Make A Difference
New York animation artist Jeff Hong has created less-than-rosy portrayals of Disney characters as they might fare in today’s world. They are not cheery images, but they are poignant in their depictions of very real challenges, from animal testing and ocean pollution to drug addiction and teen suicide.
In many of these instances it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and fear but what’s critically important is that we don’t let it paralyze us in our tracks. While it’s true that many of these depicted challenges are of a massive scale, we can’t simply let that stop us from doing anything at all. For this is the only life and the only earth we have—there are no do-overs. And while that may sound cliché, it can’t be overstated because we’ve already had our wake-up calls—too many to count. And yet, there is still so much that needs to be done—we mustn’t turn a blind eye nor sleep on our feet.
“We are all capable of contributing to he world in a way that makes a profound difference. A rare few go big. Make the big gesture. Take the big risk. Expose themselves on a grand scale. Create and then ride the big wave. But most of us, myself included, take a different yet equally valid path. It’s the path of the ripple. Simple actions, moments, and experiences. Created, offered, and delivered with such a purity of intention and depth of integrity and clarity that they set in motion a ripple that, quietly, in its own way, in its own time, expands outward. Interacting with, touching, mattering to people we’ve never met in ways we never conceived.” ~ Jonathan Fields, How To Live A Good Life
“The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving yourself, that are simple and immediate and controllable and tolerant of the chaotic world around you. This is the basic root of all happiness. Whether you’re listening to Aristotle or the psychologists at Harvard or Jesus Christ or the goddamn Beatles, they all say that happiness comes from the same thing: caring about something greater than yourself, believing that you are a contributing component in some much larger entity, that your life is but a mere side process of some great unintelligible production.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“We have to continue to practice mindfulness and reconciliation until we can see a child’s body of skin and bones in Uganda or Ethiopia as our own, until the hunger and pain in the bodies of all species are our own. Then we will have realized nondiscrimination, real love. Then we can look at all beings with the eyes of compassion, and we can do the real work to help alleviate suffering.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
Sharing weaknesses is never easy.
It leaves you feeling vulnerable and feeble and the ego absolutely hates that.
The ego only wants to talk about the strengths, the victories, the accomplishments, etc.
…But meaning and fulfillment don’t come from feeding the ego – they come from feeding the soul.
…And it’s time for some soul food.
One of my weaknesses is that I’m exceedingly anti-confrontational.
In order to avoid a conflict, either verbally or physically, I’ll shut down, close my mouth and try and separate myself from the situation as fast as possible.
There have been times when I have chosen to remain silent about things that I believed to be wrong, unjust, or hurtful.
I was the bystander; the watcher; the one who becomes the gas for the fire of hate.
And it kills me inside to know I acted (or didn’t act) this way.
When it comes to making a difference in the world, you’re either a fire type, a water type, or a gas type.
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” ~ Dalai Lama, via Life Hack
The Perpetuating Effect Of Our Actions. All Of Our Actions. Big and Small. And Why You Should Act Wisely.
“Everything you do has an impact. Who you are – that you are – actually matters. In an interconnected world (the only kind we have), our actions and the actions of others are inextricably linked- we are always and forever in a dance of mutual influence with those with whom we directly and indirectly participate. It is the unavoidable reality of being social creatures, only magnified by an ever-increasingly complex and interwoven societal structure. We matter to each other.” ~ Paul Greiner
Drop a stone in water and watch the ripples flow gracefully and powerfully from the center.
The actions we take on a daily basis aren’t much different from that stone.
We already are making a difference in the world – we just might not realize it yet.
Every action has its ripples.
I was browsing through my Facebook newsfeed as I occasionally do, and I stumbled upon a post on mindset.
The opening line was ever so seductively, “Let’s talk about mindset for a minute:” …And I didn’t stand a chance – I got sucked right in.
What you are about to read is that post.
So, You Want To Make A Real Difference In The World? Well, Before You Make A Donation, Consider the Impact of Food Choice.
If you’ve ever seen War Horse, I Am Legend, or Life of Pi – you’ll know what I’m talking about.
As the credits roll at the end of a movie like the ones listed above, you let out a heavy breath of relief as you read the following:
“No animals were harmed in the making of this movie.”
…Or maybe I just have an incredibly soft spot for animals.
When I see the horse gallop to its death, the faithful dog die defending its owner, or any other kind of animal abuse or death in general, my heart melts and I can’t help but feel connected to these animals.
This is what the title, “Vegan” means to me:
“No animals were harmed in the making of this product.”
It states that no animals were subject to a life of slavery, mutilation, or slaughter.
That no animals were beaten, abused, raped, or drugged, and that no animals were torn from their babies, or killed prematurely – for the sake of food that tastes good.
“Of course, if we really open our eyes, these are fellow sentient, feeling beings that we’re eating. And they’re not happy or peaceful: they’re suffering, in mass factories of hormone injections, daily beatings, lives of living hell, and murder.” ~ Leo Babauta, A Call for Compassion for the Defenseless
I don’t want to come on too hard here, but this is the reality of the meat and dairy industry and it’s causing an immense amount of problems. Continue reading