TED Conversations

Work on my own, Free Lance Author

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Do you think you have done something in your life to improve this world? If so. Could you explain?

Many people complain that this world (or life) is hostile. But...Have we examined our own behavior? Actually, do we contribute to make a better world?


Closing Statement from paco lopez

Once listened the whole contributions. I would say that we all, indeed are doing something for getting a better world, conciously or unconsciously, working in it or passively. I think it is very important to have the attitude or, say, the right fuel. But... How do you get the fuel? I would say: by appreciating the whole what you have: your health, your livelihood, your family, your job, even small details like that you have water to wash up or light in your home; many people in war or refugee camps not even have that. So I think:
If I see a beggar I will try to help.
If I see a sick person I will try to comfort.
If I see a sad person I will try to encourage.
If I see a war I will try to stop it.
I do not wanna make this post larger, so. I want to thank again ( I do not regret to say that there is the word most used for me in this conversation) Thanks TED, Thanks to all of you pen mates to attend and participate in this conversation. And especially Thanks God for inspiring me to be in this place, in this moment and with this post.

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    Jan 29 2014: I planted a garden, and continue to encourage and supply garden addicts:>)

    http://smugdud.smugmug.com/Quintessential%20Vermont )
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      Jan 31 2014: But wouldn't nature be better off if it could grow its way instead of being under our command? :o)
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        Feb 1 2014: Good point Lejan!

        That is why the gardens I help create and maintain are in co-operation with mother nature. There is nothing commanding or demanding about it for me. I guess that is why so many people who visit the gardens comment that it all looks so natural....it is natural!

        Because the gardens draw visitors, I also have the opportunity to teach about sustainability, respect for our environment, how to grow our own food, etc:>)
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          Feb 1 2014: Of course it is a good point, Colleen, it had to be, as it was my last line of defense to get around my fathers order to help in the garden when I was a child and, naturally, more into playing than weeding. Never worked though! :o)

          Decades later, I am still not interested in gardening, I now wonder if this hobby does improve this world, at least its thin layer of life we call nature and of which we are part of.

          To me, a garden is a personalized interpretation how nature should look like to suit individual aesthetics, creating a 'freeze frame' of natures high dynamic, to tame her changing temper for semi-static pleasure.

          Usually there are two revealing indicators for natural looking gardens - tidiness & locally alien species, about which mother nature has her own understanding in many ways and continuously works on its realization.

          All gardens I have seen so far aren't 'stable' and a measure of their artificial instability the effort it takes to keep them in their composed, commanded states. The fact, that this 'effort' is experienced as 'pleasure' for gardeners is perfectly fine, yet does not change the level of naturalness.

          We build sand-castles at the shore for pleasure, not for eternity. :o)

          If in our gardens was no command, no demand towards nature did my father repeatedly ruined my days in depriving me from playing on purpose and without actual need?

          He was strict, but not tyrannical, which made me observe closer what truly caused my misery. :o)

          And there she was, mother nature, in all her beauty and with her own ideas how to decorate this planet in a way, which does not demand any effort from me to appreciate her aesthetics.

          On food, this is a totally different story, yet on visuals, it isn't ... :o)

          A garden without our command, without demand was no garden anymore as it became again a part of nature.

          How close our aesthetics was to 'hers' we only find in retrospect and by the changes we'd observe after years of idleness (or play)
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        Feb 1 2014: LOL!

        Well Lejan, sorry I am LOLing, but I am! We certainly have different perceptions of gardens. I spent a lot of time in the gardens with my mom as a kid, and treasure those times, and everything I learned from being in the gardens:>)

        When my kids were young, they didn't appreciate the gardens too much either. Of course, I always gave them the more difficult tasks....my bad! They did, however appreciate the food we got from the gardens:>)

        As adults in their 40s, they both seem to be drawn to gardens....imagine that!

        I suggest that gardens are only as stable as the keepers of the gardens, and gardens (growing things) survive naturally....or not.

        For example:
        My gardens are very neglected right now because I have been spending the last couple years taking care of ill brother.....two of whom died in 2013. I keep playing in the gardens as time permits, but the gardens are basically on their own, flourishing, thriving, growing and being beautiful, producing herbs, fruits and vegetables, and contributing to our environment, even without attention. Of course, the weeds are flourishing as well, and that is how it is right now. Actually, everything is under snow right now, and that is good too:>)

        I am sorry some of your days were ruined as a kid....nothing we can do about that now....huh?

        I call my time in the gardens work/play:>)
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          Feb 1 2014: It was meant to make you ROFLing, so it seems I somewhat failed ... :o)

          While I barely made it through my childhood garden gulag, I couldn't help it but to learn anything about it ... the curse of any young and therefore teachable mind.

          Imagine how many beautiful ideas I could have stored in this brutally occupied memory, yet instead it turned into unused wasteland ever since. And as my memory has always been surprisingly limited, at least for most of my teachers, you may forefeel how deep gardening impacted my life without me wishing for it ... :o)

          Even my second, good point I was trying in vain to get across my father was, to never dissent mothers good intentions... and on nature, this even came naturally to me ... but, it didn't work either ... :o)

          Being in the 40s myself, I keep waiting with a big smile on my face at what change in hormone levels, gardening finally turns attractive to me, so far, so good, ... at least for me and less for my neighbors... :o)

          Maybe because I have no children to overtake the 'work' for me to enjoy the 'play' in this sort of hobby, but as my mother was a good teacher not to only select tasks for children by ones personal dislikes, this wouldn't be an alternative either ... :o)

          Anyway, if gardening in general was understood as you explained, shelves over shelves of chemical weaponry and artificial fertilizers at Home Depot was to be interpreted as a severe economically failure of an highly influential branch of industry, as anything there is nothing but a materialized form of our wish to rule over nature by our command.

          May this be by stick (RoundUp) or by carrots (guano fertilizers), the form of discipline doesn't change its very existence ...

          So if your garden directly improved this world in its biosphere stays questionable to me, as the world did just as fine before it. But that doing what one likes helps spreading good vibrations towards others, is beyond my doubt, by which your garden is improving indirectly and as long
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          Feb 1 2014: you don't make me work in it ... :o)
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        Feb 1 2014: Ok Lejan....you win....you are a success....I am now ROFLing:>)

        No chemical weaponry, artificial fertilizers, or roundup here my friend....it is compost, made right here in the gardens, and good ol' manure....you would LOVE it!

        I will NEVER make you work in the gardens. There are, however, extra shovels here if you ever decide it might be fun:>)
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          Feb 2 2014: Without clear video evidence of you ROFLing, I take my success granted by your kindness!

          And on this I mean clear evidence and not the usual shaky and blurry footage we get to see for flying saucers or such alike ... :o)

          It also remains to be seen what is more likely to happen. You capturing yourself and an extraterrestrial spaceship on tape, or me embracing your kind offer in free will and clear mind... :o)

          If I was your garden, I would desperately hope from now on for a close encounter of the third kind, rather than for a drastic change in hormones of some strange German guy ... :o)

          And on my next turn on this planet as a worm, I will definitely LOVE your compost. Until then, I appreciate this sort of recycling more intellectually than emotionally ... ;o)

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