March 21st International Day of Forests

International Day Of Forests – March 21st

Today has been declared a day to appreciate the forests of the world by the United Nations. Most of us just think of forests as trees but they are actually a great deal more. They store carbon helping our environment, they improve the climate around us often acting like a filter. They give us fuel for heat and shade to cool, they are a natural sound barrier, provide food, give a watershed to the soil, and provide a soothing mental health environment.  We need to do what we can to save them.

How to celebrate – Visit a forest today. Plant a tree in your yard. Learn about the positive and negative sides of logging. List as many animals as you can that live in a forest.

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December 10th Human Rights Day

We all have rights. I am not exactly sure who gave them to us, but we do! Well, I guess they are given to us by the United Nations. And who gave them the rights? It was the General Assembly who made a declaration of human rights in 1948.

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Now I am not sure who gave them the right to make rights but they think they have them to give out. In fact they give them out several days during the year. So today is the day you can claim your rights, the United Nations said so. They won’t defend them anymore for you because the only way to do that is by taking away the rights of someone else.

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I am not sure what rights we actually have just because we are born. I like to think we have rights but I haven’t seen them written down anywhere… and they don’t come with that manual you get with a child when they are born.

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There should be rights and in an ideal world we all will share them with each other. It just seems like those with rights above our own are the ones who like to hand out those rights. So much of handing out human rights is just lip service. Maybe we should make sure today is a day where human rights really do get issued.

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I wish we could give out and protect all those rights humans should have. So far it’s really just the lip service we have managed to issue out. If you say it long enough you might actually believe you are doing it.

How to celebrate – Figure out what rights humans should actually be given. Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? Would you protect someone’s rights if it meant giving up yours?

December 1st World Aids Awareness Day

Aids is perhaps one of the most devastating illness facing the world today. It is rampant across the face of the earth and will affect over 40,000 new victims in the U.S. alone this coming year. As of yet there is no cure, though scientist are working on it. Maybe some day soon we will learn enough to wipe it out but until them you have to be aware of it or you too may fall victim to it.

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This day has been created by the United Nations World Health Organization, as much about the cause as it is the cure. It was founded in 1988 before many of us were even aware of the decease and as a result, because of the lack of education, there are over 40 million suffering from it today, a million of those in the United States.

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We now know it affects the human immune system and while Aids/HIV may not kill you itself it allows germs to enter the body that normally can be fought off with the immune system. When the system is blocked, or not functioning properly, the body cannot fight off these illness’ and even the simplest of things can be deadly.

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In nations where health care is not readily available or simple hygiene is ignored, a decease like aids can run its course through an entire population. When settlers came to the America’s in the age of discovery, entire tribes of Native Americans were destroyed by something as minor as measles. Aids is far worse than that.

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And right now the best way to treat it is to educate those susceptible to it so they can avoid the causes of passing it on to others. Yesterday was Stay Home Because You Are Well Day. Don’t mock those who would prefer to be able to go to work by pretending you are sick.

How to celebrate – Educate yourself on how the Aids epidemic is passed on to others. Help support those fighting Aids. Thank God for giving you the ability to avoid catching and spreading the decease.

October 1st International Day For The Elderly

Though none of us will admit it, we all want to get older. The problem with that is that we want to be able to do everything we did when we were younger while being older. Unfortunately, we can’t. The good thing about it is, we know it. There do come moments however that we forget and try to do things we shouldn’t, or may even know better than trying to attempt.

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When we are young we almost always want to be older than we are. (Maybe not Peter Pan, but most of the rest of us do.) We want to be old enough to stay up late, but when we get there we go to bed early. We want to be able to drive, but when we get there someone takes the keys away from us. We want to be old enough to vote, but when we get there we find out there is no one worth voting for.

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We want to be respected for what we know and what we have accomplished… but most of the time no one cares or listens to us anyway. So to have a day where the world celebrates us is good. The day was created in 1990 by the United Nations and original called International Day For Older People. So, what’s the difference. Would you rather be called old or elderly?

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And why do we have to put labels on everything!?! The fact is, if we are lucky, we all get older until we are elderly. Then we just kind of are. It’s funny how we start out needing everybody’s help, then needing some help, then needing no help and then back to needing some help and finally back to needing everyone’s help.

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Well, here’s a fact for you. Today 1 in 10 people are called elderly. By 2050 it is estimated 5 out of 10 will be elderly. By 2150 it will be 1 in 3. we are gonna need a lot of help!

How to celebrate – Visit someone elderly today. Respect the elderly if for no other reason than they have managed to live that long. Learn from the elderly what to do, and what not to do.

September 27th World Tourism Day

September 27th World Tourism Day

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There is hardly a country in the world that does not benefit from tourism. Some do it better than others but it does seem to be an international piece of bread and butter.

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The day was created by the United Nations who select a theme for every year, this year’s theme being: “Protecting Culture and Heritage.” The best way to learn about a country is to understand where they came from and what formed them to who they are today.

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How to celebrate – Visit a country and study their culture and heritage. Research countries you want to learn more about. Plan a trip to visit several countries.

September 8th International Literacy Day

Since most kids go back to school in September (Here in Florida it happens in August) it is only fitting that we celebrate International Literacy Day. It’s kinda important! If all the people of the world could read, maybe we’d get along a little better than we do.

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The United Nations created the day on September 8th, 1965 for UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The more we learn about each other the more we will respect one another. (At least in theory)

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When the doors open, opportunity presents itself. Sometimes it doesn’t work as well as we plan but maybe that’s because we expect too much. Opening up the world of reading to those who have never read before teaches them that there is a world beyond that they live in.

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We can learn to laugh and cry with others, read their struggles and their success’ and become closer as a world, not just a country. I read everyday and I learn so much that it sometimes amazes me. (Because I am old and thought I had learned everything!) Books let me know, I have learned so little, even though I have lived so long.

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It would be nice if the United Nations worked. Maybe someday we can read about the success stories because of their efforts. However, as long as there are politicians most nations are subjected to only what they want to teach us. So when reading, remember to always accept what you learn with a grain of salt.

How to celebrate – Donate books you have already read to those that have none. Read new books with new opinions. Write your experience down for others to share.

May 3rd World Press Freedom Day

Freedom of the press has been long fought for and in most countries, fairly won. For centuries the only news that got out to the people was whatever the controlling government of that country wanted the people to hear. It rarely was true, when it was it was one sided and often omitted many of the facts.

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After World War 2 many countries allowed their press to begin to right a lot of those wrongs. Newspapers, radio and television could report what was going on and why it was happening. Naturally there are always two sides to a story, but for the most part, the reporters tried to tell the truth. On May 3rd, 1993 the UN General Assembly created today to honor the freedom of the press.

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The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize honors those reporters who struggled to report the truth, often giving their lives in their efforts. That is why a lot of the press today should be ashamed of the way they report. The term reporter means to reveal a story, the facts, not as they assume them to be but only after they have investigated their sources and exposed the truth. It is not to speculate or give an opinion, it is all about the facts.

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It seems with the invention of the 24 hour news television networks the idea of reporting news became more competitive and often these same reporters had to create stories rather than report on them. Like so much of what is going on today in the world, it is about what someone thinks than what someone knows.

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It would be nice to know that we could trust what we hear. Most local radio and television stations do report the truth, it’s the national ones you have to be careful of. Their motto seems to have changed from reporting the news to making the news.

How to celebrate – Honor the true reporters of the world. Start a career in journalism. Compare the old newspapers to the new ones.