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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Swords to Plowshares

   Violence is a virus.  It can be transmitted by exposure just like hepatitis, AIDS, or the common cold. The thing about violence is that it grows from the smallest thought, and begins to take root to greater depths.  Violence is not acted out against another person; in fact, it has nothing to do with other people. It is a thought pattern within each individual. Violence is viewing another's misfortune for entertainment, violence is the acceptance of murder because the victim is not of your nation, and I will even go on to say that violence is valuing yourself over someone else because they lead a different walk of life. We all know the parable of The Good Samaritan. Walking by the wounded man is a form of violence. No, the first two travelers were not the instigators of the injury, but they were just as accountable nonetheless. Violence is not a physical, but rather a spiritual entity.  Like a virus, it always begins invisibly, takes root within the host, and propagates before it even shows its first symptom. It can be as simple as an attitude or thought. Violence always develops in the same pattern: detachment, passiveness, indifference, egocentricity, entitlement, and only then does it progress to physical violence.

   In contrast to violence, compassion is a seed.  It requires cultivation. Cultivating compassion is much more difficult than becoming a host to the violence virus, because compassion doesn't "take hold" like violence.  It requires conscious cultivation and must be nourished to germinate.  Nurturing your mind with wholesome entertainment, interactions, and thoughts are necessary for growing compassion. 

   I usually do not address potentially political topics because people will invariably think of a ridiculous hypothetical situation in which to trap you into contradicting your own beliefs. I am not implying that I WILL always take the path of compassion, I am attesting that compassion IS always the right path to take.
Roots of violence and compassion are already within all of us.  How deep they grow is up to you..... 

Breaking the mode of breakfast

    If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then why is it the most likely meal to be drenched with high fructose corn syrup, bleached flour, and repulsively fatty meats such as bacon and sausage?  It's time to modify the morning meal...
    With breakfast, I think convenience is the key.  It's easy to grab those sausage patties, and douse those pancakes with syrup, but there is another option that is just as quick and easy.  Adapt your thinking about breakfast and a whole new culinary world awaits you. 

  • Who says that "breakfast foods" have to be breakfast foods? Instead of the heavy meats such as sausage and bacon consider having cooked vegetables. They will fill you up, but will also give you the energy you need for your day and won't drag you down like those unhealthy meats. 

  • Skip the high fructose corn syrup and tickle your sweet tooth with fresh fruit.  Fresh fruit offers the sweetness you may crave in the morning, but prevents the "sugar crash" you get with refined sugars.  Check the back of your syrup bottle.  Unless it is 100% pure maple syrup (which costs $15.00 a bottle by the way) the first ingredient is probably high fructose corn syrup.  Is this the way you want to start out your day?  We didn't think so.  Honey and molasses are great alternatives.  Studies have shown that local honey can relieve symptoms of allergies, and molasses is rich in iron. 

  • Eggs are a great way to get protein in the morning.  Dress up those bland scrambles with veggies such as bell peppers, kale, or mushrooms. 

  • NEVER skip breakfast.  Even if you are running late, grab a fruit to eat on the road. Fruit such as bananas, apples, and grapes are perfect grab-and-go-grub. 

Evolving your point of view about breakfast foods will alter your energy level, your health, and ultimately, your life.   
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