Hanging Out

ducks together

Ducks hanging out on bank

For as long as I can remember, I always enjoyed hanging out with friends and family.  It was always something that touched my heart and felt good to me. Also because I have taught English, good communication has been very important to me.

birds over marsh

All kinds of birds hanging out near lake

Today, texting, twitter, etc. seems to be killing meaningful communication between people. I feel a little perplexed when I see a family or couple sitting across the table from each other at a restaurant, each browsing their own cell phones. Are many people losing the art of hanging out and conversing?

Canadian geese

Canadian geese hanging out on hill

The word relationship has the word “relate” as a root.  To relate means to:  tell, give an account of, to connect. If we are doing one-sided communication with texting and twitter, for example, how deep can we get to know someone? What I find missing with texting is hearing the emotion in the other person’s voice when I speak to him or her. Also that person’s tone and volume say something about what that other person is feeling, for example, on the phone or in person. Immodicons can NOT really capture that human connection. Texting has its uses and is another good way to communicate, but something is missing in the human domain if this is how some one communicates with others much of the time.

ducks in stream

Ducks hanging out in a stream

I am not alone in my concern about the loss of the art of conversation. Check this article out from the “Huffington Post”:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/03/text-messaging-texting-conversation_n_1566408.html

Beside diminishing our verbal communication, another side effect from texting and using your cell phone frequently is that it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This article explains this syndrome more explicitly:

wrvo.org/post/typing-texting-and-carpaltunnel

We have choices in how we communicate with each other. Hanging out, whether on the phone or face-to-face, will continue to be of my FAVs.
Have you REALLY hung out lately with your friends and/or family?

 

 

 

 

 

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My Source

For many years I had no source outside myself.  I was aimless and confused, but I wouldn’t admit it for a minute. I was an “independent thinker”, so I thought.

mountain spring

spring, a source begins

When I look back at me then, I thought I knew what I was doing. I was certain and almost proud I had no source outside myself, except people.  I had no spiritual center, and in moments, when I was willing to question myself, I did not feel quite “whole”, nor did I fully understand what I was feeling.

mountain spring 2

mountain spring continues

While I was teaching, I prepared adult students for the GED test. They shared amazing stories with me, including even their near death experiences. The curriculum I taught included the basic laws of physics for their GED tests. That taught me that energy is not destroyed.

At that time, other events occurred in my life which involved family members who were spared from near misses with death: one with a collision with snow plow, and another family member who fell off a roof. Added to these events, when my daughter was driving day or at night in the New England town where we lived, I sent her “white light” as a way to protect her and to stop myself from worrying. I started to question my lack of a spiritual source and faith in anything. I no longer had all the “answers” and explanations for what I was experiencing in my life.

Lesley Hazelton gives a moving TED talk about Doubt in relationship with Faith about Mohammed. She lived in Israel from 1966 to 1979. In the following talk, she speaks about the Moslem faith that I came to know and understand from my friends, who are Moslems, and from students, who I taught who are Moslems.

It is:  www.ted.com/talks/lesley_hazleton_the_doubt_essential_to_faith

 

water goes into stream

water further from my source

 Now when I feel confused, fear, hopeless, or am in pain, I ask for help from my source and receive solace and serenity when I am patient. I am deeply thankful that I have found my source. My life feels fuller, more joyful, and I love myself, others, and nature more than I ever have before.
Thank you, source!
spring source 3

my constant source

“Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you.  They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion. ”     –   Buddha

 

 

 

 

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COLOR

I love the colors in nature.  I like to wear bright colors when it is raining or dark. Color lifts my spirit.

shocking pink wildflower

pink wild flower

I appreciate colors in all parts of nature, not just in plants and flowers, also in people. I have had many good experiences with people from all over the world of all shades of beige and brown because I taught English-as-Second language classes for many years. I have friends who are all shades of the rainbow, too. I feel deeply grateful for these relationships.

crocuses mid 2/2015

purple Crocuses

I feel very blessed and grateful that I have had opportunities to work with all people and cultures.  I can’t imagine a world where we were all just one color. I have learned so much from the students I taught and my friends.

ESL students

Adult ESL Class

We Americans live in a country with some racial strife, and some people have a lack of acceptance of people from all cultural and racial backgrounds. Our newspapers and TV news tells us about this almost daily. This is, I believe,  is NOT how many Americans feel. I think many Americans are appalled, as I have been by what we have seen revealed about some of our social institutions which continue to perpetuate racism.

An incomparable documentary about race is called “Race: the Power of an Illusion”. This is short youtube video of only part of this powerful work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8MS6zubIaQ

coral and yellow tulip

coral and yellow tulip

I hope and pray for the day that our country can overcome our historically caused issues with racism. I wonder when we will start to have REAL conversations with people from all racial backgrounds participating in dialogues with each other to heal ourselves from our historically tainted roots in slavery, as well as our history with American Indians, Asian groups who built our railroads, Latino people who have been underpaid to harvest our food, and other groups I am probably not even aware of.

Like an addict of any kind with bad habits, to heal with any real change, we Americans must first become fully aware of our past and tell the truth about it. We’ve made progress, and there is still a ways to go.

“I have dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will NOT be judged by the color of their skin, but by content of their character.”  

– Dr. Martin Luther Jr.

I pray this for all people and all children in the USA and world.

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