What!?! It’s National Save Your Hearing Day? Why yes it is… and it’s my son’s birthday! (No relation to each other but I thought I’d mention it.)
There’s nothing funny about losing your hearing. Particularly in a world of so much mass communication and audio entertainment. You need to safeguard the gift you have been given. I should know, I spent much of my youth as a musician playing rock and roll and I know my hearing range is limited because of it. In case you wondered, The Who are the loudest band in the world.
As we age many of our body parts begin to fail, one of the first to go is our hearing. So many people think the elderly are losing their minds when they don’t respond, or respond incorrectly. Hearing aides help but often pick up too much making everything a loud roar. The person seems detached and they are. They tend to be left alone with their thoughts, sometimes not always in their own best interests.
Hearing, just like smell, touch and sight, is a gift. Abusing it is just plain stupid if you can avoid it. Those cars that pass you on the highway with their radios up so loud that you can clearly hear the music with their windows close, your windows closed and your radio on are simply idiots. They are damaging their hearing on purpose and for very little benefit.
So take care of the gift you have been given. If you don’t know it now, you will later.
How to celebrate – Get a hearing check. Play music at normal volumes. (This will vary with the person but if your ears are ringing, it’s too loud. Someday that song that you loved to hear playing it so loud will be the first thing you miss when you can’t hear at all) Speak up when you talk, particularly if you are around someone you know is hard of hearing.
Okay, so summer is here, or will be in a couple of days, and it will be hot. So hot in many places that even trees will find it difficult to weather the heat. Imagine you are a small flower and starved for water. For just a few sprinkles of your water the flower will return it’s beauty to make your day a little brighter.
The world is filled with beautiful images, true sometimes you have to look for them, but nature provides. Rich, warm colors and scents that fill the air with a scent that is both pleasing and relaxing. (Unless, of course, you are allergic to them.)
And a flower asks for so little in return. Just a few drops of water, maybe a little fertilizer, some peat moss, occasional shade, a few kind words, a gentle touch… oh, and you really do need to be careful when tending to them. I had a uncle who lived in India for a few years and wondered by only the Americans had beautiful gardens at their homes. When he was greeted by a cobra coming out of his flower garden he understood why. He had a mongoose, which took out the snake in front of him but cobras travel in pairs, as do most snakes, and the one behind him got him. He survived, but was very sick for nearly a month.
Still, that wasn’t the flowers fault. They do provide great beauty for us all to admire. In fact, most of nature is more beautiful than anything we can create.
How to celebrate – Give your flowers a drink. Stop and smell the roses. Plant some flowers to make your life brighter.
All sacrificed some, some sacrificed all. This is the day we should remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free, preserve our human rights and allow America to still be that beacon on the hill.
It started as Decoration Day following the Civil War. As families began to recover from the death of loved ones they began to decorate their graves with flowers blooming from the spring as the summer months began to approach. It was the first time in American history when graveyards had been separated for the fallen soldiers as there were simply too many to be sent back home to be buried. It didn’t matter what side they had fought on, all the graves would be decorated.
In 1882 the name was changed to Memorial Day, remember all those who had fallen in the name of America, and across the world. Families would gather, share a meal near the gravesite and then decorate the graves of their fallen loved ones, friends and even the occasional stranger.
It seems the least we could do for all they have done, and given, for us. No one wants to be forgotten when they are gone. Unfortunately the list continues to grow. World War 2 created many heroes from men and women that might have lived relatively quiet lives otherwise.
And Vietnam, while not popular, created a longer list with many more heroes many Americans seemed to try and forget. Like the war or not, the men and women who fought it are to be remembered just as in any war America has fought. In 1971 Congress set Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.
There will be more wars. There will be more death. Their will be more graves to decorate and more heroes to be born. It is up to us to remember them because you can bet your life, they remembered you.
How to celebrate – Decorate a soldiers grave today. Remember any in your family who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. Be truly thankful for those who have served, not just because you think you should but because you know you should.
Today is the day to celebrate human rights and awareness of all the abuses that occur daily in the world. Of course you can’t do that in one day, but today is the day to start.
We here in America, and most of the rest or the modern countries of the world, complain about how rough we have it. The thing is, we do not know suffering like those living in oppressed countries and the very poor countries. Those countries devastated by war, famine and natural disasters. In fact, people living in those countries would probably trade us for our worst days here.
Think about them the next time you go to a restaurant or pub, go see a movie or theater show or just get a glass of water out of your tap. For the price of a meal at a medium priced restaurant, a couple of drinks, a movie or a seat in a theater you could probably feed a dozen or more starving people.
For some unknown reason we have all decided that it is a governments job to take care of others. Whether it is our government or someone else’s government we expect them to take care of the problems around the world. That is not the role of government. Government is meant to take care of our own. The only time a government should be assisting another government is if there is war and even then, it’s not always in our interest to fight someone else’s war. If people help people, the government doesn’t have to come into it. They have nothing to gain, or lose, if we are taking care of the problem with people.
We can’t stop war but we can stop hunger, we cannot stop natural disasters but we can help clean up the aftermath. Amnesty International was founded in London on May 28th, 1961. There should be no politics about helping others. After all, there may come a time when we need help ourselves.
How to celebrate – Learn more about Amnesty International. Stop saying you wish you could help and go help. Set aside money from one meal out a month and send it to Amnesty International.
Mainland Europe gave us Classical music, England gave us Rock & Roll but America gave the world jazz! Truly an American contribution, jazz is enjoyed world wide by nearly every age. it has influenced so many other styles of music, but also been influenced by many other forms of music.
Born in New Orleans, La. in the 1800’s it is a mix of blues, Dixieland, soul and even classical music roots but also is an art form of it’s own. Whenever a style of music is not completely understood it seems to get placed in the jazz category. And while many individuals enjoy jazz it is a musicians choice of freedom from the boundaries placed on other forms of music.
Artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Chick Correa are headliners of the jazz field but thousands upon thousands have placed their own variations on the theme. Only the best of the best get a career in jazz, some of the best players in the world survive in small clubs creating their art so a non-mainstream audience.
International Jazz Day was created by D. Michael Denny, on the board of directors of the New Jersey Jazz Society in 1991. It was also placed in the government by a statement that same year in the U.S. Congressional Record.
How to celebrate – Find a jazz club and go hear some good music tonight. Buy a Cd of jazz and educate yourself to some of the best artists in that category. Visit New Orleans, home of jazz.
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The first American woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride was a mission specialist on STS-7, the Challenger shuttle craft, 1983. The physical rigors required to serve as an astronaut are daunting. That’s why military men are normally selected to be astronauts, but Sally Ride was able to match what any man could withstand and became the first woman in space after nearly three years of training.
Born on May 26th, 1951, today was chosen to celebrate her accomplishments because it would be her birthday. Unfortunately she died in 2012 of cancer. She also went into space in 1984 and was training for her third flight when the Challenger disaster occurred.
She was one of the few that supported the idea of a faulty o-ring causing the explosion. It did not make her particularly popular among the NASA upper management but she was right! Maybe her 343 hours in space gave her the leg up.
It’s sad to think that our space program barely exists anymore. If it were not for the private companies now launching space craft people such as Sally Ride might be forgotten.
How to celebrate – Remember Sally Ride by celebrating her birthday today. Watch any You Tube footage you can find of her in space. Check out all the other women who have served as astronauts.