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javaz On March - 3 - 2010

This morning as I was watching last night’s Craig Ferguson Show that we tape since we can’t stay up that late, his monologue struck a chord with me.

He stated that he’s been feeling rather depressed lately, and I have to admit that so have I, and I wonder if anyone else has been feeling the same.

I find it depressing to read the news every day and every day the news seems to be nothing but doom and gloom.

If it’s not articles about the Party of NO, it’s stories about Limbaugh’s and Beck’s latest bloviations, Sarah Palin’s Charismatic Apostolic Warriors taking over our government, the 244% increase in hate groups, unemployment, foreclosures, Americans suffering without health care, earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

I’ve been thinking about the typical platitude of counting my blessings, and I do have innumerable blessings in my life, and focusing on the positives rather than negatives, and then I log onto the Internet and the depressing cycle starts again.

So, I started thinking of what I can do in my every day life to get around the blues and decided that I need an attitude adjustment.

Today is the day that I am starting my personal movement to cheer up, by finding at least one good news story every single day.

I have also decided to stop playing into the negativity by referring to Tea Party people as teabaggers, and instead calling them, well, Tea Party People or referring to the group as the Tea Party Movement.

I am going to try very hard to speak about Republicans, Palin, Limbaugh and Beck, et all, in a respectful manner, taking a cue from Van Jones and his graciousness in telling Beck that he loves him, even if it was tongue in cheek, but I think the man really meant it.

In other words, I’m going to try to play nice and not lower myself to the opposition’s level.

Have you ever gotten really angry with someone and blew up and told them off?

How did it make you feel afterward?

I’ve done that a few times in my life, and every single time I’ve regretted it afterward and I felt horrible and worse than I did about whatever offense occurred to bring on my anger or hurt feelings.

I’m taking the high road, or going to try my damnedest to do that, as it is healthier for my frame of mind.

My feel good story of the day is this one –

Veterinarian Wins Pay It Forward

Written by javaz

I am a retired aerospace engineer, happily married for over twenty-four years. My hobbies include blogging on PPOV, reading mystery/romance novels, playing guitar, learning the piano and writing. My husband and I love to travel in our camper/trailer, and have visited 45 states, besides having lived in France for 2 years and seeing most of Europe. "Today is the first day of the rest of your life? Well, that's true of every day but one - the day you die." American Beauty "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." Mark Twain "A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar." Mark Twain

45 Responses so far.

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  1. VegasBabe says:

    Wednesday wasn’t a great day. I’ll spare you all the details. But at the end of the day, I decided to reward myself with a nice warm Starbucks latte. When I drove up to the window to pay, the gal advised that my bill was one dollar less than it should be, because the customer before him and the customer even before that one all had contributed one dollar to each of their bills. I dare not let it end with me. And as I drove away, I thought, what a sweet thing for someone to have thought of to do, and how fortunate that I was able to participate. Wow. Prior to that incident, depression was attempting to get a nice grip on my shoulders and that experience was actually just enough to tell depression to take a flying leap. Something that simple and innocuous did it. Staying away from the local news channels including my personal favorite, CNN, helps too.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey VB!

      That is a very cool story! Really illustrates how the actions of one person can ripple to positively affect many others. Very affirming.

      But you could’ve picked up a mocha frappuccino for me while you were there.

      Pass it forward…I’m thirsty!

    • SueInCa says:

      Well the movie Pay it Forward was based in Vegas. So someone listened. I do things like that at the bridges here in CA, pay for one car behind me when I have the money. I hope it makes that person think and pay it forward again.

    • escribacat says:

      Great link, BDM. Those Portuguese Water Dogs are adorable. Looks to me like that little rascal Bo is still pulling on the leash though!

    • BigDogMom says:

      Wonderful story javaz, here in my town we had a similar story like this.

      There was a couple in our town, both were teachers in the towns school system who’s only son died very young. They set up a small scholarship fund in his name by investing a portion of their salaries every month, which was not very much, over a 35 yr period.

      In 1985 they were able to give full 4 yr scholarships to two students, one for a boy and one for a girl, from our town to go to their Alma matter Fitchburg State College in Mass, my sister was one of the lucky recipients of this scholarship.

      She is now a MSW, counciling at risk teenagers for Catholic Family Charities here in the town, and works part time in the school system as a councilor, she is paying it forward.

      Some times it’s the smallest of gestures, not the grand ones, that really make a difference.

      • javaz says:

        Good morning, BDM!

        I hope you are well today and that your husband is feeling better.

        That’s an incredible story and your sister is so very fortunate to be one of the recipients.

        I do agree that small gestures can make a huge difference -- the ripple effect -- of spreading good will one small step at a time.

        Years ago I read ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale, and that book really did change my life and thinking.

        In the book he describes dogs and how most dogs are always so happy, especially when greeting people, even strangers.

        Most people respond with a warm hello and smile to happy dogs, and Peale said we should try to emulate our furry friends, by smiling and acting happy when we meet people, and treat every person we meet like a long lost friend.

        It does work, because smiles are contagious!

        • BigDogMom says:

          Morning javaz, Hubby is doing OK, the meds they gave him are making him jittery, so we are hoping that the doctor will switch him to something else today, it’s just a matter of trial and error when it comes to these things because everyone’s body chemistry is different. This too shall pass….

          I read the “Power of Positive Thinking” and it really changed my life too…try to live by his words everyday and yes, smiling is contagious!

          When I go out into the world, I smile an talk to everyone, it does make a big difference in your own attitude and others.

          “Smile like you know something that they don’t, makes the haters and angry wonder what you are up too and stops them in their tracks”! -- my Mom

          “Your catch more flies with Honey than you do Vinegar”

          • javaz says:

            Oh, I like your mother’s saying!
            Very wise.

            I’m heading out to walk our dog and then ride the bike, then have some errands to run and spread some smiles.

            Hope to see you later!

  2. BigDogMom says:

    javaz, thank you for your words of inspiration, I think all of us in this country are on overload when it comes to depressing news which is creating fear and uncertainty in every one of our lives today.

    This constant barrage of negativity coming from everywhere, the MSM, friends and neighbors, will eventually eat us up inside. How each one of us deals with this will come out in different forms, the Tea Party and Coffee Party Movements, along with GROW are just some examples of how we are expressing our helplessness and frustration with the situation.

    Some people act or act out, some people flee and hide, some people just wallow when faced with a bad situation.

    I believe this is one of the reasons for my husbands panic attack and depression, and others like him in our country.

    In my husbands case, he has the sensitive nature of what I call the “starving artist mentality”, where they take on the worlds and others problems and internalize them. The way he solves these problems mentally and emotionally, like many other artists, is not verbally, but through his work. But unfortunately due to the economy the number of projects that he has to work normally on has been cut in half.

    Therefore his outlet to express his frustration and anger at the worlds ills has been stifled, thus creating, what I would call, a backup emotionally and now it has come out physically.

    The helplessness that I feel at not being able to make it alright for him, sometimes is overwhelming for me, but I keep on trucking. All I can do is be there for him right now is listen and try not to be over motherly to him, he hates when I smother him….

    So, last night I made it a point not to turn on the news last night, (but sneaked a peak at the Ed Show while I was cooking in the kitchen alone), I believe that sometimes watching silly shows, like a good bodice ripping novel every once and a while, is good for the soul. It takes you away from your troubles for a brief moment in time. I also encouraged him to talk to his brother when he called last night, it sounded like a good conversation from the part that I could hear, he was laughing for the first time in weeks.

    So I think the positive way you have decided proceed through these trying times is an inspiration to all of us, to look for something good in a big pile of bad, and as the saying goes, “If life hands you lemons make lemonade”.

    And like my Mother always said, “This too shall pass, when you look back a year or two from now, you will only remember the good and not the bad, our minds have a funny way of dealing with things.”

    • javaz says:

      Nice comment, BDM, and thank you for your kind words.

      Whenever I feel down, I watch comedy movies and two of my favorites are The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemmon and Ann Margaret.
      Forrest Gump is another favorite as it inspires me.
      I also find relief by walking and riding a bike and reading.

      I do hope your husband is doing better.

      • BigDogMom says:

        I think walking the dogs is the only thing that keeps me sane….as I was typing, hubby came home because he back is bothering him, not like him.

        More than likely it is from tension and not over exertion…the Chinese say that when you have back problems it’s because you are carrying the weight of the world on your back….all I can do is be there for him. :sad:

        • escribacat says:

          BDM — I totally relate. I went on a good hike through the snow and mud with the greyhounds yesterday and felt so much better afterward. I got to try out my new “yak tracks.” A small thing that works wonders. Sounds like your husband is really going through a rough time. That impacts you too. I feel for you.

          • BigDogMom says:

            Thanks e’cat….looking and smelling like Spring today here in CT!

            Can’t wait to get out this weekend, will be in the 50’s, and play in my garden, time to do a little Spring clean up!

            Gardening and walking in nature are what keeps me sane and helps me put things into perspective…..

            Maybe that’s what the Tea Party members and these other hate groups need to do, get off their asses, stop watching Fox News and commune with nature….Good Lord get a hobby, it’s not all about you! 😀

        • javaz says:

          Gosh, BDM, I’m sorry to hear of your predicament and your husband’s depression.

          We have a good friend that suffers from severe depression and it’s very stressful for her husband.
          She never had a problem until 2 years ago, and it was surprising to all of us to find out that she has depression because she was always the life of the party and so easygoing, and the change in her is dramatic.

          And oddly, she stops taking her medication when she starts to feel normal, and every single time that she does that, her depression comes back and is worse than before.

          I really do not understand clinical depression at all, but do understand the stress it causes spouses and others close to the depressed person.

          • BigDogMom says:

            Thanks javaz for you concern, coming here to the Planet and being able to connect with such a caring group of people is such a great help.

            I have lived with mental illness most of my life, my older sister,(in her late 30’s), was finally diagnosed with clinical depression after a major breakdown that hospitalized her.

            Our family always referred to her as “sensitive”, “moody”, “introverted” while growing up, little did we all know that it actually was a chemical imbalance that caused these black moods.

            Getting someone with mental illness to take their meds continually was an ongoing battle in our family too.

            In the beginning when my sister would start to feel better, like your friend, she would stop, only to spiral back downwards…thank God through counciling, (and our younger sister being a the mental health field), she now realizes that she will have to be on medication for the rest of her life.

            It is extremely stressful for the family, the helplessness that you feel is sometimes overwhelming, because there is very little that you can do to help them, other than to be there for them emotionally.

            Time, talking it out and some meds will help heal my husband and I think when it gets warmer, sunnier and he is able to get out on the boat and fish, he will feel a lot better…Thank you again, javaz, your heart is pure….

  3. AdLib says:

    I do think that harboring a lot of hatred can eat you up from inside but as I mentioned on Cher’s post, hatred is as natural an emotion as love.

    Justifiable anger can lead people to do very positive things, like vote out Repubs and put Barack Obama in the White House. Unjustified anger can cause people to do horrible things, like make death threats against Pres. Obama.

    I think balance is the key in life, falling on one side or the other of moderation can cause problems.

    I like that my anger can motivate me to make a difference. However, as you point out, it is important too to appreciate the things that validate ones feelings about the way things should be.

    No need to mention how destructive hate can be but using the most familiar example, Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler turned out to contribute to WW II and eventually, the Holocaust. Pacifism is sometimes the right choice, as it would have been towards Iraq but was the wrong choice towards Hitler.

    My POV is that it is appropriate to feel outraged towards those who express hateful or destructive views or act upon them. But one can’t live on anger alone and I agree that it is valuable to focus on the affirmative as well to keep a balance and not be swallowed up by cynicism or spite.

  4. javaz says:

    Kalima, have you ever read the entire bible?

    I did, from start to finish, except I skipped the part about the Abraham begot whoever, and someone else begot someone else, because who in their right mind could follow all the begettin and gettin it on?

    The bible was a fascinating read, and at times humorous, believe it or not, but the Old Testament was about an angry God and fire and brimstone.

    Then came the New Testament, and all the sadness related to that, yet hope and change.

    God suddenly became more friendly, since He sent his Son to earth, and then look what happened.

    God forsake his son, and allowed him to be killed so violently.

    I’ll never forgive God for that part, since he had the perfect son, and if I burn in hell for saying that, so be it.

    This whole Christian thing is really hard for me.

    I can understand that there is a greater being that is so powerful and created mankind, yet had no understanding of mankind, so he created a son that was part human to explain it to him.

    Sadly, that thinking draws the conclusion that God really is a man, because no woman would have ever sent a son down to earth and allowed him to be crucified.

    I’m in a quandary about the religious thing again, yet I still believe.

    Does that make me a Republican?

    • kesmarn says:

      Hi j’avaz, and thanks again for taking the time and energy to raise such important issues.

      I think all of us battle a sort of “compassion burnout” from time to time. And maybe you (and a lot of us) are dealing with a certain amount of that. I know that when I heard about the earthquake in Chile so soon after the one in Haiti, I couldn’t help but think: “Oh, God, not another one!” Not the kindest thought right off the bat, but there it was. And that was just on the international front! When you take a look at what’s going on in this country, it can be nearly overwhelming.

      I think all we can do is what Cher suggested, when she quoted Mother Theresa: “do small things with great love.” We don’t have to fix it all single-handedly. Nobody could.

      You mentioned the conflict you feel in reconciling the concept of a God of love with the horrifying events recounted in the New Testament. I have to say I’ve always been creeped out by the explanation of Christ’s death as a necessary act to appease the righteous anger of an outraged God. HUH? How does that fit in with the concept of a loving God?

      This may be heresy, but I have to say that I think what happened to Jesus is what happens to almost any person who fearlessly, radically stands up to corrupt power and advocates for the oppressed. God didn’t demand that. That is what depraved humans do to people who don’t knuckle under. It happened before Jesus’ time and it’s happened ever since. Was anyone really surprised when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated? MLK himself certainly wasn’t. Martyrdom is inevitable when you try to face down bullyism time after time and you refuse to quit. You might win a round or two, but if you keep at it, death inevitably will follow…sometimes after agonizing pain. The up side is that you change the world--a little or a lot--in the process. The scary side is that the more fully you are a child of the God of love, the more “they” will hate you.

      Well, I’m sure I certainly have done a fabulous job of cheering you up! 😉 I guess what I’m (badly) trying to say is that I believe God grieved when his Son died…and that he grieves every time we suffer, too. If you’re battling depression these days, he’s there with you…all through your suffering and all the way until you come out the other side into the sunshine again.

    • Kalima says:

      No I have not read the Bible from cover to cover javaz, Catholics are not so much into Bible reading and growing up with my grandparents there was never a copy of the Bible in their house or in my parents house either.

      My father who was a Protestant, became a converted Catholic in the early 70’s and as many converts, threw himself into Catholicism much more than either my mother or myself. He volunteered at our local Church until his stroke in 99′ and a sister from the convent gives him Holy Communion every Wednesday at home.

      After my mother died, if he hadn’t had God to turn to, he would no longer be with us now, I’m grateful for his strong beliefs.

      • javaz says:

        I was raised Catholic, and went to a private Catholic school from 1st grade through 12th.

        It does explain my lack of social skills, and believe me, I still lack proper social skills, (maybe that’s obvious) because I was so limited and then that’s why I started working at 15 and got my driver’s license at 16 and then moved out when I was 18 years old.

        I wanted my freedom.

        My parents were good people, do not get me wrong, but the religious thing was stifling, and I had to get out and live.

        I’ve made more mistakes than I care to remember, but at least I got out and I’ve lived.

        • Kalima says:

          I was taught by nuns until I was 9 and we moved to England.

          The only rule I remember in my grandparents house was that it didn’t matter how much of a hangover you had from the night before, everyone went to the first Mass at 6:30 in the morning on Sundays. We left the house together and walked the 30 minutes to the Church and lunch was at 11:30 sharp on that day because everyone walked back with grumbling tummies after forfeiting breakfast for Communion. No excuses.

          Oh I forgot, Fridays we didn’t eat meat.

    • javaz says:

      I live in Arizona, where we have sunshine and 75 degree temps even today, and we walk in the sun and get our D naturally!



      Are we being sarcastic?

      • msbadger says:

        Hi, Javaz. Good post! I love Craig Ferguson too- he’s the best on late night TV, IMHO. Thanks for the good article- it’s good stuff to remember. And I live like a mushroom, so I take extra “D” every day. Thanks again!

        • javaz says:

          Thanks, Msbadger!

          Good to see you here and posting!

          You know that they say about mushrooms, don’t you?

          In the dark and growing in shit.


  5. Chernynkaya says:

    That was a wonderful story! And Javaz, that vet could be Republican, and if so he is one even I could like!

    • javaz says:

      Isn’t it awesome that our local station does that “Pay it Forward?”

      You would not believe the stories, at times sad, but it’s always uplifting that they give the $500 to people who deserve it.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I have heard of a number of local stations that do that and I commend them. We need to be reminded sometimes that people can make a big difference for the good.

        I am always reminded of a quote by Mother Teresa about that:

        “We can do no great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

        And yes, I have heard criticism of her, but her good far outweighed those, IMO.

        • javaz says:

          Whoa, Mother Theresa crossed the line when it came to religion, didn’t she?

          Even she questioned the existence of God.

          • Kalima says:

            We all do at certain points in our lives javaz, after all, she was only human and her life’s work was dealing with the poorest of the poor. She must have questioned why there was no end to the suffering around her. I believe that it is normal for any Christian unless like your fundies, you get to write your own Bible. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about that, or rather what he would say about them, I can imagine.

            • javaz says:

              Kalima, it’s so good to see you here this evening.

              You and I are believers that Jesus existed, are we not?

              We believe that a man existed on this earth that was tolerant, loving, and hated moneychangers in the temple.

              I truly believe that Christ walked this earth, and as for his resurrection, well, I do question that, but I do believe that as long as we remember those we’ve lost live on in our hearts.

              I do believe in life after death, as I’ve had very personal experiences that prove it.

              There is such a thing as ghosts, and if you’ve ever visited ancient castles in Europe, or even where we live and sat outside at night and heard the hooves of horses, and our dog going nuts and barking profusely, when there was nothing there.

              We do not die, but go on to a different plane.

              I do wonder though, about Hitler.

              He must live too, on a different plane, and fuel hatred.

            • Kalima says:

              Yes javaz, I believe that a good and honest man walked this earth, trying to teach us the value of compassion, understanding, humility, patience, love of others, kindness and the dangers of greed and hate. How quickly some forgot but still shame him by calling themselves Christians. It makes me sad.

              Excuse me, I forgot to say good afternoon, bad habit. :(

  6. nellie says:

    Very nice post, javaz. I’ve come to think that a lot of the media hysteria is designed to do exactly what you’re feeling — to get people so disgusted that they get depressed and tune out of politics. Either that or to get them all riled up so that they’re off ranting at the wrong thing — like the Tea Party folks.

    Our media information stream is not designed to keep us involved and engaged. Just the opposite.

    I like your good news story idea. I do something like that every day. I read the LA transportation blogs — they are very entertaining — and for someone who cycles to work, like I do, very helpful. I also read education news, which tends to deal with an important subject in very sober and helpful ways.

    • javaz says:

      Nellie, both sides do it.

      It’s the reason I stopped listening to Air America, when it was on in the valley, but I couldn’t take it anymore because it was so depressing.

      I know the problems facing our country, but what I want to hear are the solutions.

      It’s just like you said about Greenwald (?) in that you agree with the things he says, but he’s good at complaining, yet never offers a solution.

      The only solution that I could think of so far was the thing that sparked GROW and then the thing to find one good news story per day.

      I’m not smart enough and do not have the money or power to make change, so I think I’ll start on a level that I can reach, and that’s changing my attitude and looking for one good news story per day.

      Thank you for fixing my link and your compliment about this article.

  7. escribacat says:

    I’m on overload lately too, javaz. I’ve hardly been watching the news. I’m OD’d on outrage. It’s almost spring. I want to hike with my dogs. I want to plant my new vegetable garden. I want to air out the house. I want to forget about Washington D.C. But then I start thinking What am I going to do about insurance? again. I will be so glad with this HCR business is signed and done.

    • msbadger says:

      Hi, e-cat! I’m with you. The health care issue is guaranteed to keep me all agitated, and either hopeful or depressed. I want to air out my room, and my brain! I actually do seek out the positive stories in my area newspapers and worldwide. There are almost always 2 or 3 pieces of good news! It’s always good to see you at PuffHo too.

    • javaz says:

      The link on this is right up your alley, e’cat, in that it’s regarding a vet and a dog.

      It’s a feel good story, and where you live, doesn’t your local news do something similar?

      They should, because the local station’s ratings have taken off and are soaring, because they are rewarding good news stories.

  8. Chernynkaya says:

    I really like the idea of posting a daily “good news” story! Sometimes I need one, and I have toyed with the idea myself, but the best I could do was to post a funny YouTube vid. That works for me most days.

    • javaz says:

      Did you read the article on the link?

      It really is a good news story!

      And I love that our local CBS does this type thing to bring people up, and they are also getting on board with bringing Sheriff Joe down.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Javaz, when I tried the link and it didn’t work, I put it off until later. Now that it’s linking, I’ll be happy to read a happy story!

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