only can it make it more difficult to get back to sleep when we return to our warm beds, British and Israeli researchers seem to think it can also cause cancer. It seems pretty bizarre that something as seemingly innocuous as turning on the light in the middle of the night could cause something as drastic as the nasty "C" word, but apparently it's a big possibility.

Researchers in the UK and Israel found that when a light is turned on at night, it triggers an 'over-expression' of cells linked to the formation of cancer.

Previous research has linked an increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer in workers exposed to artificial light on night shifts.

But researchers said the latest research is the first that shows even short-term exposure can be linked to an increased risk of cancer.

The tests were carried out on mice at Leicester University by geneticist Professor Charalambos Kyriacou.

During the trial, a group of mice were exposed to a light for one hour. When compared with mice who had been kept in the dark, changes were found in cells in the brain responsible for the circadian clock which controls body function.

Dr Rachel Ben-Shlomo, of the University of Haifa, said in the journal Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics that people waking at night would be best advised not to turn on the light.

She said: 'We believe that any turning on of artificial light in the night has an impact on the body clock. It's a very sensitive mechanism.
'If you want to get up to go to the toilet, you should avoid reaching for the light switch. There are some plug-in lights that just glow, that are safe and you could use them as an alternative.'

She added: 'These latest findings are preliminary research and we are now looking into this area in more detail.'

At least there's a simple solution for the night trips to the bathroom, a nightlight, but what about people who work the night shift? What are they supposed to do? As for my late night blogging marathons, I think I'm going to switch to the daytime, just in case.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Laughter That Brings Tears To The Eyes

There is nothing better than a good laugh to lift the spirits, particularly if you are depressed. Although someday I will post on the health benefits of laughter I thought I would just share this cat video that brought tears to my eyes. I know we all have a different sense of humour, but I found this hilarious. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mammograms And Breast Cancer Awareness

October is designated as breast cancer awareness month, but it's never too early or too late to remind women of the importance of getting their mammograms, particularly if they're at risk. Breast cancer survival rates depend on how early it's detected, and it would behoove one to catch any potential cancer before it spreads its evil cells throughout the rest of the body. It could mean the difference between relatively minor surgery (like a lumpectomy) and losing a breast or two (mastectomy) , or worse yet your life.

Of course, mammograms are one of those things women have a tendency to put off. Being forced to flatten our breasts like pancakes between 2 pieces of cold, hard metal is a form of cruel torture, and something none of us relish. I'd rather have my pancakes with maple syrup, thank you very much, but I'd also like to keep my breasts. Hopefully some day soon, some savvy, compassionate female will invent a contraption that's a tad less tear-inducing, because we all know it had to have been some mom-hating male who created the current mammogram machine. Too bad men don't have to have their privates flattened like ours; I think the design would have been far less torturous.

Besides mammograms, one shouldn't forget the breast self exam.

Keeping up to date with mammograms and breast self exams we should be able to keep our bodies relatively intact.

Thankfully, there are lots of people doing their bit to keep breast health awareness alive and well and in our consciousness. I received a request from someone who put the following video together to promote the importance of mammograms , in honour of a friend who is a breast cancer survivor.

Then there are the organizations, like the breastcancersite, that are not only a source of information, but also allow individuals to click daily on the "click here to give" button. By clicking, sponsors will donate to charities that provide mammograms to those in need. It costs you nothing but a second of your time.

And remember, breast cancer doesn't only affect women, men have been known to get breast cancer, as well.

Know your body and keep abreast of breast health awareness, it could be a matter or life or death.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Patrick Henry Hughes- Making The Most Out Of Life

I have written about Patrick Henry Hughes before, but after watching another video that was forwarded to me recently, I was inspired to write again. He's always worth writing about.

Born without eyes and crippled at birth, Patrick is a musical genius who started playing the piano before his 1st birthday, and requests by his 2nd. He and his parents have never allowed his physical challenges to undermine his potential, and Patrick therefore sees his 'challenges' not as disabilities but as abilities. He plays the piano beautifully, as well as the trumpet.

I initially wrote about the selflessness of Patrick's dad, who works the graveyard shift for UPS (11pm to 6 am) then spends all day long with his son at classes at the University of Lousiville, and then attends marching band practice, where he wheels Patrick around the field while his son plays the trumpet. He also accompanies his son to various events, all over the country and the world, where Patrick has been invited as a keynote speaker. He has also written a book entitled I AM POTENTIAL, which I also wrote about.

He truly is an inspiration to both able-bodied and disabled people. In the following video he says:

" God made me blind and unable to walk, big deal. He gave me the ability to - the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people....."

He can also add being an inspiration to others. If a blind, crippled young man can achieve incredible goals, so can we. All it takes is faith and seeing oneself as full of potential.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life Handbook For 2010

I'm not sure who wrote this or where it originated from, but there are some wonderful words of advice. Well worth adopting most if not all as we travel through 2010, the beginning of a new year and decade. And worth a revisit from time to time. I know I will.


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.. 4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Personal Responsibility: IT'S UP TIME AMERICA by Kimberly Alyn

From Kimberly Alyn, motivational speaker and best selling author comes IT'S UP TIME AMERICA. A great speech about personal responsibility, accountability and leadership. Would be nice if we all followed her advice!


If you see injustice, STAND UP
If something needs to be said, SPEAK UP
If you make an appointment, SHOW UP
If you make a mistake, FESS UP
If you’re overstepping, BACK UP
If you get behind, CATCH UP
If they knock you down, GET UP
If you’re out of line, STRAIGHTEN UP
When your boss instructs, KEEP UP
When your elders speak, LISTEN UP
When your teachers teach, SIT UP
When your preachers preach, WAKE UP
When your country calls, MAN UP
Ladies too... WOMAN UP
When the fight is over, MAKE UP
If you’re being hard, EASE UP
If your heart is closed, OPEN UP
If you want to buy something, SAVE UP--
It’s not an entitlement, so SHUT UP!
If you make a mess, CLEAN IT UP
If you drop trash, PICK IT UP
If a car is waiting for you to
walk across the street, SPEED IT UP
If you’re cold busted, GIVE IT UP
If people fall down, HELP THEM UP--
Not the government, YOU STEP UP
If idiots start fighting, BREAK IT UP
If the music is wholesome, TURN IT UP
If the message is poisonous, THROW IT UP
If your words are vulgar, CLAM IT UP
If your words encourage, KEEP IT UP
If your pants are baggy, PULL THEM UP
If the belt’s too loose, CINCH IT UP
If your fly is down, ZIP IT UP
If you’re dressed half naked, COVER IT UP
If you can’t afford stuff, PASS IT UP--
No “bailouts” folks, PONY UP
If you made a promise, you BACK IT UP
And you can take your whining and PACK IT UP
It’s called personal responsibility, so TAKE IT UP
This country was founded on it, you can LOOK IT UP
It’s the American way people, so TURN IT UP
Because when life gets boring, you SHAKE IT UP
When life is good, you SOAK IT UP
When life’s unfair, you SUCK IT UP
When life is funny, you can YUCK IT UP
When life is sad, just LOOK STRAIGHT UP
And life’s too short people, so LIVE IT UP!

--Kimberly Alyn

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Going Too Far- Environmentalists want to nix plush toilet paper

Remember back in 2007 when wacky Sheryl Crow called for using 1 square of toilet paper per sitting? Well, the environmentalists are back at it again calling for the elimination of plush-type toilet paper because it's un-green to use anything softer than wax paper to wipe our butts.

Although toilet paper and tissues account for only 5 percent of the U.S. paper industry, to environmentalists 5 percent is more than they can bear. I suppose they'd be happiest if we used corn cobs or newspapers to do our business, but they'll settle for recycled toilet paper instead, it seems. So they've been lobbying manufacturers to go green and make their t.p. more environmentally friendly by using recycled materials. Apparently Green peace has been doing their bit to put pressure on the paper industry:

Last month, Greenpeace announced an agreement that it said would change this industry from the inside. The environmental group had spent 4 1/2 years attacking Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kleenex and Cottonelle toilet paper, for getting wood from old-growth forests in Canada. But the group said it is calling off the "Kleercut" campaign: Kimberly-Clark had agreed to make its practices greener. By 2011, the company said, 40 percent of the fiber in all its tissue products will come from recycled paper or sustainable forests.

One manufacturer of recycled t.p., Marcal, is trying to convince people that strength is better than soft.

"Strength of toilet paper is more important, for obvious reasons," said Spring, the chief executive, guiding a golf cart among the machinery that whizzes up vast stacks of old paper, whips it into a slurry, and dries it into rolls of toilet paper big enough for King Kong. He said his final product is as strong as any of the big-name brands. "If the paper breaks during your use of toilet paper, obviously, that's very, very important."

Don't get me wrong, although I don't buy into the global warming hysteria, I think recycling is extremely important, and trashing our earth is a crime, but anyone who wants to do away with soft toilet paper needs to experience a bout of dysentery or know what it feels like to have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or any of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases before they decide to nix plush toilet paper. I think they would sing a very different tune. In the meantime, I'm going to continue using my Charmin.

Crossposted on Confessions of A Closet Republican