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OPINION: Finding Focus

The earth has been examined by experts and awaits the results. Television commentators report and argue; newspapers prognosticate the sides of the argument; old friends take opposing sides and raise their voices to each other.

A blue ribbon panel is formed to report the results of the examination. The spokesperson faces the world and says, "I have bad news. You're going to die in 20."

The panic-stricken earth says, "20 what? Years? Months? Weeks?"

The spokesperson says, "19 - 18 - 17 - 16.."

Funny story until you realize it isn't funny at all. In a race for superficial control over all that we work for everyday our world is suffering from frighteningly chaotic conditions that we willingly step into and contribute to daily.

We must regain our balance by slowing down and reminding ourselves that we are human. And there are too many of us.
In a world laden with imbalances we continue to blindly forge ahead gaining ground externally, through technology, media, fashion, various degrees, high paying jobs, anything to promote the false perfection that we all try so hard to find and emulate.

In an age of astounding achievements, technological advancements, nuclear weapons, and medical discoveries our environment and the internal health of billions is being sacrificed and left to the wind.

The balance of our earth is plummeting into the realm of dangerous destruction and inexcusable neglect. The focus of too many remains on the insatiable desire to better oneself, forgetting to acknowledge the human responsibility we have to each other and our world.

In a post-modern age of "anything goes" it is far too easy to fall into the pattern of believing yourself to be indistinguishable amongst the masses, when in reality it is each singular thought, each unique belief, each attempt at a faith in change and the power of the individual that makes a whole.

We must regain our balance by slowing down and reminding ourselves that we are human. And there are too many of us. We eat - which we must - we excrete - which we must. We use resources - the seemingly endless stores of resources.

Science tells us these resources took millions of years to form and we are using them up rapidly and no new resources are being formed - at least not in time for the next generations. And while we cannot form new resources, we - as a species - have no difficulty forming more and more and more users of the dwindling stock of earthly resources still left.

We can only be bombarded by so much information, rumors, propaganda, a seemingly endless stream of input, before we break down and become zombies.

By regaining a spiritual core within, a sense of our place in the world, it is possible to see what was never seen before, to change that which we didn't know we could. But most of us will either shrug and say, "So what!" or we will worry for ten seconds and then return to our life of depleting. And let our children and grandchildren worry about the future - if they actually have a future.

19 - 18 - 17 - 16 -...

Adapted from an Opinion by Kate Reynolds as submitted to www.thecoolgroup.org

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Hard To Believe

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For today's high school students:

They grew up in minivans.

Reality shows have always been on television.

They have no idea why we needed to ask "... can we all get along?"

They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."

Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.

They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.

Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.

Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.

"So" as in "Sooooo New York," has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else.

Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been the subjects of television series.

They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.

Ken Burns has always been producing very long documentaries on PBS.

They are not aware that "flock of seagulls hair" has nothing to do with birds flying into it.

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"Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours."

C. S. Lewis

"How can you expect a person who is warm to understand one who is cold?"

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"I never think that there's something I can't do, whether it's beating my opponent one on one or practicing another hour because something about my game is just not right."

Earvin Johnson

"Wine hath drowned more men than the sea."

Thomas Fuller

"Tact is to lie about others as you would have them lie about you."

Oliver Herford

"There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity."

Michel Eyquem De Montaigne

"To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor."

Oliver Wendall Holmes

"Make happy those who are near and the far will come."

Chinese proverb

"Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life."

James F. Byrnes



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