Thursday, April 25, 2013

High School...1957 vs 2010

 Scenario 1
Jack goes quail hunting before school
and then pulls into the school parking lot
with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1957:  Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to  show Jack.
2010:  School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors called in for traumatized students, teachers and caretaker staff.

Scenario 2

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957:  Crowd gathers.  Mark wins.  Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2010:  Police called and SWAT team arrives ~ they arrest both Johnny and Mark.  They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3

Jeffrey will not be still in class; he disrupts other students.

1957:  Jeffrey was sent to Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal.  He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2010:  Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin.  He becomes a zombie.  He is then tested for ADD.  The family gets extra  money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4

Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car
and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957: Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2010:  Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang.  The state psychologist  is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison.  Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957:  Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2010:  The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations.  His car is then          searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6

Pedro fails High School English

1957:  Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2010:  Pedro's cause is taken up by state.  Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist.  ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher.  English is then banned from core curriculum.  Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July,
puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957:  Ants die.
2010:  ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called .  Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism.
The FBI investigates his parents ~ and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated.  Johnny's dad is placed on a terror list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee.
He is found crying by his teacher, Mary.
Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957:  In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2010:  Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.  She faces 3 years in State Prison.  Johnny undergoes 5  years of therapy.

The foregoing should hit every e-mail inbox to show

(Thank you, Tom, for sending to me)

Words of Wisdom

One day  your life will flash before your eyes.
“Make sure it is worth watching.”

Merle Baird-Kerr … written February 20, 2013
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Tribute to Earth Day (Part III)

 What a Wonderful World
(as immortalized by Louis Armstrong)

I see trees of green,
red roses too,
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
“What a Wonderful World!”

I see skies of blue,
and clouds of white;
the bright blessed day;
the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
“What a Wonderful World!”

The colours of the rainbow,
so pretty in the sky,
are also on the faces
of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands,
saying, “How do you do?”
They're really saying,
“I love you.”

I hear babies cry;
I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more
than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself,
“What a Wonderful World!”

Yes, I think to myself,
“What a Wonderful World!”

Oh, yeah!


See the World in a grain of sand;
And a Heaven in a wild flower;
Hold Infinity in the palm of  your hand;
And Eternity in an hour.
(William Blake)

The Wind, no matter how blustery
remains as silent as it is invisible
until it meets with leaves, kites and flags;
manifesting forces make dreams come true
when they meet with expectation.
(the Universe)

The Effortless Faze of Mother Nature
Grass doesn't try to just grows.
Flowers don't try to bloom...they bloom.
Birds don't try to fly...they fly.

“Mother Nature has so much to teach us
if we are ready and willing to listen.”

All the foregoing says it all!  What more can I say?

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr...March 10, 2013
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Thursday, April 18, 2013


National Volunteer Week…April 21 to  27, 2013

Mary, a woman who always flamboyantly dressed, was a senior with whom I played duplicate bridge for a few years.  She confided in me that she was often so lonely, she'd go shopping in local malls to fill her empty hours.  I suggested to her that volunteering could give her much satisfaction and be of great appreciation to those with whom she spent time.  Twice I gave her lists from the local paper of where to volunteer in our city...she drove a black Maxima...and being with people, could be socially enjoyable.

Consider:  Joseph Brant Mem. Hospital          CNIB (Can. National Inst. for Blind).
                 Driving for Meals on Wheels          Big Sister and Brother  Assoc.
                 Heritage and Arts                           The Good Shepherd
                 Nursing Homes                               The Red Cross
                 Friends in Grief                               Disaster Relief
                 Nursing Homes                                 ...and the list goes on

Being an animal lover, she showed some interest in taking pets from the SPCA  and Animal Control to Nursing Homes, bringing cheer and happiness to patients. I discovered  she was  more  receptive to people paying attention to her.  Unfortunately, she couldn't conceive how pleasurable and rewarding  volunteering could be and the joy of satisfaction it could bring to her.

There is a Horse Rescue Reserve located near cares for abandoned animals whose usefulness is past or may be too ill to keep. Every day, somewhere, there is a horse that just wants to be loved and given a chance to live a happy life. Concerned volunteers give of their time and interest.

Longtime German friends (Adolf and Eva) living on Hamilton Mountain, were continually tending animals and birds in their home...ones who were injured or abandoned.  Then when “mended” and well fed, they released them to the wild again...a raccoon with an injured paw, a small owl with a broken wing, a cat with a partially severed tail, a lame puppy, a baby bird that fell from its nest.  What wonderful deeds of kindness resulted when they volunteered their time to restore health to the maimed!

One of Life's greatest joys is having a pet. 
They bring us so much happiness and companionship
                                                    that we cannot enjoy life without them.

Squirrel...a True Story
(Thanks to Sydney for sending this to me)

Soldiers in Belarus found a little squirrel and brought it to the Warrant Officer.  The squirrel was very weak and about to die, so the officer took care of it...fed it like a baby every four hours.  After fulfilling his deployment assignment, he left the army with “Peanut”, his squirrel and now works as a taxi driver.  The squirrel is always in his pocket, no matter where he goes...often sitting on the dash of the vehicle. Light brownish gray with dark ears, large bushy tail and a fully white tummy, he loves his master's table for snacks and often snuggles beside the master's gray and white tabby cat. His bed is a downy white blanket....and how richly he lives in this new homeland!

Rescuing one animal may not change the world;
but for that animal, his world is changed forever! 

Fur is Flying

Volunteers save thousands of dogs from death row 
on rescue missions.

At a Midwest National Air Center, a white Piper Cherokee drifts to earth like a paper airplane in the bright twilight, the buzz of its single engine only slightly louder than the chirp of grasshoppers in the surrounding farmland.  On the ground, the pilot unfolds his body backward through the passenger-side door.  Standing on the wing, he asks  his passenger, “Honey Bee, do you want to get out?” 

Honey Bee, a 2-year-old bluetick coonhound, raises her head and cocks her floppy velvet ears. She has slept for two hours since the gentle-voiced stranger picked her up at St. Louis Airport and loaded her into this strange vehicle. The pilot strokes Honey Bee under the chin, then leans in and scoops up the 50-pound hound.  Sam Taylor has the  squared shoulders and stick-straight posture of a military helicopter pilot who flew search-and-rescue missions during the Vietnam War. Now he flies animal rescue missions for Pilots N Paws. On average, Taylor goes on one to three rescue flights a week.  Most flights are in a 240-kilometre range.  In September, 2010, he was part of a mission that rescued 171 dogs from Louisiana after the gulf oil spill.  These pilots pay for their own gas, which averages $48 an hour.  He has transported 279 dogs and one cat and he has pictures of every one of them.

Honey Bee was rescued from a farm in rural Kentucky where a once-respected-breeder descended into ill health and hoarding behaviour and ultimately abandoned his property, leaving behind 29 coonhounds, many locked in kennels, horse stalls and the house.  Over the next 5 days, Honey Bee will be handed off 21 more times in a relay  stretching 3,460 kilometres.  But first, Taylor pushes his airplane into its hangar, pulls the door shut and locks it, the blanket Honey Bee slept on in the plane draped over his arm.  He spreads it out over the front seat of his pickup.  “She's familiar with the blanket, so that is a comforting thing.”

Many rescued dogs start their new lives with a stay at a foster home while volunteers post information about the animal online in hopes of finding an adoptive family. Once an adoption is arranged, the rescue organization contacts a volunteer transport co-ordinator to cobble together a route that often involves six to two dozen legs by road and by land.

Today, the network…Pilots and Paws...has 2,700 volunteer pilots in 50 states and has flown more than 10,000 animals. Kansas City's Patrick Regan wrote a book about the organization called " Dog is My Co-Pilot". He writes that Taylor is outstanding because of the combination of his professionalism and extreme compassion for dogs, an assessment shared by rescue volunteers who work with him.

                              (the above are excerpts from a June 30th, 2012 Spectator article)


My son sent  his 504,000-kilometre-travelled-Odessy van to Honda Heaven.
After one of my cat's “nine lives” expired, he went to Cat Heaven.
When a loved family member passes, he goes to Heaven to live out his spiritual life.
I am  confident there must be a special mansion in Heaven for Volunteers!

Fantasy Island

                                                     Many will be shocked to find
                                                     when the day of judgement  nears,
                                                     that there's a special place in Heaven
                                                     set aside for Volunteers.

                                                     Furnished with big recliners,
                                                     satin couches and footstools...
                                                     where there's no Committee Chairman,
                                                      no group leaders or car pools,
                                                      no eager team that needs a coach,
                                                      no bazaars and bake sale.
                                                      There will be nothing to staple;
                                                      not one thing to fold or mail.
                                                      Telephone lists will be outlawed.
                                                      But a finger-snap will bring
                                                      cool drinks and gourmet dinners
                                                      and rare treats fit for a king.

                                                      You ask, “Who'll serve these privileged few
                                                      and work for all they're worth?
                                                      Why, all those who reaped the benefits
                                                       and NOT ONCE volunteered on earth!

(Author unknown)

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr … April 2, 2013
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Value of Being a Teacher

 From a School Principal's Speech at Graduation

Doctor wants his child to become a doctor.
Engineer wants his child to become an engineer.
Businessman wants his child to become CEO.

But a teacher also wants his child to become one of them!!!
Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE.
Very sad, but that's the truth...!!!

He relates the following story:

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.  One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.  He argued, “What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

To stress his point, he said to another guest, “You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest...what do you make?”
Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make?”  She paused for a second, then began...

          Well, I MAKE kids work harder than they thought they could.

          I MAKE a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honour winner.

          I MAKE kids sit through 40 minutes  of class time when their parents can't
          make them sit for 5 minutes without an I-pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

          You want to know  what I MAKE?  (She paused again and looked at each and
          every person at the table), 

          I MAKE kids wonder.

          I MAKE them question.

          I MAKE them apologize and mean it.

          I MAKE them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

          I TEACH them how to write and then I MAKE them write.
          Keyboarding isn't everything.

          I MAKE them read, read, read.

          I MAKE them show all their work in math.  They use their God-given brain,
          not the man-made calculator.

          I MAKE my students from other countries learn everything they need to
          know about English while preserving their unique culture  identity.

          I MAKE my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

          Finally, I MAKE them understand that if they use the gifts they were
          given, work hard and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

          Bonnie paused one last time and then continued:

          Then, when people try to judge me by what I MAKE, with me knowing
          money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention
          because they are ignorant.  You want to know what I MAKE?

          What do you make Mr. CEO?

His jaw dropped; he went silent.

* * * * * * * * *

This is worth sending to every person you know.
Even all “personal teachers” like
mother, father, guardian, brother, sister,
coach and spiritual leader/teacher.

(Many thanks to Tom for forwarding the foregoing to me.
He is also a retired teacher as I am.)

Quotes by Bill Sherk
a retired High School his book,
“Try to Keep Up With Me”

The most important people in the entire education system
were not the directors or administrators or even the teachers.
The most important were the students.

Show your students that you are generally interested
in helping them to achieve academic success.

Impress these values upon your students...not only as students
but also future citizens in their society.

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr...March 25, 2013
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Friday, April 12, 2013

New High School Principal

These are Sad Times!

Our planet, as seen from outer space, views Beautiful!
Aliens may be tempted to colonize this orb of blue waters, rich fertile lands,
deserts, mountains, four seasons, and year round changing temperatures.
Yet...mankind has and is slowly (quickly at times) eroding
our environment and family lifestyles.

                                       Gone are the evenings for a quiet stroll.
           Gone are the opportunities for children to play in neighborhoods.
                   Gone are the days when one retired after 25 years with the same firm.
      Gone are  the days when “hubby” was the sole breadwinner..
   Gone are some countries to which we would love to travel.

Amazingly, there are a few men and women who
“step up to the plate” setting new standards of  living,
new principles to abide by, new disciplines to govern attitude to others.
At this time when a recent tragedy erased 20 children's lives
(Grades 1 to 5) and 6 adults in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school,
we question the safety of both young and old in our society.

At the opening game of the Major Baseball League, between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians, a moment of silence was dedicated (prior to the opening pitch) by the 2 teams and over 50,000 fans…to the citizens of Newtown. How precious was that moment…many a tear was shed, including me.

The following article is so pertinent, so vital, so compelling... it is my theory (as a retired teacher) that all schools in our country should adopt stringent patterns of behavior. These should be initially taught at home, then reinforced in all classrooms from primary grades to graduating students.

New High School Principal

This is what every school principal and administrator should expect from their students.  It was...when I was growing up!  Principles...have not changed.

We watched high school principal, Dennis Prager of Colorado, along with Sara Palin and Tom Brokaw on TV a couple weeks ago...what a dynamic, down to earth speaker!  Even though Palin and Brokaw were also guest speakers, they did little but  nod and agree with him.  This is the guy that should be running for President in 2012.

A Speech Every American High School Principal
Should Dennis Prager.

To the Students and Faculty of our High School

I am your new principal, and am truly honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making  these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated  public education in America  have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity.  I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white.  I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin, American, Asian or European...or if your ancestors  arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.  The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual lidentity ~ your character,  your scholarship,  your humanity.  And the only national identity this school will care about is American.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties.  Those clubs just cultivate narcissism ~ an unhealthy preoccupation with the self ~ while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself!  So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more.  If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that  you leave this school speaking  and writing English as fluently as possible.  The English language has united America's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school.  It is one of the indispensable reasons  this country of immigrants has always come to be one country.  And if  you leave this  school without excellent English skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market.  We will learn other languages here ~ it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English ~ but if you want classes  taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this  school will reflect learning's elevated status.  This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly.  Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward.  Therefore, there will be more  formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property ~ whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events.  If you can't speak without using the f-word, you can't speak.  By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as “N****”, even when used by one black student to address another black, or “b#$%&,” even when addressed  by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between  the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will  end all self-esteem programs.  In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way ~ the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago ~ by earning it!  One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian...not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda.  No more time will be devoted  to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warning.  No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue.  There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian.  We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately fortunate ~ to be alive and to be American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of our Country.  As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

I extend my gratitude to Carolyn,
a constant follower of my blog writings,
who sent the foregoing article to me in August, 2012.
“Words of Wisdom” Dale Carnegie
There are four ways in which we have contact with the world:
We are evaluated and classified by:
What we Do! How we Look!
What we Say! How we Say it!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written January 3, 2013
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jack Miner ... Father of Conservation

He became the founder of
The  Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation
(a waterfowl refuge system by creating a sanctuary
for them in 1904).

It is located in Kingsville, Ontario (30 minutes east from Windsor and Detroit) near the north shore of Lake Erie.  Five years later, he pioneered the bonding of migratory waterfowl.  The recovering data was instrumental in the establishment of the Migratory Bird Treaty in1916 between United States and no such government  bonding programs had yet been in existence. The Foundation is a charitable organization that operates solely on grants and the generosity of private and corporate donations.  In 1904, he created a pond on his farm with 7 clipped tame Canada Geese ~ hoping to attract wild geese.  It took 4 years of effort before the wild geese finally began to settle at Miner's sanctuary.  In 1911, geese and ducks were arriving in large numbers and Miner increased the size of his pond in 1913 ~ the entire homestead had become a bird sanctuary.  The Provincial Government of Ontario provided funding for Miner's project, allowing him to add evergreen trees and shrubs and to dig more ponds and surround them with sheltering groves.

Of Interest:  From the Lake Erie piers of Kingsville and Leamington, car ferries leave frequently for the cruise to Pelee Island (the largest in the lake)...a serene setting where time seems to move at a slow pace.  It is home to Pelee Island Winery ~ Canada's largest estate-owned winery with approximately 600 acres of vineyards. You've heard said, “It's worth the drive to Acton” (for leathers) I advise you that, “It's worth the trip to Pelee Island.”  How wonderful it was, a couple years ago, to cross the placid, almost glass-like waters of Lake Erie to this quiet island!  Enjoy the lake views...the rural countryside...the peaceful atmosphere and the friendliness of its inhabitants. Cap off this scenic drive with a visit to the winery's boutique...and a lunch menu to enjoy with a glass of Pelee Island Wine.

                   Point Pelee National Park resounds with migratory songbirds in the spring, hums with cicadas in the summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in the fall and is a peaceful place of reflection in the winter.  A half-mile of marsh boardwalk puts you in the heart of wildlife...a true paradise for thousands of bird-watchers yearly.

                       Point Pelee, Ontario, is the southernmost  part of mainland Canada...which runs parallel to northern California in United States.  Just last summer, a local bicyclist rode from this Point to the northernmost point in Canada's Arctic...notably quite a physical challenge!

Blowing In
(a story about Clovis the Goose who gets blown off track...
 written by Esther Meerschaut, Harrow, Ontario
and published in the recent  “Our Canada” magazine issue)

Once upon a time towards the end of April, Clovis the Canada Goose was flying over Lake Erie and into Ontario.  He was eager to return to the pond where he had started life the previous year.

Next year, he would seek a mate, but this summer he would soak up the sun, float leisurely on the water  and eat whenever and whatever he wanted.

Today, the wind was so strong that he and the other Canada Geese had trouble staying together in their “V” formation.  Then a violent gust of wind blew Clovis out of formation  and tossed him about like a leaf.  No matter how hard he flapped his wings, he couldn't get back.  Then, just as suddenly, he was out of the strong wind.  He was once  more in control of his wings.

But, he was alone! He could not see his friends, nor could he see the pond.

Clovis realized he was heading directly towards a large, two-storey, red brick building. Below him, beside a busy highway, were cages containing wild turkeys.  Behind those was a pond, but not the one he wanted.  Ducks and Canada Geese were strolling along the shore, swimming, eating and dozing in the grass.

“Where am I?” Clovis asked the nearest goose.  “This looks like heaven.”

“Not quite,” said the other goose, “but close to it. You're in Kingsville, Ontario.  This is the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary where we are safe and protected.  Here we have everything we need...water, friends and the freedom to come and go as we like.”

Clovis decided that he didn't need to look for that other pond.  He would stay right here.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Written by Richard Bach, it is a fable (in novella form) about a seagull learning about “life and flight” and a homily about self protection.  First published in 1970,  over a million copies were in print. The book received the top of the New York Times Best Seller list where it remained for 38 weeks.

The book tells the story of a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food.  Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes  himself, learning everything he can about flying...until his unwillingness to conform within the flock, resulted in his expulsion.  An outcast, he continued to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his ability as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by 2 gulls who take him to a “higher plane” of that there is no heaven, but a better world found through perfection of  knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly.

And the story goes on! 
I strongly advise that every parent and child
should read this amazing and enlightening! a Great Teacher

If we listen...Nature talks to us every day and every night.
The earth and sea and sky speak about their colours and actions.
The everlasting hills and trees with waving branches speak.
Buds and flowers speak of their beauty and scent.
Numerous lovely birds speak as they sing happy songs.

The Mourning Doves, about which I have extensively written,
teach lessons about human parenting, about the dedication and
not only protection, but the rearing of their young to adulthood.

Animals, insects and marine life teach us many lessons...if we observe.

He who studies most deeply
into the mysteries of nature
will realize most fully
his own ignorance and weaknesses.
He will realize that there are
depths and heights which he cannot reach,
secrets which he cannot penetrate,
vast fields of truth lying before him unentered.
He will be ready to say with Newton,
“I seem to have been like a child on the shore
finding pebbles and shells while the great ocean of truth
lay undiscovered before me.”
(Author unknown)

Nature protects and nurtures its diverse creations to a profound sense of intelligence that we are just beginning to appreciate.  Consider this:  Branches stripped of foliage during winter, are encased with snow or frost or ice for added protection.  Nature is the Ultimate Teacher…of how to overcome obstacles and woes…and how to appreciate the environment around us.

Pearl of Wisdom

When a flower grows wild, it can always survive/
Wild flowers don’t care where they grow.
(Dolly Parton)

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr … March 24, 2013
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tribute to Earth Day (Part II)

 “Earth Day” (April 22),  although not a national holiday, is a day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment.  It was designated as International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations in 2009 ~  now celebrated in more than 175 countries yearly.

The SUN with its family of 8 planets (now that the distant ice-covered Pluto is no more a planet) make our Galaxy...the Milky Way.  Earth turned out to be the luckiest!  It is the only planet where life became possible, at least as far as our knowledge goes.  Life in its beautiful forms developed it humans, animals and birds, plants or marine life.

The one thing that made Earth unique was the presence of the superb form of intelligent  life called the human race.  But somewhere along the way, the human race lost its humanity, forgot to acknowledge the planet that gave it life...and used its resources ruthlessly. 

The world now marks Earth Day to make the human race realize the importance of the Mother Earth: it is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform arts of service to Earth....including planting trees, picking up roadside and park trash, embarking on various programs for recycling and conservation.  It is a time to call for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.

Words of Awareness:

Someone is sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree here 20 years ago!
(author unknown)

Four Seasons ~
(How blessed we are!)

The fields are rich with daffodils,
A coat of clover cloaks the hills,
And I must dance, and I must sing
To see the beauty of the Spring.

The earth is warm, the sun's ablaze,
It is a time of carefree days;
And bees abuzz that chance to pass
May see me snoozing in the grass.

The leaves are yellow, red and brown,
A shower sprinkles softly down;
The air is fragrant, crisp and cool,
And once again I'm stuck in school.

The birds are gone, the world is white,
The winds are wild, they chill and bite;
The ground is thick with slush and sleet,
And I can barely feel my feet.

The last is done, the next is here,
The same as it is every  year;
Spring ~ then sunshine ~ autumn ~ snow,
That is how each year must go.

(Lindemberg Pareira da Silva ~ a Brazilian poet)

American Indian Philosophies

American Indians  generally foster a special relationship with Earth as being “one with Mother Earth.”  This means that the Earth nourishes, sustains, and provides life for all found upon it.  All plants, animals, birds, fish, soil and water are recognized as interdependent  and necessary to sustain life.  Indian people also recognize that it is important …to respect, to love and to care for all found upon the Earth so that a future generation of people will be sustained.

Do not judge your neighbour until you walk 2 moons in his moccasins.
Our first teacher is our own heart. Judge not by the eye, but by the heart.  (Cheyenne)

We are made by Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth.
It is no longer good enough to cry peace;  we must act peace, live peace
and live in peace.  (Shenandoah ~ Daughter of the Sky and Daughter of the Stars)

I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees
as other Indian babes.  (Geronimo, Apache Indian Tribe)

We must protect the forests for our children,
 grandchildren and children yet to be born.
We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves
such as the birds, animals, fish, trees and plants.  (Qwatsinas)

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr…March 3, 2013
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