“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most dazzling view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
The painting above “Mt. Diablo” is an original acrylic on stretched canvas (28″ x 22″) continued around the edges. You can select the image for a larger view.
Frank painted this canvas while working with his landscape teacher Charles White. Frank and Mary enjoyed walks with Charles in the foothills around Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. The views from the top are spectacular. Charles showed Frank the compelling nature of having a path lead the viewer into a painting.
Frank, normally a fairly solitary creative producer, is now involved in a new journey that requires new team members to assist with his current path to new heights. More on that in later installments here…
May you all be blessed with dazzling views by taking the right path!
…I know nothing else but miracles…
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with miracles,
Every foot of the interior swarms with miracles.
…And please remember to show respect to those who defend us against the unbelievable evil that lurks in the hearts and minds of men…
…finding peace and liberty through courage and compassion.
Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal or discouragement.
Keeping a positive frame of mind can at times be a challenge for anyone, especially during this challenging economic climate. It’s important that you remember that staying positive is vital to being successful in life. You’ll find things a lot easier to deal with if you’re in the right frame of mind, so to help you along the way here are 6 steps to keeping a positive attitude, even when times are hard.
buy cheap dapoxetine1. Don’t over-think things. Stay focused on what’s happening right in front of you, as keeping your mind on the matters at hand will also help you work more efficiently. If you worry about things you can do nothing about, then they tend to build up in your head and cause more stress.
2. Think and speak positively. Complain less and compliment more because positive speech will create a positive atmosphere around you. Look for the good in everything and if you can find nothing constructive to say about a situation, then don’t say anything at all. Complaining and moaning can bring everyone’s mood down, including your own. Voice your problems and concerns constructively, don’t allow them to seep out in a negative way. If something untoward happens, take time to reflect upon the situation, analyze what you’ve learnt from it and look for any possible positives.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. It’s all well and good thinking positively, but if others around aren’t doing the same then they can bring about a negative attitude. We tend to emulate the people we spend large amounts of time with, so if you find someone in your peer-group or a member of your family is constantly negative, don’t let them bring you down. Surrounding yourself with positive-thinking people, or people in positions which you aspire to be in, can also help you learn new ways to stay optimistic and give you the motivation you need to maintain an optimistic outlook.
4. Look forward. Giving yourself challenging yet achievable goals will help you feel an extra sense of worth when you complete them. This will also give you something to look forward to. Lay out a future plan and be sure to reward yourself whenever you carry out your current goals. Break each month, week or even day down so that you can take every task as it comes. Work to your own expectations and don’t rely on judgement from others; but give your best to every piece of work you.
5. Let go of past grudges. Making your peace with any negative thoughts that are still haunting you will leave you feeling relieved and allow you to positively move forward in your life. It’s understandable that everyone gets angry occasionally, but work to resolve these issues as soon as they arise. Leaving things to fester will only result in them becoming worse the longer you leave them. Hating someone has no benefit to anyone, but you may find yourself learning more by accepting people and making new friends.
6. Love yourself. No matter what happens, you are responsible for you. Although your peers may be great for lifting your mood, if they’re not available that’s no excuse to feel low. Investing time in yourself can not only help you feel better, but it can also help you better understand why you feel the way you do.
The sarcasm of the cartoon above makes me wonder…How far will we allow the destruction of our home to go before we change our priorities?
The age of loneliness is killing us
By George Monbiot
Published in The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014
What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing and conspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artifacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.
When Thomas Hobbes claimed that in the state of nature, before authority arose to keep us in check, we were engaged in a war “of every man against every man”, he could not have been more wrong. We were social creatures from the start, mammalian bees, who depended entirely on each other. The hominins of east Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others. The age we are entering, in which we exist apart, is unlike any that has gone before.
Three months ago we read that loneliness has become an epidemic among young adults. Now we learn that it is just as great an affliction of older people. A study by Independent Age shows that severe loneliness in England blights the lives of 700,000 men and 1.1m women over 50, and is rising with astonishing speed.
Ebola is unlikely ever to kill as many people as this disease strikes down. Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone.
Yes, factories have closed, people travel by car instead of buses, use YouTube rather than the cinema. But these shifts alone fail to explain the speed of our social collapse. These structural changes have been accompanied by a life-denying ideology, which enforces and celebrates our social isolation. The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – is the religion of our time, justified by a mythology of lone rangers, sole traders, self-starters, self-made men and women, going it alone. For the most social of creatures, who cannot prosper without love, there is no such thing as society, only heroic individualism. What counts is to win. The rest is collateral damage.
British children no longer aspire to be train drivers or nurses – more than a fifth say they “just want to be rich”: wealth and fame are the sole ambitions of 40% of those surveyed. A government study in June revealed that Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are less likely than other Europeans to have close friends or to know our neighbours. Who can be surprised, when everywhere we are urged to fight like stray dogs over a dustbin?
We have changed our language to reflect this shift. Our most cutting insult is loser. We no longer talk about people. Now we call them individuals. So pervasive has this alienating, atomising term become that even the charities fighting loneliness use it to describe the bipedal entities formerly known as human beings. We can scarcely complete a sentence without getting personal. Personally speaking (to distinguish myself from a ventriloquist’s dummy), I prefer personal friends to the impersonal variety and personal belongings to the kind that don’t belong to me. Though that’s just my personal preference, otherwise known as my preference.
One of the tragic outcomes of loneliness is that people turn to their televisions for consolation: two-fifths of older people report that the one-eyed god is their principal company. This self-medication aggravates the disease. Research by economists at the University of Milan suggests that television helps to drive competitive aspiration. It strongly reinforces the income-happiness paradox: the fact that, as national incomes rise, happiness does not rise with them.
Aspiration, which increases with income, ensures that the point of arrival, of sustained satisfaction, retreats before us. The researchers found that those who watch a lot of TV derive less satisfaction from a given level of income than those who watch only a little. TV speeds up the hedonic treadmill, forcing us to strive even harder to sustain the same level of satisfaction. You have only to think of the wall-to-wall auctions on daytime TV, Dragon’s Den, the Apprentice and the myriad forms of career-making competition the medium celebrates, the generalised obsession with fame and wealth, the pervasive sense, in watching it, that life is somewhere other than where you are, to see why this might be.
So what’s the point? What do we gain from this war of all against all? Competition drives growth, but growth no longer makes us wealthier. Figures published this week show that, while the income of company directors has risen by more than a fifth, wages for the workforce as a whole have fallen in real terms over the past year. The bosses earn – sorry, I mean take – 120 times more than the average full-time worker. (In 2000, it was 47 times). And even if competition did make us richer, it would make us no happier, as the satisfaction derived from a rise in income would be undermined by the aspirational impacts of competition.
The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%). One respondent said he wouldn’t get there until he had $1bn in the bank.
For this, we have ripped the natural world apart, degraded our conditions of life, surrendered our freedoms and prospects of contentment to a compulsive, atomising, joyless hedonism, in which, having consumed all else, we start to prey upon ourselves. For this, we have destroyed the essence of humanity: our connectedness.
Yes, there are palliatives, clever and delightful schemes like Men in Sheds and Walking Football developed by charities for isolated older people. But if we are to break this cycle and come together once more, we must confront the world-eating, flesh-eating system into which we have been forced.
Hobbes’s pre-social condition was a myth. But we are entering a post-social condition our ancestors would have believed impossible. Our lives are becoming nasty, brutish and long.
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