Enjoy a Bird’s-Eye View of Earth

This photo (and many others) offer an interesting perspective.

Verdun military cemetery
This picture of the military cemetery in Verdun, France, is a fitting illustration for the day after Memorial Day. It reminds me of the Normandy American Cemetery my husband and I visited the several years ago. The rows of white Crosses and the Star of David offer a stark reminder of the price soldiers have paid in our wars.

Also, I use this picture to point you to other pictures of earth as you may never have seen them. They were taken by the aerial photographer Arthus-Bertrand in his five-year odyssey across six continents.

Click here to see a spectacular presentation of large scale photographs of astonishing natural landscapes. Every stunning aerial photograph tells a story about our changing planet.

How Hard Have You Worked for Power and Prestige?

Expand relationships by asking questions your personality

Note: If you are new to this feature of the Support4Change Blog, here are some suggestions for exploring questions for yourself and also for your family and friends.

I try to keep in my mind the simple question: Am I trying to do good or make myself look good? Too many of our responsibilities get added to our plate when we are trying to please people, impress people, prove ourselves, acquire power, increase our prestige. All those motivations are about looking good more than doing good.

Kevin DeYoung

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War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.

John F. Kennedy

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Fame is part of me and my life as an actor. I enjoy the creative aspects of my life as an actor. I enjoy directing and acting as well. But the bottom line for me is not prestige and power. It’s about having an exciting, creative life.

Matt Dillon

The questions in this post are designed to help you explore whether you strive for power and prestige — and what it would mean to you if you achieved the highest position one could have in business, entertainment, politics, fashion, and so forth.

The fact is that someone will always be on top. We need him or her to be the director of a local bank, the superintendent of a school district, the president of a chamber of commerce, an author who sells the most books, the winner of a marathon, the chair of a committee at church, and so forth. These may not be world-famous positions, but anarchy would reign if no one were willing to lead.

Of course, if someone were to ask whether you wanted or strived for fame and fortune (companions of power and prestige) in a position that would place you in the public eye with your name in the paper, you might deny it.

Yet it’s interesting that we enjoy telling others that we know so-and-so who is famous or that we are a cousin of the winner of a famous race. If we were honest with ourselves, we would probably admit that we like to bask in the glory of their position at the top — without needing the fortitude and skills to accomplish those goals.

Explore Your Views on Power, Prestige, Fame and Fortune
by Asking Yourself These Questions:

  1. To what extent do I use my creativity, energy and talents to achieve a position that has prestige, power and authority?
  2. To what extent do I believe my self-concept is enhanced if I can be seen to be in a position of dominance? Why?
  3. What do I think one has to do to achieve positions that rank one person higher than another?

What have you learned about yourself in exploring these questions?
What have you learned about your friends if they have explored these questions with you?

What World Will You Leave to Your Descendants?

Last month was the first anniversary of my husband’s death and I had a lovely day thinking about what he meant to me and how much he had made an impact on the world.

Bob certainly left a legacy in his work by designing a structural engineering program that helps create stronger airplanes and bridges and cars.

He also had an impact on the earth when he walked in the mountains, leaving the smallest footprint he could. In fact, he made it a habit of picking up trash as he hiked in the hills he loved, often coming home with pockets full of junk others had left behind.

His life was reflected in the idea of an earth for which we are all responsible as noted by Adlai Stevenson many years ago:

“We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent upon its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, committed for our safety to its security and peace, preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of mankind, half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew, can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.”

I have tried to also do my part to protect the earth and the people on it. I hope that the many words I’ve written, and the love I have tried to share, enrich the lives of others so they, too, will recognize the need to protect this precious planet — the only earth we have.

Several years ago I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings about taking care of the earth. You can read it at When I Am Gone and can also see a slide show about the earth that my children, your children and all our descendants will inherit — and our need to protect it.

The Five Stages to Changing One’s Behavior

Two articles to help you make positive change in your life.

Coastpath south of Treyarnon (4) - geograph.org.uk - 1473712 How often have you watched someone struggling with a problem that would be easily resolved if only they did things differently? Probably lots of times.

Why don’t they see what needs to be done? Why don’t they enter therapy or in some other way actively work to resolve their problems, reduce their symptoms and retool their lives?

Well, it seems that everyone needs to go through five stages before they are able to actually change their behavior, and to maintain those changes by having insight into how their behavior affects their work and relationships.

Read more about these stages in Transformation Now (or maybe later).

Knowing this is a common process for all of us may make you more tolerant of a spouse, child, friend, etc. who seems stuck in behavior that is getting him nowhere.

As I wrote in You Have to Open Your Own Egg, you sometimes just have to be patient until the other person is ready to deal with life in a new way.

No Training Required for Marriage?

Compassion for others —and ourselves —is key

This is the third post of advice from Opening to Love 365 Days a Year by Judith Sherven, PhD, and James Sniechowski, PhD.

The ability to disagree with somebody but still respect them . . . that’s not something we’re taught anymore.

— James Finn Garner

You took math and reading when you were in school. But you didn’t have to take Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution, Respect for Personal Differences or Positive Parenting. And yet, you’re allowed to get a marriage license and have children—with no preparation for the two most challenging and difficult experiences in life.

It’s no wonder that most everyone hates to date, feels threatened by intimacy and fights in the most brutal and destructive ways. Where would we have learned otherwise? We copy our parents, we mimic the movies, we get advice from friends—hoping to be more successful.

The fact is, every one of us deserves compassion for our struggle to love well. With no training in even the basic skills, we need to feel more compassion for ourselves (and for everyone else). Today, be kind to yourself and your partner by remaining aware that you never got a class in even Relationship Basics and that you are learning as you go.

Reinforce today’s ideas by saying this to yourself:

I deserve compassion for all I don’t know.