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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!


Man, I must be having a blast!

This past Wednesday I celebrated my 52nd birthday. ‘Celebrated’ is probably not the right word. These days, birthdays tend to be more of a time for reflection, rather than party-time. Where have I been, where am I going and how the heck did I get to be 52 years old? I’ve also been thinking about time recently. It is commonly recognized that the older we get, the faster times seems to fly, whether we are having fun or not. Why is it that when I was a kid, summer vacations seem to last forever. This past summer I blinked and it was gone. Birthdays are coming at me way too fast now and there is never enough precious time in a day.

I did a bit of research and came up with an interesting answer for this phenomenon. The speed of life has to do with proportion; percentage and time. For example, When you’re five years old, a year is 1/5 of your life, but when you are 50 years old a year is only 1/50! I never did like fractions in school… In other words, when a year is 50% of your life, it seems to lasts much longer than a year that is only 1% of your life.

Anticipation may also come into play here to help slow things down for children. Kids have a lot to look forward to, they have their whole lives ahead of them. They look forward to Christmas, birthdays, graduations, going to college and on and on. When you can’t wait to get a drivers license, it seems to take forever to get to that 16th birthday. On the other hand, adults inevitably have to deal with more responsibilities, job, family, housework, etc. that takes up our time and can suck the fun out of life.

Is their anything we can do to slow down time? Maybe. Focusing more on the moments seems to slow time down a bit. The more we are unaware of time – as if asleep or living towards the weekend – the faster time seems to pass. Of course, the clock never changes, but the passage of time can be subjective.

From a Buddhist perspective, being conscious of every moment and by choosing our actions with mindfulness, we can break old habits. When we allow all our activities to run together into one big routine, it is extremely easy to get caught up in our habitual thoughts and actions, because we haven’t given any direct instructions to our mind. “Mindfulness” is about experiencing every moment with an attitude of openness and freshness. Buddha felt that it was imperative to cultivate mindfulness for all aspects of life or in other words, to “stop and smell the roses.”

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People First Campaign: A Day of Action

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 20, 2009 the Arc of Massachusetts and a number of other statewide disability advocacy groups will participate in a virtual protest against further budget cuts to human services for our most vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth. More than ten thousand individuals with disabilities have already lost some or all essential services this budget year ($45 Million cut in the Department of Developmental Services in FY’2010). These cuts included employment, day programs, family supports, and transportation that are central to people’s lives. Many families are already struggling and in need of help. More cuts will push many families to the brink and could actually be life-threatening. If these cuts go through, it will mean the dismantling of the Safety Net for tens of thousands of people with disabilities statewide.

Why is it that when times are tough, services for people with disabilities shoulder a disproportionate burden of budget cuts? Advocates fight so hard for vital services, yet these services can be taken away in the blink of an eye. The Governor and legislature must know about the potential dangers of making any further cuts to human services. What does it say about our society when our most vulnerable citizens are left without vital services?

If you work in the human services field, if you know someone with a developmental disability (such as the Bissell boys), or if you simply care about our most vulnerable citizens, here are a few things you can do to help:

* Use this Action Center to send an email to the Governor and EOHHS Secretary Judy Ann Bigby.
* Make phone calls to the Governor (617-725-4005), your senator and your representative (you can find who they are and get contact info at the Action Center).
* Use this link to sign our Twitter petition and send a tweet to the Governor (@MassGovernor): http://act.ly/ov
* Share your concerns on the Governor’s Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/GovernorPatrick
* Contact your local newspaper and tell them that you are participating in the People First Campaign.

Press release template (Word Format)
More information and talking points (PDF Format)

Tell whoever you talk to that you are concerned about the harm already inflicted on services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and that further erosion of the Safety Net cannot be withstood. Thanks.

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Meet Ardi

Ardipithecus ramidus
Ardipithecus ramidus

Ardi was a 110-pound, 4-foot female who’s fossil remains were found in Ethiopia. She is an early member of the human family tree that lived 4.4 million years ago, more than 1 million years earlier than Lucy. This is a truly amazing discovery that will add a treasure trove of information to our knowledge of human evolution.

Ardi has surprised scientists with many traits which do not appear in living African apes or in humans. Most surprising, scientist did not expect such an old human ancestor to walk upright. They expected them to be more of a knuckle walker like a chimpanzee. Ardi shows that humans and apes evolved quite differently from their common ancestor of about 6 or 7 million years ago.

Weird that this discovery was announced the same day I mentioned Lucy in my previous post about “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. Although the discovery of Ardi was officially announced on Oct 1st, the research has been going on for many years and involved 47 scientists from 10 different countries.

It will be interesting to see what the creationists have to say about Ardi.

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