Bravery

Oftentimes, our ideas may be considered, unconventional. Because of that, we have to learn to be ‘brave,’ and to stand-up for the way that we see things. We can usually make our case for our beliefs, whether anyone else gets it or not, by exuding our own self-confidence and persistence.

As a woman, I have a commanding voice and ask to be taken seriously. While it is sometimes difficult to risk the pride that I have mustered over twenty-two years of life, I am exhilarated when I put myself out of my comfort zone.

But ultimately, there is no such thing as ‘bravery’—there are only degrees of fear. What is bravery? It is defined by courage. Well, what is courage?

The Webster Dictionary defines courage as: “The ability to do something that frightens oneself,” or “our strength in the face of pain or grief.”

As the psychiatrist, Dr. Steve Maraboli states, “It takes bravery to recognize, where in your life, you are your own poison—it takes courage, however, to do something about it.”

Our concept of bravery is harnessed through experience. No matter what scholars define it as we should reach for it and become our best selves in the process.

It is time to have the bravery to be courageous.

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Dying to Live

Anger doesn’t live across the sea,
Nor among the rare breeds of humanity
Because Anger creeps beneath the trees,
And pounces upon you quickly

As Anger calls down the rains,
She soaks her friends and foes all the same
Because her soul won’t be in control
And her wind blows them crisp and cold

Storms of hate will leave her weak,
Amid the silence, Anger will wait,
While the heart whispers warnings, far too meek
Advising herself from isolation’s bleak

With haunted eyes and heavy heart,
Anger will watch from afar
And when the solitude solidifies,
Anger will know her fate in time

One dawn will break hatred’s window,
And the gentle sun will defrost the soul
The heart will again, know the beat of man
Alone, Anger will not stand

Anger is not born across the seas,
Upon the skeletons of faded things
Because Anger is born from humanity
It is we, who give her the chance to breathe

Empty Fillers

Loving humans – no matter their color, orientation, income, religion, intelligence or political affiliation –  can fill the emptiness of your heart and cure the desolation of your soul.

That is, if you seek to fill them.

 

 

Life & Death of the Salt Marsh

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Written before a time when the term “Ecosystem Services” existed (MEA 2005), John and Mildred Teal’s “Life and Death of the Salt Marsh” (1976), shed a preemptive light on it from one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity – salt marshes. This is an intertidal zone (wetland), situated between the land and ocean, which is regularly flooded and drained by the tides of the coast. Like other wetlands, it is characterized by its peaty composition (decomposing plant material) and root-filled muddy substrate, extending up to a few meters deep and expanding hundreds of meters wide.
As meandering green ribbons of plant growth, it is unique for its random pockets of land and scurrying strips of water – that vitally connects our nation’s seaboards. From the Canadian coast of Newfoundland to the Florida Everglades to the Gulf of Mexico, salt marshes do not ask for much in return; except, protection to survive. Contributing immensely to the survival of humankind, the Teals tell the story of the salt marsh – beginning to end.
From the beginning, these wetlands have protected us by protecting our quality of water (via runoff filtration and metabolization of excess nutrients), buffering huge wave action from flooding, and trapping sediment to protect us from storm surges, landslides, and shoreline erosion. In addition, it even provides a safe refuge for countless marine denizens, serving as saltwater nurseries for young fish (before moving to open water), and being grassy sanctuaries for birds (i.e., hiding their young from predators). By the end, however, we find that many salt marshes have been/or are currently being drained, destroyed and replaced by human infrastructure – with little to no knowledge of what they actually do or what great purpose they actually serve.
For these reasons, the Teals try to inform us about these “kidneys of our environment;” and the trouble wrought by our neglect and lack of protection of them. Ultimately, these under-appreciated environs need our support and attention; they’re an integral part of our nation’s economy and culture (i.e., by providing habitats for fish, shrimp, and crab) as well as giving us myriad resources (i.e., healthy fisheries and coastline support) that eventually affects all of our communities. And in spite of its less than attractive appearances, it is worth much more, than the things that we are seemingly replacing it with (i.e., marinas, golf courses, housing developments, etc.). As a result, we must continue educating ourselves and thinking of ways to protect this irreplaceable and necessary gift from nature. Remember, finally, the resplendent and treasured melody that you may have also heard as a child – “when the ocean tide rolled in and the gentle music of the moving water was carefully added to the comforting noise of the prairie rustling alongside it, as the wind whispered messages, courtesy of the salt marsh” –  but what happens to this duet, if we continue ignoring it? I fear, a song like it will cease to be heard again.
C. Fattal, 2016
Dedicated to Duke Nicholas School of the Environment
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Hope in the Wild

I find that the wilder and quieter the place, the more we become who we really are. Instead of spending so much of the day turning off, tired and a bit overstimulated, we begin to open up: layers slowly sliding off, awareness of our permeability emerging, a welcoming in of the world that surrounds every one of our cells.

-Anne Martin

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A crystal blue lake in southern Argentina

(C. Fattal 2015)

http://blogs.nicholas.duke.edu/exploring-green/hope-in-the-wild/

Art of Making Possible

Hillary Rodham Clinton at her Commencement, 1969

My entrance into the world of so-called “social problems”
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And from which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To translate the future into the past.
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our wills up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible.

-Nancy Scheibner

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University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana

(M. Cashore 2015)

A Portrait Painted By Anxiety

At the most inconvenient of times, thoughts swarm my mind and gnaw at my very being. My worries go far beyond exams, groceries, or having a social life —  you know, the actual “important things one must worry about.”

Instead, my anxiety characterizes itself as painful memories that persist without fail. Some of which have occurred (past tense)more than years ago, and even today, they still rob my attention and hinder me from truly enjoying life. “Why?” you may ask. Because I let them.

Having the ability to reminisce is a beautiful thing.

As I get older, however, I allow some thoughts to define who I am and imprison me in who I once was — holding me back from a more beautiful future.

In fact, anxious thoughts can hinder me [or any of us, for that matter] from a successful life and moving forward. If we do that, we can individually hinder ourselves in the present and harm our futures.

The world is a complex place and deciphering it is hard to do. We must strive to discipline our minds and focus, instead, on living our lives to the fullest.

Article Inspired by: Taylor Christopher Brown

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Hindu Women can be Head of the Family: Court Rules

By: Women In The World (WITW) Staff

Source: The New York Times

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In a landmark decision, a New Delhi court has ruled that women can be the “karta” — meaning the legal head of a family, according to ancient Hindu customs — a position previously reserved for men only. The “karta” occupies the superior position in a family and takes full control over property, rituals and other family affairs.

The ruling came about after the daughter of a business family, whose father was the eldest of four brothers, had filed a lawsuit against one of her cousins who claimed that he was now the rightful karta. The high court justified its decision as the logical conclusion of a 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, which granted women equal inheritance rights, arguing that it was rather odd that “while females would have equal rights of inheritance in an HUF property, this right could nonetheless be curtailed when it comes to the management of the same”.

Read the Full Story at the Times of India