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It’s Time to Unite

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s time to unite.

Well, it’s always been time, but more than ever, we need to come together NOW. It’s time to stand together – to stand up for one another. It’s time to confront fear and hate with LOVE.

It’s Time to Unite.

Quick Me Ups It's Time to Unite

Photo: Frerieke

Vitriol has always been around – but with the advent of social media shouting matches, hateful words can now reach farther than ever. People can preach hate hidden behind a computer screen without consequence. Sadly, hateful words seem to carry farther and stronger than words of Love & Acceptance. So we need to outnumber them. We need to outshout them.

It’s Time to Unite.

Humanity’s social advancement is a like a pendulum perched atop a tortoise. While it slowly moves forward as a whole, it constantly swings backward and forward. People vote and fight for the rights of a vulnerable minority, but just as their goal is achieved, some group opposed to said minority acts out…

More Tolerance & Understanding.

Posted by QuickMeUps

You and I are different.
You’re different than your neighbor.
We’re all different, and that’s awesome.
So let’s celebrate our differences.
Let’s embrace different.

Let’s work together for
More Tolerance & Understanding.

Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama holding hands, tolerance. Quick Me Ups

Two amazing, tolerant men: Nelson Mandela & Dalai Lama. Photo: Roland de Bar

“The right of people to differ from us must be preserved.” – Nelson Mandela

Tolerance.

It’s fine that we naturally notice differences in one another. What’s not good is when these differences lead to immediate stereotypes, judging, and even prejudice. You can’t know somebody’s story based upon what they wear or what they believe in.

Closing down and being hostile, or unable to openly converse with somebody because of differences, perceived or real, is not being tolerant. That’s an easy way to create a hostile and unfriendly culture. That’s a sure way to create division and separation.

Tolerance:

“[A] fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.” – Dictionary.com

We’re all different, so let’s celebrate our differences!
Let’s treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated…

“Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

Discrimination and prejudice are a very base emotions. They are easy and comfortable for some. After all, what’s easier than the “they look different than me, I must conquer them” mentality? This unfortunate mentality has plagued humanity for thousands of years (see: religious wars).

As we continue to evolve, I pray that we continue to grow our understanding and acceptance of one another. Understanding and acceptance lead to tolerance, which is a beautiful place to arrive.

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” – Helen Keller

If humanity could be more tolerant it would not only stop religious warring, but it would make regular interaction with strangers more enjoyable. Imagine a world of understanding and tolerance – where you may not agree with your neighbor in the slightest, but you respect one another.

It would allow people to express themselves without worrying about bullying / prejudice / racism / fighting, etc. It would allow us to just be. It would allow peace and harmony.

Nelson Mandela a model for tolerance.

Nelson Mandela: After 27 yrs. in prison he emerged preaching tolerance.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

So lets practice understanding, let’s practice tolerance, let’s practice peace.

The next time we feel judgement bubbling to the surface with assumption and prejudice in tow, let’s try to take a moment and stop. Let’s try to be more understanding. Each person is just trying to live their truth the best they know how.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung

Your tolerance may rub off on your neighbor. It may not. But one thing is certain: if you’re not tolerant, you will never spread tolerance.

In these days of division and fighting, we all need a little more tolerance and understanding. We need to focus not on the things that divide us, but on those that we have in common – pursuit of happiness, family, love, community.

“We don’t need holy wars. What we need is tolerance and brotherhood and simple humanity.” – Arlen Specter

More Tolerance & Understanding.

Can You Help ONE?

Posted by Zak Reid

Sometimes when we look at world problems, they are so large that they are overwhelming to address. How can one person make a big difference in a world of 7 billion? How can I impart positive change in my time here?

Those are hard questions to answer. There are a few people out there that will sacrifice everything and touch many lives, maybe millions, maybe billions… but for the majority of us, our sphere of influence is much smaller. That’s fine, we don’t all need to be up on the world’s stage.

So why don’t we focus on our attention on a much smaller, more realistic, and attainable goal. What if we try to positively influence one life. To try to make a difference, for the better, in the world of ONE person. Can you? Can you help ONE? 

Helping One Other Person Quick Me Ups - Flickr Peretz Partensky

Helping a Woman Cross the Street. Photo: Peretz Partensky

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

Life is about perspective. What I see as normal, may be amazing to someone else. What I see as opulent, may be boring and old to another person. Much of our perception depends upon our experiences and how we choose to see the world. I choose to see small gestures and individual reactions as important. I choose to Enjoy the Small Stuff.

If I’m checking out at the super market, and I can make the worker smile, I value that interaction. I know that if I help motivate one person and rejuvenate their positivity, it feels great and I think it helps. No, it’s not changing the lives of millions, but it’s helping the life of one. I think that’s important. And who knows – it may even start a Domino Effect, creating a chain reaction of good will.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

It’s very easy to get caught up in our own world – our trials, tribulations, wins and losses. But today’s challenge is to positively impact the life of ONE person. It can be a family member, a person that you know, a stranger, someone in your neighborhood, or someone halfway around the world… but let’s find ONE person, help them and lift them up.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama

So what can we do to help? Simple acts such as: listening to someone who’s hurting or upset, offering to carry something, helping someone across the street, holding a door open, or letting someone ahead of us in traffic helps. Writing a caring email to someone and letting them know that you support, and are there for them, can be a lift to that person’s day.

If you’re more ambitious – volunteering your time or making a donation are great ways. For more ideas, zenhabits.net has created a nice list of 25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today, but if those aren’t enough, there are even bigger lists: 100 Ways to Serve Others.

Can you help ONE today? Sometimes if we’re open and willing, the opportunity will present itself – we see someone obviously in need of help. Other times, we must create a way in which to help. Will you help with me? 

I try to regularly support those around me – both physically and online. But today I will also make the goal to help in ONE way that I don’t regularly help: my goal is to reach out to the Internations.org (international expat community) Chilean group and volunteer my time/money to help with one of their ongoing projects for the under-privileged. I will keep you updated and let you know how it goes!

“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” – Sai Baba

I hope you can help someone, good luck!

Can You Help ONE?

Let's Practice Peace.

Posted by Zak Reid

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa

Peace: it can define the relationship between two countries; it can define the relationship between two people; it can define our relationship we have with ourselves.

At this moment there is much unrest in the world and too many places where peace is not present. As we look to the war zones, most of us just wish it would stop. We wish that peace would return. We wish that we all could just get along.

But as I think of global peace I also think of personal peace. I think of community. I ask myself: am I being peaceful? Are you?

Let’s Practice Peace.

Young Iraqi boys showing the peace sign Quick Me Ups

Let’s Practice Peace. Photo: Christiaan Briggs

“First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” – Thomas a Kempis

To be honest with you, I’m not going to fly to Ukraine to broker peace. I’m not heading to Israel, nor Syria, nor Iraq. Most of you probably won’t either. But we can still help.

We can help grow peace by practicing it in our daily lives. We can help build peace in our community. Little things grow it. Helping others, smiling, acceptance, being patient, these things create a sense of a caring community. This grows peace.

I think that our patience is an important factor in how peaceful we are. If somebody does something we don’t like, how do we respond? If we get angry or aggressive, we have lost our peace.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

It’s important to remember that we’re all humans. We all make mistakes. And we’re all really just doing the best that we can. Even the person that acts in a way that upsets you is doing his/her best, maybe they’ve just lost their way. I try to remember to be compassionate towards these people. I try to remember to be peaceful towards these people.

We sometimes even get upset with ourselves. We can lose patience and peace within. It’s an important factor in our overall patience & peacefulness: Be Peaceful with Yourself.

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha

As countries continue warring, I encourage you to let it inspire you to be more peaceful. Let’s do the opposite of war and spread kindness, patience, acceptance, community, and love.

If we have peace with ourselves, it allows us to walk with peace in our day. It allows us to make a more pleasant community for everyone. If we are strong in our peace, then we can control how outside events influence us. If we find ourselves with rage and yelling, we have lost our peace, and need to work to get it back.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

If you feel motivated help financially there are many different organizations you can support including the War Child and Red Cross: Where it is Needed Most funds. If you want to help, but in a different way, help make your community a better place for others.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Helped Many Lives - Quick Me Ups

Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Photo: Robert Pérez Palou

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa

A few days ago, my girlfriend was walking home after work. It was dark out and was getting cold. As she got closer to our home, she noticed a car pulled over on the side of the road, in front of a bus stop, in rush hour traffic, and an older man looking distraught. His car had died and he didn’t know what to do. Cars were honking and he was very nervous.

She offered to help and began pushing the car. All this happened in front of a bus stop where his car had died, which was full of people, and nobody offered to help. They apathetically watched as she struggled to push a car by herself and the man struggled to steer it.

Eventually a young couple and another gentleman offered help, but this was after my had almost been hit by a speeding van in the process. Eventually, all together they got the car safely on to a small street and started it. Shortly after this chain of events I met up with my girlfriend and she kept commenting about how shocked she was that people just stood by watching.

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

If we want there to be peace in the world we need to be more like the girl pushing the car, and less like the others honking and speeding past. We need to create peace in our world. If we all do this, in every corner of the world, we can grow peace. It’s not the type of peace that will stop these wars tomorrow, but it’s the kind of peace that helps prevent war in the future.

Let’s use this current unrest and lack of peace to inspire us to Practice Peace. I think more and more people are tired of the fighting, tired of violence and tired of hate. History is full of wars, but we’ve come a long ways and I hope as more of us accept one another, and strive for peace , that our future will begin to reflect this.

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let’s Practice Peace.

Compliment Yourself.

Posted by Zak Reid

We recently discussed that kindness is free. In that article I encouraged you to take small, kind action. I also encouraged you to tell somebody a compliment. Today I encourage you to Compliment Yourself.

Compliment Yourself You're Amazing Happy Macaca Nigra

Look at that beautiful smile! This photo’s a Macaca Nigra selfie.

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain

It’s important for all of us to believe in ourselves. Sometimes we can be our own biggest critic, but we can also be our own biggest fan and champion. Do you believe how awesome you are? Do you tell yourself?

When we’re in a relationship and have a significant other, it’s important for us to tell them that we love them. Even if our partner knows that we love them, it’s still important. We need to say it and they need to hear it.

For the same reason, you also need to hear that you think that you’re awesome. Tell yourself that you look good. Tell yourself that you can do it, that you can achieve your goal. Go ahead, nobody’s watching… besides you.

Tell yourself that you’re going to have a great day and that you deserve it. You do.

A quick google search about Self-Compliments / Acceptance / Love returns a bevvy of websites… here’s one called the Self-Love Movement. The number of sites lets me know that people are searching for it, people actively want to accept themselves more and I think that’s awesome. We’re all we have, and we need to be happy with ourselves. More importantly, we need to make sure that we know it!

I think this is a very insightful reflection:

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” – Iyanla Vanzant

So let’s try to build up our self-esteem! We can do this by surrounding ourselves with people who help build us up, by learning new skills and taking care of ourselves, and by believing in ourselves. One way to help grow that belief is to compliment yourself.

You’re amazing, I hope you tell yourself! Here’s a letter from you to you…

Dear you, it’s important that you know that you’re amazing. You deserve a great and happy life, and you’re capable of achieving what you believe in. You are great and you believe in you! So you would like to wish YOU good luck!!

Compliment Yourself.

Treasure Your Family.

Posted by Zak Reid

Life isn’t easy, we have many tasks, responsibilities, commitments, and the list continues. With all of these stresses we sometimes forget to let those close to us know how much we love and appreciate them. Even worse, sometimes because of all the stresses we experience, we even lash out at those closest to us. This is just a friendly reminder to tell those who you love and appreciate, how much you love and appreciate them. Treasure Your Family.

Fun Family Photo Jumping, Treasure Your Family

Fun Family Photo. Credit: ‘Evil Erin’

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox

Last weekend I spent some time with a family who had recently lost the father / husband / bread winner of the home. They were all in pretty good spirits considering the circumstances. They were leaning to continue forward with this difficult change, but the recently widowed mother of three confided that she regrets not regularly expressing her love and appreciation to her husband.

After he was gone she started realizing all of the little things that he did for the her and the family, the daily tasks and ways he helped make her life easier. Sadly, she didn’t realize this until he was gone.

She talked about how she wishes she would’ve told him how much she loved him more often; she wishes she could have that time back. Unfortunately we can’t get that time back – once someone’s gone, they’re gone forever. Her resolution was to share with her family how much she appreciates them, and in the future, if she meets someone else, to make sure to convey that sentiment.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

This life is short, and can be difficult, but let’s not get too stressed out to tell those around us how much we care. Let’s take a moment to let those around us know that we appreciate and love them.

It’s also important for us to leave the stresses of the office, at the office. Sometimes it can be easy to bring that stress home, and we end up fighting with our partner / family / friends because of it. But our home is so much more important than the office.

“A man should never neglect his family for business.” – Walt Disney

If you disappeared tomorrow, the company you work for may have to scramble to cover, but it would be figured out and the company would continue. If you disappeared tomorrow your family would be devastated, and things would never be the same. We are so much more important to our close friends and family than we are to the company we work for, so let’s try to remember that.

Family: most of us are born into one, and then build one. Your family may be your biological relatives, an adopted group, or your partner with your offspring. You may have drifted away from your family over time, but don’t lose them. Some day they will be gone, or we will be gone, and it will be too late to say Thank You and I Love You. So let’s take advantage now to let them know how we feel.

Treasure Your Family.

Mothers Are Amazing.

Posted by Zak Reid

We are all here because of many factors, but without our mothers, we would not exist. Yesterday was Mother’s Day in many countries around the world, and was a day for us to let the mothers in our life know how thankful we are for them. Some people may have lost their mother years ago, or never got to meet her, but even in these situations, most likely a grandmother, aunt, family friend, or adopting mother played the maternal role providing motherly love.

Mothers Are Amazing.

Mothers Are Amazing Mothers Day Love Inspiration

A Mother on the Job. Photo: Dave Young.

 A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. – Tenneva Jordan

Being a mother has to be one of the hardest jobs on the planet. It starts with a tough 9 months in which the woman must carry extra weight, eat for two people, abstain from drinking and smoking, deal with hormonal imbalances, and go through constant changes in her body. That’s just the beginning of the job; the real work starts once the baby is born. The mother puts her child before herself and sacrifices sleep, silence, and sanctuary.

Mothers are Caregivers.

The job is life long. And what’s the pay? Zero. None. Nothing. Just a healthy dose of love from their child right? Well yes, until a point. As the child grows and moves in to adolescence, it’s common for them to begin to fight with and resent their mother. Children regularly mistake a mother’s love and concern for wanting to control their lives and not let them be happy.

Mothers are Volunteers.

So let’s review, a 24 hour job that is for life, and the repayment is at most, appreciation, love and respect, and at worse, resentment, fights and self-doubt. When a child messes up, many mothers wonder if there was something they could have done different, they look at themselves. What a job!

I personally struck the lottery. I was blessed to be born by a strong, loving, caring, wonderful mother. My father passed away when I was a child and my mother didn’t dwell or feel sorry for our situation, but taught us to move forward and be positive, to be optimistic for what the future holds. She was always willing to sacrifice her personal happiness and ease-of-life in order to give my sister and I everything that we needed and more.

Mothers are Selfless.

My mother is a strong, independent, amazing woman. She raised us wanting to instill the love of wonder and family, much more than the love of things and status. For Christmas instead of stockpiling toys that would sit on a shelf a few years later, we took a number of family trips. Adventures to be lived as a team and as a group.

She taught us open-mindedness, that all people deserve to be treated as equals. It doesn’t matter how somebody looks, or what they believe, they are just a person trying to find their happiness, like each of us.

Mothers are Teachers.

Mothers are Teachers Happy Mother's Day Animals Nature Love

A Mother Guiding her Child. Photo: Kurzon

I was also blessed to have a couple of amazing aunts. Aunts who, while not my mother, still treated me as their son. Allowing me to grow, encouraging me, and believing in me. When growing up, my best-friends’ mothers began to feel like relatives, mothers of my friends become mothers of mine when I entered their home. The feeling of being surrounded by motherly love and energy is truly something special. It allows you to grow without worrying about mistakes or what’s next, it sends us the signal that everything will be Ok, always.

Mothers are Believers.

As I grow older and watch my friends have children, there’s something truly amazing about watching a friend become a mother. It changes her, every time, and the change is permanent; it’s forever. Their child becomes their universe. Suddenly they are a different person, they become something more than a normal person. They can suddenly conquer any challenge, and are ready to go to any length to make sure their children are healthy and happy.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. – Rajneesh

Mothers are Superheroes.

Now being a man, I will never truly understand everything it is that a mother goes through. I got lucky. I think it’s the most demanding thing that humans get asked to do… be a mother. Above I listed some of the tasks required to be a mother, but I’m forgetting: cook, chauffeur, personal stylist, support group, counselor, chaperone, secretary, private tutor, event coordinator, and last but not least, many times our Mothers are our #1 Fans.  

Thank you to all of the Mothers out there.

Mothers Are Amazing.

Reminders.

Posted by Zak Reid

Mexico_City_Traffic_050504

Driving many miles
Houses, buildings, cement
Horns, shouts and motors
I accelerate, then arrive
Shoes off,
Toes dig into the Earth,
I am reminded.

7028522339_1307f0f695_cAgain lost in my thoughts
Again here but not here
I hear a subtle rustle,
Trees bend, leaves fall
The wind touches my cheek,
I am reminded.

1024px-Wind_oliveSweating, I press on
Sun beating down
Dust in my nostrils
My body tires, my heart surges
I continue, it’s rushing now
I am here, ten toes in the creek,
I am reminded.

DSC01541

The pounding guides me
Repetitive crashing, continuous
It calls my name
I smell its proximity,
A touch of salt, damp, I am close,
Summit the final hill
I stare into blue infinity
I have arrived,
I breathe the Sea,
I am reminded.

DSC01377

Fun Friday, something different.
Hope you enjoyed it.
I hope it reminds us to slow down.
Have a great weekend.

What Reminds You?  
Please share in the comments below.
– Zachary

Photo Credits – 1: Dennis Mojado, 2: Emilian Robert Vicol, 3: Ollios, 4th + 5th: Me.

Cultivate your Relationships.

Posted by Zak Reid

Re·la·tion·ship
noun -shən-ˌship
: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other.
: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people.
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

Relationships are the cornerstones of our lives. Our relationship with our family and friends helps define our stories and memories. You can tell a lot about someone by how they treat their co-workers, strangers and animals. How we relate with the world and with others is at the center of how we live. Whether it’s our relationship with our partner, our family, our friends, or our acquaintances, each one is important and should be taken care of.  Cultivate Your Relationships.

Cultivate Relationships Romantic Relationships Love

My Girlfriend and I in front of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, Chile.

Each relationships is a two way street. Although I genuinely care about those in my life, If I don’t respect and support them as I should, it’s possible they may grow away from me. Similarly, if I invest much time and energy in someone and don’t receive the same back, I may, over time, create distance between myself and that person.

Relationships are crazy things. We’re naturally programmed to put ourselves above everything, to protect ourselves, but if we’re ONLY concerned about ourselves… we may end up being the only person worried about how we are. This goes even farther in romantic relationships. I believe that in order for a couple to work out, each person needs to put their partner, and hence the relationship, ahead of themselves.

I am currently celebrating three beautiful years with my girlfriend . I think we’ve made it this far because each of us deeply cares about the other person, and we have fun together. I think that the laughs we share coupled with a consistent desire to make sure the other is happy and safe is what makes us able to overcome any inconveniences we may experience.

Searching for a relationship without any hardships is folly. In any relationship, romantic or not, there will be difficult moments, and you will have to overcome them. My girlfriend and I have occasional arguments, but we then give each other some space, come back together, and move past it.

There’s a popular quote in which a Reporter asks an old married couple:
“How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?”
The woman replied, “We were born in a time when if something was broken we would fix it, not throw it away…”

I think that’s a key for both romantic and non-romantic relationships – you need to be willing to fix it. Well, before fixing we have to decide if it’s worth fixing. For the most part relationships with family are important enough, that even if you experience a big fight or problem, you should work to fix it.

On the other hand, relationships are in our lives for the mutual benefit of both parties, and therefore, when they become a constant source of negativity, it may be time to reevaluate and move on. If your relationship is built of constant fighting, or negative interactions, it may be time to reconsider whether that relationship is the best thing for both people. Also, if someone is taking advantage of you, always taking and never giving, or if they constantly fill your head with negativity and self-doubt, it may be time to leave them behind.

There has been much research on what makes a romantic relationship succeed or not and one of the key factors that Dr. John Gottman found was the positivity ratio. He found that romantic relationships are generally happy and long-lasting when they have at least a 5:1 ratio of positive interactions vs. negative ones. If you have consistent positive interactions in your relationship, you have a great chance of long-term happiness with your partner.

With Facebook, Twitter, emails, and LinkedIn, it’s now easier than ever to have and maintain many relationships in our lives. This is great, but just remember to take care and cultivate those relationships that are close and important to you. Invest in others. Each relationship is like a small bank account and it’s important that we make more deposits than withdrawals. As long as we keep interacting positively with those around us, supporting them, and spreading happiness, the rest will work itself out. Cultivate Your Relationships.