These are the ambitions I pack in my bag:
1. See failure as a beginning.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Assume nothing, question everything.
4. Teach others what you know.
5. Analyze objectively.
6. Practice humility.
7. Respect constructive criticism.
8. Take initiative.
9. Give credit where it’s due.
10. Love what you do.
In respect for #9, I reveal that this is from Professor Richard Feynman on Twitter.
Let’s admit it: we all are guilty of confirmation bias. That is, we all look out for, and welcome, “official” support for whatever we believe on a certain topic. If we believe the earth is flat, we are overjoyed when we discover the “evidence” on Duck Duck Go that supports our claim, no matter how outlandish it might appear to others. With proof on the screen right in front of us, we feel totally justified. And maybe even a bit smug, right?
To be truly confident that we are not simply being duped (let’s say by fake news) we should honestly acknowledge our bias while also examining the opposing views — with an open mind. Indeed, is it not possible that two or more positions have equal merit?
And then what? Hmmm.
Isn’t it equally possible that the opposing view has more validity? If so, then we owe it to ourselves to adjust our position and move on, wiser for the experience. Stubbornly holding onto views that make no sense can only keep us ignorant.
However if, after we have looked at an issue from as many sides as possible, we still come up with the same conclusion, shouldn’t we be brave enough to own our position, and shout it out loud and clear? Regardless of real or perceived criticism?
Shouldn’t we share what we have learned from extensive study of the experts’ opinions on these vital questions?
We think so. In fact, to do otherwise is the coward’s way out, and that doesn’t help anyone at all. It takes time in today’s world to arrive at Truth, and we are aware that many do not have the time or inclination to do the research required, nor to sift through the mass of information available. Regardless, no one should ever accept anyone else’s “truths” at face value. Perhaps, though, we could inspire you to question a little more, and do a small amount of research to find out what you believe — so you can make your own informed choices.
Here are links to some of the recent podcasts, videos or articles that we have learned from, and where you can perhaps get more info to help you make up your mind on these vital issues.
A group of adult female giraffes with their calves is called a tower. By contrast, the male giraffe remains mostly solitary and travels from herd to herd looking for a mate. When necessary — in combat — he uses his neck as a weapon. Comically, this behaviour is called necking.
Today, I am going to mimic the male giraffe and stick my neck out — not to be combative, or find a mate, but simply to express my personal opinion on the hot topic of the day, one that I hear discussed every morning on my health-related podcasts.
Mainstream doctors and experts — the world-over — all agree that the only smart way to tackle this COVID-19 pandemic is with lockdowns, self-isolation, reduced activities and social distancing.
(I don’t understand why they use this descriptor since we are actually only physically distancing, as a quick look at the ever-growing social media posts can confirm.)
Nevertheless, we must all stay physically away from each other — especially if we are over 70, or 65, or 60 or … whatever the latest number is. We must absolutely self-isolate to protect both ourselves and others from this deadly virus; we must avoid all but essential activities; we must stay inside and do our share/our duty to flatten the curve.
We must use two counter-tops to treat our essential grocery purchases, disinfecting everything, including fruits and vegetables, before we put our items away, and wash our hands every step of the way, and preferably, wear a mask, … or not.
We are surrounded by rules that take away our freedom to act as we see fit. What happened to our rights to use our own logic?
There are, thankfully, very intelligent and questioning dissenters out there who have a different narrative. I find it very refreshing to eaves-drop on these intelligent interviews and discussions by such open-minded scientists. They are experts in their field and know how to have professional debates on challenging topics — and even disagree — without the ubiquitous ad hominem attacks. For sure, they aren’t all on the same page, and that’s okay because they have respectful open dialogue and share their well-thought-out and well-referenced view-points in such a way that we can form our own opinions knowing the facts they present.
Indeed, with careful and judicious selection from the podcast- and YouTube-world we can find those who speak with a different perspective — with a wisdom that we never hear on television where, at any time of any day, or any week it’s the same old repetition of the same old: wash your hands, stay home, respect the social-distancing rules, don’t ask questions, …. Sadly, their facts consist of the ever-increasing rambling numbers of cases and deaths that they throw out there to continue to terrify us into compliance!
It is so very tiring! And I really wonder this: is it working?
So what’s my take-away? Well, sadly, I obviously don’t have all the answers either. I’m a simple retired English teacher/greeting card designer — not a scientist.
I do, however, have a good degree of critical-thinking abilities, and having listened to, and read dozens of articles on these issues, I too have become a bit of a dissenter. And there are many things that I question:
— If we never allow the children (who are least vulnerable to this virus) to get out into the living world and play with their friends, and get exposure to microbes of all kinds, how will we ever get an elevated degree of herd immunity to resist this virus?
— With nothing close to 85% herd immunity, how can we possibly avoid a second wave of lockdowns, social distancing, manic hand-washing, illogical grocery routines, etc. ?
— How many more people will suffer even more ill health and then die a prolonged and much more miserable death because of the continuing lockdowns?
– Why don’t governments pre-emptively spend the enormous offers of hand-out money to fix the obesity, diabetes, heart, kidney, auto-immune, etc. diseases; and the horrendous social problems of addiction and homelessness, etc. so that people can be healthy enough to hardily face any and all novel, unexpected and unimaginable biological forces of nature?
— Why don’t we instead get sunshine/ vitamin D exposure, fresh air, exercise, sleep, peace of mind, … and good vibes from our neighbours and loved ones?
–— Why don’t we look at this as a challenge to build up our health, to tower above, and to become very, very bad hosts to this virus?
Lockdowns are the first steps towards monitoring and controlling our behaviour:
Last week I listened to a podcast featuring Joel Salatin where he said, “It’s wonderful to nurture something.” And oh, how I agree!
Indeed, his comments encouraged me to appreciate my own nurturing activities – what a blessing to be able to enjoy these treats so easily.
Kombucha and Kraut are happy, long-time regulars in my kitchen, and each batch has its own particular character.
Kvass has recently made a come-back, after a pause for about a year. Hmmmm. It is such a refreshing drink.
And now milk Kefir has joined the pack. An easy-peazy quick process. Thanks go to Kristin for the grains and to Donna for the inspiration.
So nutritious and delicious these all are – we hug each other every day.
With the arrival of spring-like weather, [K]ompost is also now stirring nicely in my backyard, getting ready to make itself a home in my garden.
Such a lovely, lively and hard-working family!
My sourdough is, unfortunately, being very stubborn. Perhaps it is missing the letter K?
The drive to know possibly has something to do with my seven decades. It has, though, for a good long time, been a quite-intense-work-in-progress* — made so much easier with the accessibility of the internet. I remember stressing on my students — time and time again — that, with this tool, they had a wonderful free gift of knowledge right in front of them, and all they had to do was unwrap it. Be curious, read, research, dig, question, study, learn, cross-reference, reject, start again, …. I told them there was no excuse to be in the dark about anything. The responsibility to look for the answers, however, was theirs alone. Thankfully, my retirement has given me the opportunity to continue to fulfill my responsibility and be a life-long-learner.
Chez moi, at Audities’ House of Cards, when I’m not taking photos, or designing greeting cards, I tend to dabble in experiments with fermented foods.
To date, I’ve mastered kombucha quite well, and drink it regularly. I’ve also successfully fermented beets, made beet kvass, and most recently, produced some delicious white cabbage sauerkraut. So now, I am on to a new venture: red cabbage sauerkraut.
For your enjoyment, I’ve documented the process from two days ago.
I added about four healthy teaspoons of coarse gray sea salt to about two and a half pounds of coarsely shredded red cabbage, and blended it together with my hands. The salt made the cabbage glisten with moisture almost immediately.
As I go about my busy life, I get many reactions:
- “You’re kidding!”
- “That’s just weird.”
- “I don’t understand.”
- “You had better be careful!”
And, every summer, when I spend a week with my five sisters and their hubbies, I hear many variations of the same surprised reactions. And the reason is simple: I think for myself, and once I reach my conclusions, I act on my beliefs — no matter how unconventional. Unfortunately for my brothers-in-law, I also share most of these ideas with my more adventurous sisters. 😉 Some of the men call me a witch; they blame me for getting their wives into things they consider “weird.”