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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle/Motivational blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces on Life Tips, Advice, Interviews, Reviews, Peace, Social Media ruminations and Inspirational posts on people, places, and events that shape our lives. I invite you to stay awhile, read some posts, and share your thoughts with this growing online blog community.
One of the fundamental rules of blogging is to make connections with others by adding value through our message/content, comments, and social interactions. I hope you’ll share your comments and expertise with me. If you’d like to write a Guest post, offer a sponsorship or PR opportunity, send me a message with your inquiry by email at: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com or contact(@)positivekismet(.)com Thank you!
Something I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected; I know that sincere, positive, and empowering messages are far more appealing than incendiary angling for blog attention. If your blogosphere surfing brings you here, relax, kick back, and share a positive tidbit on your worldview.
So, How should we handle the global economic shift? How do we stay mirthful and motivated?
“Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary – General
UN: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Worldwide, women live an average four years longer than men. In 2011, women’s life expectancy at birth was more than 80 years in 46 countries, but only 58 years in the WHO African Region. Girls are far more likely than boys to suffer sexual abuse. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Almost all (99%) of the approximate 287 000 maternal deaths every year occur in developing countries. Globally, cardiovascular disease, often thought to be a “male” problem, is the number one killer of women. Breast cancer is the leading cancer killer among women aged 20–59 years worldwide WHO factsheet
In February of this year, a group of bloggers joined forces with Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer’s parent company, to bring a closer focus on the wide range of issues that impact women’s lives. The key goal of this initiative – #womenslives – remains to encourage us all to initiate dialogue and contribute stories about women’s issues; women’s rights, health, education, wealth, economic development and more. As a Mother of twin girls, a Sister, Daughter, Aunt, girlfriend, and a member of the female gender, I am always aware of the many issues my kindred sisters struggle with on a daily basis. While there is that school of thought that prefers to believe that gender equity is a non-topic, many of us would rather see and live in a world that treats all of its members with fairness, dignity and respect. I have taken the liberty to share statistics and videos that will help elucidate the issues that continue to face us as girls/women globally. As shown above, health remains a powerful point of impact and flows into other facets of our lives.
“I know how important good mental health care can be because I personally benefited from it.” Tipper Gore
Critical Issues in International Women’s Health
Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men. Leading mental health problems of the older adults are depression, organic brain syndromes and dementias. A majority are women. An estimated 80% of 50 million people affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children. Lifetime prevalence rate of violence against women ranges from 16% to 50%. At least one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
Health Related issues: If we stop to consider the statistics above, it can become overwhelming but we must not stop there. Did you know that there are 2 billion malnourished people globally and most are women and children? Did you know that there are 35 million people with hiv/aids of which half are women? I know some of you have read my posts on this subject, but let me say it again; heart disease remains the #1 killer of women – cardiovascular/heart disease is an insidious killer of women and getting regular checkups isn’t always available to many around the world. According to curated data from the World Health Organization WHO, Abortion rights, Reproductive health, Mental health, Malnutrition, Hunger, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS are high on the list of health related issues that have a negative impact on women’s lives.
Add the one (1) billion women living in poverty and lack of education to the mix and we begin to understand that this is both endemic and If you are eager to explore the vast subject, there are so many resources available; PRI has done a superb job of reporting and curating fascinating and heart-wrenching topics for your perusal. I’ve added a link for you to visit and read up and also will add links to a few specific posts that moved me and reminded me that our work will never be completed until we all, men and women, join the movement for gender equity. I have throughout this post, added links to UN Reports, PRI posts, and other great sources of information that will help shed light on the subject.
“The growing understanding of the detrimental impact of violence on women and society as a whole needs to be translated into investment in the implementation of strategies for the promotion of gender equality and the prevention of violence.” Carmen Moreno, with Hilary Anderson and Renske Hoekstra (Inter-American Commission of Women, Organization of American State) via Open Square Compendium on Research-Evaluations-Analysis-Data (READ) for SAFE PASSAGE: Gender-Based Violence and Global Education
Breaking it down: The economics of a sex worker in Thailand | The World
…”Prevalence of two forms of violence against women: violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and sexual violence by someone other than a partner (non-partner sexual violence). Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.
Domestic & All Forms of Violence against Females: “Honor killing,” Dowry Murder, Sexual harassment, Female Genital Mutilation, Violence during pregnancy, Rape/Assault/Violence in Situations of Crisis/Sexual violence in conflict. When we think of Violence against women/girls, it is shocking to learn that 35% of women globally experience violence in their lifetimes. We can’t help but look at our neighbors and friends who might have been victims of domestic violence and were fortunate enough to survive. If 1 in 3 women experience an act of violence, it is an alarming number and one that we must do everything in our power to address and combat. We can start with the way we raise our sons and daughters and the messages we feed them.
We can start by reaching out to our legislators and demanding more laws and funding to fight it. We can do more by joining organizations as volunteers and donors to ensure that those on the forefront of the fight get maximum support. Each of us can make a difference even in the smallest way. We just have to choose the path that works for us and follow through on it. While domestic violence might not impact some of us directly, it does have a far reaching impact in that we are co-workers, friends, parents, commuters, or even patients of the abused/abuser and we’ve read enough news reports to learn that such exposure can put us in the cross fire of an act of violence.
“I have watched women go from victims to survivors after receiving services that the agencies funded by the legislation on domestic violence have been able to offer … And I believe we will see the same kind of impact from addressing sex trafficking among our foster youth.” Rep. Louise Slaughter
The underage victims of Thailand’s sex industry
The most widely cited definition of human trafficking is in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons(1):‘[T]he recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.’
Human/Sex Trafficking & Exploitations: Did you know that about 2.5 million people are forced into sexual trafficking annually and 80% are female. While some of us might feel that this is happening in other parts of the world, the truth is that it is happening in every country in the world. Human/Sex trafficking is in the US Read: The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman’s Fight for Justice by Kathryn Bolkovac and Cari Lynn As writer, Lori Foster, aptly said, “We tend to think of human trafficking as a foreign issue, not something that could happen here in our own back yards. But it’s a fast-growing problem in the United States, in every area, with no real defined demographic.” It is in every developed and developing country. The day workers you meet at Nail shops (Read NYTimes articles Nails and Nails) and similar industries are often recruited and brought in to work for little or no wages and the abuse that follows makes it difficult for them to speak out and report it. The pornography industry is a $billion dollar conglomerate that feeds the taste and desires of a growing population and those who can’t get it locally, travel to nations with lower restrictions to feed that frenzy. While some women/girls fall into it because of poverty, (over 1 billion poor women in the world today) others are forced into this situation and can’t get out. We need to keep our focus on governments globally to end it.
More Below! Read more…
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’ If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good. Pope Francis
What does SERVICE mean to you? A great teacher once said that “To lead, you must first learn to serve.” Today, as we honor our service men and women who paid the ultimate price in defending our rights and freedoms, let us not forget that true service is selfless service; it is service that demands we set aside our personal wants/needs/desires and just serve our fellow-man. Those men and women who served in a wide range of duties and capacities gave their all including their lives so the rest of us can live and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
When I think of this special day, my gratitude goes out to all who have served others globally and in every line of work. I think of our teachers, our caregivers, our good leaders, our military personnel, our firemen/policemen, our doctors/nurses/first responders, our servers/helpers in every imaginable field, and I say THANK YOU! Some have served without recognition or glory, while others have served with bravery and public acknowledgement. The truth is that they have all served mightily because they put service above selfishness.
“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Douglas Adams
Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it. Pete Hegseth
Each Memorial Day, I pause and reflect on what type of character trait it takes to be so fully committed to lifting others up. What type of individual gives of him/herself without thought of the dangers or loss involved or the SEO advantages to be gained? What comes back to my heart again and again is that we are all capable of making that CHOICE to serve. We don’t have to all join the forces or work in government, we can serve in our communities and on our jobs. We can serve our families, friends, and neighbors, We can be of service to the needy, the homeless, the hungry and the occasional stranger whose gaze meets ours on the bus, train or street.
Why Serve? We can make a concerted effort to make service to humanity part of our 5-10 year personal plan/goal, and do it in a way that is feasible for us. What good is a career plan that has no giving-back section to it? What good is making millions/billions if we don’t stop to look at how we can help the less fortunate around us? Service is our raison d’être and we might as well maximize our exposure to it while we still have breath on this earth.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore
Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop. Dorothy Height
If we would start each day by asking ourselves how we can be of service to each other, we would probably have less strife in the world. We live in an abundant universe with enough to go around and yet many die from hunger, lack of medical attention and even from ignorance. While ignorance might not kill the body, it is a far more insidious murderer than we know. Ignorance of the universal principle of treating others with dignity and respect; Ignorance of the rights of others to their religious, cultural, social beliefs; Ignorance of the laws of attraction and the abundance of resources on Planet Earth; Ignorance of our impact on the environment, Ignorance of our commonalities, Ignorance that leads to the disenfranchisement of people, ethnic groups, communities and excluded/abused folks …
All forms of ignorance and many others, not mentioned above, fuel the poison that keeps us from serving each other. If we remember that service to others is a form of service to our progeny and ourselves, we will begin to see the beauty and power of service in its richest form. We need to become more conscious and conscientious of the power of service and add it to our daily routine. What and How do you serve?
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for May and June are:
05/04 – APPRECIATION
05/11 – HAPPINESS
05/18 – FITNESS
05/25 – SERVICE
06/01 – SIMPLICITY
06/08 – POSSIBILITIES
05/15 – AWARENESS/SACRIFICE
05/22 – DETERMINATION
05/29 – TRUST
Always More Below! Read more…
“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” Eric Burdon
This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 25, 2015. As we celebrate the men and women who gave their lives so we could live, let us not forget – War must remain the last resort. May we all work towards PEACE.
Originally posted on Mirth and Motivation:
Memorial Day: Honor, Salute & Celebrate… Flag at half-mast
Memorial Day: Honor, Salute & Celebrate… TY to our fallen heroes.
This Memorial Day, which falls on the 28th of May, we will honor the many men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in military service to our country. Memorial Day was first created to honor northern soldiers who died in the Civil War. Then, it became a way to remember those who died in World War I, II and finally lives lost in all wars. In 1971, it became a federal holiday and remains the unofficial beginning of summer. As we gather to honor the memories of those lost, we are reminded again that war is, unequivocally, the lousiest…
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