Tag Archives: Thoughts Are Things

An Ode to Dr. Wayne Dyer, plus Three Quotes and a Brief Video…

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

An Ode to Dr. Wayne Dyer

I’ve read a few of your books,

which I first stumbled upon some years ago

in a used book store.

Your work,

along with Deepak and other contemporaries,

changed me.

For the better.

Your voice and face seemed so familiar,

on TV.

I saw you speak in Toronto,

at an “I Can Do It!” conference.

I had plans on seeing you again,

this time in New York,

this fall,

ironically, on my birthday.

Another “I Can Do It!”

Well you did it, Wayne.

You inspired countless people.

You’ve changed lives.

You, yourself overcame adversity.

And now you did it again,

you made the great transition.

So on my birthday this fall,

I will think of you,

I will thank you,

as I do now.

Godspeed Wayne,

you did it.

An Ode to Dr. Wayne Dyer, plus Three Quotes and a Brief Video…


“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

An Ode to Dr. Wayne Dyer
I’ve read a few of your books,
which I first stumbled upon some years ago
in a used book store.
Your work,
along with Deepak and other contemporaries,
changed me.
For the better.
Your voice and face seemed so familiar,
on TV.
I saw you speak in Toronto,
at an “I Can Do It!” conference.
I had plans on seeing you again,
this time in New York,
this fall,
ironically, on my birthday.
Another “I Can Do It!”
Well you did it, Wayne.
You inspired countless people.
You’ve changed lives.
You, yourself overcame adversity.
And now you did it again,
you made the great transition.
So on my birthday this fall,
I will think of you,
I will thank you,
as I do now.
Godspeed Wayne,
you did it.

Words, titles, and sounds…

Oh no, I’ve said too much.
I haven’t said enough.” 
~Michael Stipe
Losing My Religion

So these writings (ramblings) began sort of as notes to myself…a way to record, aknowledge, and even monitor myself as I attempt to simplify my life. Sometimes, though, I wonder if I should share what I do…if my sometimes seemingly aimless and meandering words will be of interest or even any meaning to anyone but me. But still I do it, and I’m not sure why. Sometimes it just has to come out. Anyhow, here’s another story, and a rather personal one.

One year ago today I was standing in front of an altar and in front of about 1500 people, along with 60 of my classmates, at Riverside Church in NYC. We were graduating from a two year seminary program from One Spirit Learning Alliance. The director of the program announced each one of us to the public, and when she said my name it gave me goosebumps; it was the first time I heard someone say, the Reverend Joe George. I can still feel the moment deeply when I recall it.

I recall the moment so deeply not because of the title. I’ve always found titles a bit silly, and have in fact recently taken a job where for the first time in 26 years my job title is cook, not chef (but more on that later). The reason I was so moved at that very moment is that I was so proud of myself and my classmates for having completed the program. Many of the students lived in the NYC area, some attended class part-time and via webinar, and others—like myself—commuted to the city for one weekend each month.

Mostly I entered seminary for personal reasons and being an ordained minister was not the main reason. I was so proud of myself because I had managed to do this while working full-time as a chef. I almost didn’t enroll and flip-flopped about it for a couple years before actually doing so. And I can still remember the day when I sat in meditation questioning it and was told (not through a voice but intuition…an inner voice) that if I really wanted to do this I could, that doors would be opened. And they were.

And so, as I stood in the front of that incredibly awe-inspiring church one year ago today I was both exhilarated and exhausted. Twenty-two trips to NYC (mostly by train) in twenty-four months had depleted me financially and exhausted me emotionally and spiritually. The inner work that was required of us had quite literally turned me inside out. I was raw. And while standing there hearing the director announce each one of us, and as she came closer down the row of people towards me, I glanced around at my classmates and some had tears trickling down their cheeks but we were all beaming; we were glowing.

I’m not sure what I expected after graduation. I was already middle-aged and three-decades into a culinary career when I entered the program. Did I want or expect to work as a minister in the traditional sense? No, of course not, I knew that. But I wanted this to change me and open me to new possibilities. And in many ways it has. As I’ve gotten older my priorities have changed, but I suppose this is common with a lot of people. Still though, this past year has been difficult financially, spiritually, and emotionally. But the one thing I have learned is that most things will work themselves out and that everything really will be okay, even if it doesn’t seem it at times. I’ve also come to realize that material things mean less and less to me, but experience and relationship means more (and more and more). But now I’m rambling so I’ll try to tie this together with some relevance to the above note.

The day we stood in front of everyone at the church was our graduation, but we were ordained in a private ceremony at a retreat center upstate along the Hudson two nights prior. One of our ordination requirements was to write our own vow which we would take and say aloud. We were asked to make them brief. I wanted to make it as personal as I could and my initial one was about three or four sentences, then we were asked to condense and distill them down to one sentence, two at the most. I found this to be more difficult than writing the original version. But I digress.

Two days ago I was having a rough day…nothing major, just “one of those days.” Everyone has them now-and-again, I suppose. I had gone up to my room to do a few basic asanas, which I do as a spiritual practice but mostly to relieve lower back pain. It was warm outside and I had the windows open and a fan on to create a cross-breeze. And as I was preparing for my stretches the breeze blew a piece of paper across the floor directly in front of me. I’m not sure where it came from exactly (probably from on top of one of my messy dressers) but I am convinced it was something I needed to see.

At the retreat center we were required to stand in front of everyone and speak our vows aloud to the class, our deans, and into the universe. We had to speak into a microphone, which always makes me nervous. So I wrote out my vow on a little scrap of paper so I wouldn’t forget the words out of stage fright. Words, I’ve come to think, carry so much weight when spoke aloud. The most obvious Christian example of this comes from the Gospel of John…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and Word was God.” In Hinduism the word (sound) Om is considered the original vibration sent forth as the beginning of creation. But again I digress. 

Soon this recent day, as the scrap of paper rolled in front of me I picked it up and threw it in a small trash basket nearby. But as I did I noticed my own handwriting on it, so I retrieved it to see what it said. When I opened it I shivered. To my surprise it was the very note that held the words that I spoke aloud to the universe on that very day one year prior. Was this just a coincidence or a Jungian synchronicity? Who knows, but it certainly was something I was meant to (re)see. This scrap of paper likely sat on a dresser for a year. I’ve had the windows open and fan on many times since then, but it was at this time that it was delivered to me. I spoke those words aloud and one year later they came back as a reminder. A reminder of so many things. But mostly, I think it was meant to remind me that things do work themselves out and that everything is okay and that I (and you and all of us) are in the very spot that we are meant to be, even if we don’t realize it or if it doesn’t feel right. I’ve also come to think of life as a sort of journey—sort of like one lesson stacked on top of another—and today, just like tomorrow and the day after and the day before, are all part of that journey. 

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” 
 ~Philippians 4:8 

Urban Simplicity.

On Starting Anew over a Bowl of Soup

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust in the magic of new beginnings.”
This year began differently for me. Not by choice, but it did. Normally I enjoy having New Years Day off of work to contemplate the year just past and the one ahead. In all the years working as a cook I cannot remember working this day…the private club of which I’ve been employed for more than a decade is closed on this day, and all the restaurants I’d worked prior were closed on this day. And even when I did a short stint at a whole foods co-op as kitchen manager I arranged the schedule so I had off. But this year—on New Years Day—I worked, not at any of the jobs aforementioned; I worked my part-time job which I started just a few weeks ago. Initially I didn’t want to do this but my supervisor asked if I would and I said yes. I’m trying to say yes to more things in my life these days, but I’m jumping ahead as I often do.
The night prior I had a date with my two pugs, Netflix, and a bottle of red wine and hoping to make it until midnight (I did). I made lentil soup for dinner, and in trying to live more in the moment (something else I’m attempting to do lately), I really focused on what I was doing. At my full-time job, where I am in charge of a full kitchen, this is often difficult for me because of multi-tasking (which is actually an illusion). But at home I can really focus on just one thing and really appreciate the moment. So as I slowly sauteed the vegetables and garlic in olive oil I was fully aware of all of my senses. And when I added the fragrant spices they filled the air with an aroma that I remember from my youth.
I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog prior that I am partially of Lebanese decent; my dad’s family was from the “old country.” I have very fond memories of my youth and on this evening as the spices tickled my nostrils I was transported back to the smell of my sitto’s (grandmother’s) house. It was the same aroma I would smell when we would enter her house on a winter’s day and the windows would be steamed up and sitti and my aunts—who were busy in the kitchen—would stop long enough to hug and kiss me and my sisters and pinch our cheeks. And on this evening—the last night of 2014—as I stood in my tiny home kitchen with my pugs at my feet while I made lentil soup—I was not alone, at least not entirely…I could feel the presence of my ancestors as if they were standing before me in the flesh. I felt comforted, and I thanked them aloud. I thanked them for all the hard work they did and all the love that they gave, and for making me the person that I am.
The next morning, on New Years Day, I awoke pre-dawn to the sound wind. My old Allentown house shook and creaked as the wind and snow howled outside. Ugh, I thought…I really wished I could just climb back under the covers. But I bundled up and rode the smaller of my two cargo bikes to work, the one fitted with studded snow tires. And it was to my fortune that the wind was to my back…I was quite literally pushed to work. What a gift. And in an attempt at being present I welcomed the wind rather than dread it (this no doubt would have been more difficult if the wind were at my face rather than my back). And as I blew past the new and half-built medical campus on Main Street the tarps billowed and howled and the outstretched arm of the crane swayed as if waving to the clouds. There was not a car or person in sight and it was beautiful, it really was.
My part-time job is working in a home where people have nowhere else to go. The juxtaposition to my daily full-time job is easily apparent. And it is humbling on so many levels. It’s just a few hours a week and I work alone in the kitchen, so rather than having a full staff to do things for me I do it myself (which I enjoy). But the best part is being able to serve people a good meal who may need it the most. Food can nourish far more than the physical body.
So what does any of this have to do with soup and a new year? Nothing and everything, I suppose. I, like a lot of people, had a whole list of resolutions—things to give up and things to take up—most of which will be forgotten by the end of the month. And as I rode to work just after dawn on the first day of the new year it came to me that changing my thoughts changes my reality, and that my resolution(s) can be distilled into that one thing. The wind howled and at points almost pushed me off my bike, but by welcoming it—being in awe of it—I enjoyed the ride rather dreaded it.
It is a proven fact that when one changes their thoughts they change their outlook, and that happiness truly can be a choice, even in the most difficult situations. I personally know this, but that alone does not always make it easy. When I remain positive I have positive things happen in my life; and living positively also means (for me) living compassionately. And when I live with a compassionate and thankful heart the world blossoms before me. Inversely, when I live in fear (or with negative thoughts) it’s as if I have blinders on and can only see my own problems (which seem paramount but in reality are not problems at all when it comes right down to it).
So after serving lunch I sat down to my own lunch of another bowl of soup, flat-bread, and an orange which I carried with me to work that morning. Again I thought of my ancestors and how they likely came to this country with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few things that they could carry. And as I sat and ate to the hum of the refrigerator, I thought to myself that while I may not have everything I want I most definitely have everything I need…way more than I need, actually. And as I sat there I banished the list of resolutions that I had planned and just stuck to one…to change my thinking. Because if I do this I know that everything will work out. Will it be easy? Nope. Not likely. But is it possible? Yes, without doubt…I can start over everyday if that’s what it will take, not just New Year’s Day. And if I do this I know that I can be of more service to others—even if it is just little interactions throughout the day—because isn’t that what we are really here for, to help one another along this journey we call life.
And I don’t know if I was imagining it or not, but as I ate the soup it tasted good…really good. Better than the night before, in fact. And this is what I thought about while eating lentil soup in a large kitchen lined with stainless-steel while the wind whistled and howled outside on the first day of the new year.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world be be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
 
Red Lentil Lentil Soup with Spinach
Makes about 2 quarts
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups red lentils
8 cups chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups (4-6 ounces) fresh spinach, chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot; saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add the tomato paste, cumin, turmeric, coriander, hot pepper, and salt, then cook and stir the tomato and spices for a minute or so. Add the lentils broth, bring to a boil then lower it to a simmer. Allow the soup to cook for about an 30 minutes, then add the potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes or until the soup thickens and the lentils become very soft. If it becomes too thick, add additional broth or a little water. Stir in the spinach and simmer for just a couple minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the soup from the heat.
For additional Lebanese-inspired recipes, click here.

Five or Eight Quotes from Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993

“Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.”

“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities — always see them, for they’re always there.”

“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”

“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You’ll find they haven’t half the strength you think they have.”

“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.”

“Do not be awe struck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can.”

“If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were – and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.”

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

More Five Quotes

Five or Eight Quotes from Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993
“Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.”
“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities — always see them, for they’re always there.”
“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”
“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You’ll find they haven’t half the strength you think they have.”
“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.”
“Do not be awe struck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can.”
“If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were – and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.”
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
More Five Quotes

Five photos, two scriptures, a song, and a bad day made good…

So I had a “bad day” today. I know it sounds silly, but I did. Everyone has them from time-to-time, and today was my turn. It’s a very busy week for me at work and in my personal life and stress can really affect me in a negative way. I tend to internalize things. The thing is that I am fully aware that a person can choose how they want to feel. Yes it is true, and I fully believe this. But sometimes when I’m in the midst of stress and chaos I forget. All too often I forget. And when I left work today it was beautiful outside…still cold but the sun was out and the sky was blue. And I’ve mentioned this before but photography can, in a way, be a form of personal therapy for me. So I heeded my own previous advice and took a few photos of our Creator’s miracles that are right in front of me. But I have to say, and I even chuckled about it to myself (and that’s a good sign) that as I was removing my camera from its bag a lyric from the R.E.M. song, Bad Day, rang in my ears…”It’s been a bad day, please don’t take your picture.” (click here to watch them sing it live on Letterman) 

Anyhow, staring through the lens and really focusing on something has a calming effect on me. It really does. I’m sure it lowers my blood pressure. And as I took in the sights and sounds around me I couldn’t help but think how I had a change of mind. And that’s really all it takes sometimes…change your thoughts and change your world. And as I rode home feeling the cool air (cold, actually) on my face and taking in all the greatness that was right in front of me, all around me, and in fact within me, I felt grateful. And these two scriptures come to mind when I think of this.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2
“Be sure to fix your mind on Me and to apply your intelligence for Me and you will live in Me for certain and never suffer any doubt thereafter.”

Bhagavad Gita 12:8 

And then later in the evening–just a few minutes before writing this post–I had a text conversation with a very dear friend of mine. A friend whom I treated poorly earlier in the day. We both forgave each other. And it made me remember what is truly real and what matters to me in this lifetime. People matter. So does beauty. So does love. Stress (fear) is unreal and something I fabricate myself. So if I am able to choose my thoughts and feelings, then I choose love and compassion. This is what I choose to start my day tomorrow (and to end my night tonight). It’s not always easy, but it is possible. Tomorrow is another day, and another very busy day for me, but it’s okay…I’ll view it as a challenge, one which is able to be overcome.

Urban Simplicity.

Five photos, two scriptures, a song, and a bad day made good…

So I had a “bad day” today. I know it sounds silly, but I did. Everyone has them from time-to-time, and today was my turn. It’s a very busy week for me at work and in my personal life and stress can really affect me in a negative way. I tend to internalize things. The thing is that I am fully aware that a person can choose how they want to feel. Yes it is true, and I fully believe this. But sometimes when I’m in the midst of stress and chaos I forget. All too often I forget. And when I left work today it was beautiful outside…still cold but the sun was out and the sky was blue. And I’ve mentioned this before but photography can, in a way, be a form of personal therapy for me. So I heeded my own previous advice and took a few photos of our Creator’s miracles that are right in front of me. But I have to say, and I even chuckled about it to myself (and that’s a good sign) that as I was removing my camera from its bag a lyric from the R.E.M. song, Bad Day, rang in my ears…”It’s been a bad day, please don’t take your picture.” (click here to watch them sing it live on Letterman)
Anyhow, staring through the lens and really focusing on something has a calming effect on me. It really does. I’m sure it lowers my blood pressure. And as I took in the sights and sounds around me I couldn’t help but think how I had a change of mind. And that’s really all it takes sometimes…change your thoughts and change your world. And as I rode home feeling the cool air (cold, actually) on my face and taking in all the greatness that was right in front of me, all around me, and in fact within me, I felt grateful. And these two scriptures come to mind when I think of this. 
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
“Be sure to fix your mind on Me and to apply your intelligence for Me and you will live in Me for certain and never suffer any doubt thereafter.”
And then later in the evening–just a few minutes before writing this post–I had a text conversation with a very dear friend of mine. A friend whom I treated poorly earlier in the day. We both forgave each other. And it made me remember what is truly real and what matters to me in this lifetime. People matter. So does beauty. So does love. Stress (fear) is unreal and something I fabricate myself. So if I am able to choose my thoughts and feelings, then I choose love and compassion. This is what I choose to start my day tomorrow (and to end my night tonight). It’s not always easy, but it is possible. Tomorrow is another day, and another very busy day for me, but it’s okay…I’ll view it as a challenge, one which is able to be overcome.


Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#555)

A Camera bag. A new book (this one, which I’m really excited about). Two new pairs of pants. Eight wood panels measuring 2ft by 4ft each (two full sheets of 1/2inch plywood quartered), and four 6ft boards.

Urban Simplicity.

Perspective…

per·spec·tive
n.
a. A view or vista.

b. A mental view or outlook

This blog, in a way, has always been a sort of emotional medicine for me in the public arena. In what I write but also in the photos I post. Like many, I suppose, I have been a worrier since I was a child. Not so much lately but still I do. I know it’s silly, but I still succumb to it. The usual things, but mostly time and money. But when I consciously think about it (and the key word here is think) I know that I have everything I need. Both things–time and money–I really believe, are illusions. While I do not have much at all monetarily, I am wealthy in so many other ways. And when I think about it (again the key word is think) I realize that I am blessed in so many ways. But some days it is so difficult to remember this (I know you are nodding your head in agreement as you read this). The key, I also believe, is thought. The power of thought is so incredible. I personally have experienced this over the years. Two people can look at the same circumstance in completely different ways; to one it may be an obstacle and the other an opportunity. If, for example, I consciously think positive thoughts, most often there is a positive outcome by changing my own reality. This said, I utilize both my camera(s) and bike(s) to help with this. Riding a bike is so simple and carefree…it makes me feel good to have the wind on my face (even in adverse weather) and to use my own body as energy for propulsion. And when I look through a camera it makes me really look at things, and when I do I remember how beautiful everyday scenes are, scenes and things that I may otherwise pass by without giving much thought. These things help me remember that my problems are not real problems at all; it puts things into view; into perspective. 
I took these photos while running errands tonight on my bike; all of them were taken in Delaware Park here in Buffalo. The above photos are of the same view of Hoyt Lake taken 60 minute apart (7:45pm and 8:45pm), and the below two photos were taken in the rose garden just before sunset. Click any for a larger view.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Urban Simplicity.

The passage of time, on being present, and a quote or two…

Okay. So first off, it is not very often that I post pictures of myself (almost never) but here you have it. This is a photo of my son and I as we (his mom and I) were dropping him off at his first year of college (the color-coordinated shirts were purely coincidence). And as I look at this photo I ask myself a few things. One is, when did my son get so tall and I begin to shrink? And another is, how can this be possible? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was sending him off to kindergarten? I have often thought/contemplated the passage of time but this is a milestone event. I have also often pondered what time is. Is it even real?

“Time is an illusion.”
~Albert Einstein

In the scheme of things, we as humans have been around for such a short period of time. A good if not simplistic example of this is in the graphic below which illustrates the history of time on earth in a 24-hour capsule. Modern humans (us) don’t appear until a few seconds (yes seconds!) before the 24-hour mark, meaning we have just gotten here. Then why all the stress and worry I also wonder. There have been so many before us with the same problems and worries and in the end they (the worries) don’t matter at all. The key, I think, is to be aware…to be in the present moment; to be awake. Because all that there is, I also believe, is the present moment. The past is history and the future has not happened yet, and the present moment (no matter how difficult or boring it may seem) is really all there is. And when one lives in the present moment–being aware of all of its beauty and sometimes suffering–they are, in a way, fully alive…awake. There are plenty of versions of the following story floating around regarding when the Buddha was asked who or what he was. You may have heard this before; this version I found here).

When the Buddha started to wander around India shortly after his enlightenment, he encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being. They asked him: “Are you a god?” “No,” he replied. “Are you a reincarnation of god?” “No,” he replied.”Are you a wizard, then?” “No.” “Well, are you a man?” “No.” “So what are you?” They asked, being very perplexed.  Buddha simply replied: “I am awake.”

For me personally it is very difficult to be present all of the time. I suspect this to be true for most. But when I am (with conscious effort) I find that things can be pretty incredible, no matter how mundane a task…such as being consciously aware of my fingers tapping a keyboard as I am doing now. Time can fall away and become, in a way, illusionary. Even if for a moment. And another thing that I find happens when being present is awe. And this brings me to my next quote.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3 

What I really believe is meant by this is that we as adults–while not shunning our adult responsibilities–need to lighten up and not worry so much…to be in awe of life in the same way a child is; to look at things anew and with interest. To remember what really matters. And when I am present this sometimes happen. I become aware of how incredible life is, even its worst parts. But still, this takes great effort (I am not enlightened yet…not even close).

So now, as I look at the above photo, I am in awe of the fact that my son has grown into such a handsome, kind, and intelligent young man. And I am in awe of the fact that I have made it as far as I have in this life. Time marches on (illusionary or not) but so do the good things (here, now, and in the future). And that’s what I’m looking at.

 Image found here.

 Urban Simplicity.

Death By Advertising

This interesting but short video was made in collaboration with junkthought.org and Micah M. White (from Adbusters). I find it interesting and it does make sense to me, but at the same time I find it somewhat ironic that it seems to be a sort of anti-advertisement (or a hidden advertisement) for their websites. But anyhow, I do agree with what it says. And yes, I feel that I do pollute myself (or allow myself to be polluted) by overt and subversive advertisement and also just everyday “mind junk” (which, I think, is the equivalent of junk food we eat). I also believe that there is great power in what we think and we, in fact, become what we think. And if this is true, then mind junk cannot be good. To read the book they cite by Émile Zola, click here. I hope you watch this short film.

Urban Simplicity.

A Garden of Eden in Hell

The above image is that of Alice Herz-Sommer, who is also the interviewee in the below short but very inspiring video. At 108 years young she is the oldest known living Holocaust survivor. A few years ago–at the age of 104–she wrote a book called A Garden of Eden in Hell, retelling her amazing life story. Her secret to survival and longevity, it seems, is gratitude, thankfulness, and positive thinking. Many of us, I believe, can learn a lot from this woman and this short clip…I know I can. It’s well worth the twelve minutes to watch this. To read a very short bio of her, click here.

Urban Simplicity.