Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poem Of The Week - Rudyard Kipling

I am not particularly drawn to the so-called "dead white males" of poetry, you just need to browse through my previous selections to see where my tastes lie.  However I don't deny these poets their rightful place in our literary history.  This weeks poem continues my theme of "poems I discovered through unlikely channels" being sent to my by a work colleague in IT, yours truly being the exception rather than the rule in IT when it comes to an interest in poetry.  Thank-you Vernon for Rudyard Kiplings "If..."


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

25 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Save The Planet

A lot of people that I speak to are both concerned about the state of the planet and resigned and cynical that there is anything they can do that will make any difference. "What difference can the actions of one person make?" they ask. Taken individually they may be right- though I have had it pointed out to me that any-one who thinks they don't make any difference has never tried sleeping in a room with a mosquito :) What is sure though is that if no-one takes action the future looks bleak at best.

So I urge every-one to become climate change activists, not the out on the streets with placards kind (though you can do that if you want to), but right in your home and in your own life. Don't go to sleep at night until you have taken at least one action to save the planet. Each day ask yourself what is the simplest thing I can do today to save the world and do that. Together we do make a big difference.

Live simply that others may simply live. - Mohandas Gandhi

If you are stuck for idea's here's some to get you started.

  • walk, ride a push bike or use public transport instead of taking your car

  • when you are not using them turn off at the wall computers, audio equipment and other electronics

  • grow your own vegetables- even a small planter on the balcony will help

  • rip out your lawn and replace it with native plants or gravel

  • replace incandescent globes with compact fluorescent or LED globes

  • recycle your household waste

  • start a compost bin and/or worm farm

  • write letters to your local and federal MP's and Newspapers telling them you are concerned and demand that they take action

  • don't buy products that are over packaged

  • buy locally grown and manufactured products

  • find a replacement for retail therapy- try exercise instead

  • buy organic

  • plant trees

  • take shorter showers

  • have your car serviced regularly and keep the tyres pumped up

  • re-plant your garden with waterwise and native plants

  • eat less meat, especially red meat

  • install a solar hot water system

  • install rain water collection tanks

  • buy "green power" from your power company

  • install solar panels to supply/supplement your power needs

  • when replacing appliances buy the ones with the highest star rating

  • turn off the lights when you leave a room

  • replace leaking tap washers

  • become an advocate and encourage the people around you to take action