DON’T LET ANYTHING OR ANYONE HOLD YOU BACK, HERE’S SOME INSPIRATION.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I can’t do that”, “I would never be able to do that” or “I’m too scared to do that”.  We put so many obstacles in our way in order to avoid to even try to accomplish something we need or want to accomplish.  Next time you think that you are not able to accomplish something – watch this video and remember that you are not as unable as you think you are:

Try not putting limitations on yourself and instead of saying no to those things you think you may be able to accomplish, why not just TRY?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (CANADA)

Another Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone.  I thought that this would be a great time to list everything that I am thankful for.  Hopefully it will inspire my Canadian friends to think about the things that are important to them.  The United States will not be celebrating until November 27 – I hope that this blog post inspires all the U.S. readers to think about the things they will be most thankful for.  Here are mine:

  • Thankful that I am alive
  • Thankful that I have my health
  • Thankful that I have the best husband and friend anyone could ask for
  • Thankful that I don’t eat animals
  • Thankful for this beautiful planet
  • Thankful for being capable of forgiving those who have caused me pain
  • Thankful for doing my best to help in the fight against climate change
  • Thankful for a wonderful and understanding family
  • Thankful for great friends
  • Thankful that I have a job I enjoy
  • Thankful for freedom
  • Thankful for all the love that I receive
  • Thankful for all the love that I give
  • Thankful for the universe
  • Thankful for my willingness to learn

What are you grateful for?

Together, we can make the world a more postive one!

HOW MUCH PLASTIC IS OUT THERE?

I am amazed how many people I see using or buying items that will end up in a land fill, in our rivers, lakes and oceans and even on the side-of-the-road.  Cigarette packages and cigarettes ends, fast-food wrappers, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, styrofoam containers, beer cans, pop cans, etc.  Are we really that distracted to even consider the consequences of our actions when we purchase such items?  Because of our demand for such items, we have been depleting earth’s natural resources to a degree that shifted the climate patterns.  These products are not made out of thin air, we have to use something to create them, so what big companies turn to in order to meet our consumer demands – the earth.  Well, our planet can not take it any more.  She is crying out for help and is at the brink of a catastrophic meltdown.

I know that images are more effective to making a point but I thought this time, I will let statistics speak for themselves:

Total number of plastic bags used worldwide annually 1 trillion
Total number of plastic bags China consumes everyday 3 billion
Total number of plastic bags used every minute 1 million
Total number of years it takes for a plastic bag to degrade 1,000 years
Total amount of plastic bags that were discarded in 2008 3.5 million tons
Total amount of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean 46,000 pieces
Average amount of plastic bags consumed per family in 4 trips to the grocery store 60
Percent of plastic made every year that will end up in the ocean 10%
Total amount of plastic bags used by U.S. citizens every year 100 billion
Average amount of plastic bottles a U.S. household will use each year 500 plastic bottles
Percent of household waste that is plastic 11%

***Take notice of the blue high-lighted stats***  *** above statistics obtained from:  http://www.statisticbrain.com/plastic-bag-statistics/ ***

What can we do about this?  In terms of plastic bag usage, do what California did and ban them.  Ban plastic bags worldwide.  We don’t need them.  Companies make canvas or nylon bags that can be reused.  The majority of grocery stores always have reusable bags at hand.  Reusable bags are available almost everywhere, so why the need for plastic?

Plastic bags are not the only problem.  How about water bottles?  Here are some statistics on water bottles:

  • Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year1. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.
  • The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes.
  • Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.
  • Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year3.
  • The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
  • Antimony, which is found in PET plastic bottles, in small doses can cause dizziness and depression; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and death.

***above statistics obtained viahttp://www.banthebottle.net/bottled-water-facts/ ***

So what can we do about this?  Here are some suggestions:

Plastic Bags:  Don’t buy them anymore.  You really have no use for them.  Reuse the ones you already have and once they can no longer be used, use cloth bags. 

Water Bottles:  I don’t know why anyone would buy plastic water bottles in this day and age.  Like plastic bags, they are polluting our lakes, oceans and parks, they are harming wildlife and ending up in landfills instead of recycling depots.  Buy a reusable one, preferably glass.  I use mason jars to drink and store my water and I also have a reusable water container.  I buy reverse-osmosis water and go to a water depot to refill my bottles regularly.

Fast Food Containers:  Fast-food isn’t good for you.  It is always best to make or cook your own food.  If you do go out to eat – go to a restaurant that uses metal cutlery and reusable plates or visit a restaurant that has a great recycling program and separate’s food waste, compostable material and plastic.  There is a massive shopping mall in downtown Toronto called the Eaton Centre that has adopted the use of reusable cutlery and plates in their food court.  As far as I know, the fast food restaurant that isn’t participating is McDonald’s.  This initiative was great as it creates jobs and is sustainable.  Why is this initiative not used in shopping malls across the nation and around the world?  Demand it at your local shopping mall and be the change you want to see in the world

If I ever purchase meals that come with plastic cutlery – I never throw them out.  I wash them and reuse them as long as I can.  (You won’t believe how much I have collected and have been reusing). 

Each time you buy any of the above items or any other items that have access packaging – remember what you are contributing to:  the massive garbage heaps in our oceans, the depletion of earth’s natural resources, the increase of garbage in landfills and the death of all types of animals.  It is time that we really look at the consequences of our actions and it is time that we change to ensure the survival of our planet, wildlife and our humanity.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

WHY MY MARRIAGE WILL NOT AFFECT YOURS

I don’t understand why so many people are freaking out about ‘gay’ marriage – first of all, it is NOT a ‘gay’ marriage – it is a marriage between two people of the same-sex.  Traditionally speaking, the definition of marriage is a union between one man and one women.  For me, this definition is based on suppression and the lack of acceptance of two people in love and this suppression and lack of acceptance is rooted mainly on religious beliefs. 

If two people of the same-sex and in love threaten the sanctity of ‘traditional marriage’ – why are divorce rates around the world on the uprise?  Isn’t divorce a religious faux pas?  Let’s take at look at some marriage statistics:

United States of America

Men and women are marrying later in life than they were in 1960:

  • 1960 Men – Age 23
  • 2012 Men – Age 28
  • 1960 Women – Age 20
  • 2012 Women – Age 25 

Marriage continues to decline – Between 1970 and 2010, marriage has declined by 50%

Divorce rates is twice as much as it was in 1960.  Current estimates, suggest that 40-50% of recent marriages will end in separation or divorce.

Lowest Divorce Rates

  1. India (1.1%)
  2. Sri Lanka (1.5%)
  3. Japan (1.9%)
  4. Republic of Macedonia (5%)
  5. Bosnia and Herzegovina (5%)

Highest Divorce Rates

  1. Sweden (54.9%)
  2. United States (54.8%)
  3. Belarus (52.9%)
  4. Finland (51.2%)
  5. Luxembourg (47.4%)

The United Kingdom placed 35th (42.6%), Germany was 31st (39.4%), France placed 29th (38.3%), Canada placed 26th (37%) and Spain placed 13th (15.2%).

I have been with my partner for 20 years – we are celebrating our 20th year at the end of October 2014.  We didn’t have a huge desire to get married – but we did.  In 2005, Canada became the 4th country in the world, the 1st outside of Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage.  In March of 2007, my partner and I married.  Since then, there hasn’t been catastrophic earthquakes and fire hasn’t rained from the sky in protest.  My marriage hasn’t destroyed the marriages of so many of my heterosexual friends marriages.  Nothing major has happened as a result of me marrying my same-sex partner.

So, I ask again, what is the problem of two people in love marrying each other?  Why are so many, usually religious fanatics, so concerned about same-sex marriages when they should be more concerned with the increasing heterosexual divorce rates?  Marriage licences come from the state and not from religious institutions.  Under the law, we should all be treated equally and reap the same benefits as heterosexual couples do.  It is for this reason (and because we love each other very much) that my partner and I married.  I find that religion, for many people, is a justification for their fear, bigotry and sometimes hate.  I am not religious and consider myself more agnostic (there is no proof that God does/doesn’t exist) but I do know that anytime religion is thrown into any social or political issues – there seems to be much more violence and intolerance regarding those social or political issues.  Religion doesn’t and should never dictate laws.  I have no problem with the religious beliefs of individuals but those beliefs should be justification to exclude the rights and civil liberties of a few.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?

What do we know….we are just simple humans.  Here is what we do know and I can’t imagine why we are not doing as much as we should to change our habits:

Cigarettes can cause cancer - so why do people continue to smoke?  Profits for the tobacco industry are key so, in order to maximize profit, you have to create a product that is addictive and that can have financial benefits for other sectors (health, pharma, etc.)

Eating meat is the biggest challenge to climate change - so why are we not being told to eat less meat more often?  In the past, we have been told that greenhouse gas emissions where the biggest culprit to climate change and the warming of the planet.  Nonsense.  A carnivorous diet challenges the environment in so many ways, such as;  deforestation, pollution and depleting water resources.  Eating meat not only has environmental impacts – they also have health implications such as; high blood pressure, high cholesterol and is also known to cause various cancers.

Modernization causes unemployment - so why do we continue to modernize, especially in a world where the have’s have far more wealth than the combined majority?  The more our lives become convenient due to modernization, the more people become unemployed.  Think about it….Why hire people when you can do anything from buying groceries to applying for a driver’s license online?  Imagine a world were you can go to a local convenience store and purchase anything you want from a vending machine?  Remove the ‘middle man’ and corporations profit more.

Most government’s work for corporations - so why do we continue to vote?  Most governments operate in the guise of working for ‘the people’ – most people do not want a mediocre education or processed foods, we certainly do not want to breathe poisonous gases or drink poisonous water.  Why are governments protecting those that do not require protection – farmers should be able to provide most of our food without having to worry about big corporations like Monsanto.  Governments should be regulating big corporations to ensure they are not killing citizens with bad food, biased information, poor education and unhealthy foods.

Pharmaceutical drugs and companies do not have our best interests at hand - so why do we keep buying their bull and their drugs?   We know that most pharmaceutical drugs are addictive, and have very minor health benefits.  Some antidepressants have been know to cause people to take their own lives.  Pain medications have created addictions and dependencies that are weighing heavy on the economy.  Why are we allowing pharmaceutical companies to pay our governments to push through legislation to help sell their products but throwing individuals into maximum security prisons for minor marijuana possession charges? 

These big industry giants work hand-in-hand to ensure they continue reaping the financial benefits from products that continue to make us sick and for much longer.  Why feed people healthy and nutritious foods when you can sell them processed foods, make them sick so that they can go visit their doctors and have their doctors prescribe them medications that will only keep them sick longer – MONEY.  Why should the automobile sector develop vehicles that are more economically and environmentally efficient when we can continue the destruction of the planet with automobiles that will ensure your children have no future?  MONEY.  Why should corporate media want to ensure that those who receive their news are receiving news that will motivate them to act?  MONEY.  Why should our elected officials be concerned about the state of education (lack thereof) that would ensure that students not only receive the best education but proper nutrition as well?  MONEY.

MONEY – is it the most important thing in the world.  YES – because we are judged by how much money we have.  Money not only buys materialistic things – it buys POWER.  Power is not with the majority right now – power is with the elite, the corrupt, those who ensure their influence is espoused in all of us.  POWER creates wars, death and destruction.

Think about what you have in your life – would you prefer clean water, breathable air, grass, trees, wildlife and LIFE or would you prefer being controlled and live under the guise of a democracy that doesn’t even exist?

It’s time for a REVOLUTION OF LOVE, it’s time for real change!  What are WE waiting for?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

VIDEO RE-VISIT

Do you still doubt that animals have feelings?  Do you still think that they can’t express or feel joy, love, empathy or pain….well, think again.  I hope these images and videos help you understand why I advocate for animals and why I made the decision not to eat them or willingly support any company that inflicts cruel and unethical pain and misery on animals.

I hope that you are moved and that you will at least think about how your actions today can affect the livelihood of animals tomorrow.  Be more proactive in choosing the companies you support and let them know that the inhumane treatment of animals is not acceptable in this day and age.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

WHY PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN SHOULD BE THE LEADERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

I don’t have children but I do have nieces and nephews that do and that, for me, is enough to take a stand and help in the fight to curb climate change.  I may not be around to witness the more major effects that climate change will have on the planet but isn’t what we have seen already enough for a call to action.  The debate is over – the earth is becoming warmer and it will be devastating to humanity and our eco-system.  It is not enough to change your lightbulbs to even impact climate change – we must think outside the box and demand more change.  Corporations should be held responsible and pay for the damage they have done to our planet.  Agriculture and the meat industry is responsible for deforestation and the largest portion of climate change in the world today.

Our we willing to allow our children to pay for the mistakes of greedy corporations of the past.  Must we not be adamant in demanding change to ensure a healthy planet for all in the very near future?  I keep thinking – if people are allowed to sue the tobacco industry for giving them cancer, shouldn’t we be allowed to sue those corporations who are directly responsible for climate change and making our air and humanity susceptible to increasing pulmonary diseases?  We have to make them change their habits by not supporting them.  STOP BUYING from those corporations who have put a strain on our environment by polluting our waters and our air.  Reward companies who are committed to create products that don’t deplete our natural resources and use sustainable and renewable energies.  The alternative is unacceptable because it will be YOUR sons or daughters that will pay the price for our need to WANT useless materialistic ‘things’.

Here is one of the most inspiring speeches I have seen regarding the environment and our planet – Hopefully it inspires you to work in creating a world that will be safe for the generations of the future.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

DOES THIS GUY REALLY WANT OUR WORLD TO END?

So many people have proclaimed that our world would end for various reasons:  God/Jesus is coming back to save the ‘chosen ones’, the end loomed on Y2K, and most recently, many predicted that because the Mayan calendar ended on 2012 – they determined that our world would end to.  What constitutes these predictions and why are most “doom and gloom” and negative predictions?

Today, I would like to share a video entitled:  ‘Why I Think This World Should End’ – now, before you assume that the video will only regurgitate the same negative and ‘doom and gloom’ predictions – I ask you to watch and be inspired:

This piece is spoken word art and is performed by Prince Ea – these words and the emotion in them are the words and emotions so many of us are feeling about the state of the planet, politics, the environment and all other social issues today.  I am grateful that Prince Ea shared this and is enlightening and sending positive change into the universe.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

A NORMAL HEART

Who do you think when someone asks you, “Who is your role model?” – Most people (I believe) would indicate an actor/actress, a celebrity, sports athlete, writer, poet, singer, etc….For me – Those who inspire me and that I consider role models are people who have and continue to create positive change in the world.  Some of my role models include:  Dian Fossey, Ingrid Newkirk, Al Gore, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Lousie L. Hay and Mother Teresa, just to name a few.

There are so many ‘unsung heroes’ who continue to inspire and are determined to create positive change on many issues – Jane Goodall continues to inspire and create safe havens for chimpanzees, Leonardo DiCaprio inspires a whole new generation of environmentalists and those who want to curb climate change and there are doctors, scientists, environmentalists, politicians and human rights activists that are adamant in bringing their ideologies to light in order to help resolve current political and social issues.

Growing up as a gay teenager in the early 80’s, I was not aware of any gay role models who were determined to create positive change for the LGBT community.  The only things I remember in reference to my ‘lifestyle’ was that I was a faggot and that I may end up dying with AIDS.  Mainstream media talked about homosexuality in a negative way and that it was a lifestyle choice.  Homosexuals were sick and sexual predators, we were pedophiles who were going to hell because of our sin.  The only homosexuals that were ‘accepted’ by society at large were flamboyant celebrities like; Liberace, Elton John, Boy George, Freddie Mercury, etc…and they didn’t even identify as ‘gay’.

My teenage years were filled with darkness and suicidal thoughts because of how society viewed homosexuals.  I wasn’t able to live authentically until I discovered that there were countless others like me and that we lived happily and together in our own community.  Living in the shadow of AIDS and believing that AIDS was a ‘gay’ disease, I developed feelings of internal homophobia.  I started to believe all the stereotypes that heterosexuals had about the gay community – we were sinners, we were promiscuous, we partied all the time, we were sexual deviants, we dressed as woman, we were heavy drug users, pedophiles, faggots, should be killed and I thought I would die of AIDS because I was gay.

My life changed after I left home and moved in with my first serious boyfriend.  I knew he was HIV – and thought that this would not affect me in any way, I was wrong.  I stayed with him for all the wrong reasons – I felt sorry for him and found it very difficult to end our relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, I cared for him very much, but I knew it wasn’t going to last.  The best thing about our relationship was the education and awareness I received regarding HIV and AIDS.  I formed wonderful relationships with many individuals who were victims of misinformation and bigotry surrounding this disease.

I recently watched The Normal Heart, the movie written by Larry Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy.  This movie brought up so many feelings and emotions I had during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  I was enraged that it took so long for governments to act to contain the spread of the disease.  I was angered at how society viewed and treated homosexuals during a time when they required compassion the most.  I felt that I could easily have been a character in the movie – I lived most of it already.  I may not have lost as many friends as the generation before me did to the disease but I certainly knew of individuals who experienced many of the same shaming, judgements, hatred and discrimination as the characters of The Normal Heart did.

So who are my role models – those who are courageous enough to tell these stories without fear of recourse.  Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Larry Kramer, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Matt Boomer, the entire cast of this movie.  These celebrities and the real people who experienced these stories are my role models.  People who want to see the end of human suffering and who want to create positive change in the world – those are my role models.

I remember a discussion I had with the Director of The AIDS Committee of Toronto in the early 1990’s.  A discussion that revolved around my internal homophobia in which he offered this advice:  “Think about who you are hurting regarding how you feel – yourself.  Do you want to move forward and become happy or do want to continue living a life on how others perceive you to be?”  David is no longer with us today.  He was one of the great people we lost to this disease and his understanding, empathy, compassion and love continues to inspire me to create positive change in our world.

This blog is my THANK YOU to all who continue to inspire despite the challenges they face and all the people we have lost because of the positive change they wanted to create in the world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

WHAT ARE YOU TAKING FOR GRANTED TODAY?

Have you ever thought how it would be without the ability to see, hear, smell, taste or feel?  Imagine living in the world without being able to see the amazing blue sky, the face of a loved one or the powerful ocean.  How would life be without the ability to feel or hear the voice of your children or our wonderful animal friends?  This video puts it all in perspective…check it out and be inspired not to take our senses and our lives for granted:

Let the joy of this video allow you to think about the so many things we take for granted.

REVOLUTION OF LOVE!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!