Archive for the ‘Saving the World’ Category

“Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I was out for dinner last night with my husband and two of our long time dear friends here in Hong Kong.  We have known one another for 13 years and Eddie and I have seen their children grow and develop to such interesting and accomplished adults.  Now it is time for the eldest one to go to college and our friend was describing the process to us.

We were talking about the generation born in the 80’s and 90’s and how they have little concern about money.  They were brought up with debit cards and our friends were saying that their children don’t really know how much things cost anymore. He says all they know is “bip money” – they go to the convinient store to buy a Coke and it costs “bip dollars”, not three Hong Kong dollars. They were wondering if their kids would be ready to establish their own businesses and face the world.  Now, bear in mind that these two guys raised their children to be frugal.  They are self-made individuals who have a very successful business and who always lived below their means.  They are not extravagant by any stretch of the word and they made sure that their children knew that they needed to be grateful for what they have.

They pointed out that the perception their children have regarding money is that they will always have it.  Their children just “know” that money is not a problem.  They didn’t grow up hearing their parents argue about money and complaining that they don’t have enough.  Like I said before, their children were not raised in a household of waste and consumerism and yet they were not denied their basic needs and gifts twice a year.  They were raised to be grateful and they were raised with boundaries.

As I listened to them telling me this I began to feel hopeful about the future! Imagine that the children of today have the ability to simply “get” that money is not a problem.  They know that they will always be provided for and that they don’t need to believe that acquiring money is their sole purpose in life.  They have the freedom to choose a profession they love and money is no longer the only measure of how successful you are!  And before you call me the eternal delusional optimist, I will tell you that I realize kids do care about their stuff.  I know they want to have things and that they face a world filled with options that confuses them quite a bit.  But I also see the possibility of having a future generation of adults who believe and live in the mentality of abundance.  Their main concern is to be doing things they love and not accumulating things they think they love.  I can see clearly a time when material things will take a back seat to realizing a dream, helping others, curing diseases, developing spirituality and sharing their bounty.

We are going through a time of profound change.  Those of us who tried to change our mindset from scarcity to abundance know so well how difficult this shift can be.  Can you imagine a generation where this pattern of thinking is already ingrained in their DNA?  Can you see how the detachment to material things starts there? Do you understand the possibilities attached with a generation that truly wants to do good with no concerns of how the money will come because they know in their hearts that they will be provided for as long as they do what they love?  I was thrilled when I realized that and I began to share with my friends what I think is in store for their children!

As our friend faces the prospect of his first child flying off to college, he feels a bit nervous about how she will manage all by herself.  I reminded him of the wonderful job he did raising her:  The boundaries that were so hard to put in place, the time he took to explain why it is important to be grateful for what they had, the moments when their example spoke lauder than words and so forth.  It’s natural to have doubts and it is good to listen from people other than their close family that they did the best they could while raising their children. I admire my friends for all their wisdom and for their doubts.  I am also grateful that through their children I could see a glimpse of the future and be hopeful about it.

May we all learn to think in abundance and to pass it on to the next generation!

With energy,

Ana

This post is dedicated to Stephanie.  May she grow in wisdom and kindness and have a great time in her upcoming college adventure!

Al Gore’s Challenge Is Our Challenge

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

                                                                                   Watch the Video

Every so often, a leader says something so simply and clearly that it’s almost impossible to ignore.  That happened last week with Al Gore’s challenge.  More than a quarter of a million people have watched the speech, and major papers across the country and the world continue to write about it.  Watch the highlights here.

He challenged the US to generate 100% of our electricity from sources that do not lead to global warming – and to do it within 10 years.  Meeting this ambitious goal would create millions of new jobs, lead to permanently lower costs for families and help the US lead the fight against global warming.  Watch his powerful speech here

John McCain couldn’t ignore it, saying “If the Vice-President said it’s doable, I believe it’s doable.”

Barak Obama said, “I strongly agree with Vice President Gore that we cannot drill our way to energy independece, but must fast-track investments in renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power and advanced bio-fuels.”

Please take a quick look.  If you have already seen it, please forward it to your friends.  The technology to make this shift is ready.  What is missing is political will – and that’s why we need more people to see this speech and join the Campaign.

Envision a better planet and take action now!

With energy,

Ana

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Power of Love

Monday, July 14th, 2008

We are all amazed by the power of the internet.  We can communicate with one another  extremely fast, buy whatever we want and have all our questions answered in the speed of light.  However, my latest experience with the power of the internet is intimately connected with the power of love.

I volunteer to teach children how to swim at an organization called JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options – www.jafco.org).  They have an emergency shelter that helps all children in need that come their way (not just Jewish children).  They care for them with amazing love and attention until they have a safe place to go.  Since they happen to have a pool, I saw an opportunity to serve these children.  We all have a blast splashing at the pool every Tuesday morning. 

Recently, all the volunteers got a letter from the shelter administration asking if we could donate basic items such as diapers, soap, lotion, shampoo, pull-ups, etc.  I decided to forward her letter to a few friends and to add my own bit to it letting people know how wonderful this organization is.  I sent this letter to 20 people I know.  Within two days I started to get e-mails and phone calls from people I didn’t even know saying they got my e-mail from someone they knew and that they were ready to help.  I went to their homes and jobs to collect the items they had for me and within one week I had more than 1000 diapers, 500 pull-up’s, brand new clothing items, shoes, toiletries, toys, videos, books and many other items the children need at the shelter.  I had to go to the shelter twice with my SUV filled to the max with all this stuff!  Within ONE WEEK, the shelter received all the diapers they will need for the next six months of operation!  One simple letter written from the heart captured the essence of all that is good inside of people and the response was unbelievable.  I was in shock.

That experience got me thinking about the power of good, the power of passion and, specially, the power of love.  Anything that you enjoy, that nurtures your spirit in a loving way, that allows you to share your love with someone else, has the potential to fill your heart with love.  When we are filled with loving feelings, whether those feelings are directed toward humans, animals, G-d, nature, or simply a love of life, we put ourselves in a position to attract love.

Look for opportunities to express your love this week.  Whatever your circumstances, dreams, or preferences, filling your life with opportunities to express love is always a good idea.

With energy (and love),

Ana

Earth Hour – Make a difference for yourself and for others!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Earth hour is upon us – March 29th at 8 PM. During this hour many citizens all over the world will shut their lights. More than an effort to save energy, the earth hour is an attempt to congregate as many people as we can around this effort to save our planet from the excess of human consumption. I see it as a time to unite the world around a cause that affects all of us, and that will have a long lasting effect on the earth. Visit www.earthhour.org to become a part of this wonderful act of love for our planet and for humanity!

Sometimes we are overwhelmed when we read about the many negative effects that humans had and still have on our planet. If we created this situation we can also reverse it! Isn’t that logical? So let’s take action! There are thousands of things we can all do to help. A great way to start is by taking better care of ourselves. You might be asking; what does taking care of myself has anything to do with saving the planet? My answer: It has everything to do with it! When you take care of yourself you also become more appreciative of others and of your environment. You become full of energy and more available to help others and to see the holistic aspect of life. Once you are full, you can give back and take care of others.

If you are always running empty, your vision of the world becomes a pessimistic one. You begin to focus on the lack and start develop a mentality of scarcity where there is not enough for all. When you think this way, you invite stress and negativity to become a part of your daily life. All of a sudden, you see the world as a big battle-place where all you and others need to do is fight for survival. If you begin to take care of yourself, the mentality of abundance slowly but surely starts to take over. The more energy you have, the more you can give to others. Abundance is our birth right and so is joy! Start taking ownership of it by setting time for yourself every day. It can be a bath you take at the end of the day, a special tea you drink while playing with your pet, a time for prayer/meditation you set aside every day, a night-out with your spouse, a 15 minute break during the work day when you do nothing! The possibilities are endless… Pick one and start! Slowly you can incorporate other actions to your day. There is no time like the present to start!

Have fun celebrating the wonder of life and the wonder of yourself!

With energy,

Ana