Ricardo Williams

Media Director, IDEAS For Us, Inc.

This conversation is closed.

How are you helping your local community?

I am an ambassador of "I.D.E.A.S. For Us", a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and accredited NGO of the United Nations, advancing sustainability and solving environmental problems through youth-led action at universities, K-12 schools and communities around the World.

Recently we started a new project called "The Hive". Its a think (and do) tank aimed at addressing Global challenges through local solutions to advance sustainability. Our first Hive has started in Orlando, Florida, but this is a community initiative that we plan to spread to many other cities in the hopes of conquering the five pillars of sustainability: ecology, food, waste, water, and energy.

So my questions to the TED community is... Are you an environmentalist? Do you care about sustaining your community (as well as the world)? And if so, what steps have taken to do so? ... Or maybe you have some IDEAS for us?

And.... GO!

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    Jun 19 2013: The elderly ... this is a HUGE untapped resource... the stories they tell! The history they lived! I home school my kids... but I often clean the houses of older people who just can't keep up anymore... for free... in exchange I drag my teenagers and ask them to tell their stories and show their pictures.... I gained, my kids gained... we have learned and loved many people this way. My kids got so much out of it and the elderly got a clean house and much needed attention. I know they look forward to my visits.
    • Jun 24 2013: You're a GOOD person Krista and you'll only get gooder !!
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      Jun 24 2013: Great mam you have done a fab job ..... may god bless you :)
  • Jun 16 2013: Hi Ricardo,
    I am big on volunteering my skills to encourage and inspire kids. I've given music and voice workshops and performances at local schools and summer camps, especially now, since the recession has cut off so many cultural subsidies here in Holland. I also direct a children's choir at the local church, although I personally am not part of the congregation.
    I'm also an active volunteer at my kids' school. I am a member of the PTA, and I put together the monthly newsletter.
    I love being a part of an enthusiastic team, working towards improving the center of learning for our kids.
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    Jun 15 2013: Hi Ricardo,
    GREAT idea! Yes, I care very much about sustaining my community and the world.

    Each year, in this state, we have a Green Up Day, which is supported by state, regional and local governments, businesses, and all schools throughout the state, so there are various projects and programs during that week, as well as organized groups picking up trash along the roads and public spaces on Green Up Day:>)

    Personally, I've always had extensive gardens which are visited by many people, so I get to encourage gardening, and I speak a lot about sustainability, the advantages of growing our own food, and the benefits to our environment of growing plants and water gardens. I have about 500 varities of perennials, water gardens, fruits, vegetables, herbs, tropical plants, etc.

    I have served on local and regional planning commissions, project review committees and transportation advisory committee for about 15 years, which gives me the opportunity to encourage environmentally friendly planning and development.

    Probably the most significant thing I did a few years ago, was challenge a toxic business (I was the wistle-blower) by requesting a jurisdictional opinion from the district environmental board. The toxic business had no local, state or federal permits to operate ANY business much less a toxic business. They were ordered by the state environmental court and the environmental board to vacate the site.

    I walk or bike rather than using a vehicle when possible, pick up trash along the side of the road when walking, recycle, restore, renovate and reuse EVERYTHING!
    Good luck with your wonderful project:>)
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        Jun 16 2013: Hi Jaden,
        I didn't know I was a "whistle blower" when I started the action. The business was on property adjoining my home in the village, and over the years, activities became intolerable with constant truck traffic, fuel emissions and dust from early in the morning to night, almost 7 days a week. I could not comfortably go outside in the gardens, and I kept all the doors and windows in my home closed most of the summer.

        I asked the owner if he could please compromise regarding hours of operation, so, I, and other people in the area could have a little peace and quiet some of the time. At that time, I assumed he had all appropriate permits. He told me if I didn't like what was going on, "get the hell out of town".

        I went to the town governing board with the issue, and they did nothing.....simply told me that the business was there.....deal with it. One of the business owners was chair of the local permitting board, so everyone else on the boards were protecting them.

        I called the district environmental board director and asked him to look into it, and at first he was hesitant, because this business did work for the state. He did look into it however, and discovered that they had no permits to operate, and were in violation of local, state and federal USEPA laws.

        There was always a question of retaliation, and it started with little things, then escalated to my home and property being damaged, and my life threatened. Yes I was afraid, and I asked the question many times.....do I want to let the issue go and feel more safe? Or do I want to do what is right for the environment no matter what the consequences might be? I continued to choose doing what I thought was best for our environment and our health.

        There are cases of retaliation in this country Jaden, and perhaps as more people are aware of these issues, that may be changing.

        My next step was to serve on the permitting boards. If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.
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        Jun 16 2013: Hello again Jaden, my wise young friend:>)

        Yes, it is difficult to make our voices heard when dealing with businesses, which generally have power and lots of money to take care of the "issues".

        You are absolutely correct...perseverance, assertiveness, courage and LOTS of patience. BECAUSE businesses have power and money, they can usually get people to back down, so it is indeed difficult to pursue.

        Yes Jaden....well said....if we want the problems solved, we must start moving ourselves. People sometimes have difficulty moving, because it is challenging, sometimes frightening, and it feels lonely without other people's participation. I thought I was the ONLY one.....alone.....until it was finished. Then people in the community said "good job Colleen".....I understand their fear and hesitancy to speak up.

        What might happen however, if more and more people are less afraid? What might happen in our world if more people were willing to stand up and let it be known that we will not tolerate abuse of our environment? There might be GREAT results!
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        Jun 17 2013: Hi again Jaden:>)
        You are right.....we do indeed have laws and morals to guide us. Apparently, for some people, the allure of more and more power or money causes them to forget or ignore basic morals and laws.

        I would not say that all people with power always suppress weaker ones. It certainly happens often, and I also believe there are many people in our world who genuinely want to do the right thing, and they do.

        Making good use of power and money does not always mean suppressing others. It can also mean using power/strength/money to help elevate others. When the power and money over rides moral and ethical judgment, we have a problem.

        I agree with you Jaden.....if more people are willing to stick together working towards helping, encouraging and supporting a healthy global community, it could change our world.

        Thank you Jaden. That is the reason I share my stories. Sometimes, when we can see and feel that we are not alone, it helps us have more strength and courage to do what is right for the health of our environment, which sustains all of us:>)
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      Jul 4 2013: This is a great picture, Keith, of what it means to be community-minded.
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      Jul 4 2013: "Brilliant" Be careful though, that's dangerous talk you know. They maybe preparing a drone for you as we speak :) That is so cool. I have worked for 40 years with people from around the world with the predisposed idea that there really is only one race, the human race. I have experienced both physical, and verbal racial assaults, and suffered what some call reverse racism, from dark to light so to speak. All that time I never forgot my parents admonition. We are each responsible for our own thoughts, beliefs, actions, and survival. I never forgot my Irish history from the days when the signs on the blue blood lawns of Boston said
      "Irishmen and dogs keep off the grass"
      Fortunate people living in a financially secure situation, with the blessing of ancestral wealth, a good job, and a private beautiful home should know the courage of those poor unconnected, poorly educated people. They would discover as I have what courage, humor, decency, and dignity they have in the face of odds that would break most privileged people of higher station. Good work. The people, especially the kids will always remember you. I never lock my doors and in a neighborhood of fences I refuse to have one. Come and get me. : )
  • Jul 2 2013: by not destroying it!

    some years ago, I read a quote : "If you cant help, don't harm"
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      Jul 3 2013: Short and sweet. Thank you, Edwin!
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      Jul 3 2013: Dear Edwin,
      In my humble perception, we ARE helping by not harming:>)
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    Jun 24 2013: I used to help my local here are few point
    when i was in 8th class i used to teach and repair few problem of computer without taking any money i dont hesitate if its rainy or sunny day but i go.

    when i came to 10th i used to help my junior by helping them in making web pages using HTML.

    when i was in 12th i helped a friend of min when he got stuck to a electric wire although the land was we and at time i saved second live who is also my friend when he drowning in water although i dont know swimming with help of few more people we save him.

    when i am in College i used to donate my blood so that some needful person can get it and there are many more to tell but its sufficient that how i used to serve my local people

    hope you got my point :)
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      Jul 4 2013: I got your point man. Your awesome dude. The way you write English is hilarious. Don't be offended, i'm sure my writing in any other language would send the native speakers into fits of laughter, or even spark an international incident. The message comes through loud and clear. We are all connected in this universe whether some like it or not. As they say, what goes around comes around. We can help others out of pure enlightened self intrest, and still the benefits of that exchange will ripple throughout the world like waves in a pond. Your the greatest.
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        Jul 5 2013: thanks for understanding my english i will try to improve my english in future conversation :)
  • Jun 24 2013: I volunteer once a week to teach English conversation to refugees.
  • Jun 20 2013: How do I support my global community? I volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada/Guides du Canada. Girl Guides of Canada is part of a world organization, World Association of Girl Guides/Girl Scouts. Girls learn skills and self-confidence in a "safe environment" where Leaders are women.

    I am a Unit leader with girls, a trainer and mentor for Adult leaders, and keep current with today's young women.

    The girls of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Guiding teach leadership, and team building skills, budgeting, banking, and fundraising. As young women move through the programme, they learn community service, project management, environmental awareness, marketing, and public relations skills. Working with others develops their skills of teaching, coaching, and mentoring.

    Guiding is unique in the breadth of its focus, which ranges from leadership development to global awareness to environmental stewardship. It’s a place for personal growth, mentoring and travel opportunities.

    Girl Guides/Girl Scouts is open to all young women providing a safe and neutral learning environment in an all female environment.
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    Jun 28 2013: We tend to focus on the overwhelming challenges that face us on a global scale. That can lead to the perceived condition of helplessness. It's difficult to know what actions you take have any value or impact, like a mosquito on the back of an elephant. As my hero E. O. Wilson from Harvard might say, look to the little things. I've learned since moving to the desert that Ants are responsible for consuming something in the vicinity of 80% of the grass and other seeds in the ecosystem of the Sonoran desert. Their nest entrances by the millions are spread across the landscape as if a vacuum cleaner made 3' circles every 10'-20' I have watched them climb 20' up to consume even the seeds in a string of ornamental peppers hanging on the patio. The point is, thinking small "sometimes" can help you cope, and not be overwhelmed. I dug up all the alien imported Bermuda grass in my yard and planted all native desert plants. My water consumption plummeted from thousands of gallons per month to a trickle of perhaps a few hundred gallons, I save a ton of money every month, and my yard looks like the popes botanical garden for Pete's sake. People can't believe the beauty of it, or that my water bill is so low. I recently counted 34 species of birds, 4 species of reptiles,five species of mammals, and lets not even try to count the species of insects,bacteria and fungi all thriving in my little yard just from the single act of converting to native desert landscape. This single act made a huge impact on the survival of rare and threatened species." Think globally, act locally" as they say, "sometimes" thinking small can create huge impact.
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      Jul 3 2013: Peter,
      I totally agree with your suggestion that thinking small sometimes can help us cope and not be overwhelmed. I truly believe this is a concept that keeps many people from doing small things that can contribute. When lots of people do even small things, the impact can be HUGE!

      I LOVE your comparison with ants. What can one little ant do? A LOT when there are thousands of them working toward the same goal!!! What can one little person do? Some folks think their contribution is so small that it does not make a difference, so they do nothing. BUT, just like the ants, we can do A LOT when we work toward the same goal! AND it feels less overwhelming when we know lots of other people are doing their part as well:>)
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          Jul 3 2013: Thank you Peter,

          Nature, gardens and TED conversations are all wonderful:>)
          You are preaching to the choir my friend......how about a photo stroll through my gardens....over 500 verities of perennials, herbs, fruits, veggies, water gardens, tropicals, etc......enjoy:>)
          http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )
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          Jul 3 2013: LOLOLOLOL:>)

          Dear Peter,
          No problem, I am full of it too, and also get pumped up and excited about gardening! I have created and supplied MANY garden addicts...LOL

          I am master of nothing, but simply work/play with mother nature, and I agree with everything you wrote in the previous comment....apparently, we are singing in the same choir....I LOVE it:>)
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        Jul 4 2013: Quick question, Colleen. Are these gardens all your yard, or do these magnificent photos include the gardens you maintain for neighbors who then trade firewood and game in thanks?

        Second, did you grow up in a family of gardening enthusiasts from whom you learned?
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          Jul 4 2013: The photos are only the gardens in my yard Fritzie:>)

          My parents had a HUGE vegetable garden (had to feed 8 kids), and some flower gardens...I learned a lot from my mom.

          Most of my siblings have had gardens.....a couple of them never were enthusiastic about gardening. I seem to be the only garden addict in the family! My brothers helped me a lot with building the ponds, and other tasks in the gardens.
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        Jul 4 2013: What a gift from your mother to you! I was confused only because, like many of us living in cities, I am not used to yards/lots of this size. Though I grew up always in rental apartments, we often had fruit trees- peaches, figs, and avocado.
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          Jul 4 2013: She gave me many gifts Fritzie, including a love and respect for our environment, and knowledge about how it sustains us.

          The space I occupy is only 7/10 of an acre, and for Vermont, that is small, but we can put a LOT of growth in small spaces:>)

          Nice to hear that you had fruit trees....I assume potted?
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        Jul 4 2013: No, no pots. I grew up in Southern California, so these trees once planted just "did their thing." The only maintenance was watering them and gathering lots of fallen fruit at various stages. Avocado trees for some reason drop lots of little avocados that never make it to ripe, and the figs just dropped in great numbers if they were not picked fast enough.

        My mother loved gardens and did most of the watering. She kept potted plants of an all green non-flowering type indoors and on a porch.
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      Jul 3 2013: Drew Dudley's talk is very much about the value of doing "small" things: http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership.html
  • Jun 20 2013: Hey Ricardo,

    At the risk of being repetitive, I will say that one of the most decisive elements pushing my lean towards environmentalism was education. I took an environmental science course in high school that really paved the way for my current studies. But aside from that, one of the most inspiring and rewarding ways for ME to live a sustainable life is to grow my own food. I'm the kind of person that likes to work hard , and to see physical results. and both of those are met when growing my own food. I had a record garlic harvest this year, (for those of you in the know, yes, it is early in the year, but spring was HOT) and just pulling my own crops out of the ground was as rewarding an experience as anything.

    I hope you find this useful.

  • Jun 17 2013: I care about education, as without it I believe there is no hope for the future, and if you look at the topic list, all of them need education, it's a fundamental building block.

    And I/we help regardless of race, creed or country.

    We dont advertise, we dont make profit's, we dont promote ourselves, we remain anonymous. We just are only too happy to see people realize their full potential or at least be given the chance to. That's all the reward we'll ever need.
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    Jun 15 2013: Well, certainly I am an environmentalist. One thing I like to do is pick up trash. I like to walk, and in fact don't own a car. If I see a big piece of trash on the sidewalk or street, I'll often pick it up and take it to the nearest trashcan or alley dumpster. Sometimes I'll pass a vacant lot with a lot of trash. Usually amidst the trash one can find empty plastic bags, so I'll often pick up an empty bag and start filling it with the other trash.

    There's one spot I walk past often in my city, about three blocks of undeveloped land that collects a lot of trash. I recently asked the city to investigate who owns that land, and they are finding that they own a part of it, to about six feet back from the sidewalk. So I expect they will start cleaning up those six feet.

    I also use public bathrooms, and when I find a dripping faucet in one, I'll always go find the manager of the store and report it, hoping they will repair it.
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    Jun 14 2013: Well I do a few things. I am part of the voices unheard campaign which is a youth led project to help LGBT young people suffering from domestic abuse. I am also an ambassador for the think positive project for NUS which is a group which helps students have positive mental health. I am also wanting to try for the LGBT representative at mcollege.
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    Jul 3 2013: I have assembled a team of filmmakers who are creating micro-documentary films which highlight the work of local leaders in their community.

    Tomorrow I will be asking TED to approve a portion of Dan Ariely's talk on work: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html , to be included in a film to be released on July 4th.

    We are asking TED to use less than a minute of the talk.
    Goto Runtime: 12:02 and play on for 28 seconds

    I'm asking for help from folks to get discussion going asking TED to approve the film.

    You may see the final cut which is being requested for approval at:
    This film is unlisted and not available to the public.

    If you believe the 4th o' July is a good time to talk about motivating local leaders please respond and help share the film.

    thank you
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      Jul 3 2013: Good project William, and I personally think/feel ANYTIME is a good time to talk about, and motivate EVERYONE to be fully engaged in our communities and life!
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        Jul 3 2013: Thank you Colleen,
        We will be posting our film presentation of the concept this evening, approx. runtime 5 minutes. Do you have friends who would help share it through their social media space?

        every little bit counts!
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      Jul 3 2013: If you want to ask TED for permission to excerpt material from their site in a venture of your own, you should contact them directly with your request. http://support.ted.com/customer/portal/emails/new

      I think you should not expect to get a reply to such a request on July 4 (you mention meaning to ask tomorrow), as a business office in the United States may well be closed on July 4!

      Is THS National an apartment construction contractor?
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        Jul 3 2013: Thank you for the advice.

        Yes. We have been working in communities since 2007. This is where I've met some extraordinary people who deserve to have their stories told.
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        Jul 3 2013: Hey Fritzie
        Thank you, here's a copy of the message I sent to ted@groupsjr.com. The subject was "Content Permission - Motivating Leaders" if anyone wants to chime in.

        Hello. We are documentary filmmakers creating films which highlight the work of leaders in communities across the country.

        Our concept is illustrated verbally by a TED talk from Dan Ariely, What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work. He says, simply looking at what someone has done motivates them to do more.

        We believe documenting ordinary people who are making an impact is the way to motivate them to do more in their community and encourage others to get involved as well.

        We would like to request permission to use a snippet of Dan Ariely's talk in the following film. This is the final cut we are requesting to use:

        thank you for your consideration.
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          Jul 3 2013: Glad you have made your contact with TED administrators about using their material. You know, you say above that your film is unlisted and not available to the public, but by linking it here, you have made it available to the world.

          If you do not want to make it available to the public at this time, or until after you get permission to use the TED material you have put in it, you should remove the link.
  • Jun 24 2013: I'm helping as a community volunteer and In efforts to stimulate a post growth people-centereed local economy which might have some interest for you

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    Jun 17 2013: By Remaining or trying to be.....

    Simple and Honest
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    Jun 15 2013: If you have not yet done this, do an internet search for "sustainable cities." There are many organizations and networks of organizations with these words in their titles that gather ideas you may find useful. One blog I read is from Sustainable Cities Collective, but there are many organizations that pool ideas in this area from all over the world.

    Because so many are already collecting such ideas, you may find it very efficient in terms of gathering ideas you want to implement or spread yourselves to make a stop on those sites!

    And here are thirty-three TED talks you might find useful about sustainability. http://www.ted.com/talks/tags/sustainability
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    Jul 11 2013: Sounds like awesome stuff, Ricardo! =)

    I'm currently trying to start up an after school STEM education group for middle schoolers. I'm hoping to get graduate students from STEM fields to help teach kids the basics of their field and lead groups in projects where kids get to learn how to use the information they've gained, rather than storing it up for a test. Currently, I have ideas for electrical and computer engineering projects (thanks to the Arduino and legos), biology, chemistry and forensic science. I'm trying to get in touch with the science center in my city and my university's math and science education center about funding the project.
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    Jul 10 2013: Ricardo,
    I can tell you are a beacon for your community. Kudos. The best idea I might have for you is to keep doing what you are doing and if this applies to your community use knowledge of gardening and non wasteful spending In meats to fight government dependence.
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    Jul 6 2013: It is all about Transparency. W/o transparency, we will never be able to protect the environment.
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    Jul 5 2013: Hi there I love your topic. I feel privileged to join in the conversation.
    I am not only an environmentalist but I am an innovator and inventor of fossil fuel devices that would change our timeline. I am just a creative and imaginative thinker. Nothing more.
    But I want to see change in the world. I don't want to just talk about it but create it.

    Our life is to special to just talk about change.
    Creating change is our purpose here on earth
    Leaving a long and lasting legacy is our Goal
    May our small contributions and small creations be the change the future needs for sustainability
    We must not and should not idolize the blood of satan (OIL)
    its only purpose is destroying mankind through greed and corruption
    Our sustainable future is not OIL but using our current system correctly and holistically
    Renewable and Fossil Fuel Free Transportation is not just a dream but a reality we must create because we have surpassed the technology to create it. 100 years ago.
    But its not profitable or in the interests of big business and that is so sad.
    Its strewn throughout our history corruption and greed.
    In order for change we must awaken the minds to create possibilities and live their dreams
    Idea's manifest when we awaken the source of creativity
    Our soul is the source of this creativity as it create the illusion of life through, thought, intention and action.
    But without awakening we walk this life through influences that create zombies.
    Being trapped in technology of social media and networking we either grow with global interaction and education
    or we stimulate only by urges, desires or greed for memories of adolescence

    Ideas are plentiful with those experiencing life differently. Many influences, mistakes and failure
    Our spirit grows to a point of endless creativity.
    That is the beauty of life we grow to the point of eternal wisdom preparing us for ascension or greatness.
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    Jul 5 2013: Don't you worry about that dude. It will improve i'm sure. If we were all perfect, what would we do? What would we all laugh about together. You probably have more brains in your little finger than many people have in their whole family tree. Let's all just laugh at the beauty of mistakes, and be easy on each other. That's the sweat gift of life, and the road to peace. Life does not have to be miserable, no matter what the Buddhists say : ) You never know what miraculous things may happen when someone somewhere get's a laugh out of something you might say, or write. They may have been deeply depressed on the verge of suicide, and that laugh may have given them reason to live for that moment. Like a stone thrown into a pond the ripples spread out to the universe. "Keep the ideas coming!"
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    Jul 4 2013: Last night at our Hive community meet-up in Central Florida, I shared some of your responses to the group and I just want to say that they were all very helpful and informative; and I personally have been truly inspired by your contributions to your community. This question will be open for 9 more days, keep the responses coming!
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    Jul 4 2013: So we come full circle. Nothing can be changed and we're fools to try to change things because that's the way it is,or because god or Santa Clause say thats how it is. "Uh Huh" brilliant.
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    Jun 22 2013: Here is a crime map of Tampa. How are you addressing this environmental issue?

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      Jul 4 2013: I'm sorry your focusing on crime reports, it can be very depressing sometimes, especially if your a victim of a crime. Unless you have the unfortunate circumstance of being a cop, or prison guard, I would suggest that you focus on the "environmentalist " solution to this problem. Number one thing to do to prevent crime is making sure everybody that needs a job gets one, and that they are paid a fair living wage. The best way to do that is not to attack other races, or other nationalities, or to pull back inside our little fortresses of fear, ignorance, suspicion, and hate. I'm speaking in general terms here. We as a society have to make dam sure every single kid living in this country has an opportunity for a first class education regardless of their circumstances of birth. We need to make sure that when criminal syndicates, and international bankster cartels buy up huge chunks of land to develop they don't design communities of exclusion, but rather inclusion. The greatest crimes of all by far are those committed on Wall Street, and in Washington. Those vile despicable treasonous barbaric crimes lead directly to the criminal activity in the streets of our cities. A little less alcohol consumption, and ending he ridiculous drug war would also help a lot. What do you think?
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        Jul 4 2013: Lots and lots of cliches here.
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          Jul 4 2013: If you say so. Did you expect me to write a complete dissertation? I have a million ideas, about how to solve local crimes, but in the long run it all goes back to those basic (paradigm) principles I mentioned. The distribution of wealth in America is an abomination, the only word I can use to describe the absolute barbaric criminal depravity of a political system that permits that. I repeat the un arguable unrelenting fact that 400 families possess more wealth than the bottom 140,000,000 people (put together) thats million with an M. Until that situation changes drastically you will continue to see crime in the streets unfortunately. The poor no longer trust the police. Minorities have been marginalized oppressed and abused for 200 years without redress, "yet". Theres nothing but booze booze booze joints everywhere you look in Tampa, and many other cities. The drug war cost us 45 billion dollars per year and our congress is to conflicted in their duty to get a clue. That's and abomination. The people of florida had to suffer the humiliation and insult of a system of racism and corruption that violated their civil rights by denying them access to the poles, and have put up every possible racist road block. When people are dumbed up by the BOOZE addiction industry, and threatened by racist corrupt police departments, and they feel excluded because of race gender identity, or some other barbaric insult they will misbehave and lash out. Reverse this scenario and there's your solution right there plain as day.
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        Jul 4 2013: This is just rhetoric, a subjective view of the problems, specifically your subjective view.
        What are you doing in your local community that makes a difference?
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          Jul 4 2013: Apparently, as I suspected by your original post, your intent is simply to act as a provocateur my good man. It's just rhetoric, to you because you don't want to hear the answer. That's a shame isn't it?

          At some point theres so much rot in the house it's not worth remodeling, you have to tear it down, and rebuild.

          One of the most important things I do in my community is to is to participate in discussions a with people who are "shall we say" not in possession of the facts. You have crime in Tampa because your community can't, or in some cases won't see the rot in your foundation. I on the other hand don't turn away from the reality, I embrace it, and take the necessary action to correct it. It starts with getting up every day, and not looking for excuses to fill people with paranoia. I do that by looking beyond the twisted pathological rhetoric coming from corrupt media in this country. 98%percent of all media outlets in the US are now owned by ( 6 multinational corporations) like our old friends at mickey mouse land. So much for happy local positive news huh? Those corporations, which apparently have become "human beings" according to the geniuses on the supreme court, have absolutely no interest in providing real service to the communities they do business in. They profit handsomely from paranoia, racism, and "false outrage" which in turn fuels their 501C4s to inject their poison into our political system.

          I get up every day, and teach people how to do natural desert landscaping because we live in a desert they don't understand. I teach them how save water,beautify their homes and apartments. I show them how to lower their water bills and help the native populations of birds, and animals survive, and thrive. That in turn promotes physical ,and emotional beauty that results in a cleaner safer happier community environment. It saves the city millions of dollars. That's only the beginning. Be careful down there in lovely down town Tampa
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        Jul 4 2013: "I get up every day, and teach people how to do natural desert landscaping because we live in a desert they don't understand. I teach them how save water,beautify their homes and apartments. I show them how to lower their water bills and help the native populations of birds, and animals survive, and thrive. That in turn promotes physical ,and emotional beauty that results in a cleaner safer happier community environment. It saves the city millions of dollars"

        This sounds like a wonderful gift to your city! Is this something you do as your work or something you do "after hours?"

        For example, I know some cities employ "master gardeners" who engage in such work.
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          Jul 4 2013: "OH Fritzie" How I wish they would pay me for doing this. Unfortunately the city only hires people with (degrees) in Horticulture, or Botany etc, then they get responsibilities over a wide range of tasks, as department heads, and managers, golf courses lawns. Not for me. I'm afraid i'm not in possession of those qualifications. I'm way to mellow, and easy going to be a manager i think. I make a few bucks at it here and there, but mostly it's because i'm passionate about the environment, our quality of life, and little things like the survival of the human species. I think that's dam nice of me don't you? : ) I have a tremendous amount of fun. I meet people, we have coffee and we shoot the breeze. Next thing you know you have a budding David Attenborough on your hands. Have a beautiful happy day Fritzie, grow your own organic, garden,and don't plant invasive species. Peace !
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        Jul 4 2013: Let me suggest that you may not know all the facts, just the ones that you are aware of. For example, you assume that I am in Tampa.
        I subscribe to the notion that the world is perfect as it is. It is this way for a reason, how else would it be?
        Human want to believe that we can control things and we seek to impose whatever sense of order we know.
        There is a theory in science called "complexity." It states that concept that complex adaptive systems are self organizing. We do no leave in a cause and effect world, and this is one of the misunderstanding societies and governments share.

        Consider this: http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html

        It speaks about a "food desert." and one man's efforts.
  • Jun 17 2013: I believe first and foremost is stay happy...nothing can spoil anything better than a bad , tired and frustrated mood...

    ...happiness can lead to think clear and open...

    ...the second is stay and consume for today, let your tomorrow find its need by tomorrow only...no yesterday had passed without giving opportunities or strengths to face and win challenges...