Life is for Living Every Day

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Friendship; Love, Laughter, Life


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We all have the right to be human

 

children in Barcelona

We have a right to be human. For starters. But today, as we celebrate Amnesty International Day, it’s time we went deeper especially when many around the world are being deprived of their basic rights as fellow humans.

But what is amnesty exactly? It’s more than this definition for sure.

Amnesty

What else I learnt

“Human rights have been a hot topic in local and international politics since the 1960’s. Whether fighting for the right to marry the person of our choice or to end abuses like child labor all over the globe, Amnesty International has been in the trenches trying to make the world a better place. Amnesty International Day works to promote human rights and raise awareness of their abuses and how our choices affect them every day.” Source

I got married in 1995 of my own free will. For sure I did not have to fight to do so and even had the right per se to become a divorce statistic. I am pretty much the queen of my own little kingdom. I am not prevented from working at any job I accept (as long as it’s legal I suppose), wearing my own style of clothing, driving a car or furthering my education. I can speak my mind in any forum without fear of ridicule or abuse. I can have as many children as I want. I do not have to run for safety from machine gun fire, overhead missiles or suicide bombers. My home and my country come together to make up my castle. I am blessed.

Amnesty International

I knew very little about Amnesty International or its true role as a wicket keeper on the world affairs pitch and honestly never felt a burning need to read up on them until recently. For starters, their website, www.amnestyinternational.org says this:

“Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. We investigate and expose the facts, whenever and wherever abuses happen. We lobby governments, and other powerful groups such as companies. Making sure they keep their promises and respect international law. By telling the powerful stories of the people we work with, we mobilize millions of supporters around the world to campaign for change and to stand in defence of activists on the frontline. We support people to claim their rights through education and training.”

See for yourself

I was impressed but even though 7 million bodies represent a lot of willing hands, there is still so much more to be done. For example, the latest report speaks to a deplorable state of human rights where the strong and mighty continue to victimize the poor and less fortunate. Isn’t it obvious yet that wars turn homeowners and families into nomads, children into orphans (slaves or soldiers too) and vibrant cities into desolate smoking heaps of rubble burying centuries of traditions, history and dreams?

Obviously not and after reading the paragraph below certain words burned right into my brain. Words like ‘unrelenting misery and fear’ being imposed by ‘governments and armed groups’ who continue ‘torture’ and ill treat others.  I suggest you check it out for yourself but here’s a warning: this report contains 409 pages of tears, of feeling your heart tightening in your chest, of wishing there were quicker ways of offering hope in the face of what seems so totally hopeless.

“The Amnesty International Report 2016/17 documents the state of human rights in 159 countries and territories during 2016. For millions, 2016 was a year of unrelenting misery and fear, as governments and armed groups abused human rights in a multitude of ways. Large numbers of people continued to flee conflict and repression in many regions of the world. Among other pervasive issues, this report documents continuing torture and other ill-treatment, the failure to uphold sexual and reproductive rights, government surveillance, and a culture of impunity for past crimes.”

When all is not lost

So how do we celebrate this important day? What can we do differently in our lives that would make some impact, no matter how small? How can we realistically contribute and participate? Here’s how:

“The best way to celebrate Amnesty International Day is to help raise awareness among your friends and family about the struggles of the world’s downtrodden. The place to start would be with educating yourself by learning about the places in the world where Civil Liberties are most at risk. You can also seek out events sponsored by Amnesty International, including benefit concerts and fundraisers seeking to keep the organization going and to help support its efforts. Amnesty International has done a great deal of good work over the years, but the challenges it faces are never-ending, and new allies are needed with every passing year. So get out there and work to help make the world a better place!”

Our next steps

In a nutshell and as Amnesty International tells us: “Sign a petition, volunteer for us, become a member… Whatever you want to do, take action today and be part of a global movement standing together for human rights across the world.” Let’s do this!

Did you learn anything new today? Is human rights or rather the lack of a hot button topic for you? I’m starting a conversation here; join me.

 

 


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Happy Escargot Day :)

Did you know that today is Escargot Day? Like seriously?  Who would give Escargot aka snails their own day? Well now you know and here’s what I learnt.

What is Escargot exactly?
“French for edible snails, Escargot were the first animals to be farmed by man; archaeological evidence has found traces of heliciculture going back thousands of years. They are consumed across the whole of what used to be the Roman Empire. Snails are an excellent form of protein, tasty, low in fat, and they can’t run very fast.”  Read more

I personally do not eat Escargot.  I cannot get past the ‘snail’ concept, whether edible or otherwise but here are a few facts.

Fun Escargot Facts
Did you know …

  • It is believed that snails for eating were brought to the United States (California) in the 1850’s.
  • The French consume 40,000 metric tons of snails each year.
  • May 24th is National Escargot Day.
  • Heliculture is the science of growing snails for food.
  • Snails have been eaten as food since at least ancient Roman times. Apicius, the author of the oldest surviving cookbook (1st century B.C – 2 century A.D.) has a recipe for snails in his cookbook.
  • Snails are almost blind, and they don’t have any aural systems meaning that they can’t hear anything.
  • American restaurants serve about 1 billion snails annually.
  • More fun facts here


Now go out and laugh with a snail
And what do you know? There are snail jokes lurking around out there as well (yikes)!

A snail walks into a bank to make a deposit. Then a turtle comes in and robs the bank.  
Afterward, the police are interviewing the snail and asks him to recount what had happened, The snail says, “I don’t know, it all happened so fast!”

So there you have it but more importantly how do you plan to enjoy your Escargot Day today? Better yet, know someone who just loves this delicacy? Then share this post with them to show how much you care 🙂

PS: I don’t think you can eat the small everyday garden snails in my photos … just offering that as an important disclaimer.

Photo by Gale E

 

 


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Just Do It!

I wrote this post the day before my 52nd birthday. Today I come back to it, to remind myself that I am doing ok. I may not be as far along as I originally hoped but in the grand scheme of things I know I’m gonna make it over my mountains and come out on top!

Just a random thought as I give myself a little hug and some much needed love … usually works wonders.

Now you try it.  Have a favourite post that really lifts you up even though you may have written it months ago? Share the link with us with a note as to why it’s your ‘go-to and feel-good-after-reading’ post.

Blessings!

Source: Just Do It!


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I Don’t Need You

“I don’t need you!”

How many times have you actually said those words to someone? I know I have said them more than once; actually shouted would be a better description. Yet nothing changed. The person I shouted at behaved the same and the situation dragged on.
This post offers some really good advice on how to move past this feeling. My only comment is that I am sorry i didn’t have such words of wisdom when I needed them most 10 years ago.

The View From My Window

Did this title get your attention? Does it soundbitter?

I hope you said “yes” to both because now you may be interested in reading further.

Bitter (adjective)

     having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet

(of people or their feelings or behavior) anger, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment

Yes. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Whether it’s been with ourselves or others, we have been bitter. One of the greatest prisons we can live in is that of building walls around us and succumb to bitterness. But how do we escape and break free of the chains of anger and hurt from our bitterness? It’s not easy and there’s no one real answer but rather it’s a challenge with many attempts to succeed.  How do I know this? Because I know what bitterness…

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We Are God’s Awesome Delight

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“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

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What a beautiful verse! And I admit I strongly feel the need to really hold on to God’s promises – like in a vice grip of sorts, if only to keep me from tumbling over the cliff of life and into a deep valley of overwhelming despair which means it’s comforting to know that God is indeed living right here among us.

For example, I once travelled to the Dominican Republic to attend a quarterly management meeting with an awesome team of ‘movers and shakers’. As we got started I felt it was truly great to have an infinite supply of ideas, yet my enthusiasm was tempered by this little fact: execution can more often than not become a challenge when resources are finite rather than infinite. We shared our various views around the table and I took as many notes as possible but gradually, I felt as though my poor heart was going to explode out of my chest (quietly however, so as not to disturb the meeting but explode none the less). How would the items on our extra-long To Do List ever be completed within the stipulated deadlines? Continue reading