(Note: The donate link was broken but is now fixed.)
“IF ARMAGEDDON COMES, IT’S GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL RUSTY’S DONE EATIN’”
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Some while back, a Greek philosopher named Plato wrote (In Plato’s Apology) that “An unexamined life is not worth living.” While I certainly thing that intro and extro-spection both can be melodramatically overdone, it has also been my experience that both in moderation make the road of life some easier to travel.
I think that is particularly true during times of high stress, like in my two countries, Canada and the United States, and in Olya’s, Russia and Ukraine, with the high holiday season now gearing up. So here are some ways that I, Rusty Miller, cope with that. And I am not prescribing, just sharing mine.
I accept that stress this time of year is inevitable, especially in the news gathering business. So I look for really positive, empowering stuff to share with you guys. There’s a lot of it out there and it is just as real as the tragedy slung at us from the front pages of the world’s media.
We also fulfill our responsibility to keep you informed with THE PAST WEEK’S HEADLINE NEWS AT A GLANCE page. You can just scroll down the headlines and by the end of the list, you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on beyond your own pale than most folks.
I also make it a point to do something, however small, to improve the place I live and or the lives of the people with whom I share this very large and quiet house. I don’t seek authorship or acknowledgement when I do these things. I do them because I like where I live and those WITH WHOM I live.
I guess, third, I program good experiences for myself by taking at least two hours a day to put a Do Not Disturb Sign on my world and watch a good movie from my Frostwire or YouTube collection. That’s a good time for a good meal, as well. And when I am enjoying both, it is at the total exclusion of all other reality. Like a housemate observed the other day,
“If Armageddon comes, it’s going to have to wait until Rusty’s done eatin’.”
Have a great week, gang. Rusty
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON A LONG TRAIN RIDE
Just stepped of my usual train route East-West Ukraine. It was a pleasant and relaxing 18 hours ride. What is always fascinates me is how people actually get together when put into limited space for almost a day.
There’s something appealing about sharing your life experiences with a total stranger and seeing an understanding in their eyes. As the train connects two points on the map 1000 km away, one near East border i.e. Dnipro city and the other near West border i.e. Lviv, it’s interesting to hear what people with a little bit different mentality talk about and what common future they see for the country.
Contrary to social media’s hate speech and arguing, in the real life of a train coach, it’s more about uniting and tolerance for one another, no matter the language spoken. The atmosphere of the train I am riding reminds me of the Lviv-Donetsk one that I took in summer 2012 during the European Football Championship when international games were held in these two cities. I remember how jam packed with people, the carriages were cheerful and sing songs like Chervona Ruta, famous Ukrainian song.
As is quite known, both Ukrainian and Russian languages are very close to each other and both Russian and Ukrainian speakers quite easily understand each other even when everyone speaks their own language. Too much pressure on making people speak one language just gives trumps to Russia while it is not really a problem for common people to understand.
From historical lessons of failure of Rzeczpospolita, a Polish Empire, one reasons of what was a policy of strict nationalism and assimilation, when for example Ukrainians that were under its rule had no possibility to learn in schools in Ukrainian.
The recent education reform widely criticized by Hungary and Romania put negative effects for Russian speakers too, contending, as both nations did that they had the right to use their original native language in personal life and to be educated in that language. They contended that these rights were not subject to dispute.
One couple on my train was from the Donetsk Republic. They said that the stereotype that most people there would like to be a part of Russia is not true. They might not mind still being the part of Ukraine but with more autonomy in decision making.
This of course makes sense. Ukraine is one of the biggest countries in the Europe and since it has itself such ethnic diversity, its government realizes the value of decentralization and liberalization in terms of making life easier for the general population.
The same abovementioned education reform put additional unrest to Odessa, an historically Russian speaking region but the task is vice versa to give people confidence in their future in Ukraine.
All big countries solve such issues in different ways. America seems to have a slightly different set of laws for every state. Germany has its federal layout. Both are ways forward for countries too large and too diversified to share a hard doctrine of nationality.
And one more word as for Russian language use, its called Russkiy, just reflecting its birth place in Kievan Rus as it was originated here, the heart of the Ukraine and did not appear in Russia until hundreds of years later.
So emphasizing the language problem only separates people when the real questions are corruption and the leadership in the country. That is the point everyone in this little discussion on my train agreed upon.
We have everything for a success: hardworking, good people, fertile land. Leadership is what we are lacking. But maybe the answer is to not follow anyone but instead to just do your best. Perhaps with everyone doing that instead of relying so much on others to do it for them, the future be bright again. Olya
Olya Bereza, who was born in the Soviet Union, now lives in Ukraine and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. She is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management. For comments on this please go here.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
OUR SCIENCE SECTION, ABRIDGED
We are, if nothing else, an ingenious species. The Top 10 Gadgets of 2017
Considering where I live (Seattle) this is not especially good news. Scientists Predict 2018 Will Be A Bad Year For Earthquakes. Here’s Why
We really need to do something about this. Fossil Fuel Emissions Set To Hit All-Time High In 2017 As Coal Burning Increases
From Our Friends At Earth/Sky News: What monarch butterflies prefer: Will our survival strategy for monarchs work? Initiatives emphasize milkweed plantings along roadsides. New research shows egg-laying monarchs much prefer off-road farmlands.
I hope people are listening. Pope Francis Condemns Growing Healthcare Inequality In Wealthy Countries
I always consider that the shape of the future is in our hands. The past is past and can’t be changed, but the future has not yet arrived. Young people have the opportunity and responsibility to shape it by creating a better world.
This must change. Why Do So Many US Women Die Giving Birth?
Justice has been served. Mladic Sentenced To Life For Genocide
THE GREEN BEAT
HEALTH, MEDICINE & HEALING
HOME, FAMILY & LIFESTYLE
BEST OF THE NET
NEXTDOOR is a dynamic non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized. They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge. For more information, contact them at https://nextdoor.com
For true inspiration delivered to your email every week, contact Amy at SpringggRain@aol.com It will be the nicest thing you’ll do for yourself today
NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES is my online editing, writing and tutoring service. For a full list of my services, please visit my website at http://nstarmed.wordpress.com To contact me directly, email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you. Rusty Miller
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
National Geo outdid themselves on this one, I thought. The Weirdest Flying Wonder
This seems to confirm what most of us have known for a long time. Why Dog Owners Live Healthier Lives
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
ABOUT US: The Northstar Journal reaches strong, compassionate and proactively compassionate readers in 22 countries who are making our world a better place. We are proud to serve them as a resource in that regard. If you would like to become one of them and subscribe for whatever you can afford, please go here. (Note: The donate link was broken but is now fixed.) If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact me, Rusty Miller, at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. RM/OB