Heroes & Villains

Sigh – I took a ‘break’ after re-working out the overall plan, for one site and learning HOW TO for what I WANTED to do for them…sigh – –

And now? 2 hours later – and got lost in catchup/music – shares/thoughts/feedback/replies – I’m lost in music to ‘tell the story’ best as I can.

Often, If I ONLY pay attention only to the world’s woes – for so ever many living things – globally – it rather overwhelms me and I lose sight of focusing just on what I can do, just now – just here –

I waste time trying to learn the various sides of things that, in the end, I have no short term solutions or band-aids for or have a hope in hell that anything I might do now, might actually bear needed fruit, over long term, for many – and yet….

I remember –

I remember so many everyday heroes – living and dead – known to me personally or as witness to or from learning about them from those who know about them –

And I guess – sometimes, I just need to say so, outloud – the greatest heroes that ever work for many, where/how they can?

It seems to me….

Heroes are often nameless – and yet – so important to the collective….

Me? Ah – well – villains and “I think I’m a hero” wannabes will always make the trending news and all – they play the field of ‘I’m a leader if only I make headlines/spotlight/trending news” –

And yet, to me?

Well – those center stage wannabees on either side of the aisle? They can only play to the cameras and share their grand visions of how they wish it to be, whether they are a true leader or not, hero or not simply because of the daily work done, by heroes that are only important to a few – or many – or locally, regionally – etc.

In honor of these everyday heroes, big, small?

Here’s the song shares for today, before i get back to not being a hero – rather just simply showing up to do my job best as I can, much like the majority of folks do – no matter where we are at or what system or life we are in – we just ‘do what we can’ where we can – despite our own struggles or the challenges brought to our door and yes, I don’t need anyone to be perfect, ever, not even myself – ūüėÄ

All I ever care about is their heart and mine – overall – ūüėÄ

Heroes by Paul Overstreet

Forty Hour Week by Alabama

Love Helps Those Who Cannot Help Themselves by Paul Overstreet

Hero Training

The following, is, alas, copied straight, as is, from a post I did in 2010.

It seems, to me, given my what shows up as ‘tools’ available, I may have re-blogged me own work just one, too many times, to rest once more, on past laurels/writings –

Fine – Do I, or do I not? possess the knowledge of how to copy/paste, publish again…???

I’m reminded of a time, pre-stroke, pre-angst, pre-chaos, of words I wrote, long ago – – and of the sole personage, who died sometime ago, and I still miss her! Was the one who acknowledged reading the damn thing, via ‘a like’.

I still miss you Sue!

Perhaps I’m not growing much – or evolving enough, but, um, yeah, this is one of those posts, where, I STILL feel the same way –

The one I managed to write something out in a more digestible format (?) pre-stroke –

(P.S. broken or now non-existence links in cyberland, have, sorta, kinda, been removed as I reorganize my main menu, re-organize my bloggy world closet…by myself….without expert advice…. )

I thought so back then, I still think so now…. what I long ago wrote….

Let the games begin because I dared to say it outloud… and repost, via copying in original fashion, me own words….

Heroes – Great and Small ( From 2010)

My recent vow to again ignore the news (gets my blood pressure up) found me in search of other media this morning, during my 2-hour ‘waking up’ tea drinking period. Oh, yes, I’ve decided to go coffee-free again for awhile – see how my body likes it.

I head on over to Philip Zimbardo‘s website to wake up while reading how to develop our hero abilities.

Unfortunately, I decided to click on a video link that contained graphic pictures of the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib prison.

Hmmm…. not exactly what I had in mind for ‘gentle waking’.

But, I was intrigued by how he ‘broke down’ and presented his version of the mechanics in play that not only allow, but aide and motivate, good people to do evil things.


First, what is Evil? Mr. Zimbardo defines it as follows:

  • The Exercise of Power to
    Harm (Psychologically),
    Hurt (Physically), and/or
    Destroy (Mortally) and
    Commit Crimes Against Humanity.

Seems like a fair definition. I think it adequately squashes the whole, “but who decides what is good” and “there is no good or no bad, just what is” theological debates that sidetrack us from taking responsibility for and striving to heal, the ills within our world.


He contends that for Evil to flourish, it takes more than just “bad apples” (individuals). There must also be the correct barrel (Situation) and a barrel maker (Supporting System).

Apples only stay good when stored (situation) properly in a well-made container (supporting system).

In other words, when an average person, with an average background is placed into a Situation they have no contextual reference or preparation for and are told by the Supporting System to take actions fitting the above definition of evil, then we’d better all hope the average person has a strong set of non-evil ideals, the personal perseverance and moral fortitude to not only act in a manner that is possibly detrimental to their own welfare, but is also actively opposed by those around them AND is considered disobedience, blasphemy or treason by Authority.

Conclusion: We all need some hero training.


His list of Evil’s Seven Step Seduction Course is also interesting.

Do Nothing

This is also known as MYOB (minding your own business), Live and Let Live, and other similar cliche’s our society is peppered with. Yes, sometimes it behooves you to MYOB and quit complaining about your neighbor’s mode of dress, simply because, in the end, the activity does not really Harm, Hurt, Destroy another. (Yes, I know it offends your moral code to see a 50 year-old dressing like a teeny-bopper, or catch a glimpse of cleavage, but really, does it truly hurt you?)

However, there are many opportunities to Do Nothing, when in fact, we really should. Recently, while at a Sky Sox game, I observed two sisters at the sinks in the washroom. Littlest sister is crying. Big sister is off to dry her hands. I stoop down to ask little one what is wrong. Seems she was at just the right height to get an eye full of handwashing soap that was jetting out in all directions, instead of into her cupped hand. By now, soap is smeared from forehead to fingertip in frantic efforts to stop the burning.

Now, I know it’s not my business. Her sister is there, right? Also, in today’s world of unspeakable horrors committed on children, I’m risking someone crying “Foul” or little one saying, “I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

Nevertheless, I get some paper towels, help repair the damage and distract her by tales of how wonderful our tear duct and crying systems are. Big sister figures out she’s lost her charge and returns to stand nearby, making sure nothing fishy is going on.

They exit the ladies room ahead of me. I risk my own eyes using the soap dispenser then head back to my seat. Previously, those same two girls had been sitting with Mom and Dad about 3 rows in front of me. I return to find them not in their seats.

Back up I go, onto the main thoroughfare, to look for two who are not mine and not my responsibility. Ahhhh…there they are. Must be slow walkers….. Sigh of relief and I sit back down.

Hubby wonders what I’m doing. I explain. He again points out my negative thought processes that see child molesters and evil perpetrators around every corner. I’m encouraged to quit focusing on the negative.

Now, I’m not sharing this with you to declare myself a hero, or even a good person.

I share it because I had some internal qualms when I first offered help. What if they’ve been trained well in Stranger Danger? What if one or both of them start screaming bloody murder? Will the security guard who saw me in the smoker’s area earlier, really believe I had good intentions? Crazy, but true, all these thoughts went through my head…

I also have past experience of dirty looks and harsh words when I stopped to ask a child if they were lost… Mom was really only 3 clothes racks away, and How Dare I approach her little pumpkin? And via my actions, question her mothering abilities?!

In our culture, we have plenty of ‘feedback’ from both law and social norms, encouraging us to Do Nothing.

Doesn’t mean its always the best choice.

Stick Pretty Close to your Ideals

In our neck of the woods, “pretty close” only counts in the game of horse shoes. Yes, I’ve been known to side-step mine in the past. I imagine you have too.

Worries of job security, too tired to engage in a long debate or thinking it’s just kinder and easier to tell your friend, ‘Yes, you do look fabulous in blue’, when in fact she looks like a whale…..

I understand, I truly do.

But continually placing yourself in environments and around people where safety and peacefulness means you must continually sacrifice your ideals is Danger Zone. Little by little, your internal compass gets off track and pretty soon, you’re heading south all the while convinced you’re going north.

Everyone Knows “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” – however, a close inspection of behavior considered to be ‘socially acceptable and politically correct’ reveals how we subtly condone Evil by keeping silent or being polite.

Respect Authority and Obey the Rules

Hubby has not been pleased with my tendency to raise argumentative kids. I’ve tried to make him see the teen-ager’s rebellion as a natural progression of Child Safety values I instilled when they were too young to kick some arse on their own, but old enough to spend time away from my protection.

I raised my kids to Question Authority. I raised them to tell me if someone in a position of power (aka Adult) was taking undue liberties or treating them in a demeaning manner.

This also means I get called onto the carpet myself, when long workdays, short sleep and stress drive me to “Unload the dishwasher Now!” instead of “Could you help me, please?”

I was informed by older co-workers over the years that once I had matured some and had a vested retirement savings account, I would understand and learn how to go with the flow.

Apparently, I never ‘matured’ because I still have a tendency to Question Authority.

Hey, if it’s good enough for my kids, it’s good enough for me.

Be A Team Player

Any job interview I’ve had the past 15 years contained the question, “Are you a team player?”

My response?

“Yes; however, I will not stay up all night working to cover the fact that a co-worker was too bombed after lunch to finish their part of the presentation. I will not drop data points as ‘anomalies’ just to make your graphs look good. I won’t file insurance papers with wrong diagnosis codes in order to get paid.”

Yes, it’s good to play well with others. But often “Are you a team player?” was asked of me when someone in my workplace wanted to engage in the illegal, unethical or expedient. Another version of this ruse is the whole “Employee Loyalty” debate.

My experience is Employee Loyalty is questioned the most in atmospheres of shoddy and underhanded leadership.

Pick a good team before being a good team player, is my motto.

Share Responsibility

Yes, Yes, I know…. You All thought the firecrackers, plastic army men, combined with lighter fluid and matches was a good idea. I’m not talking about that episode and neither was Mr. Zimbardo.

When those in authority pacify your doubts with, “It’s okay, I’ll take the blame,” sometimes this is truly an offer to be the fall guy if the planned action doesn’t turn out well. And if all goes well, those who risked failure are now ‘heroes’.

But more often, this is what Mr. Zimbardo refers to as ‘diffusion of personal responsibility’. It’s another ‘container’ in which Evil loves to grow. When you choose to engage in behavior you feel is wrong, but is deemed “acceptable, legal, ethical” etc., by others who also offer to ‘relieve you of your personal responsibility’ then you have been seduced into actively participating. (“I was just following orders…” and “Well, yes, but that’s just how things are” are two common examples that come to mind…)

Value Your Kin and Your Kind

I’m a big fan of Loyalty. I also think that Family, no matter how much they drive you nuts, should be cherished and supported. I also try to find the ‘flock’ of birds with similar feathers to fly with.

But there is a line, at least in my world.

I don’t care who you are, how much blood or DNA we have in common or how similar our upbringing, beliefs or ideals are – if you’re engaged in behavior I believe to be intentionally harmful or hurtful, all loyalty vanishes.

Powers that Be, who pursue in Evil, really like to use your Loyalty to their advantage. Be Aware!

Justify Believing in a Good Ideology

How many times have you personally experienced, “Hmmm….but it looked so good on paper (or in my mind)?”

Another cliche that adequately conveys this Danger Zone is, “The ends justify the means.”

Meaning, the end result in all it’s ideological beauty is justified no matter what atrocities occur during the journey from here to there.



Nothing on Mr. Zimbardo’s list was news to me. I had a hero for a Dad. In fact, his gravestone even says, “Our Hero”.

I think back to my favorite quotes of his:

“Respect is Earned.”

“Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is still wrong.”

“You better make damn sure you’re right. If you are, I will back you 100%, but if you’re not, you’ll stand alone in the principal’s office AND you’ll be in trouble when you get home, too.”

“Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right”

“If you don’t know what to do, do nothing. But realize sometimes any action is better than none at all. Learn the difference between caution and cowardice.”

“Never underestimate the power of the misinformed, stupid or fanatical – especially when they gather in groups.”


I imagine most of the list of 7 was no surprise to you either. Safe in a Situation where the luxuries of a computer, well-fed tummy and leisure time have all combined, makes the above list seem obvious.

But how relevant or easy do these seven seem if you wake up to find yourself on the front lines facing enemy troops or in charge of guarding captured foes? Volunteering to aide in the search of the bank robbers who just killed your high school chum? Watching soldiers take away your friends and neighbors, under the orders of the man you elected because he promised you security, abundance and a return to National Pride? Facing a choice between protecting those who turned to you for help, or risking the health and welfare of your family?

When our systems and/or situations change for the worse, that’s when we come face to face with our own quest regarding heroism.

Sometimes these changes come about drastically and in your face. Pretty easy to be ‘heroic’ then.

But when the change occurs slowly, under the guise of safety and security, patriotism and liberty, ideologies that blame personal will and exclude examination of existing structures and systems, well…

That’s when you must be most vigilant.

Laughing – (Hurts) – Still Laughing – –

I healed up from knee-overdo just¬†so I could promptly¬†overdo (stretch, displace.., crack…? break!??) some¬†ribs.

(Health, psychology and self-improvement gurus, in my circle – feel free to chime in with¬†your take on why I keep doing such things to myself – ¬†I do read and pay heed¬†¬†to your advice when I whine – ¬†even though¬†I most likely linger in my self-imposed-delusional world for awhile longer than you see as¬†necessarily necessary… )

Quite a bit of time has passed since the moment in time when I stopped, abruptly, gasped and thought,

“Uh-Oh! Self! this can’t be good…’

…And almost as much time has passed since giving myself the “Post-Uh-Oh/Oops”, pep-talk:

“Ya wimp!¬†Just soft tissue damage! – Simply lighten up for a few days, re-arrange your ‘to-do’ lists¬†and it will heal¬†and be fine! Take it easier, cuz that attic really needs heavier insulation before end-o-July hits…)

I¬†confess – I¬†most likely tried to wade full-bore into the Field of¬†“Get ‘er Done” action a tad¬†earlier than I maybe should have after the Uh-Oh moment…

(They don’t call it “Balls to the Wall” just cuz it sounds cool, doncha ya know… only fools or desperate folks do such things, over and over to themselves, on purpose – ūüôā )

For last two days,¬†I’ve been laying rather low, spending time on To-Do ¬†tasks that require more mind than muscle or range of motion activities – when I get ambitious and eager to return to old habits,¬†sharp stabs of pain drive home the point…

“Mission Accomplished On Jacking-Yourself-Up-But-Good!

Whoo-Woot! High Five!”

OUCH! (insert string of not-nice-words) Wait a minute….Let me catch my breath….

(Okay, New Plan! No High-Fives, for just a tad longer – catch me on the flip side, we’ll celebrate as soon as I’m healed up to do so…properly!)

THIS is NOT, quite, what was on¬†¬†MY Envisioned “Get ‘Er Done” ¬†list…

Ain’t I just efficient and productive¬†in accomplishing things¬†I hadn’t even planned, on purpose, to do?!?

(Yeah, Yeah, I can see the¬†rolling eyes, and hear the tsk-tsk sighing from all the way over here –

Fine! ¬†No gold star stickers for my latest extra credit homework¬†assignment¬†no one required I¬†do…

Que sera, sera- If I don’t kill myself from stupidity,¬†maybe someday I’ll learn better and quit entertaining you all with my¬†silly escapades… ūüôā ¬†

Today, after long day in front of computer, accomplished while holding much better ramrod-straight posture than¬†I¬†probably have consistently practiced for ages – (if ever, other than the afternoon I tried wearing my grandma’s early 20th century corset…)

(AUGGHH!  How did women live like that?!?  EVERY DAY?!?!  How did they ever get anything done while breathing at the same time!?!? )

… Yes, late afternoon, I finally gave up¬†– with not all hoped for crossed off ¬†Ye Olde To-Do-List’¬†of light duty items…

Quite¬†simply I couldn’t be a “Human Doing”¬†in any shape, form or fashion, for another minute longer – no learning, no reading, researching, planning, hefting, exerting – no sorting, cleaning, organizing, to-do lists ¬†–

NO! Anything! More!

And enjoyed a nice movie, fell asleep thinking how wonderful humans can be, and am now awake, cuz I managed to wake myself up (ya think I stretched or tried breathing deeply while sleeping? ¬†Who knows….)

For Weeks (or has it been¬†Months?) Now…

My brain has been saying,

“AUCK! ¬†NO MORE ugly/ugly portions of humankind history to remember¬†well, lest I¬†forget! ¬†No more learny/learny of new stuff to move forward into brave new horizons! Just break out the coloring book and crayons, you’ll feel better….Honest!”

My body has been muttering with ever increasing volume,

“Yup, I double-dawg dare ya to keep pushing me this way – ¬†just wait and see how much I can make you pay…” (insert evil laugh)

My spirit has quietly begged,

“PUHLEASE! ¬†STOP! STOP DOING! ¬†Ya Lovable-But-Ludicrous-Nitwit!”

And so, as all three¬†were feeling abused and ignored, they chose to combine¬†forces ¬†to stage¬†an intervention for me –

And¬†since I stopped to muse upon which unknown committee member I HAD been listening to, all these weeks,¬†I was willing to sit still and listen to their messages delivered through unexpected channels –

Unlike the Proverbial Village Mob carrying Torches and Pitchforks…

…My¬†committee members tend to deliver unexpected¬†gifts, when¬†getting ready to burn me at the stake for my blatant heresy against all that is right and good in their world –

“Awesome! A Kevin Kline & Joan Cusack film, circa 1997 has been added to boob-tube offerings for free viewing! ¬†That’ll be good, surely!” – chortled my mind as I ¬†managed to surf the light-hearted offerings available via remote while¬†not stretching myself outside pain-free comfort zone to peruse the fine print of description….

(how this ‘lil miracle came about when everyone who is alive and kickin’ knows the DNA strand responsible for competent remote control & ‘surfing the options’¬†is not contained within¬†my inherited¬†repertoire of talents…)

IT hurts to Laugh, but what else can I do, for this is too good too wait to watch the rest later!?!”, cried my ribs in both complaint and enjoyment….

“Are you paying attention?” whispered my spirit, as I simply got caught up in the 1997 movie titled “In and Out”, a more recent twist on the benefits of age old lessons we all should have down pat, by now…

Compassion, Empathy & Community…

(even when you must be reminded to practice the virtues upon yourself and your own committee members hold ya hostage until ya do….)

I¬†chose the¬†¬†Dance Scene clip to share with you – …

For, in one way or another, we all long to dance – in our own fashion –

For a multitude of reasons, we (as a species) often forget to do the sacred dance of Life, fully – with every cell in our being … and we destroy ourselves and/or others, through forgetfulness of what’s really important

I was gifted the¬†experience of dancing around¬†my living room, with Kevin Kline, even while laid up in pain –

THIS, right here, to my mind, is The Gift of Creative Folks  Р through their Art, they transport the rest of us to the worlds we wish to live in, even when surrounding reality tells us,

“Dancing, right now, is Impossible and not Recommended”

YES! Join Me in a Break to Victory Dance!

After many months of compiling data from numerous sources –

After many hours of building an infrastructure that means sitewide messages update cuz one date field, in one custom post got ‘updated’ – I’m now taking a break from coding to content generation/data uploads/double-checks – that I dove into once I had ‘nailed down’ the If And If, Or If, this, show that – but IF this, that and/or this, then – display something else –

This is why I build websites – why I research tools for months on end before recommending them – because, over all, for time and $ spent – they will provide the highest returns on investment – No, they may not be perfect – no, they may not meet your every single, bloomin’ need – but what the heck? ¬†Ya only gotta learn the one or two things and wait for the developers to catch up with how star-spangled innovative you are – until then – still reap some rewards if you set your goals and set your daily or weekly or monthly ‘to do lists’ – ūüôā


I am into free-wheeling, data uploads, and content refinement now – where it’s easy – and listen’ to inspirational movies while I do so – and, (sob, again) – I had to take a break when the roar of the crowd indicated I needed to watch the Daddy scene that chokes me up – every – frickin’ time – in fact – I might of embarrassed the man-child unit, who had another man-child unit over for the weekend, when I once knocked on his ‘cave’ door and said,

“I still cry – every time this scene comes on – isn’t it wonderful, you want me to rewind it so you all can watch it too?”

(Ahem…he and the friend said they forgave me for interrupting some massive level of virtual-important-battle-to-be-won-to-move-to-next-level….)

But, before I share the clip, have to say the movies are full of hard-arse Dad’s that do their best to protect their young from the horrible disappointments they experienced, pain felt or lessons learned – and each generation, in it’s turn, will fight Dad – (Mom, too – )

But in the end – when you stand, fight and win – It IS AWESOME! – But it doesn’t mean as much as your Dad (or your Mom) showing up to say, in their own way, “OK – ya did it – I’m proud of you)

Love ya, Dad & Mom – you and parents¬†like you, are still my Heroes! ūüôā

P.S. ¬†Time to suit up for the barefoot around the living room victory dance –

The Good – The Bad – The Possible

Over the years, I’ve written about Peak Oil, Community Exchanges, Shop Local, Campaign Finance Reform, Education Reform, Alternative Healthcare, Big Pharma, Corporate Monoculture Farming, Sustainable Living, Renewable Energy, Self-Healing and Spirituality.

I’ve read, listened and researched.

I’ve talked, argued and thrown my hands up in despair.

I’ve ranted, I’ve raved, tried sharing information through humor and How – Not – Too.

I’ve been on fire with enthusiasm and sick with despair when I believed that my passion for these subjects had no interested audience.

I’ve dreamed, I’ve hoped, I’ve struggled to make a difference through my lifestyle choices, purchasing decisions, writing topic choices and personal belief system improvements.

And now, all that experience has been encapsulated into one extraordinary two-hour film, “Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?”, which I discovered this morning via a post by recOveryhealth.

(I embedded the film below – yes, it’s that important – I don’t want you to even have to click twice to start watching it¬† –¬† *You can donate to the producers here.)

So instead of digging through my archives,¬†you can now glean all that info with the simple investment of a couple hours of your time – you can even watch in increments if you like…

The Good

From the beginning to about 33 minutes – the film highlights the creator’s background and reason for researching.¬† His quest for truth and the form he found it in echoes the conclusions found throughout the history of the spiritual, the religious and the scientific.¬† It has been postulated by the prophets, the holy men, the gurus, metaphysicists, cosmologists, cellular bioligists and quantum theorists:

There is a code to the Universe – to Life

If we  figure it out, we can work in harmony with it,

Instead of paddling upstream all the while…

And though I’ve had my crisis of faith moments and believed the Universe to be one big Chaotic mess, bent on destroying me – – I’ve found the only way for me to continue in this life with any semblance of happiness is to embrace the Code story in it’s many variations.

The Bad

Around 33 minutes, you enter the Bad phase – the phase that examines the problems facing our world and the inter-connected,¬† complex structures¬† that are contributing to or causing-on-purpose the disasters we fear and seek refuge from.¬†¬†¬† It digs deep into systems and mind-sets that contribute to the misery of our lives –

You may not agree with all the viewpoints referenced as causing our global problems, but only the truly oblivious could say we have no challenges regarding our continued existence given our present course.

It’s not always a pleasant or comforting place to be, confronting our fears – though I believe this film does it’s best to present the information within a space of hope – – which brings us to…

The Possible

At around 1 hour, 38 minutes – after you’ve delved into a story you really hope isn’t true -but suspect is –¬† you get to watch the What’s Possible portion.

(If you’re already worried and depressed about the state of things and you feel powerless in being able to do anything about it – skip from :33 to 1:38 on the film.

Choosing not to wallow in the problems portion will not keep you from being inspired by the Possible section; however, if you’re one of those who must know Why? before you do – best just take your lumps and confront your fears.¬† Watch with a friend and the lights on if it helps – – )

The Possible portion will inspire you – it will show you easy-to-integrate ways to make a difference, right now, today, with what you already know and¬† have, with who you already are.¬† To quit contributing to the problems and instead, become part of the solution – you don’t have to do them all – – any forays you make into your favorite arenas makes a difference – just pick one and start.

Without further ado – here’s “Thrive: What on Earth will it Take?”:

For myself, I’m continuing on through my day ‘off’ by meandering through the ThriveMovement website – – – they sound like my kind of folks….

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