Posted in Events, Quotes, Social Justice

Eve of the Election

For those who fought for our right to vote and gave their lives for this democracy, our gratitude is showing up to vote.

Brene Brown

Hello there! Hope you are well!

This year has been an intense election season here in America. Dangerous polarization led to some lively discussions in my circles. I voted very early back on October 15th at the public library. I’m a very private person regarding these matters. Here, I will be as well, but in summary, my conscience felt like it was trapped in a cage.

Earlier last month, I had the opportunity to listen to the mayor discuss various initiatives to help the city’s economy during the pandemic. He shared with us some important issues on the ballot. It felt great to be informed about those propositions more in depth and not left in the dark. Unfortunately, I think there’s many people who may not understand all the issues on the ballot and vote haphazardly.

This past Saturday I snapped out of my anxiety and decided to phone bank for my friend, a local state representative, for the first time in my entire life. His opponent has resorted to some mudslinging which on the one hand didn’t surprise me, but it did shock me. I’ve known my friend for 13 years, and he’s a sacrificial, public servant through and through. When my friend’s virtual organizer reached out to ask for help, I jumped on board even though I lacked experience phone banking.

In the past, I always wondered what motivated volunteers to call on behalf on the candidate they’re supporting. Previously, I was slightly annoyed at all the phone calls that I received from them. The ones that sound like spam calls, and you wonder if it’s really their business to know.

Yet, after being on the other side and phone banking for my friend, I finally understood. I noticed that I cared about the outcome as I spoke on my friend’s behalf. I wanted to make sure those who were undecided or apathetic felt like they were heard and had all the information they needed to vote.

I’ll just say that the most memorable call was a man with a Scottish accent driving in a blizzard storm, and he asked if I was a spy! He wanted me to state my purpose for the call. I nearly thought he was being a prankster and joking with me until I realized he was dead serious. Regardless of the strange nature of the call, I chatted with him about what was important to him and genuinely listened to his concerns. People just want to be heard.

However you decide to vote, I care about your well being. Whatever the outcome and no matter who wins, I wish you all peace.

For all the things I’m private about, my To-Do List on the day I voted is not one of them. 😉
Posted in fiction, Nature, poetry, Quotes

Journey of Moxie

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”

― Blaise Pascal

Traversing in the fading light of the tunnel
Courageous heart leads down an alluring path
Unaware what lies on the other side
Sprawling trees anchored in place
Within its soaring, mighty arches
Gateway initiates life’s new phases
A dance of duality, perspectives a flutter
Flickering shadows accompany glowing sunbeams
Reasons for renewal are but a possibility
Transition however imminent

In response to:

Posted in Events, Quotes

National Coffee Day – #mugshot

One more post before I go hit the books again! I found out that today is National Coffee Day from Tony Burgess. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but I love the atmosphere of coffee shops for studying and meeting up with a friend. Today, I’m welcoming the new fall season with a pumpkin-spiced French Roast coffee. What kind of drink helps you start your day? Enjoy!

Posted in Nature, Photography, Quotes

#FOTD – Passion Flower

Image Credit: Passion Fruit by Elena Belokrinitski watercolor pattern on Behance

#FOTD – Cee’s Zinnia

There has fallen a splendid tear from the passion-flower at the gate. She is coming, my dove, my dear; She is coming, my life, my fate; The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;” And the white rose weeps, “She is late;” The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;” And the lily whispers, “I wait.

Alfred Tennyson

I was walking in the park one beautiful morning and came across these passion flowers!

Posted in awareness, Culture, Quotes, Social Justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Hope you are well today! This morning I read an article from Politico magazine titled, “The Most Important Woman Lawyer in the History of the Republic“. Ginsburg captured my attention many years ago during the appointments of justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

She has led a remarkable life and left a legacy advocating justice for marginalized societies. For those who aren’t too aware of her work, I thought to share some headline quotes from several legal thinkers from the article below.

‘She pivoted the entire structure of the Fourteenth Amendment’

Linda Hirshman is a lawyer, writer and author of Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.

‘She was a champion of our democracy’

Geoffrey Stone is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

‘A symbol of everything that is right about our system of justice’

Ted Boutrous is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and global co-chair of the firm’s litigation group.

‘A person who modeled civility, compassion and decency’

Kimberly Wehle is a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

‘Part of her legacy will be to encourage the end of lifelong tenure for justices’

Sanford V. Levinson is a professor of law at the University of Texas Law School and co-author, with Cynthia Levinson, of Fault Lines in the Constitution.

‘Her death is a call to do more to protect equality’

Peggy Cooper Davis is a professor and director of the Experimental Learning Lab at NYU School of Law.

‘One of the most articulate defenders of a right to choose abortion’

Mary Ziegler is the a professor at Florida State University College of Law and the author of Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present.

‘A lawyer’s lawyer’

Jamal Greene is a professor at Columbia Law School.

‘Women and men both owe her a great debt’

Susan Deller Ross is a professor and director of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown Law School.

She transcended the traditional role of a justice

Rick Pildes is a professor at New York University School of Law.

Despite naysayers, she was to women’s rights what Thurgood Marshall was to civil rights

Ilya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Rights at the Cato Institute and author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court.

‘She never let abstract ideas distract her from reality’

Gillian Metzger is a professor and co-director of the Center for Constitutional Governance at Columbia Law School.

‘The founding mother — or simply founder — of our nation’s sex equality jurisprudence’

Kenji Yoshino is a professor of constitutional law at NYU School of Law.

‘She was an exemplar of purpose and poise’

Josh Blackman is a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the President of the Harlan Institute.

‘She reminded us that realizing America’s ideals is a work-in-progress’

Robert L. Tsai is a professor of law at American University and author of Practical Equality.

‘She was as kind as she was smart’

Roberta A. Kaplan is the founding partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.

‘Hers was the path of millions of once-scorned immigrants from exclusion to acceptance’

Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Posted in Awards, Concepts, Culture, Nature, Quotes, Social Justice

Spreading Peace with the GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD I (GAMBA I)

Kamal’s Blogging Café: To learn more about the award and its rules, here is the link. https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/great-achiever-mahasiddhi-blogger-award-gamba/

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I met a new blogger named Kamal who has introduced a new initiative with her new Great Achiever Blogger Award to spread peace among the blogging community. She is an ambitious visionary, and the award itself has such a beautiful origin story!

It has given me an extreme happiness and immense pleasure that I am here to introduce a ‘GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD‘ to expand peace in our global village- WordPress. This award goes to a real achiever and successor who has been giving their creative feelings and thoughts exquisitely presenting a good perfection of work of art in WordPress Writing.

I am from a birthplace of Gautam Buddha who enlightened many parts of the world in his lifetime by his wisdom and knowledge of equanimity, or peace of mind which is achieved by detaching oneself from the cycle of craving that produces trouble. And, from a lap of Mount Everest, giving an adventurous taste of mountain climbing to the people around the world. The most important thing is purity from the Himalayas, everyone get tastes of pure water flowing from mountain to the hills and then Terai region spreading tranquility in spring.

“महासिद्धी” is a term for someone who embodies and cultivates the “Siddhi of perfection”. A Siddha is an individual who, through the practice of sādhanā, attains the realization of siddhis, psychic and spiritual abilities and powers.

We are a member of a global village “WordPress” to help shape the world peacefully through our continuous effort to dedicate and invest our valuable time for writing giving a perfection, i.e. “महासिद्धी”.

What an introduction! Thank you, Kamal. ❤ I’m truly honored and humbled by such serendipity. Throughout my journey in blogging, earning a badge for reaching particular criteria is a fascinating concept. I apologize for replying sooner as I have many other obligations outside of my blog.

However, spreading peace is a wonderful cause I can easily rally behind during these times. Unlike a peacekeeper, a peacemaker is neither passive nor fearful. Throughout history, society has a myriad of approaches for maintaining peace. The complexities of human nature, being what it is, has demonstrated conflicting ideas of how peace will transpire.

It takes diligence to remain calm within your heart in the midst of chaos. I have known many bloggers who have done this well but are award-free. Thus, I will open this nomination to any of my readers who would like to contemplate and explore these ideas.

Rules & Regulations

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, with a link to their blog.
  2. Make a Post of the Award with a Statement of PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT as above. Tag your post with the #greatachiever.
  3. Mention the rules and regulations.
  4. Ask 7 questions of your choice. One of the questions must include “PEACE” and one for “SAVE Environment”.
  5. Nominate at least 7 fellow bloggers or more to 21 bloggers and notify them.
  6. Follow @kamalsbloggingcafe (https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com) to secure certification as a badge to get a chance of collecting badge of GAMBA WORDPRESS SHINING STAR AWARD for PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. For more details, visit https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/award/.

Musings

I like to imagine climbing Mount Everest one day, but I think I’m content watching the incredible views in a documentary while I condition myself. 😉 If you are not familiar with the Terai region, these flatlands stretch along the border between Nepal and India. They can be quite beautiful in the spring time.

Image Credit: Knowledge @ Wharton

With such sweeping, natural beauty, it’s unfortunate to know that the country is struggling with many challenges such as natural disasters, cycles of extreme poverty, and political instability, to name a few.

Image Credit: Sagarmatha Dispatch-Gazette
http://sceenius.com/2015/07/27/flatlands-of-nepal-the-terai/

Some of my readers are aware that I was raised with mixed religious traditions. Sometimes, my hybrid, eclectic upbringing has led to some friendly tension with my “pure” friends, but c’est la vie! (That’s life!) 🙂

Years ago, one of my classmates once called me a “Bodhisattva“. I had no clue what that was, so I looked it up.

A person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.

Oxford Dictionary
Image Credit: Stephen Lucas
Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara), Bodhisattva of compassion

My father’s brother was a Buddhist monk. When I was a young girl, I attended various beautiful temples with some lovely gardens and fountains. My dad said Buddha’s birthday was near my own which I thought was a fun piece of trivia. There I spent time with and learned from other monks and more devout Buddhists.

Image Credit: Dan Pancamo
This photo contains an example of some of the colorful, architectural elements that I remember most

Kamal’s Questions

  • How can you be a good blogger as a member of WordPress Global Village?

If by “good”, you mean integrity: I pay it forward and recognize other bloggers whenever I can or when time permits. I help others enjoy the blogging process and encourage them to keep growing in their craft if they’re new. If they’re veterans, I participate in their challenges. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers, and I learn new things everyday.

  • Could you please define a word “PEACE” from your point of view?

I’ve experienced many peaceful moments singing with groups of people in harmony. I also enjoy digging my toes in the sand and feel the ocean wash over my feet as I see the sun rise.

Image Credit: Wallpaper Cave

A picture is worth a thousand words.

American adage coined by Henrik Ibsen

For the past few years I’ve been following photography entries for the Global Peace Photo Award inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Alfred Hermann Fried and Tobias Michael Carel Asser. The photos are quite compelling. Here’s one I absolutely love!

Image Credit: Maria Turchanova, Russia
The World as a Manifestation of Love
  • How can we save a tree?

Sadly, I’m trying to save a weak crepe myrtle tree that has developed some lichens. It’s been fighting to stay alive for a very long time. I need to apply some herbicidal soaps and add more mulch. I feel like I have to accept the inevitability of the cycle of life on this one, but I will keep trying so long that it’s showing signs of life and sprouting new leaves.

  • Do you think human trafficking is still a crosscutting issue? 

Yes, human trafficking is one of the largest crimes in the world and intersects with a variety of studies. “This Power and Control wheel outlines the different types of abuse that can occur in labor and sex trafficking situations.” -Polaris Project

Image Credit: Polaris Project
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project’s Duluth Model

It’s even in my own backyard! A few years ago, the store where I worked at made national headline news. A trucker was smuggling illegal immigrants across the border in a large 18-wheeler truck. One of my coworkers reported suspicious activity in the parking lot and heard yelling inside the truck. The individuals in the truck bed were suffocating in summer weather, had no water, and no restrooms. Some died due to asphyxiation, and many were treated at the hospital.

Infographic Credit: Department of Homeland Security (Blue Campaign)
  • What thing do you sacrifice to make a happy family environment?

One thing we sacrifice is our pride and need to be right. We apologize when situations warrant it.

Pride is the longest distance between two people.

Kushandwizoom
  • Which animal do you like most? Why? 
Image Credit: Pixabay

The panda is one of my favorite animals. The symbolism behind the panda as a spirit animal really resonates with me.

  • What do you think about the journalist or Youtubers? 

Youtubers and journalists have a platform to share news, photographs, and information that they have gathered and researched with the public. They share their opinions, their truths, and sometimes deliver a new angle on an existing topic. Journalists expose themselves to potentially dangerous situations everyday. Youtubers also deal with their particular trolls. I feel that those who move forward in such situations are courageous and resolute.

Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy.

MSNBC
  • Is a movie-star play a vital role to aware most of the people around the world or just they present their performance to earn money?

There is a wide spectrum of the type of movie stars out there. Some movie stars try to raise awareness about many pressing issues. They play a role in the movie to enact change or shift the public’s mindset about a topic. Sometimes, they raise money to donate to a charitable cause. Audrey Hepburn danced in underground concerts to raise money for the Dutch resistance during World War II for instance.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

There are also movie stars who have done a movie purely for the money. I feel that there is no shame in this sort of honesty as money is a necessity. Acting is a profession, and they don’t call it “show business” for nothing. Do I feel that some are overly paid exorbitant amounts of money? Sometimes, but it’s peanuts in relation to an underground network of elite individuals who the public doesn’t see or know about.

Sometimes, actors would just like the cash and openly admitted it like Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Paul Bettany, Richard Dreyfess, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Marlo Brando, Betsy Palmer.

Image Credit: Fanpop
Ben Affleck in the movie, “Paycheck”:

My Questions

  • What does peace mean to you?
  • How do you resolve conflict?
  • What is one thing you do to help the environment?
  • How does security play a role in maintaining peace?
  • What kind of food makes you feel at peace with the world?
  • If you won the Nobel Peace Prize, what would you want the award recognize you for?
  • If you were sign up for the Peace Corps, what kind of work would you consider?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time! 🙂

Featured Nighttime Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Posted in Culture, fiction, Music, Nature, poetry, Quotes

#Paint-Chip Poem: Think of Me Fondly

Image Credit: Telegraph, Why the Faroe Islands needs 37 words for fog

Far from the rolling hills of Denmark,
lies Aalborg’s famous House of Music.
Beyond the brushed aluminum exterior,
audience members gaze upon the stage

Opera enthusiasts wait for the singer
With shut eyes, she whispers “open sesame
as the invisible curtains part ways in her mind
Starry backdrop of lapis lazuli skies
gives way to her glowing presence

A brilliant spotlight shines upon her
Thousands of sparkles glitter across the stage
Her melodious voice flowed with honey
with no signs of rusty inflections

Image Credit: Think of Me (The Phantom of the Opera, 2004)

Think of me, think of me fondly 
When we’ve said goodbye 
Remember me, once in a while 
Please promise me you’ll try 
When you find that once again you long 
To take your heart back and be free 
If you ever find a moment 
Spare a thought for me

“Think of Me”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera

Image Credit: Musikkens Hus, Aalborg House of Music, Aalborg, Denmark

Posted in Events, Music, Quotes

Home, Sweet Home

There’s nothing as frightening and threatening as the loss of your home. It uproots feelings of security, disturbs your daily routine, affects your health…

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” 
― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

Sweet
Laughter
Dreams grow
Fellowship occurs
More than just four walls
Where you feel safe and sound
A space where attached feelings linger
Where you relax and unwind from your day
Shelters you from both figurative and literal storms

Throughout my life, I have seen friends and family experience the anxiety of losing their homes from hurricanes, lightning bolts, fires, crushing debts, job loss, arson, gas leaks… you name it. It’s overwhelmingly tragic. It’s fascinating when insurance policies calls some of these events, “acts of God“, natural hazards outside of your control.

Despite such a loss, it’s remarkable when I see the community help one another get back on their feet. Sometimes, strangers show random acts of kindness through gifts and sharing resources.

“Cherish the people who make up your home, and you’ll notice the hearth fires burn brighter than ever before.” 
― Thomas Kinkade

Recurring nightmares of our home being on fire used to haunt my dreams. As a child, I used to unplug all appliances and tried to cure my insomnia as I nestled between my parents as they were sleeping. I prayed for these nightmares to go away. Throughout my life, those unforgettable memories spurred me to action to help others in another sphere.

Due to this understandable fear, I regularly help others on the brink of losing their homes or who have already lost their homes. Those stories are for another day. Today, I’ll focus on sharing the story of one lifestyle blogger in dire need to save his mother’s house.

Meet Mr.A

Arnie Correa (otherwise known as Mr.A) is a lifestyle blogger on A Barbarian in Gentlemen’s Clothing. He’s a father of a beautiful, young girl. I’ve followed him for a year now and his readership grew quickly because of his consistent hard work and thought-provoking articles.

His father and mother worked very hard for 20 years to save money to build their dream home in the Philippines. His mother contracted pulmonary edema, and as a result, she could not make her monthly bank payments on time. His family will lose their house in three months unless they can raise enough money to pay the bank.

To learn more about his mom’s story, you can visit here: Help Me Save My Mother’s House

His readership has reached a few milestones and generously pitched in, but he still has a long way to go to reach his goal to help his mother. Job market has been tough for him. So, he has multiple fundraising avenues:

  1. Gogetfunding.comhttps://gogetfunding.com/help-me-save-my-mothers-house/
  2. Paypal https://paypal.me/arniecorrea?locale.x=en_US
  3. Patreonhttps://www.patreon.com/user?u=32646507
  4. Fiverproofreading services

I’m passing along another blogger’s plea for help. If the story touches you, please share the post on social media channels or donate. Even if the story doesn’t touch you, consider using his proofreading services at $5 a pop. He can help you take your writing to the next level and give you some helpful feedback. Language buffs out there: if you want to learn a new language, he’s teaching Tagalog. One-on-one sessions with a native speaker is a perk.

Have a great day everyone! Don’t take your home for granted. Be blessed! 🌻❤🤲

Phillip Phillips – Home

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found…

“What is home? My favorite definition is “a safe place,” a place where one is free from attack, a place where one experiences secure relationships and affirmation. It’s a place where people share and understand each other. Its relationships are nurturing. The people in it do not need to be perfect; instead, they need to be honest, loving, supportive, recognizing a common humanity that makes all of us vulnerable.” 
Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life