A Step Toward Sustainability

There’s so much to like about springtime. And April just might be my favorite month.

Well, this April is really special, especially for those of us who are environmentally-conscious and are rooting for our planet while she is being brutalized by modern industry and billions of unaware and indifferent humans.

And we here at the FSF have joined our voice with the millions who are calling for getting serious about caring for the Earth, about taking the actions which must be taken if we are to stave off the day of environmental reckoning which is surely coming.

We are in the last few moments of April as I write this, but it was in this month that renewable energy–that is, hydro, biomass, wind, geothermal and especially solar–generated more power than coal.

Stop and think about that for a moment. It is quite a noteworthy event and shows clearly that in spite of all the ways that our planet has been horribly treated–especially in the last two years–we can, and we must, do everything in our power to make progress and to mitigate the damage being done to Mother Earth.

If you’d like to read a good and highly informative article about this salutary event, just follow this link.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Today is National Arbor Day

More trees, please!

Many folks and environmentally-focused organizations will be out planting trees today. Caring for our environment and the natural world is a huge focus here at the FSF.

It’s a very good thing that there is a day set aside for trees and the planting of trees. The Arbor Day Foundation has planted right around 250 million trees on this day in the last 43 years!

The banner photo is one of three majestic oaks that live right outside the apartment where I was living in 2015 and ’16. The view from my patio was just breathtaking.

If you’d like to know more about National Arbor Day, just follow this link.

Hug a tree today!

Brother Ben

What’s the reading on your Happiness Meter?

Like a whole lot of people, I spent the first 30 or so years of my life acting as though my happiness depended on other people and on life’s circumstances.

I won’t be at all surprised if many–if not most–of you can relate to that.

I’m not quite sure how that began to change for me, but it was a very big deal.

It can be a revolutionary idea to know that each one of us is responsible for our happiness, for our contentment.

I am not saying that we can always keep our equilibrium and a big grin on our faces when difficulty comes around. And we all know that it does from time-to-time.

But regardless of what life brings our way, we can choose to be happy.

Having said that, choosing to ignore pressing issues in our lives, or in the larger world “out there”, is not a good strategy. That’s not what I’m saying, either.

But we can–and we should–choose happiness every time it comes to our awareness.

If we wait for others or for some splendid, wonderful event to “make us” happy, we’ll be waiting in vain.

Be happy today! You deserve it!

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, my kids’ school sent home a rock with each student. Their assignment was to paint the rock, and they would all be placed in the school’s Serenity Garden.

My daughter painted her vision of the Earth with the words “Love is the Answer” on it. But, after some contemplation, she decided to paint over “is the Answer” and just leave “Love”.  Why? Because although she believes in her heart that love really is the answer to all the problems of this world, she knows that if we just learn to love the Earth, we will love our way to the answer.

Big hugs.

-Stacey ❤

Happy Earth Day to all!

As many of you probably know, Earth Day falls on April 22nd each year. But it’s being celebrated in many communities today simply because it’s a Saturday and it’s much easier to get folks out on a weekend.

I’m in Central Florida and the Earth Day celebration at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando is quite an event here each year.

I hope there’s a party near you!

Here’s a link to a site all about Earth Day and celebrating it. A web search about Earth Day will also bring up a bah-zillion results, some of which may actually be about events in your area!

I hope today and this weekend go wonderfully well for you, whatever you may be doing.

Brother Ben

Compassion in Action

Sometimes the language we use when speaking or writing about things is pretty abstract. It’s always good to give more life, more substance, to your story by citing examples or giving more detail.

I talk about compassion a lot here on the site, talk about how urgent it is and so on.

Because you’re reading this, no doubt you’re on-board with that idea that compassion and acting compassionately are very important.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing to come up with a really good, a really clear example of someone acting compassionately.

Here we go: last Saturday night, Hanna Pignato, a waitress at the Joe’s Crab Shack on the Daytona Beach Pier noticed that a young swimmer in the ocean beneath her restaurant was struggling in a rip current.

Most folks would have hollered for a life guard or dialed 9-1-1.

Not Hanna. She gave her apron and wallet to a colleague and jumped into the sea.

Unfortunately for this hero, she hit a sandbar and broke her foot and fractured three vertebrae.

The swimmer was pulled to safety by someone else and Hanna was barely able to swim back to shore safely.

But the overarching fact here is that she put it all on the line. She acted compassionately, to say the least, when the limit of most folks’ compassion would have been to feel intensely sad if the boy had not ultimately been saved from the rip current.

Hanna is a hero. Her ennobling act of compassion stuns and inspires me.

Needless to say, her medical expenses are considerable. And her apartment is on the third floor so this is a big deal.

If you’re able to help Hanna, I hope you will. Click on this if you’d like to know how you can help.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.