Gone but not forgotten

What happens when we die? That is a huge question that no one really has the answer for. Every religion has an idea, science really has no idea. Here is an article with some references to books that try to explain with science what a soul is. Most believe that there is a soul (60% of Americans) and that the soul when we die moves onto another plane of existence. No matter what we believe it is hard to argue against remembering our family and loved ones that no longer exist here on earth. One amazing way that the dead are honored in Mexico on November 1 and 2 is through Day of the Dead.

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Day of the Dead is a holiday that honors the dead, with altars to the dead, favorite food of the dead, dressing up to honor the dead. It is important to celebrate lives well lived and the impact the lives made on us. We have the Aztecs to thank for the tradition of the Day of the Dead. This is one tradition that survived the conquest and destruction of the Aztec nation. The forced conversion to Christianity of the survivors could not stop the Aztecs from honoring their dead in their way.

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The Aztecs had some traditions and religious practices that were awful, (human sacrifices immediately comes to mind), but I do not think the answer to life lies in subjugation destruction and forced conversion of nations.

Let the human race learn from the Aztecs. We should understand that the dead are still with us in spirit and memory. It is believed that the Aztecs understood that the dead lived on in the afterlife with us as hummingbirds and butterflies. I like this idea not because I like butterflies and humming birds which I do but because, the dead are still here and we can still care for the dead by caring for and being good conservators of earth.

Help yourself and help the dead by taking care of the earth.

Paradise Lost

When I was dating my wife she bought me a print of Muhamad Ali standing over Sony Liston and a copy of the poem / book Paradise Lost my Milton. The print is hanging up in my office at work and the book is on our bookshelf.

I am a big fan of the poem Paradise Lost. The fall of humanity, Lucifers’ revenge for being sent out of heaven.

The thing about Paradise Lost and the Christian creation story that I find most strange and there is a lot to find odd, talking snakes and all, is that God placed humans on earth. In the creation story God creates everything, then puts life on earth, humans are the last created creatures and they are the ones who are given rules to abide by on earth. Satan was kicked out of heaven prior to the creation of everything and wants revenge. Satan takes on the image of a serpent and tempts humans to disobey God. The humans succumb to temptation and God punishes the humans. The punishment for humans is almost the same as the punishment for Lucifer or Satan, banishment. Humans are banished from their home the garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is on earth.

The earth is an incredible planet. Planet Earth provide us with life, and protects us from space. Everything we have ever needed to survive and thrive has come from the earth. I do not know if it is irony or not, I do know that it is tragic, but humans have destroyed more than 97% of the earths ecosystem. Humans have not lost paradise, we have burned it away.

Why did humans do this and why do we continue to do this? Because we were tricked and continue to be tricked everyday. Instead of learning to live in harmony with the Earth we have learned to destroy the earth and carve out our living at the cost of the earth.

We still have a chance at paradise, we were not kicked off of the Earth. We just need to stop being tricked. A life that is zero waste, respects all life around us, works towards sustainability and understands that we must always be growing, that is a life that is lived without being tricked.

“We don’t have a lot of time on this Earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way! Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements!”

Peter Gibbons
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It cost what

I was involved in implementing a plan to reduce the cost of printing at a rather large institution. No one was happy to see me when I was involved in this plan. I represented a change in the way things were being done. The change was taking place because of the cost associated with the levels of printing that were going on at the institution.

I heard all of the reasons to not implement and to implement the printing plan. Ultimately the plan was implemented and I think the institution has adjusted well.

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Personally I believe that the plan was the right call. Stewardship means taking care of something carefully and responsibly. I have rarely seen stewardship employed when it comes to a resource that seems plentiful.

When I consider stewardship I always think of the Cedars of Lebanon. The Mountains of Lebanon were once full of trees Cedar trees. Over time without stewardship the trees were forested and now there are only a handful of these trees that remain. It is truly heart breaking.

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The real cost of deforestation did not seem to weigh in on the calculations when the deforestation was happening in Lebanon. The trees seemed to be plentiful until they were not.

I love cutting loose and being impetuous as the next guy but, I want to be able to cut loose and live free as long as I can and I want my kids to see a real live Long leaf pine however because of a lack of stewardship this may not happen….

Here is an article detailing 13 trees in the United States that face extinction. What we do matters now, in the near and far future. Let us all be good stewards of the earth we were gifted.