January 07,2017
Gratitude

Gratitude is how we acknowledge and multiply what is already good. To make our worlds good, we give thanks for the people, places, kindness, love, generosity, good health that come to us and we express that gratitude by acknowledging our appreciation for what is good. We give thanks to God/The Universe. We bless those who assist us and we pay it forward by doing good and by being generous to others. We give to charities or to organizations that contribute to our spiritual growth and well being. We live by values that are fair and kind and loving to all people and animals and respectful to our planet.

For what kinds of things are we grateful? Our sources of income and work, our accumulated savings and assets, our homes, our friends and family members, the ability to take holidays and/or travel, our pets, our material things, such as clothing, furniture, art and other possessions, our talents, the financial institutions that have helped us, the spiritual organizations and guides who have helped us...

Bless these things and they will multiply. It is a universal law.

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2017


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January 06,2017
Freedom of Speech

The purpose of my BLOG has always been to share ideas about how to live a creative life.  If we don’t have freedom of speech, how do we live a creative life?  Recent warnings have appeared in the news from such notable writers as Margaret Atwood and Dan Rather cautioning that freedom of speech could be threatened by new world leaders with authoritarian tendencies.  Atwood wrote, “When dictators of any kind, in any country, achieve power, they clamp down on writers and journalists first, because writers and journalists are alternative and frequently dissenting voices.  America has always prided itself on being a country where the freedom to write is valued. Please support and preserve that value (Atwood, January 3, 2017).” 

And, in his acceptance speech for the CPJ Burton Benjamin Memorial Award in 2011, Dan Rather was already talking about the dangers of money in the media and how it changes the focus from investigating and reporting the news to striving for ratings and profits.  He was right that the corporate goals of profit have changed reporting, and we saw that most prominently in the recent US election where the media seemed more interested in making it a reality TV show with the biggest star capturing the media time while the more serious and competent political candidate was sidelined in favor of the reality show sensationalism.  Now, with the election of a new elitist President with narcissistic tendencies, it seems that freedom of the press is threatened more as he bullies those reporters who don’t paint a flattering picture of him.

For true creativity and innovation to take place, creators must have the freedom to think and act independently to come up with original ideas, art, literature and inventions. This is the first step in moving societies forward to create new ideas, new technology, new products, new ways of doing things, and to develop the people to apply these concepts.

In the speech referenced above, Dan Rather reminded us that Thomas Jefferson said, "Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light."

Let us all work to encourage and support honest investigative reporting in our news media, to allow freedom of expression, and to be able to distinguish between truth and fake news. Each of us has the responsibility to be discerning with what we read by selecting reputable news sources and checking the validity of stories that may seem in doubt.  It is also our responsibility to not share, forward and repeat news that is fake, untrue or unsubstantiated. As creators, we have the responsibility to keep on creating and expressing our rights for free expression to bring light to the world.

References:

Atwood, Margaret in Crum, Maddie. (January 3, 2017) “Margaret Atwood Cautions America Against 'Dictators Of Any Kind',” The Huffington Post, retrieved on January 6, 2017 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com.mx/entry/margaret-atwood-cautions-against-dictators_us_586bf7f1e4b0eb58648ac551

Rather, Dan. (November 22, 2011). “And, We've Gotten Used to It,” Acceptance Speech, CPJ Burton Benjamin Memorial Award 2011, Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, New York City, retrieved on January 6, 2017 from https://cpj.org/awards/2011/dan-rather.php

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2017

 


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January 03,2017
2017!

Well, it’s 2017. What do I have to say?  I have not been publishing my BLOG regularly since mid 2014. Challenges occurred – finishing my doctorate, very busy work life, death in the family, loss of my cat and dog…. It became difficult to write encouraging messages about expressing creativity when I did not feel encouraged myself, and I was not creating much. Then, the US election occurred and dashed my dreams that women could crash through the glass ceiling and realize equal opportunity when the female candidate was widely recognized to be the most competent and prepared candidate ever to run. And, her opponent is recognized around the world to be incompetent and unprepared to assume the oval office.  He ran on a platform of racism, misogyny, dishonesty, hate and fear with few, if any actual policies. All of this has pretty much left me speechless and with little hope for the human race.

I know I am not alone now. Others share my concerns. So how do we get back to creating a world around us that is positive and hopeful where we see possibilities for a bright, positive and free future …. a world filled with love and kindness and civility? I have chosen to read and follow visionaries who have that view of the world … to try to “fake it ‘til I make it” by reading the posts and writings of such visionaries as the Dalai Llama, Pope Francis, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson, and by watching news casts that are not based on fake news or not purporting negative and hateful messages.  I am vigilantly seeking truthful news stories. I am following Dan Rather on Facebook and other broadcasters who are not afraid to do investigative reporting.

I am praying for the world, and so let’s begin my return to blogging and 2017 with a prayer for the world.  I thought that I might write something appropriate, but as I thought about what I wanted to say, the Prayer of St. Francis kept coming to mind, so here it is:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

For 2017, I wish for world peace, the preservation of our planet, fair human and animal rights, love, kindness, civility, good health, and prosperity for all. 

Let’s hope and pray that it’s all going to turn out well and that God or the Universe does have a loving plan for us all and that we will all be guided in the right directions to take the right actions.

References:

St. Francis Prayer, retrieved on January 3, 2017 from http://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/prayer/traditional-catholic-prayers/saints-prayers/peace-prayer-of-saint-francis

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2017


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