Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doctors to McDonald's: Stop Making Our Kids Sick

Frances Moore Lappe
Author, "Diet For A Small Planet"

This week an open letter to McDonald's signed by 550 health professionals appears in full-page ads in newspapers across the country. Their message? Real simple: "Stop making the next generation sick--retire Ronald and the rest of your junk food marketing to kids," said signer Dr. Steven K. Rothschild, Associate Professor of Preventative Medicine at Rush Medical College.

The letter's signers also include Dr. William C. Roberts, Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Cardiology, Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Deborah Burnet, Chief of General Medicine and a pediatrician at University of Chicago, as well as the Hollywood immortalized doctor, Patch Adams.

Their letter coincides with a McDonald's shareholder meeting in Chicago where 14 institutional investors will introduce the first resolution ever to call on a major corporation to deal with its public health impacts as well as shareholder liabilities for these impact could carry.

In a campaign coordinated by Boston-based Corporate Accountability International, the doctors describe the epidemic that alarms them: A full third of American kids are obese. And thanks to diets high in McDonald's-style fast-food it's estimated that one in three American newborns will develop Type II Diabetes in their lifetime.


"I've grown certain that the root of all fear is that we've been forced to deny who we are... Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully." ~ Frances Moore Lappé

Monday, May 16, 2011

John O'Donohue: For a New Beginning

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mary Oliver: Spring


a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her –
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)

Robert Bly: Warning To The Reader

Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful when all the oats or wheat are gone, and wind has swept the rough floor clean. Standing inside, we see around us, coming in through the cracks between shrunken wall boards, bands or strips of sunlight. So in a poem about imprisonment, one sees a little light.

But how many birds have died trapped in these granaries. The bird, seeing freedom in the light, flutters up the walls and falls back again and again. The way out is where the rats enter and leave; but the rat's hole is low to the floor. Writers, be careful then by showing the sunlight on the walls not to promise the anxious and panicky blackbirds a way out!

I say to the reader, beware. Readers who love poems of light may sit hunched in the corner with nothing in their gizzards for four days, light failing, the eyes glazed...

They may end as a mound of feathers and a skull on the open boardwood floor...

-- Robert Bly

Quotes In Living With Humility and Compassion

Stephen Levine


"We are motivated more by aversion to the unpleasant than by a will toward truth, freedom, or healing. We are constantly attempting to escape our life, to avoid rather than enter our pain, and we wonder why it is so difficult to be fully alive."

"Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it."

"Those who insist they've got their 'shit together' are usually standing in it at the time."

"When your fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity, when your love touches someone’s pain, it become compassion."

"If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay."

"There is nothing noble about suffering except the love and forgiveness with which we meet it."

"God is not someone or something separate but is the suchness in each moment, the underlying reality."

"That which is impermanent attracts compassion. That which is not provides wisdom."

"Our life is composed of events and states of mind. How we appraise our life from our deathbed will be predicated not only on what came to us in life but how we lived with it. It will not be simply illness or health, riches or poverty, good luck or bad, which ultimately define whether we believe we have had a good life or not, but the quality of our relationship to these situations: the attitudes of our states of mind."

"How soon will we accept this opportunity to be fully alive before we die?"

Making a Living (Economy)

By David Korten

We’re wasting our resources subsidizing a war economy, sprawl, and consumerism. What we could do differently in a living economy.

In a world rushing toward environmental and social collapse, there is no place for war, speculation, auto-dependent sprawl, toxic contamination, and wasteful consumption —activities that generate a major portion of current GDP. This massive misallocation of resources is an artifact of a mistaken belief that human prosperity is maximized by unrestrained global competition for resources, markets, and money to drive growth in the consumption of whatever goods and services generate the greatest private financial profit.

The living economy frame shifts the focus from making money to making a living. This simple shift in perspective shines a spotlight on the many ways we can simultaneously improve the quality of our lives while reducing our human burden on the biosphere.



In a living economy, the rights and interests of living communities of living, breathing people engaged in a living exchange with the natural systems of their bioregion properly take priority over the presumed rights of artificial corporate entities that value life only as a marketable commodity and operate by the moral code of a malignant cancer. Protecting the boundaries of the community from intrusion by predatory corporations is an essential function of any responsible government. ~ David Korten