Fortnight of Transition, Day 4: Legalese

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September 12, 2020-

Good things happened today. My middle brother turned 65, surrounded by the Georgia branch of his family. It was good to speak with him and to hear the vibrant voices of nephew, SIL and the little ones.

I am reaching an understanding with someone who thought I could be the brains behind his operation. There are legal points, like “Conflict of Interest” and Federal tax laws that would present problems for my being the Great White Hope. I think he gets it now.

“Cuties”, the well-intentioned, but misguided, film has run into a buzz-saw of valid criticism, for its reported perseverating on the physiques of pre-adolescent girls. I haven’t seen the film, nor will I-since Creeper Status is not something with which I identify, as well as the fact that my primary role with young people, male or female, is to encourage them to avoid being objectified and to follow dreams of their own choosing. Hopefully, there will arise a sense of propriety and like misguided projects before it, “Cuties” will disappear from the media.

Our Baha’i group had its tri-monthly consultative meeting and planned out the overall course of activities, over the next three months.

That brings me to the Red Cross-and that I was already asked when I could resume Disaster Response activities. A look at the map shows why-Fire to the left of us, Storms to the right-and I will be stuck in the middle, for at least another week, as I have personal business on the last day of summer and will focus on other matters here at Home Base, in the interim.

The Farmers Market is a bustling place, with a new venue. I was happy to visit there this morning, seeing some of my better friends, locally. Next weekend will bring me to Dharma Farm, in advance of Equinox, and the Weekend of Peace will see some events, both on Zoom and in the park across the street from me.

With that, let’s all take a deep breath, to the extent possible, in a climate of widespread smoke.

Fortnight of Transition, Day 1: Overcoming Learned Helplessness

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September 9, 2020-

A fortnight is a period of two weeks. There are about that many days until the September Equinox (Autumnal/Vernal). In this time, I wish to look at several themes that have impacted or are impacting my life and those around me.

As I edge closer to retirement and to making my own determination, as to which activities to which I devote time and energy, I have had to begin to find positive and helpful ways to address those who come to me with outstretched hands. Deflecting requests for money is easy enough. I have to budget what I have, in the way of financial resources, so as to both support myself and to fulfill some plans which I feel I have earned.

Time and energy are more problematic. No one can, in good conscience, refuse the legitimate requests for assistance with finding resources that come, sometimes randomly, from those who believe themselves to be at the end of their ropes. If one agrees to offer limited assistance, and uses the Internet to connect start-ups with potential benefactors, the result is usually win-win-and does not end up being a time and energy pit.

The key is to use the correct search terms, so as to not waste time on dead ends. For example, in linking an entrepreneur, in one of several African countries, to an entity that can provide seed money grants, the best search term is “Organizations that help marginalized communities in Africa”. I used this yesterday, and was able to forward a link to three appreciative entrepreneurs, who have imagined themselves to be in dire straits.

My message to such entrepreneurs is this: You have the skills and intelligence to make your dreams happen. Europeans and North Americans have done a bad job, in many cases, of giving the impression that our resources can lift all boats. That is seldom true, on an individual basis. It is by pooling resources, while simultaneously reminding the individuals seeking assistance that they can and should establish their own contacts with helpful organizations, that the most meaningful change can happen.

I am always glad to guide people to the proper resources, but I will no encourage and foster the sense of helplessness that only drags down both entrepreneur and advocate.

The Road to 65, Mile 349: Anticipating Twin Lights

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November 12, 2015, Chino Valley-

I head homeward,

upon ending a successful day.

Many bright ideas were in view,

As our Science Fair displayed.

Now come the Twin Birthdays,

of Al-Bab and Baha’u’llah.

The Gate and Blessed Beauty,

Behold, and stand in awe!

This verse is in honour of the commemorations of the Births of Baha’u’llah, and His Herald, Al-Bab (The Gate), which are celebrated on November 13 (Al-Bab’s) and 14 (Baha’u’llah), as these are the days on which the Anniversaries fall, when gauged by the Badi, or Baha’i, Calendar, which is pegged to begin with the Vernal Equinox of the Northern Hemisphere (Autumnal, in the Southern Hemisphere).  As the Equinox may fluctuate, from year to year, so will Baha’i Holy Days, including the Twin Anniversaries, fall on slightly different days, from one year to the next.

We Baha’is in the Prescott area had a lovely devotional, followed by an incomparable Persian dinner, in honouring Al-Bab, this evening.  The same will ensue on Saturday, in honour of Baha’u’llah.