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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Voices That Need To Be Heard…

Classes have gotten back underway, and as always, life flips into overdrive. We’re busy, we lose track of those around us, and worse, we lose track of ourselves. In the crazy hectic world, sometimes things are thrown in our path that make us stop and pay attention. This one did it to me… Columbia’s Second Chance, an animal shelter that rescues literally thousands of dogs, cats, and other animals a year, depends almost entirely on donations and fundraisers. And now they’re struggling…big time. Reading articles about the dilemma, the philanthropic organization refuses to close its doors on needy animals (thank god!), but likewise is threatened with the possibility of losing its tenuous role as savior to all these animals. Without them, pets would be dumped, thousands would simply die from abuse and neglect, and as much as the Humane Society can help, they don’t reach nearly the wide range of territory as Second Chance.

I teach at MU while working on my PhD and writing books…I know what kids spend on shoes, clothes, video games, etc. I also know what people blow eating out, buying gadgets (I’m as guilty as the next person), and spending a night at a club. To give up just one evening out, if all of us would do it, thousands of animals’ lives could be saved. If you saw the face of an abused or neglected puppy and knew $20 would save his life, you’d donate it, but just because you can’t see his face, know that he’s still there…

Please consider what you can do to help. Drop off a bag of dog food or donate a little cash instead of getting a pizza tonight. Every little bit we do matters…we all say we want to do more, so here’s a great way to prove it.

To donate, visit:
www.columbia2ndchance.org

To read more about the crisis:

http://columbiatribune.com/2008/feb/20080228news007.asphttp://columbiatribune.com/2007/nov/20071113comm001.asp

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inspiration Squared

This week, between going to see Melissa Etheridge and watching the Olympics, I’m busting with inspiration. If you’ve never see Melissa in concert, you should. Having beaten breast cancer and seeing the silver lining of it, Melissa is nothing short of inspirational. In an era of me-me-me, she proves that her song “I Run for Life” can impact millions of people, and that celebrity status can be for perpetuating good-will and positive energy, and not just a paycheck. And then being absorbed by the historical implications of Michael Phelps and May-Treanor & Walsh, it is truly a privileged time to be alive.

We often look back on our history’s past and wonder Man, it had to be cool to be alive then…

Now is one of those “thens” and with people like our Olympians and someone as dedicated to the betterment of humankind as Melissa Etheridge, I tip my hat and realize that not everything about today’s society is negative media fodder. If only the sports world could’ve handled the Brett Favre saga with as much grace.

Melissa’s message, and that of many Olympians, is simple: be a better person, and we’ll create a better tomorrow.

Well said and easily done. One person at a time… Let’s start right now.