Friday, April 13, 2018
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
When a friend's wife was struck with cancer, their income took a hit. She wrote about how the Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation in Santa Maria, Ca., helped them out: "Did you hear about the housing gift of $500.00? It helped us since Kathy was the bread winner of our house. The continuity of care between your doctor, the oncologist and staff is flawless."
These funds are partly sourced through the Mission Hope Cancer Center (associated with the Marian Regional Medical Center) annual fundraiser, A Day of Hope, set in 2018 for April 11.
From the fundraising website:
Mission Hope Cancer Center is the first integrated oncology facility on the Central Coast and is designed to enhance patient comfort, convenience, safety and service. The state-of-the-art, integrated cancer care facility unites Santa Maria oncology treatment, imaging, research, education and outreach services — offering cancer patients and their families all-needed oncology services at one location. Mission Hope Cancer Center features expert physicians and health care professionals from the nation’s top medical schools and medical centers. In addition, Mission Hope Cancer Center also offers advanced technology and treatment options previously only offered at major teaching centers.
Community support has been key. In its first four years, Day of Hope activities raised more than half a million dollars to help provide emergency funds to patients for basic needs such as groceries, making rent and auto repair bills.
At Mission Hope Cancer Center, we understand that cancer not only affects our patients, but it also impacts our entire community. This is why for the fifth consecutive year, Marian Regional Medical Center and Mission Hope Cancer Center are again partnering with the Santa Maria Times to present Day of Hope on April 11, 2018.
Join hundred of community members as we line the streets of Santa Maria, Orcutt, Lompoc, and Nipomo to sell $1.00 Special Edition Day of Hope newspapers. Together as a community, we can make a meaningful impact in the lives of Central Coast cancer patients at Mission Hope Cancer Center.
Monday, April 9, 2018
“I AM TOMORROW’S FUTURE”
Nolonwabo Batini, a 15-year-old girl from Ndzondelelo High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, made this self-confident discovery when Roger visited her school. Her conviction became the vision and central theme of the Roger Federer Foundation.
The Roger Federer Foundation enhances a world where children living in poverty are able to take control of their future and actively shape it. We wish to empower as many African children as possible through access to high-quality early learning and education. We aim to further develop existing educational services and early support in a sustainable way. Although access to primary education has significantly increased in recent years, fundamental problems such as low classroom performance, poor attendance, high numbers of drop-outs and low school completion rates still persist, as well as a lack of early childhood education. The quality of early support and basic education is crucial as it is the foundation of all learning.
The Roger Federer Foundation’s strategic priority is the assistance of already existing but essentially insufficient support services, in early childhood care centres, preschools and primary schools for children between 3 and 12 years of age as well as the improvement of their efficiency and effectiveness. In Switzerland we promote under-privileged children in their recreational activities.
--From Roger Federer Foundation
Friday, April 6, 2018
One could characterize the Pacific Islands as the “canaries in the mine” of world climate change. The dual impacts of capitalism and climate change have taken these islands’ remote communities to a critical transition point, one at which traditional knowledge and skills no longer effectively address environmental changes. These communities are on the margins of both the local and the world economies. Their marginalization means that they are the last to receive resources and support from the developed world, but typically these regions are also often the greatest source of raw materials. Remote communities are in a very real sense, holding water catchment and mountain forests in trust for us!
Families live in traditional village settings in Fiji’s remote interior communities, but urban drift has still affected the landscape of these communities over the last few decades. As urban and peri-urban environments develop rapidly on the islands, remote interior mountain regions still experience very little development in their own infrastructure. More than a third of Fiji’s population lives below the poverty line, and close to 80% of the country’s total population lives in rural and remote areas. Education levels are low, yet these communities own the majority of the natural resources. Here we find Fiji’s major water catchment areas, as well as the only remaining unlogged mountain forests. Over half of Fiji’s forested regions are located in remote communities.
Why Rise Beyond the ReefMission
Rise Beyond the Reef bridges the divide between remote communities, government and the private sector in the South Pacific, sustainably creating a better world for women and children.
We believe if leadership in remote communities can be cultivated and strengthened, if these fire-keepers of traditional knowledge can have a place where they are protected, ignited and supported to grow sustainably in the 21st century, if women have an equal voice that’s heard and respected in their communities, if their experiences and insights are valued, if children’s rights are protected, then the entire community will rise.
If the private sector sees the value of helping to safeguard these communities while engaging in the economics of supporting their growth, if tourists and philanthropists act as concerned global citizens, willing to learn about a culture in a genuine setting and the communities they visit have equal part in this relationship exchange, they will create a community that rises together.
If the government supports bridging the gaps in infrastructure that affect these remote communities and if government ministries value traditional knowledge, ensuring it is built upon and not lost in the process of educating youth, the future of a nation will rise.
There is no reason not to value the inherent intelligence and resilient nature of cultures that have self-sustained for thousands of years. If we can create an authentic space for their voices to be heard, where remote community members can feel valued for where they come from, they will know how to rise.
It’s not about helping the poor, it’s about creating value around the important role remote communities play in our world’s whole picture; it’s about valuing rather than extracting. It’s about supporting rather than directing. It’s about seeing our collective future. That’s when we all rise together.
--From Rise Beyond the Reef website
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Fear, to my way of thinking, is like a block wall that halts all forward movement. Fear is both a personal hinderance, and a tool used by those with nefarious goals. Fear renders reason to unraveled threads of what could be. The following is an outtake of an essay "Is Positive Thinking Ruining Your Life?" -- Editor.
One emotion we try to mask too often is fear. We are afraid of failing. We are afraid of missing out. We are afraid to be imposters. We are afraid of being afraid.
Fear stops more people every day that failure ever could. No emotion has the ability to control us, unless we let it. We all choose how we respond to our emotions. The ones we think we cannot control, the ones who we shy away from are the ones that grow. Those are the emotions with the power to hurt us.
Fear cannot be buried or hidden away, as it always comes back, it always resurfaces. Fear is an evil monster that unless dealt with head-on will always find a way to reappear.
The ultimate secret to overcoming fear is not to think positively. But rather, to embrace the fear. Understand it. Define it. Then question it.
Once you do that, then you can create an action plan to beat it. Once you are OK, or at peace with the “worst thing ever”, then anything other than that will be a success.
Find success by entertaining fear. Invite fear to your house and be a welcoming host.
1. EMBRACE the Fear – think about every possibility. Write down the worst thing that can happen. This scenario should be the worst case possible. Accept this scenario as your starting point.
2. DEFINE the Fear – be able to understand WHY you are afraid. Know thyself. Be true to yourself. Take the time to figure out your fear and motivations. Label and define it.
3. QUESTION the Fear – ask yourself: Is this fear good or is the fear bad? Does this fear motivate me or does it paralyze me? Is this fear even real? What does it mean?
4. Create an ACTION PLAN – create a step-by-step plan that will take you to your destination. Make sure to leave room for mistakes along the way. Each action you plan helps to lead you away from the worst-case scenario.
5. Take Action NOW – nothing beats doing. Nothing. Action erases all fear. Follow your plan and adjust as you go.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
The Compton Cowboys, composed of 10 friends who have known one another since childhood, but officially came together as a group in 2017, are on a mission to combat negative stereotypes about African-Americans and the city of Compton through horseback riding.
The tight-knit group first met more than 20 years ago as members of the *Compton Jr. Posse, a nonprofit organization founded by Mayisha Akbar in Richland Farms, a semirural area in Compton that has been home to African-American horse riders since the mid-20th century. Like other nonprofits, the Compton Jr. Posse and the Compton Cowboys rely heavily on donations from alumni, government grants and local community support used to sustain the cost of the horses on the ranch.
...“The Compton Cowboys are a multigenerational story of black people’s ability to survive and create alternate worlds in the face of neglect,” said Thabisile Griffin, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, Los Angeles, who believes that many of the conditions that exist in Compton today, both inside and outside of the horse stables, have been a response to the lack of opportunities available to African-Americans. “Folks were frustrated, but subcultures of resistance persevered.”
--Today's post was excerpted from the New York Times. Read the entire story:
A group of childhood friends wants to create a safer community and challenge the notion that African-Americans can’t be cowboys.
* The Compton Jr. Posse (CJP) was developed to provide inner-city youth with year round after school alternatives to the lure of gang and drug lifestyles. For over 29 years, the Compton Jr. Posse has given inner city kids hope by teaming them with horses. Through these equestrian activities, our youth develop responsibility, discipline and self-esteem. Students learn to set and achieve both academic and career goals. There can be no better investment in their future.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
"Empathy doesn’t make you a sentimental softy without discernment. It allows you to keep your heart open to foster tolerance and understanding. It might not always be effective in getting through to people and creating peace, but it’s the best chance there is."
By Judith Orloff, MD
There are some intriguing scientific explanations of empathy and empaths. They will help you more deeply understand the power of empathy so you can use and honor it in your life.
1. The Mirror Neuron System
Researchers have discovered a specialized group of brain cells that are responsible for compassion. These cells enable everyone to mirror emotions—to share another person’s pain, fear, or joy. Because empaths are thought to have hyper-responsive mirror neurons, they deeply resonate with other people’s feelings. How does this occur? Mirror neurons are triggered by outside events. For example:
- Your spouse gets hurt, you feel hurt, too.
- Your child is crying; you feel sad, too.
- Your friend is happy; you feel happy, too.
2. Electromagnetic Fields
The second finding is based on the fact that both the brain and the heart generate electromagnetic fields. According to the HeartMath Institute, these fields transmit information about people’s thoughts and emotions. Empaths may be particularly sensitive to this input and tend to become overwhelmed by it. Similarly, empaths often have stronger physical and emotional responses to changes in the electromagnetic fields of the earth and sun. Empaths know well that what happens to the earth and sun affects your state of mind and energy.
3. Emotional Contagion
The third finding that enhances the understanding of empaths is the phenomena of emotional contagion. Research has shown that many people pick up the emotions of those around them. For instance:
- One crying infant will set off a wave of crying in a hospital ward.
- One person loudly expressing anxiety in the workplace can spread it to other workers.
... What is the lesson for empaths? Choose positive people in your life so you’re not brought down by negativity. Or, if, say a friend is going through a hard time, take special precautions to ground and center yourself.
4. Increased Dopamine Sensitivity
The fourth finding involves dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases the activity of neurons and is associated with the pleasure response. Research has shown that introverted empaths tend to have a higher sensitivity to dopamine than extroverts. Basically, you need less dopamine to feel happy.
That could explain why empaths are more content with alone time, reading, and meditation, and need less external stimulation from parties and other large social gatherings. In contrast, extroverts crave the dopamine rush from lively events. In fact, they can’t get enough of it.
The fifth finding is the extraordinary state called mirror-touch synesthesia. Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two different senses are paired in the brain. For instance, you see colors when you hear a piece of music or you taste words. Famous synesthetics include scientist Isaac Newton, musician Billy Joel, and violinist Itzhak Perlman. However, with mirror-touch synesthesia, people can actually feel the emotions and sensations of others in their own bodies as if they are experiencing these things themselves. This is a wonderful neurological explanation of an empath’s experience.
The Dalai Lama says, “Empathy is the most precious human quality.” During stressful times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even so, empathy is the quality that will get you through. It enables you to respect others, even if you disagree.
Empathy doesn’t make you a sentimental softy without discernment. It allows you to keep your heart open to foster tolerance and understanding. It might not always be effective in getting through to people and creating peace, but it’s the best chance there is.