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Oct 25, 2007
Yeah, I know, strange title!  Let me clarify it a little.  This entry is a rant about people who just HAVE to be first for everything, even to the point of risking their own or others' lives.  I'd much rather reach my destination ALIVE than FIRST!

I drive to work on a stretch of highway where the speed limit is 65.  I usually run about 68-70, I won't lie.  But all the way to town I am being passed by people who are doing 85 if they're doing a mile!  What's the big freakin' rush?  Even if they are headed to the same spot I am, they might beat me by a second or two, what an accomplishment.  Plus the fact that once we hit town and the traffic lights start, I'm gonna catch back up to them by default anyway!

When I get a couple of blocks from my office, the south-bound two lanes of traffic narrow to one lane.  There are signs announcing this well ahead of the actual spot where the left lane disappears, and there is nothing to obstruct the view of a gradually merging lane.  There will be at least two people who obviously think that if they have to merge BEHIND another car, they will die, so they do everything but run the rest of us off the road in their passion to merge at the last minute and be first in the line of cars.  How much time are they going to save if they hit another car and have to go through the accident reporting procedures??

At lunch, if I dare to venture out on the road at all, I always end up in a line of "inchers".  These are the brain-dead folks who are convinced that by inching their car forward every few seconds, they're going to get their green light sooner.  I actually got honked at once for not "inching up" like everyone else!  This guy behind me was in a REAL hurry, and my few inches that I could move up were obviously VERY important to him!  Then there are the 3 or 4 cars that fly through the traffic light just AFTER it turns red; I am at the point where I NEVER go on my green light until I make sure I'm not gonna get smashed into!

It isn't just in cars that I see this disturbing trend.  There is a really bad "me first" attitude out in the world right now.  People will push you out of the way to reach a greeting card.  They think nothing of "racing" you to a checkout lane, or if they (god forbid!) have to be behind you, they'll hover against your back so close they're almost sharing your clothes!  The words "Excuse me" have all but disappeared from our vocabulary.  One of my co-workers will NOT let you finish one sentence without interrupting to tell HER story.

I find myself getting sucked into this "rush-rush" mindset occasionally, and it bothers me when I realize I'm doing it.  I don't want to act like them.  I don't want to come across as a rude, inconsiderate person, someone who just cannot wait their turn.  But apparently, this doesn't bother most people, because I see it more and more everyday.

I want to be calm, confident that nothing bad is going to happen to me if I let someone with one item go ahead of me in the grocery line, or if I motion for a pedestrian to go before I do, or if I say "excuse me" or "thank you" or "please".

These hurry-up people are missing out on so much.  In their relentless pursuit of first place, they don't see the scenery around them, the toddler joyfully bouncing in the shopping cart, the maple tree on the corner that is turning fiery shades of red and gold, and so many other things.  I keep thinking of an incident where I was in a department store working my way through a crowded aisle.  Ahead of me was an older lady in a motorized wheelchair, trying to reach an item that was just beyond her fingertips.  No one took the time to help her, they just scowled at her because her chair was in their way.  When I got close enough, I handed her the item she was after, and her face lit up like the sun and she gave me the sweetest smile and thanked me so sincerely!  It was a little blessing to me that put me in a better mood the rest of that day, but I felt a little sorry for the other people who passed her by and missed seeing that little lady's radiant face!

  So to all those people speeding through life and (maybe literally!) dying to be first in line for everything, I say, "Slow down, just a little.  Look around you.  I promise you will see something in your surroundings that you never noticed before!  Oh, and studies have proven that no one ever died from just being second in the line!"
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Posted: Oct 25, 2007 2:07pm
Oct 16, 2007
I'm just feeling overwhelmed right now.  I've joined this site hoping to learn from others, and there is just SO much information that I don't know where to begin.

I want to make changes in my life and do things that make my world a better place, but I find myself wanting to try everything at once.  I guess it's a personality quirk - I'm the type of person who doesn't like to collect things, I want the whole set right now!

I see people on here who are making such differences and doing so many admirable things.  How did you start out?  It's like, I want to help improve the quality of life for children and dogs, but how?  I donate to USHS and St. Jude's, but I want to do something more tangible to myself.  There isn't much opportunity in our city, or maybe I just don't know where to look for it.

I guess I just want some ideas of baby steps I can take immediately to get myself on the right track.  Here are my primary areas of interest:
- child welfare
- animal welfare
- reducing personal consumption ("wants" vs "needs")
- earth-friendly living

If anyone has suggestions or guidance for me, I'd be VERY appreciative!  TIA!
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Posted: Oct 16, 2007 11:51am
Oct 14, 2007
I am so pissed off right now.  A few weeks ago, I ordered some "Be Kind" bracelets through the US Humane Society & Cause Collars.  I kept one and handed out the others to friends. 

I never even noticed on the inside of the bracelet are the words "Made in China"!!!!!!!!  Am I being too harsh, or does this seem hypocritical of the USHS?  I've been showing my dedication by wearing a wristband made in a country that kills these same animals for fur!!! 

I still support USHS (we have an automatic monthly donation set up with them), but this is kind of discouraging to learn.
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Posted: Oct 14, 2007 7:38pm
Oct 11, 2007
Funny, but if I trace my motives all the way back to the beginning, I'm writing on this site because I liked the cover art on a cassette back in about 1990!

I bought that cassette of a band I had never heard of before.  It was angry music, with lyrics that were full of frustration, accusations, and sometimes despair.  I fell in love with it immediately and listened to it endlessly.  The album was Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails.  At that time, all I knew was that I loved the music, loved the singer's voice (and his looks, too), but that was about all I knew.

I'll skip all the stuff in between then and now, but I kept loving NIN all those years.  Yeah, I went through phases of different music preferences, but no matter what I was into, I could always lose myself in NIN's music. 

Okay, so earlier this year, NIN released Year Zero, and I have learned more about everything in the few months since I heard the first notes on that album than I ever thought possible.  I'll admit, when I first found a link to a PSA for PETA done by Trent Reznor, I only watched it to see him.  But I was nearly in tears by the end, and I realized that there was so much more to him than I'd thought.  I began to take stock of things that were important to me, issues that I would be willing to fight for, and things I could do to make even a small difference.

I love animals, I always have.  I'm partial to doggies, but that's just me!  So as I started to learn about the Chinese fur trade, the widespread cases of dogfighting and puppy mills, and the things that people do to animals just because they can, I got more and more angry.  I want to do something, but I don't know what.  I don't have the audience that someone like Trent has, I don't have the local resources that larger cities have, so I'm stalled.  I hope to find ideas and inspirations here to help me find ways to speak out and do something about animal welfare (and other issues that I hold dear). 

I watched a video this afternoon on YouTube (sorry, but I can't remember the poster's name as I write this...) that showed more of the horrors in China, and it is horrifying.  It made me come home and hug my doggie Spike even tighter than usual.

I know this is rambling, but I've got tons of thoughts in my head tonight.  I just think it is an odd and amusing coincidence that buying that album all those years ago would eventually lead to my determination to make a difference in the world!  I wish I could thank Trent personally for getting me here, and for the motivation to keep me going on this goal!
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Posted: Oct 11, 2007 5:09pm

 

 
 
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Lisa Ivey
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Columbus, MS, USA
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