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Organized Crime Beats Unorganized Good Intentions!

Ithaca Falls

The Mafia is very powerful, Hollywood gave us many proofs. Why they are powerful is because they operate as united families, each one helping the other, and every member of every family being strongly committed to the big goals of the “community”. Their goals were, or are (they’re still out there?!) evil and harmful. Selfish. Enriching to a small group of people, but destructive to the broader community.

Organized crime is successful because of its very same descriptive name: “organized”!

People of good intentions have at least one lesson to learn from criminals, about efficiency. We already see Organized Good Intentions at work (look at non-profits and charities), but the world needs much more to function properly. There are way more UGI (Unorganized Good Intentions) than OGI!

We have enough people believing in justice and sustainability to change the world, but most of them are operating individually. Their influence is therefore negligible. The same number of people networking and working together would sweep away many wrongs and problems, like a strong tsunami of goodness and wellness. We now have networking tools, a fertile Internet and its universal fruits, that never existed before in human history. It should make OGI much easier and more attainable.

We need to look around and spot the like-minded and like-hearted people. Find common goals. Form small “mafias”! Every small mafia will then connect to the other kind and unselfish mafias of the world. Together, those mafias working their Organized Good Intentions will restore the sanity of our Earth, dethrone the happy criminals roaming freely, and ensure a livable Planet for the generations to come!

The Reincarnation of a Piece of Paper!

My heart sings when I see something like this in public parks!

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How beautiful is that too!

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The availability of recycling pans is a sure way to encourage (lazy, convenience-driven) people (most of us) to throw their disposables where they belong!  A Plastic bottle shouldn’t have the same destiny as a piece of paper! Each has a different life cycle, and after it’s done serving us, we should take it “home”, where it can survive.

The plastic bottle will not survive in the trash, where it will end up buried in the landfill!

A piece of paper should have a never-ending life and reincarnate into a fertilizer or a new piece of paper!

That’s how Nature works, everything transforms into something else; that’s what sustainability means: Reincarnation. Never-ending life for everything.

But until our cities make the reincarnation of everything so convenient, everywhere, we should just make sure to put everything we can where they are to have a new life, in a new body!

Dirty Cleaning

We live a miserably interesting time as far as our environment is concerned!
  
Cleaning used to be just that: cleaning. Making things cleaner than they were, and therefore healthier. We know that dirtiness brings about illness, of both body and mind. If everyone would just wash their hands, many diseases would be eliminated. That’s how connected health and cleanliness are. But not any more! 
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I was on a quick shopping trip in Target, when I passed by the cleaning supplies section. I saw hundreds of small and big plastic bottles aligned together, containing substances that supposedly make our life cleaner and healthier. A wave of horror crossed my mind as I looked at those bottles!  

 

People will buy them, thousands of them (people and bottles!). How much of this plastic will be recycled? You know. Not the majority. Some will indeed be recycled by Earth conscious people, but many thousand plastic bottles will end up in landfills, contributing to the ever increasing causes of pollution and disease. Aren’t we supposed to clean for health, not for pollution?!   

Now consider what those bottles really contain. Many of the cleaning substances actually contain toxic chemicals. Here’s another serving of pollution and disease, besides the plastic containers that will go to waste. Not only the toxic chemicals will pollute our homes and our bodies, but they will possibly leak into water and plants in their long journey once they leave our homes. How the heck did we end up in this miserable situation? A few evil ingredients: greed, shortsightedness, and laziness, and some well-meaning ignorance as well.   

What we can do? Simple. We buy eco-friendly products, toxic free. Then we recycle any containers and packaging, paper or plastic. Even better, we buy bulk products that are not contained in containers! We make use of the plenty of tips available on how to make some of the cleaning substances at home, using all natural ingredients. We have to start there, with ourselves and our homes. Then we have to move on to a bigger scale, learning how to push our governments to impose health and far-sighted policies on businesses and people. We can’t just rely on the Earth and Health conscious individuals if we want change to happen in the current century!   

Why we should thank the bus!

Many American cities are not car-free-friendly. If you don’t have a car, you’re stuck. Buses are far between, if you rely on them to get to work or school, you can waste hours trying to get to the nearest stop, on time.

But buses are great! I moved to Chicago in 2008, got a job downtown, which makes it impossible to drive to work, unless I’m willing to pay half my salary or so to enrich the parking garages.

The other day I was on my way to the bus stop when I saw the bus, too far to catch it if I keep walking, but close enough to get to it if I ran! So that’s what I did. I said to myself, me who don’t really exercise, that at least the bus forced me into a brief run! That’s something to thank Buses for. So I thought of listing all the good things about using the bus in cities where they are available and reliable.

So here is some of the reasons why we should thank the Bus:
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1. An occasional run!

As I mentioned above, the bus will force us to run every once in a while. May be this occasional run will give us a taste for running and introduce us to this type of exercise!

2. Even if you don’t run, you will definitely walk.

Compare the amount of exercise that those who rely on their cars to get around actually get to someone who uses the bus daily, or 5 days a week. You will rarely live as close to the bus stop as to your garage-kept car. If you take the bus to work or school, you might be getting somewhere around 30 minutes of walking per day, if not more, which is the recommended minimum amount of exercise we should get. Well, it’s nice to be forced to do what’s good for us! We might just need that or we will not do it, if left to our will power and ever procrastinated new habits!

3. When we have enough looking at the same streets every day, we can read a book.

The Bus can add many more pages to our reading life. If we take a book on board, we can easily add 30 or 40 minutes to our reading every day. The Bus can give us 5 or 6 books per year that otherwise we wouldn’t make time to read. And guess what, this one book, one idea might change our life forever.

4. thirty people in one big vehicle produce less pollution that thirty people in thirty small cars!

You know this one already. I think we can safely say that most cars running daily on our roads carry one person each!

But no matter how good the Bus is, it will remain unpractical for many of us until many of our American cities and small towns are re-designed to make them bus friendly!

Diagnosing TBA: The BUY Addiction

We buy stuff all the time. Some people have to buy something every single day, if not an item then at least a cup of coffee! They’re not living if they’re not entering into a store and spending some money.
 
Exercise: Count how many days a week go without buying anything, anywhere. If you buy something almost every day, or can’t go out without buying something, then you know you’re dealing with TBA!
 
Don’t you think that I am immune to that! Hey, if I write about some problem, it’s likely that I do or did experience it at some point!
 
Buying addiction is a serious problem in richer societies. It disturbs our inner balance as individuals as well as our global balance as a human community sharing one Earth.
 
We can see this global imbalance manifest in different ways:
 
1. Waste and surplus for some, starvation for many.
  
The rich societies that consume most of the resources contribute to a moral imbalance, which is a manifestation of injustice and selfishness. When food and cloths are thrown away in one part of the world, while hundreds of millions of humans can hardly eat, dress and find adequate shelter, something is grossly wrong.
 
Humans are meant to be one family with acceptable variations in wealth, but with a universal standard of dignity and availability of human needs for all, which our Earth naturally provides, if it wasn’t for the shameful greed and selfishness of some.
 
2. In order to buy more and cheap, the poor have to accept labor slavery.
  
Because money seems to be the God of an overwhelming number of businesses, they don’t see a problem meeting the needs of buyers for more and cheap by moving to poor countries where they can have labor camps. Humans who work most of their waking hours, in very poor conditions, for a pay that will barely help them survive. This imbalance is simply expressed in the fact that a worker could be paid in a week what we spend on a lunch for one!
 
All for the sake of us going into the store and buying a gadget that we might not use and didn’t need in the first place, or for us to be able to buy 5 t-shirts instead of just one. Wow, what a progress, we can have all those t-shirts and shoes in all the different colors. Boy hadn’t our life become much better with that!!!
 
3. More of the things that we don’t need end up creating mountains of toxic trash, and heavily polluted Earth.
  
Because people buy things they don’t need, they end up getting rid of them. In the worse manner possible: throwing them in the trash. Our addiction to keep buying stuff that we don’t need lead to factories producing more unnecessary stuff. Because they want to make them cheap, they use toxic material that will keep the cost low. Then this satanic cycle end with landfills full of toxic waste that no one really knows why it was even created to start with.
 
We lost, the buyers. We lost money and inner peace. They lost, the workers. They lost their life and energy to the factories. It lost, our Earth, and our future. It became full of toxic waste. The only ones who gained are the businesses, only a minority. Are those guys worth all those losses and suffering?!!
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