Too Green?

I saw this at a car wash.

It just made me wonder can we be too green? Or perhaps try too hard in our pursuit of protecting the environment?

Surely the energy needed to recycle the water from dirty cars (probably far) outweighs the amount of water used initially.

I know it’s not popular to criticise anything ‘green’ but I think this may be a step too far.

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A Little Life Tip – “Mum!”

It seems obvious, (at least to me) but I’m surprised how many people don’t think to shout something other than “Mum!” across a crowded .

Don’t you realise how many women answering to ‘Mum’ will turn and look? And even so, you still may not get the one you want.

In a crowded venue, shout Mum’s name – usually first name is best. Trust me, she won’t mind that you used her name this once, and the right person actually has a chance of answering you. :-)

Surprising Natural Beauty

I’m not usually one to get up close and personal with spiders. In fact, I’m usually that blur you see headed the other way! (Just ask my kids, who think it’s quite funny!)

But I thought this guy was beautiful. And very cool-ly asymmetrical. Oh, and too small to bite me, which is a big spider bonus from my point of view.

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Three Truths

Given that we just recently passed the 4th of July holiday in America (My boss said yes, I could take the day off as an American if I could get my house declared as international soil, the way an embassy is. The paperwork, sadly, didn’t go through in time.) I was thinking about how I grew up with the Declaration of Independence of the United States as a big part of my learning. And, as a result of children’s public television programs and similar educational experiences, I always well remember the opening lines (I can actually quote all of it, give or take a word here and there.), We hold these truths to be self evident…

It’s an interesting thing, truth, because so much of it is coloured and filled in by viewpoint and opinion, which isn’t ‘truth’ at all. But we all talk about ‘truths’, which basically amount to things that are true for us, and (we think) usually also true for most of the other people on the planet that we know.

But, be that as it may, I have learned a few things (often the hard way) that are at least true in my world. I thought I’d share a few with you. These are just three small things that I carry with me because they make my life a bit easier when I remember them. Maybe, if you read them and then use them, they can make yours a bit easier, too.

1. Always tell anyone who is within earshot that any baby you see is cute.

Not all people are attractive — politically correct or not, we all know it can’t be true that every person on the planet is attractive to every other person on the planet — so it follows that all babies can’t be cute. But, trust me on this, (definitely a ‘hard way’ lesson) cute or not, always say the baby is cute.

Besides, it doesn’t really matter. They are sweet little innocent people who aren’t sentient enough yet to hurt anybody. So don’t hurt their tiny feelings. (Of course you can’t, but I’m projecting hurt onto them to make the point.) And, possibly more importantly, don’t hurt the bigger feelings of their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmas…you get the gist. Babies are cute. No matter what. Remember that and live by it.

2. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ cost nothing yet they can travel (and transport you) a very long way.

Many people aren’t polite these days. I don’t know if it’s down to upbringing, or personality, or if they just don’t care. Regardless, politeness has all but disappeared in many areas of our society. However, I’ve done all I can to change that. I try to be polite myself, and I’ve been raising three children to understand politeness and to behave in a manner that is also polite to everyone else. And, if they can’t attain ‘polite’ with everyone, (And I acknowledge that it’s very difficult with some people in certain circumstances.) I’ve coached them to, at a very minimum, go for ‘civil’.

Toward that end, we’re very big on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at our house.

Plus, I’ve found it helps a lot in other arenas at well. It costs me nothing to say those little words, but I’ve found that people respond much, much better when those words are present. (Maybe it’s that old chestnut of ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’ being played out.) And those little words are even more successful when accompanied by a smile. Try it and see how it changes things for you.

3. Names are powerful.

Even my children know this one. If Mum gets out all their names (and my daughter has four!), they are IN. BIG. TROUBLE. In fact, when we were picking out baby names, all of the names given to any child had to be really good ones. After all, Mum was definitely likely to say them quite loudly in a public area if bad things were going down. Many names were vetoed pre-baby arrival merely on the basis that they wouldn’t sound good spoken across a crowded playground.

But names are powerful in other ways as well. When I’m on the phone, I always ask people’s names. Why? First of all, people like it when you remember their names. (I often write them down to remember and carry on using them.) And everyone reacts differently when you call that person by name.

Secondly, no matter whether the situation is good or bad, names can be really useful. I recently told Steve at a certain bank that I was really unhappy with his service. He didn’t change the meaning of what he said, but he at least made sure he was polite about how he said it. And when I needed a mistake fixed on my monthly pay at work, Sam was terrific! And I made sure I told her that, using her name. And since I wrote her name down, I remembered it when an avenue came up to tell someone what great help I got from her.

Names hold power. Use them.

So these are my three truths. Follow them and your life may be better. Or it may just be the same. But, as my mother says, “You get out of things what you put into them.” So put these three truths into practice and you might just get something positive back. I know I have.