Say “No” to Hate

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Picture via pixabay.com

“Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets. Life is too short to be anything but happy!” – Unknown

Just the other day, I went online to research urological treatment options for cats and I came across a vet med site where other cat owners shared their advice and experiences. As I read down the endless list of back-and-forth comments,  I was appalled.  A subject as benign as “cats with bladder issues” unleashed a barrage of hateful commentary. Rather than giving constructive advice, empathy or encouragement, there were nasty comments like “You gave your cat that medication? You’re an idiot and an irresponsible cat owner!”  And that was one of the nicer comments. These people didn’t even know each other, but were quick to pass judgment – all behind the shield of anonymity, of course.

It never ceases to amaze me how many haters there are out there. Blogs and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn seem to be a breeding ground for these angry people, emboldened by the name “Anonymous.”  Amazingly, I’ve only had one hater comment on this blog – since its inception in October 2011.  I never published the comment, because my policy is to never give a hater any public platform to spew their hate.  Criticism is fine. Venom is not. Sarcasm and dark humor is okay. Crass and ignorant commentary is not okay.

Apparently, hate is not relegated to social media.  Just look at the ridiculous nastiness and vulgarity displayed during the recent GOP presidential debates. Opportunistic presidential nominees are feeding off the anger of  a nation, as the world watches with amazement and disgust.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being angry.  But when anger becomes rage and gives birth to a population of serial haters, then we’ve got a problem, folks. Anger, when properly channeled, can bring about positive change.  Rage is a different animal altogether.  It just festers. It becomes malignant.

The fact of the matter is, Life is too short.

Who in their right mind would choose rage and hate over happiness and love?  Yes, I said “choose.”  It’s all about choice.

Say “No” to hate.  It simply takes up too much energy.  It gives you frown lines and makes you bitter.  It’s like a dark, murky cloud that follows you around everywhere.

I firmly believe that a positive attitude attracts good energy.  So, I say “Yes” to love.  And I’d rather have a face riddled with laugh lines, than frown lines – any day.

Cheers,

Heather  (not “Anonymous”)

heatherfromthegrove’s New Year’s Revelation No 7 of 7: Celebrate Life

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“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumblebee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Ashley Smith

As we reach the end of the first week of January, I wanted to finish off my 7 New Year’s Revelations on a jazzy note. Despite all of the ups and downs, dramas and drollery…. life is precious and meant to be celebrated.  Gain wisdom and strength from the difficult times and focus on the beauty of  everything – from the simple to the sublime.

Take the time to eat dinner by candlelight and talk with those you love – without glancing at your smartphone! In fact, put the damned smartphone on the charger and turn it off for rest of the night! Communicate with actual spoken words, rather than texts. Put your favorite music on … nice and loud…. and dance around the house! Kiss that special person in your life… long and slow.  Don’t rush through a meal… savour the taste of  good food and libation. Don’t guzzle a drink… sip it slowly.  You’re not going to turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight… so take your time.

And, remember….. the best is yet to come.

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

Mary Ann Radmacher

Some Book Recommendations:

Rites of Passage: Celebrating Life’s Changes – by Kathleen Wall & Gary Ferguson

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Life, Love, Laughter: Celebrating Your Existence  – by Osho

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Loving Life After Sixty: Celebrating the Autumn of Your Life by Tom Paugh

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Photo via flickr.com

 

Bamboo in Full Bloom

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“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

~ Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973)

The sound of rustling bamboo leaves can be heard throughout my house when the windows are open.  By day, I love to do my writing while  sitting in my side garden, surrounded by a grove of these beautiful, mystical trees.  And, at night, I can see shadows of the wondrously resilient  bamboo stalks as they dance with the wind, while weaving in and out of the moonlight. They fill me with a sense of quiet joy and complete serenity.

Back in October, I wrote a couple of posts about the bamboo stalk that was sprouting in my garden and how it was shooting up towards the sky ― higher and higher, as the days passed.  Within the space of just a few weeks, it  was well over twenty feet above my roof line.  Now, it looks like a majestic feather, swaying in the wind.  Below, you can see  my photos of  this amazing tree, as it has evolved.

In my October 7th (2012) post , The Spirit of Bamboo, I mentioned that this fast-growing stalk has inspired my husband and I to “keep raising our eyes in the same direction of our wonderful bamboo …. upwards, always upwards.”

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On October 28th (2012), I wrote Bamboo Rising, where I listed The 7 Life Lessons from Bamboo (by Sompong Yusoontorn).

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And here it is today (see photo, below). A symbolism of simplicity and humility, flexibility and strength. In the Asian culture, it is believed that the younger branches on the top of the bamboo stalk will never overshadow the older, larger branches below. This is so the sunlight will reach the elder branches. Conversely, the baby shoots are protected from the shade of the older branches, so that they may have a chance to grow. The dual symbolism is that the bamboo represents the young respecting the old and the old protecting the young.

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Awesome, isn’t it?

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from William Edgar Geil‘s “Ode to Bamboo” (written over a century ago). An American Baptist missionary and adventurer who was fascinated by China, Dr. Geil made history as the first person to traverse the Great Wall of China in an 82-day excursion. In his Ode, he describes his observations on the usefulness and wonders of Bamboo:

“A man can sit in a bamboo house under a bamboo roof, on a bamboo chair at a bamboo table, with a bamboo hat on his head and bamboo sandals on his feet. He can at the same time hold in one hand a bamboo bowl, in the other hand bamboo chopsticks and eat bamboo sprouts. When through with his meal, which has been cooked over a bamboo fire, the table may be washed with a bamboo cloth, and he can fan himself with a bamboo fan, take a siesta on a bamboo bed, lying on a bamboo mat with his head resting on a bamboo pillow. His child might be lying in a bamboo cradle, playing with a bamboo toy. On rising he would smoke a bamboo pipe and taking a bamboo pen, write on bamboo paper, or carry his articles in bamboo baskets suspended from a bamboo pole, with a bamboo umbrella over his head. He might then take a walk over a bamboo suspension bridge, drink water from a bamboo ladle, and scrape himself with a bamboo scraper.”