Compassionate Choices

Most people, at some point or another have had to revise their personal financial budget. Those who have lived on tight budgets, know how challenging it can be to have nutritious food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare.

Those who have never lived on a tight budget, can learn to have empathy. They can help to create  an economy that supports others in their difficult times.

 

Presently, proposed budget cuts by our current administration look to eliminate funding for meals provided to old adults and young children.  At all levels, be it moral, social or ethical, these actions are inherently misguided.

Reducing and eliminating the budget, of  larger programs that support local agencies, impact the individuals affected, their community, the nation  and the world.  When it comes to eliminating access to nutritious meals, the consequences are dire. We cannot choose to ignore the vulnerable.

Compassionate choices support the wellbeing of others.

 

Peace,

Shobhna

 

When

I can tell you how to hold on

I can tell you how to let go

Its not for me to tell you

Which one is right

And by when you should know

What matters the most

Is you know for sure

What brings you peace

What joy  you feel

Is it for love; is it for fear

That you hold on

Or that you let go

 

Peace,

Shobhna

©2017

 

©Shobhna

 

Stillness

Our annual visit to see the Trumpeter Swans happened a few weeks ago.  They are beautiful to watch and listen to.  Sitting and watching them is mesmerizing. Their soft vocalizations in the depth of quietude is like a gentle call of the soul.  There is beauty in the stillness that is unexplainable. There is joy in being witness to natures beauty.

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Peace,

Shobhna

Book Review

 

Speaking from a pastors point of view, Andy Stanley presents examples, poses questions and reflections on how a person can live a life of purpose.  Andy Stanley provides exercises throughout the book, supporting the process of visioneering. In his introduction he says passion, motivation, direction and purpose are the four things “woven into the fabric of our daily experience.” Along with personal examples he draws upon other peoples experiences and the Bible story of Nehemiah. The story of Nehemiah is the focal point in the book highlighting  “hard work, prayer and divine intervention.”

Everyone, has a purpose in life and fulfilling that purpose is important as each persons purpose fills in a larger picture. Making decisions, renewing purpose, having faith are important to visioneering. Remaining committed to ones vision despite distractions takes sheer courage and vulnerability.

I received this book from blogging for books.com and my review of the book is genuine.   I don’t think one has to be a Christian to read this book or to complete the exercises. I believe, the reflection exercises will resonate for everyone, regardless of religion, depending on their own personal views, strengths and weaknesses, and where they are in life at the present moment.

A reflection at the beginning of the book is to identify  and meet with a person who you respect and who is living their vision.

A question presented later in the book is “In light of your strengths and weaknesses, where is the greatest potential for inconsistency”. Inconsistency here is dependent on what someone says and does in relation to their vision.

At the beginning of some chapters are quotes that too can be used to reflect upon.  One quote that I continue to sit with is from chapter 6 of the book:

If your vision is for a year, plant wheat

If your vision is for ten years, plant trees

If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people

~Chinese Proverb

Mindful living requires us to be engaged in life and so does visioneering. As such, I found that this book has practical suggestions on how to be mindfully engaged in ones life purpose.

Peace,

Shobhna

 

Book Review

Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

Cathy O’Neil is a data scientist with a Ph.D in mathematics. Based on her experience and research, she describes how we are living in an age where unfairness and inequality are ingrained in the very systems that are supposed to be fair and unprejudiced to everyone.

Data collected from companies, privately or overtly, are used to create algorithms and models that individuals function within. Well intentioned models created for supporting individuals in need of help, can also become the very models that become socially dividing and discriminatory.

Cathy O’Neil, describes how colleges, prisons, online advertising, social media, jobs, insurance companies operate on collected data. Individuals life choices can be impacted by this data and if it works against them, they may have no recourse, because so much value is placed on data. We are impacting the creations of models based on the data we pay attention to and as Ms. O’Neil points out these choices can not just be profit, logistical and efficiency based but also fundamentally moral.

We have to ask questions of the models that exist and whether they are truly serving our society and how can we reduce the inequalities and support the disenfranchised. These types of questions are imperative if we want to live in a true democracy. Being mindful in our choices is important.

I received this book from blogging for books.com and I appreciate the opportunity to post a review. Its a book that has expanded my perception on how social models and our choices are interrelated.

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Peace,

Shobhna