Monthly Archives: April 2013

We Must Learn To Get Along

“In today’s interconnected and globalized world, it is now commonplace for people of dissimilar world views, faiths and races to live side by side. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect.”

The Dali Lama in India today.

The Dali Lama in India today.

This was the Facebook post of the Dali Lama on April 22. (Yes, Virginia, the Dali Lama has a Facebook page.) The Dali Lama is expanding on what Rodney King said so many years ago, “Can’t we all just get along?” It may be hard to believe that these two men from such different backgrounds and cultures would basically think alike. Yet Rodney King, so troubled in so many ways, had a deeper wisdom that transcended his everyday struggle. He knew a fundamental truth: live and let live.

The Dali Lama is saying that we are going to be more challenged than ever. We used to live in small tribes, then small villages, then small towns. Many people never left their birthplaces. No one new moved in next door. Everyone followed the same religion, same doctrines, same leader. But we are truly a global world now. The complexity of our lives is growing. We are no longer isolated on the north American continent. What happens in Syria affects what happens on Main Street, USA.

The people who frighten me the most are the zealots. They BELIEVE they are right. They BELIEVE their God is leading them to do what is best for the world. They BELIEVE that those who don’t share their belief are evil and should be eradicated. To them, there is only one way. To reach their goal, all ends justify the means. Just ask the Tsarnaev boys. I’ve been reading about youth who are being radicalized. It is so easy now, the experts say. The leaders only have to go on You Tube to spread their message. Or Twitter or Facebook to connect.

They stood among people that they would slaughter.

They stood among people that they would slaughter.

Which brings me back to the Dali Lama. I hold him up as a positive influence. I see him as a man of wisdom and spiritual connectedness. I am sure there are many who would disagree (the Chinese government for one?). I like to hear what he has to say, and to see his very human reaction to things. I feel he personifies goodness and what is best in humankind. That is who I am. I am also someone who believes that what is yours is yours. I don’t want you to take what is mine, but I certainly won’t be trying to steal yours. And I doubt I would be protecting mine with a gun.

Which leads my meandering mind to the idea of universal background checks for gun buyers. I’m not asking to take my neighbor’s gun away (shudder, shudder) but I feel it’s reasonable to require background checks for gun purchasers, at the least. Not everyone is a responsible citizen. Not everyone is sane. Not everyone is thinking that life is precious.

But it is. Life is precious. I know that.

BETTER SAFER THAN SORRIER

I hate to be a worrywart, but I am, always have been and probably always will be. One of the things that has bothered me for a while is cell phones. For years I’ve heard talk about the potential danger. Was it an urban legend that they were causing brain tumors or was it truth?

I will say that I’ve been called a Henny Penny (the sky is falling girl) Henny_penny

and a Nervous Nelly many times in my life. And it’s not an unwarranted slur. My mind just naturally goes to “what if the half full or empty glass falls off the counter and crashes onto the kitchen floor, shattering and slicing into the femoral artery of my nearest and dearest? What if the row boat sinks in the middle of the lake? What if the man who has locked himself in the lavoratory on my airplane is really a terrorist who has brought many tiny bottles onto the airplane and is now assembling them into a liquid nitrogen bomb? I am a writer, for goodness sake. I can’t help it if I have an overactive imagination.

I had a few extra minutes this morning as I woke up an hour before I needed to get up. (I’m not sure why, but it could have been the wind that was screeching around our doors and windows like banshees on the prowl.) With the extra time, I decided to check out Dr. Oz’s article: Dr. Oz: “5 Health Risks I Won’t Take—and Neither Should You”

 

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Health-Risks-to-Avoid-Dr-Oz-on-Health-Hazards/3#ixzz2Q18aRKrS.

The first risk to avoid is Triclosan in your toothpaste, Dr. Oz advises. I immediately went into the bathroom. Geez, I tried to read the label on my toothpaste tube—it’s so small that it’s unreadable. I decided to forgo my brushing until I got a magnifying glass. Gingivitis is a small price to pay to avoid a potential carcinogen.

Advice Number 3 deals with cell phones…I knew it! Read the following and take heed.

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“Science says: Cell phones emit radio frequency (RF) energy, a type of radiation deemed “possibly carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Unlike the radiation from a CT scan, RF energy isn’t strong enough to break DNA bonds, but the tissues near the ear you use when you’re on the phone can absorb it. Some research suggests that this could slightly increase your risk of developing brain tumors, but at least two studies that looked at brain tumor incidence among people who used cell phones regularly for ten years or more found no connection. While such news is reassuring, the medical community believes it’s difficult to know the health consequences of cell phone use until longer-term studies are done. 

For safety’s sake: Avoid keeping the phone pressed up against your ear; I use the speaker phone or a hands-free headset to reduce my RF exposure. Whenever possible, I also wait until I have strong cell phone reception to make calls; the weaker the signal, the more RF energy the phone emits to keep calls from dropping. At night, don’t sleep with your phone right next to your bed—it still releases RF when it’s transmitting data as you get pinged with e-mails and texts.”

OMG! I knew it! I told my kids, but would they believe me? Of course not; I’ve been giving out dire warnings for years. But they should listen. Even I can’t be wrong all the time.