#GivingTuesday Ambassadors for Maple Lawn Cemetery

As a kid, I got to trick-or-treat.  It’s what a kid thinks of as being cool.  I have my mother’s skill–at times she lent assistance to costumes that helped me fit in for the walkabout going door-to-door.

 

I think it always seemed to feel shorter than it was.  The other disappointment was reaching adolescence.  It was no longer very advisable to try trick-or-treating if you were too big for your breeches.  You’d see those porch lights go dark.

 

Four years ago my father decided that in his retirement years he would take on the responsibility of operating a little cemetery on the outskirts of town (doesn’t that sound like it’s from a horror script or something of that kind?) and we are partners in the cemetery’s operation, although generally speaking, he is the boss.  Is it ghoulish?

 

Well, it kind of is.  Not everybody could handle it.  For me, it is nice to be part of an operation of that kind, and I feel I’m inclined to do it.

 

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:36 AM

November 28 is known among not-for-profits as Giving Tuesday, and it is like a holiday for charities, when they ask for gifts.  There’s only a couple of things that are pressing on us.

 

For example, when the car lost control and drove into the tree out by the church, it tapped the sign for the church and one of the legs of the sign was cracked nearly in two.  Getting a new sign would be nice, although our budget is strictly limited to operations.  It does require replacement, however.

 

We don’t make much doing what we do.  It isn’t entirely true that we scrape by, but we’re not getting rich.

 

We’re comfortable and we’re honest, given that we deal with funeral practices on a regular basis and we understand that discretion is required, as is respect and common decency.  We’re Christian people.

 

It isn’t necessary to help, but if you have any interest in the ghoulish, and you would like to help by becoming a fan of our Facebook page, retweeting my tweets about November 28, or reblogging this post, you are welcome to leave a comment expressing that you would like to be a Maple Lawn Cemetery ambassador.  We’re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouthUnited and my twitter handle is @findingenvirons  We also have a website that you can click through to see with http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/

 

Although Giving Tuesday is six years running, this is the first year I’ve decided to try my hand at participating in it.  It’s not a race, it’s just that with the damaged sign, and even the wear and tear on the John Deere that I employ to assist with the operation of the cemetery, any help at all would be appreciated.  If you are a freelance creative, and you work for cheap, you are welcome to inquire if you think your talent would fit in with what my father and I are doing on the Internet.

 

Naturally, even if your thoughts for the season are all about Hallmark, I understand completely, and you are more than welcome to like this post or even to follow the blog.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 11:40 AM

Have an amazing Halloween in 2017, and maybe we’ll even see you back in 2018.  I wish you good tidings.

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Being Artificial on Social Media

Forging a representation of yourself for the Internet is rampantly common and has been for a long time.  On social media, you craft Internet content that reflects who you are as an individual.  When you post to Facebook, or to Twitter, or to YouTube, or to any other platform, you have an opportunity to render artificial something that is real in your life.

 

This is kind of an evaluation of your everyday life experience, and in the process of translating it for the Internet, it is like aiming a throw against the palisade of the other.

rock, formation, building, architecture, sky, sea, ocean, water, coast, hill, castle
Photographer: Igor Ovsyannykov

When thinking of creative methods by which you translate your life onto social media, you have an ability and a freedom to craft content that is representative of you, while being artificial in format.  Your life is real, as real as you experience it, and with social, you are tapping into a real-world experience for the purpose of consumption by the other.

 

There is nothing completely real about posting on social, yet it is viewed as an offshoot of real life because you are inherently human.  Therefore the urge to render your life on social has the weight that you’re growing content out of the experience you have offline.  It wouldn’t be artificial if it were really happening.

 

What’s more, however, the urge to render your life on social media means that you grow your content out of experiences you have in real life.  You are translating your experience offline into content that the other can digest and reflect upon, to view how you are instead of he or she, between human beings.  There is no algorithm that can match this ability.

 

Social media forms content grown from life, but rendered artificial inasmuch as it is only one representation of what has happened to you in your life, the impetus of real life.  Feel free to “like” this post or to comment, and/or to “follow” the blog if you found this post thoughtful.  I hope for you that your own social goes well for you and that the best moments in your life are conferred as though they were vitally important, which they are.

 

You are an individual and you have an opportunity to celebrate the best of what happens to you.

By Jen H.

How it is the Passerbys Glow

Each week WordPress provides a photo challenge, that you can participate in even if you only have a cell phone with a camera (it’s clear a camera is good, too).  Looking for the challenge this week, it turned out WordPress provided the challenge to show “glow.”

By Jen H.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/glow/

The idea is to play with the idea of glow, such as taking a picture just after sunrise, or before sunset, the latter being what I did.

 

I took a photo of a plaza just as the sky was glowing red and the clouds were disappearing into the night.  The stoplight in the street was red, meaning the cars headed that direction were stopped and waiting for the light to change.  One single vehicle had made the light and can be seen proceeding in the direction from which I’d walked.

 

Some of the details in the photo I took are lost to the disappearing light, which adds mystery, I think, to the picture, and makes it a little more interesting.  The “glow” challenge gave me the idea for the first time to try capturing with the camera a location that was glowing from sunset.

 

I hope you like it.  If you take part in the weekly photo challenges (each Wednesday), maybe I’ll see what you shot.  That would be nice.

 

What’s more, the WordPress Daily Prompt today is the word “release.”  It is too complicated an idea to explore, but I think again how it is to be expressive, particularly on WordPress, where an inclusive atmosphere is intended, is quite a positive release, I’d argue, to let emotions that are within come to the surface.  Human beings are creatures of expression.

 

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your blogging!

I Think You’ll Know if You’re Ready

I tend to admire those who do what is risky.  With abandon, they shine.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word risky, and I think of what it is to admire the risk-takers who venture off the beaten path.  Unsung or making it, it is independence and vigor that become such attractive qualities in an individual who gravitates to risk-taking.

 

Think, then, of what might have come to pass, if you had seen how a greater amount of measured risk could have delivered to you more, simply, of what you wanted out of life.  It might have meant fewer regrets and greater happiness all around if you could have better calculated what risk to take and how to navigate it.

globe, world, atlas, travel, trip, map
Photographer: Seth Showalter

I should think there is no life without risk.  Every human being is required to step a careful path, to proceed with enough caution to survive, as the hazards of life among the human species are probably incalculable, even with the most grave of assessments and the power to determine outcomes in our hands.  Human beings need to take risks each and every day.

 

It must be in our biological makeup, that there are those who explore risk-taking more thoroughly than others, and that is a quality of mankind called leadership.  Someone who identifies which risks can be surmounted is often thought of a leader, and that how the first arrivals are determined.  It comes as no surprise.

ocean, chairs, view, sky, clouds, landscape, grass, picnic, towel, shore, travel, trip, adventure, relax
Photographer: Kelly Jean

If we are in a seat of comfort and ease, perhaps risk will not be traversed with much relish, but if we want to change and be challenged, then it is in our hands that we must read the odds of success in the physical and metaphorical moves we make and how we can turn a situation on its head.  This is in the hands of the daring, the courageous and, I’m afraid as well, the foolhardy.

 

The fool is he who is defeated by the adversity he brings on himself, and you will hear mentors swear there is nothing wrong with this, that if you look for answers you hear of the hundred or thousand failures that made a man, that success was ultimately won by perseverance and sweat and hard work.  It could be so, and I think there are many examples to speak of who do master risk-taking in the capacity that it brings the desired result, what is thought of as success.  Few argue with the champs.

 

You need to practice caution, I would implore you, and learn the reality of what you’re undertaking and what needs to be done to overcome risk (and adversity).  That being said, many times the regret you have comes from risks you didn’t take, rather than from the sting of failure.  Because if you dedicate yourself to mastery, you could attain that level of ability.

 

Last, for everything that’s said and done about risk and reward, you need to choose for yourself what is best for you.  Although the allure of risk-taking and, quite possibly, positive change in your life may attract you, you do need to make concessions in light of the danger that can mount from undue risk–rebellion such as it is.  You have but one life, and you need to manage it in a way that the best possible rewards are attainable without destroying yourself or others in the process.

 

This is how I think of risk, and it is nothing but natural and human to think of risk.  It is always a double-edged sword.

 

Happy Birthday: Felicity Jones

A Simple, Elegant Victory

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” -Charles Darwin

Two years ago I felt the world’s people could have victory; today I feel not.  The observation asks so much a complicated mire that I wonder if it will ever be resolved, and I’m not sure about it.

I remember being young, making decisions, feeling that the future would be cheery. books_aug_12_14_8116 Experiencing some maturity, if in short bursts, solving mysteries that confronted me and remaining interested in famous literature, music, and art were all part of the journey.

It is such a wearying experience to think about time lost and that the best of what could be termed intellectual is lost to time.  But there remain others who do the contemplating.

The machination of insight doth crumble.

A number of famous persons for whom I held enormous respect were celebrated certainly in their own right.  There was for many the very strong pull of events connected to ongoing victories which steered people in the direction of victory.  These aren’t forgotten to history, but for the individual who lacks focus:  likewise, some of the vision of the past has dimmed to a haze.

It no longer seems the times were defined by what interprets a victory, whether a top-selling album’s reissue with new songs, a recording artist’s return to form, or a novel’s adaptation for film.  I suspect, honestly, they weren’t, but my doubts could be daftness in me that has come on with age.  I remain unsure.

The times were at least signified by what had been done some dear, favorite pop icons, I think.  You will have your own.  Thank you for reading.

© 2015 - Lucasfilm

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens is Exciting and Gripping

Today is unlucky Friday the thirteenth, all the more so being October (the year is 2017).  A year ago I wrote a mistimed blog post about The Force Awakens (the blog post is little seen).

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word cloaked.  Naturally, I think to revive the blog post reviewing The Force Awakens, for better or for worse.

It was a good experience to sit down with Star Wars Episode VII for viewing and see what happened to Han Solo and Leia after all those years. On screen, they delivered a good show, and it is a fun and lengthy saga revisited in Star Wars Episode VII.

The film represents an astounding amount of excitement. Heralded as the new film in the series which helped make an absolute legion of fans when Star Wars Episode IV, V, and VI captured the imagination in the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties.

© 2015 - Lucasfilm
John Boyega in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

The story of terrifying villains cementing an iron grip on political power across a faraway galaxy was hugely successful and now in the year 2015, Star Wars Episode VII has returned to take up the story which seemed to have ended in the year 1983. Evil hasn’t finished raising its head and, fortunately for the film audience, an assembly of the good and just will do battle with the enemy and therefore try to take back power in the galaxy.

Actor Adam Driver is Kylo Ren, who wants to destroy MIA Luke Skywalker so that the Jedi of light will never return to restore balance to the galaxy. He is fearsome and helps carry the torch, of evil because he is the chief baddie who helps lead the galactic power that controls the galaxy. He helms several important missions personally, which is important that he is that kind of leader who is responsible for putting the personal touch on many important missions.

For example, personally pursuing BB-8 falls into the hands of Kylo Ren which is instrumental to gleaning nearly-lost information that BB-8, in the tradition of Star Wars Episode IV where R2-D2 carries information with the weakness of the Death Star. BB-8 is also important to helping his human allies get the necessary information to help them vanquish.  What’s so singular about this Star Wars film is that cast members from the original films are returning, with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, along with others.

It is excellent seeing how they fare in a sequel many years after the events depicted in the first three films of the seventies and eighties. It is nearly irresistible that these characters reappear in film so many years after they resoundingly did the same in the original Star Wars saga.

What Will Trends Be Like in 100 Years?

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the death of my paternal grandfather Fred.  I wrote this post brazenly two years ago, and seeing it today I reflected that if I could curate it to make it more sensible, I would have something perhaps, that would be nearly palatable. 89AZTB8E5HI am asserting to you that I don’t read the Republic and the Law.

If you log into Facebook, you can see what’s trending on the Internet around the world.  If there is major news happening, that is summarized in the list of what’s trending.  If it isn’t such a hot day for the news, less pressing issues make the list of trends.

It is a quick and handy guide to what a majority says is happening.  No one knows precisely how the world will look a hundred years from now.  Quick spoiler:  there may have been years and years of global deflation.

By the twenty-second century, the best of economic theory may have disappeared. Following the failure of cryptocurrency, the idea of cash may be completely extinct. 1AA9897112What’s trending could resemble the pages of Plato’s The Republic of the fourth century B.C. as much as anything else.

The changing times could land us all amid a congress of ideas.  The “temple of a fair society” is nearly inevitable given equality in the sight of God and in the American Declaration of Independence (1776), with inequality in the distribution of income long since dismissed.  Humans will continue to enjoy an organized, interdependent society (just without the same economic tools we have to our advantage today).

Society won’t be grown out of Marxism a hundred years from now, but out of a right to life.  For Plato, social justice consisted of “giving every man his due” for which Plato’s student, Aristotle, used the term “proportionate equality.”  However, this isn’t written in the pages of any economics textbook.

The idea of reciprocity is a range of conventions spanning “market transactions to legislative mandates, tax codes, cultural norms, social pressures, and more” (ie, a fair society).  Plato’s foundational argument is informed by “science” and a return to Athens’ Golden Age is likely what is intended to unfold a hundred years from now.  Plato, in the Republic, divided the “soul” into three, “appetitive” (nutrition, sex, etc.), “spirited” (emotions, ambition, competitive urges, etc.), and a rational, reasoning element, which he viewed as the primary function.

Human societies contend with these challenges similarly, Plato believed, on the level that the concept of the soul parallels the structure of the society, and in the Republic, his ideal comprised three classes that corresponded to the three elements of our souls.  This is in contrast to Thomas Hobbes.

In the Leviathan (from the Hebrew word for sea monster) in 1651, Hobbes said: “I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power that ceaseth only in death. And the cause of this is not always that a man hopes for a more intensive delight than he has already attained to…but because he cannot assure the power and means to live well…without the acquisition of more.”
–Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: On the Matter Form and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil, [1651]

Do you agree what will come to pass a hundred years from now?   “Like” and/or “Follow”!

http://complexsystems.org/publications/equality-equity-and-reciprocity-the-three-pillars-of-social-justice/