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Archive for December, 2015

a christmas carol

Olde England 1840’s

Well, it’s the holidays once more, and we are surrounded by music, food and shopping.  It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of year, and this year for me is one of the happiest holiday seasons in a while.  I have a wonderful family,  including a new grandson, almost 2 months old, wonderful friends, a warm home. What more could I ask for? I want for nothing. Yet with all the suffering in the world, and right here in the Bay Area,  I can’t help feeling some sadness.

I’m sad for those living on the streets, many of whom suffer from mental illness.  I’m sad for those that have nothing more to do than hate other people who don’t share the same beliefs or lifestyle.  I’m sad for the elderly with no one to talk to, and no one to spend a holiday with. The kids, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in foster care.  Sometimes the people who take them in are caring, sometimes they’re not.  The list could go on and on.  What are we to do?

I love the book The Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  The main character, Scrooge, seems to be irredeemingly nasty.  As you probably know, he has  three ghostly visitations, which help him see, who he once was, and who he could be if he chose to change his ways.  He does change his ways, and the rest of his life is happy, and he becomes well-loved by all who know him.

I don’t propose that we all need to go through that kind of experience to change our ways, but we do need to stop and think about how we are living our lives.  Are we being kind to those around us?  Are we trying to do something, even a little something, to make the place where we live, a bit happier, and safer for all of us?  I don’t know enough about the world, and it’s affairs. but I can do something for those around me.  I try to say hello to those around me, show respect to those strangers who may make me uncomfortable,  but I don’t want to ignore them and make them feel invisible. I give to charities and causes that I hope will make a difference in someone’s life.  It’s not a lot, but it’s the best I can do.

What can you do?  Even a little smile to someone on the street may make their day.  A donation to help those in need can mean a lot.  A little of your time for a cause you support. Anything you do helps.  It won’t change the world, but it might make you happier too.   Then you can feel free to sing your own song of holiday cheer.

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  1. A day-long event educating students, specifically girls, in the 6th to 8th grade about the fundamentals of leadership and entrepreneurship. Students who are interested in the field of business and curious about entrepreneurship will be exposed to characteristics of a great leader and to marketing, finance, business management and administration through various activities. They will then use what they learn to simulate their own business and compete with other students at the workshop.
  • Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015
  • Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Location: Fremont Adult School, 4700 Calaveras Avenue, Fremont, Ca 94538
  • Cost: suggested donation $10
  • For registration, click here.

 

it all starts with an idea

 

2.   TiE  is world’s largest entrepreneurship forum and is a nonprofit organization with yearly events like TieCon. The TiE organization is organizing a series of workshops for 9th – 12th graders on entrepreneurship. Students will learn how successful entrepreneurs start companies and get a chance to interact with them directly. Classes are open to all students who are highly motivated to start their own companies; and there are no prerequisites.

  • Date: December 18th, 2015
  • Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Location: TiE SV Conference Center, 415 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, CA, 94085
  • Cost: Student members are free; and non-members are $10
  • For Registration, check here.

 

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Thankful

We just finished the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an opportunity to spend time with family– to travel short or long distances — to perhaps have some time off, and, for some, to relax. It’s also a time some of us travel long distances in ridiculously slow, frustrating, and long traffic queues. Other people work themselves to the bone to prepare their house and cook special dishes for people they love. And then there are football games — when we hear one another yelling at the players and referees. And there are sales. We are inundated with advertising sections in the newspaper, and all the ads on TV, to the point where a season of joy and generosity is overshadowed by the stress of acquiring more things to give others or to fill our houses so we can entertain. Sometimes these activities make us happy, and sometimes we just feel worn out or resentful of the effort it takes.

This past week, we had many chances to just be thankful. Thankful the drive on Interstate 5 did NOT take as long as it might have (although we were going 15 mph at times). Thankful that there were no major accidents or shutdowns — always thankful not to be in an accident or fender bender.

And it was nice to spend time with family, even with younger cousins and their kids– who are so cute and learning new things all the time! I’m thankful to have my elderly parent around, and a week of good health. And it was so nice to rest.

So, hopefully we can continue to take moments to rest and reflect on joy and the gifts we already have — even as we have the pressure of the media, the market, and peers, to give more. Merry Thanksgiving, as my friends were joking about the post-Thanksgiving, pre-December holiday time. Have a Joyful and thoughtful Advent, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year!

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