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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where Are All the Children?

Where do you think we are leading our children? We have 'made' these small creatures, and now they are here in the world...But really, where are children welcome? Of course they are welcome at community rec centers, at play groups, and at specific public areas like beaches and malls.

As a society, we don't bring our children to business meetings, to adult social gatherings, and to be witnesses to important conversations. Children are expected to not understand or to not be capable of learning certain things, based on their young ages. They're expected to misbehave and embarrass their parents, the whole room, and our society.

Although, I don't know that these are accurate judgments for adults to make. I think that adults have created a belief that children are 'unable,' and that belief doesn't usually hold true, nor is this belief about children actually benefiting the planet, our population, or future generations.

Sure, a young child doesn't need to watch the news. Do any of us need advertising of this variety? Although it is true, I believe, that an awareness of poverty in other countries will help children to have understanding and a broader perspective. A conversation is what a child needs; a conversation about what the world looks like now and about what the world could look like with time, a new direction, and at least one person who has vision. Currently children are left to learn from their peers, in school yards, and from their teachers who spend more of their time talking than listening.

I remember being young and having insights of the world being a better place. I had visions but a lack of community structure to implement those visions. A child has dreams and adults lack awareness of a better way. A child has hope and adults have lost hope.

Children need to be reintroduced into our society in a way that they feel welcomed and that their insights are valuable. They need to be the ones who feel confident in bringing their ideas to the table, to be heard, and to change the future. I don't think this is what we, as a society, are providing for children. Do you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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At one time in my life, I was a 2-year old

My Breakfast with a Drug Rep

This morning I brought my son and I out for a date to White Spot, a chain restaurant here in Victoria, B.C., Canada (good food) which sits across the street from the Royal Jubilee HospitalI didn't expect that we'd be eating our breakfast beside two men, one teaching the other all about how to successfully sell the drug "Mealtime Insulin" to doctors. 

I got my paper and pen out a few times during their conversation because I knew I would be writing this post. Given the type of conversation the two men were having, I expected they would be speaking in a more confidential manner but that was not the case. I heard the one man say "stupid doctors" on more than one occasion, referring to which type of doctor makes the worst business prospect.

So, I'd like to get something straight. I'm not interested in overhearing general conversations and then blogging about them. I think it's rude, normally. Although, in this instance, the men were speaking SO loudly that my anticipated peaceful breakfast with my son was continually interrupted...Therefor, I am making an exception for myself this time to express what I feel needs to be expressed.

I'm not anti-drug. Drugs can save lives, but it's equally true that prescription drugs can ruin lives as well. Normal and well-meaning people (even people I know) have prescription drug addictions and the side-effects take a toll on otherwise healing bodies. Again, I am not anti-drug, but I know there are better ways to heal bodies.

Back to My Breakfast with a Drug Rep...

I was mostly astounded that the man who was training the other man was speaking as loudly as he was, spilling his selling secrets with every rambling. He wanted to be sure that his trainee knew which doctors to target with the drug and which doctors were "a waste of time." He also said very clearly that doctors who don't understand Mealtime Insulin are not worth having a conversation with. It's the doctors who are progressive who are "gold," is what he said. Apparently even one 'deal' with a doctor is good money. Who would have known?!

What I don't like is the way the system is set up. According to one company's website, Mealtime Insulin is covered by Medicare. If it's covered by medicare, and medicare is paid for by citizens, then you and me are paying for this drug rep to go for breakfast at White Spot and for him to pick and choose which doctors he decides to sell to, and which people get to benefit or suffer?

If this Mealtime insulin is better than other insulin, then why does there even need to be a drug rep selling to doctors? Why aren't the doctors just "in the know" already, through a really good communication platform...Like, ummm...email?

I'm not looking to start a petition. I'm just thinking that if drug companies, doctors, and Medicare truly wished for the health of mankind then they would probably work together in an effective manner that didn't waste mankind's money by making decisions that only help their own bottom line.

Curious to know what you think!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everything Can be Defined as "Art"

I am taking a summer class called "Philosophy of Art" and my first paper is an argument in spite of my instructor who made it clear to the class that it's a cop-out to say that "everything is art." It frustrated me so much that he said that not everything can be art when it's a philosophy class and it is obvious to me that everything CAN BE art. So here is my paper...Enjoy :)

Everything Can Be Defined as Art Written by Nadine Staaf

My ontological commitment:  Everything can be defined as ‘art’ because not everyone can agree on one definition of the term ‘art.’ In addition, everyone perceives art differently, the majority may be incorrect in their agreement, and the art world is not helpful by their creating definitions of what art is and what it is not.


As a class, we can agree that art does not have a single definition. As a society, our definition of art changes over time. “The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy…” (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/).  Neither artists, nor art appreciators, nor the entirety of the art world can come to a single definition of what art is or is not. If not everyone can come to full agreement of what art truly means, would it not be possible for a person to be correct in saying that art has the potential of encompassing all things?


There is nothing in its physical form that cannot be seen as art or appreciated as art by at least one person on Earth. That statement in itself makes it possible for every physical thing to be an artwork, depending upon the person witnessing the thing, and depending upon the person’s perceptions upon witnessing the thing.

One can argue that an idea is not a “thing” because it is not physical, so an idea cannot be defined as art. But, what is an idea? An idea is not necessarily a physical thing, but an idea has the potential to be art because the thinker of the nonphysical thing can perceive the idea to be artistic, and every idea has a thinker of that idea. An idea, no matter what its characteristics, can be as much art as a physical “thing” because an idea can have properties much like many famous physical artworks: beautiful to the eye of the beholder, vivid, intentional, thought-provoking, to name a few.

The Majority

It is closed-minded to say that not everything can be art when every person on Earth has different thoughts than the next person, and who is to say that, even though the majority of people think a similar idea, their perception is completely truthful? For example, the majority of people may perceive a pile of human feces on the ground as a non-example of art, and the minority may see that same defecation as art. This does not mean that the majority is more accurate in their understanding of art simply because they are the majority. The same is true of the minority. No one person or group of people is 100% accurate in their judgement of what art is, and even if all human beings decided to interpret something as art, all human beings have the potential of being incorrect in their judgements. For example, it is possible that all humans at one time agreed that the sky was blue. As so long as no one realized that the sky is not made up of only blue but rather it is made up of a variety of colours, (http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/sky_blue.html), everyone was incorrect in their agreed upon judgement of the sky’s colour.

The Art World is Not Helpful

It is likely that the art world has the potential, as does every other person, to be completely inaccurate in their judgement of what art is and what art is not. As emphasised with the blue sky example above, the majority can be as incorrect as the minority in their judgements. The art world becomes nevertheless unhelpful when its judgements limit what is considered art and what is considered non-art.

The definition of art continues to be broadened over time, as illustrated in paragraph 2, but a broadened definition is not as encompassing as a definition that states that all things and ideas can be considered to be art. It is obvious that an all-encompassing definition is the goal of the art world. A worthy goal would be to create a definition where art is not limited to a specific set of terms. The definition of art in the future, if there is to be a single definition, will be ‘anything.’

In conclusion, it is clear that not everyone can agree (yet) on one definition of the term ‘art,’ perception allows each individual on our planet to see something different when experiencing the same thing or idea, a majority or minority agreement does not make a judgement accurate, and the art world simply establishes a limit on what can be termed ‘art’ even if that limit is without all-encompassing truth or helpfulness to understanding what art is or what art is not.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Balancing My Orbit


I made the title of my blog "Worthwhile Enough to Share" for a couple of reasons, one being that it's a way for people to know that when they arrive at my blog they're only going to be reading stuff that's important to someone, not trashy babble. Another being that it's a way for me to 'check myself.' If I'm tempted to write solely for the purpose of publishing a blog post, I won't do it. I have to have a reason to post, and I think that if I have a reason for writing then I will somehow be adding value to the world.

On the ferry from Salt Spring Island, BC to Victoria, this weekend :)
Today, my reason for writing is that I'm trying to level out all the things that are going on in my orbit so that I can be more calm and efficient. My husband, son, and I are moving at the end of the month which I LOVE. I like getting rid of things. I never used to like ridding. My mother used to call me a "pack-rat" because I had such a hard time parting with things that had memories attached to them (maybe because I lacked the skill of remembering?). But now, I prefer having less stuff.

In addition to moving, I'm attending school this summer. It's a good way to get ahead a bit, by taking classes all year 'round. With moving though, and parenting, school feels more like a burden than an opportunity. Perhaps I need to shift my perception on that one- I think so.

I am spending a lot of time researching a business opportunity as well; that's the thing that's exciting me the most right now. I totally enjoy building a business.

Back to my reason for writing this post. I'm feeling good, although when all the pieces come together, my brain gets a bit jumbled. By writing, I can understand why my eyeballs are rolling around in my head a bit.

It's funny how things tend to manifest all at the same time. I see it like this: I am a baker and forming each of my cookies, laying each down on the cookie sheet, picking them all back off the sheet because I realize I didn't put down the parchment paper, then laying them all back down again and preheating the oven just at the right time so that when I put the cookies in, they won't get burned.

Ideally, life happens smoothly and the cookies don't burn. I like what 'ideally' looks like :)

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spreading the Good

I'm looking at my credenza and I'm thinking about it; it's a very nice piece of furniture. My family and I are moving into a new home at the end of the month, and the credenza will take up just a bit too much space in the new place for me to want to keep it. Plus, I love to give. On a weekly basis, it seems, I am going through our house in search of things to put into a bag to bring to the local donation stores (for example, the WIN store in Victoria, BC, Canada).

I like to give because it makes me feel good to know that my space will be bigger because things are not overcrowding it. It's kind of a freedom thing, I suppose. And, like other people who give, it gives me a sense of peace knowing that other peoples' needs and wishes are being fulfilled when they receive my items. All in all, I'm giving things to people for my own satisfaction. In a way, I am selfish (if you look at it like that).

Back to the credenza. I have offered the beautiful 50's style credenza to a neighbor friend of mine because I know he will appreciate it more than I do, and I really do want the piece to go to a good home. It's got me thinking about the idea of 'spreading the good.'

I have some very generous people in my life, good friends who want to share their good with me. I feel fortunate for this, and it's making me think about how the energy of the world may be shifting ever-so-slightly in a positive direction when sharing occurs.

Here's an example: a friend of mine called me over to her house about a month ago and she laid out a gigantic amount of very nice clothing items. She said "pick whatever and as much as you want!" So, I gleefully chose the clothes I thought would look nice on me, and like a small child with a new toy I scampered home with my bag full of new-to-me clothing.

It was a delightful experience.

The same thing happened with a different friend this week. She called me to her house and she was about to donate some of her clothes, but she thought I might like some of them. So, I chose items I thought would fit, and I brought some with me that I thought a few of my friends would like.

When I got home, I tried on all of the clothes and I realized that some didn't fit quite the way I had hoped, so I put some of those clothes into a bag for donation. I thought of people in my life who might fit the clothing better than I had fit them, and some of the clothes went into different give-away piles.

I felt so good to be given such a variety of clothing. I gave some away, allowing other people to feel good for their new clothing. The Good was officially spread. 

I think we can consciously spread good, or do it without being aware of it. I think a lot of people aren't aware that they're not spreading good at all; they're spreading bad. They're spreading things through their communication, body language, and actions, that are not doing anything good for the people around them.

With gratitude, I say that I am surrounded mostly by good-spreaders. I think good-spreading has a lot to do with letting go of fear, and knowing that you will never really "go without" if you have a good heart and keep spreading the good. Warning: you may end up with TOO MUCH stuff if you keep spreading the good...So, just make sure you have places to give your things so you don't have to be a hoarder.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

The TED Talk that Changed My Future

An influential person in my life, a close friend and mentor, recommended that I watch a TED Talk. I like TED Talks anyhow, so it was easy for me to go online and search for it. The gentleman speaking is a man named Simon Sinek, and he wrote a book in 2009 called "Start With Why." I'm not going to give my synopsis of the Talk because I think it would take away from the impact the video can have on it's own.

Here's the video. Enjoy :)

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Crazy in You

Hello Team Blog Readers!

I'm relishing this last evening before I start school again for the summer semester. I cannot complain about school. It's an opportunity, really, that I even get to be there. I think anyone who's in a position to go to school should be grateful, which I definitely am...Grateful. Although, I LOVE the time when I can do whatever inspires me in the moment, and being a student can be limiting to creativity at the best of times.

I think I'm going to do school differently for the next couple of years. I think what I will do is only do school in a really applied way. For example, I'll do all my assignments, but I will do them in a way that I can use the assignment as a blog post as well, or make it into a teaching tool, or something like that. Otherwise, assignments kind of feel like a waste of time and energy. They get thrown in the virtual trash at the end of the term if nothing else is done with them.

Also, I've decided today that I am going to revolutionize the public school system. Epiphany- I think so!
As Jack Kerouac always said (or said at least once because there's a quote about it),

"the people who are crazy enough
to think they can change the world
are the ones who do."

I think that's a really good quote. When I was a kid, I got a lot of raised eyebrows from people who thought I was just a big nut bar for having larger than life ideas. There were even two girls in particular who used to make fun of me for being crazy.

Now I see though, that it takes "crazy" ideas to reinvent what isn't working. If no one is going to do anything differently, then nothing different happens, right? Therefor, kudos to the CRAZY in YOU:)

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

What Am I Consuming?

This week, in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada
I was in the shower last night, and I had an epiphany. I looked around at the things in my bathtub, and I have the regular stuff; shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, and face cleanser. I don't think I'm a minimalist, but I have a desire to be minimalistic. That was not my epiphany.

I envisioned a life for myself and my family where we didn't buy the things we are expected to buy in society. I am not saying that I plan to stop washing my body or combing my hair. But, I'm tired of consuming products that are doing me more harm than good. 

I don't like that the pharmacy should be a place of health and yet it's filled with Obesity Snacks and cancerous chemicals. I don't like that fluoride in drinking water is harming our pituitary glands. It's not reasonable for humans to wash their faces with chemicals AND pay for it with the money they're spending long hours to earn, and then spending the remaining of their time on earth either sick or dying.

I don't want to be a part of the system that feeds unhealthiness. Although, it's hard: I live in a city, and I don't want to hippie-it-up, plus I have some habits that are not healthy- eg. I use chemical compounds to 'wash' my body.

I don't want to be someone who only shops in health food stores and condemns ice cream because it comes from cows who are injected with hormones and treated inhumanely. But it's also the truth that ice cream should be made of cream and not synthetic materials, and animals should be treated respectfully.

I can make my own shampoo: The recipe I found is Here. And I think I might just start doing that. Here's a bit on Castile Soap from the David Suzuki Foundation: Castile Soap 

I want to be healthier, and I also want to stop buying products from far away, where I don't know what's being put in them, and then they're being shipped in huge trucks that I don't like driving behind on the road. What are we supporting with our purchasing habits? Are we helping ourselves by supporting Procter & Gamble?

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