Take out the trash

028  Self image is both the creator and destroyer of ones happiness.in life. Without a good self image and some self confidence its very hard to keep a positive attitude or to maintain any level of happiness. Low self esteem is the major cause of self doubt, poor self image and some forms of depression, if one wishes to be happy one must elevate their self esteem and create a positive self image. The problem is most people have so much emotional and mental garbage stored in their memories it makes it a very hard task to achieve any type of good self image or self esteem.

First thing we must do in order to create a positive self image and to elevate our self esteem is to take out the trash. We have to face each and every negative thought about ourselves and either accept them or disprove them. Those that are factual and accepted then must be overcame or learned to be an accepted fault within ourselves. I have noticed that if I make a mistake it is far worse a crime than if someone else does. I am far more severe on myself than I would ever be on any other human being. This is not a balanced view of life and causes me to have a very poor self image and low self-esteem.

Besides being a strict judge of my own life I also hold on to the judgment of others such as my parents, sibling and peers. Even though I understand that most of the judgments passed on me were usually wrong if not just exaggerated  ones, it takes time to root out those old scars and demons hidden in my psyche. I have learned that to put the hurts and pains caused by others in the past I had to forgive them as well as myself for the transgressions and misjudgments.committed on both sides. No matter who or where the scars and demons I have came from, I am the one responsible for holding on to them all these years.

We are the masters of our own destinies and fates, external forces may effect our course but we ultimately choose our own destination.In the end. It is our own choices that form our self image and effect our self esteem. Freewill does not come without a cost and nor does it come without rewards.

Enough of my babbling for today.
Peace and Love be your Guides in life
Raymond Barbier

Unexpected gifts — Habitat for Humanity, Int’l

Unexpected gifts

By Mica Barry, RV Care-A-Vanner volunteer

 

   
 

Learn more about the RV Care-A-Vanner volunteer program.

   
 

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“Alan!” Judy shouted. “I know what I want for Christmas. A palm nailer!”

Judy is a retired nurse who can hang siding with meticulous precision. She can also bake a cherry jubilee cheesecake in her RV and did so for our Super Bowl party. Judy and her husband Alan, along with my husband Barry and I, are part of the “Reunion Builders” — 10 couples and a few singles from nine different states who traveled in RVs to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild.

Like all Habitat volunteers, we volunteer for different reasons: to give back, to do God’s work, for fellowship, or to learn about another part of the country. After working together in Louisiana in 2006, we decided we wanted to keep building together; we just completed our sixth build. Our goal each year is to work together for five weeks and try to finish a home.

RV Care-A-Vanners set up their RVs in the driveways of homes under construction or anywhere the group can be reasonably close to the work site. We have evening pot lucks and spend time together discovering a new community. We are a diverse group, and we don’t agree on all things, for sure, but as we work to create a home with a new Habitat family, our differences become insignificant.

And we bring different skills to the work site. Some of us like to paint; others hate it. Many of us are uncomfortable on the roof, but there is always work on the ground. Before my first build in 2003, I worried that I wasn’t skilled enough to contribute to building a home. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is enough work at many different levels for each volunteer, and there is always an opportunity to learn something new, like how to use a chop saw. Maybe I will ask for one for Christmas this year.

Twenty-six travel hours, experience for a lifetime — Habitat for Humanity, Int’l

Twenty-six travel hours, experience for a lifetime

By Jasmine Porter
Collegiate Challenge participant and Gustavus Adolphus College sophomore

 

   
 

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Throughout high school, I always hoped to participate in a Habitat for Humanity opportunity. My chance finally presented itself last year, my first year in college, with a spring break trip offered in late March at Gustavus. At the start of the trip, I only knew one girl — a friend I signed up with — but by the end of the trip, I had created close friendships with everyone.

We took two separate 15-passenger vans from St. Peter, Minn., down to Laredo, Texas. The drive was long and uncomfortable. Twenty-six hours really allowed us to get to know one another. Once there, we helped to build the framework of two different houses, as well as put the siding up for one. Since that experience, feelings of gratitude, accomplishment and excitement for my next trip have remained with me.

Next week, I’m traveling to Bluffton, S.C., as a team leader. We have approximately 30 volunteers, and we will be working on the construction of houses, similar to the Laredo trip last year. Many of the students on my team are excited and thankful for the opportunity this work trip allows us because it satisfies our desire to travel and our enthusiasm to learn and experience something outside of our comfort zone.

I choose to participate in the Habitat trips because of the unforgettable life experiences, the sense of pride and accomplishment that is instilled in everyone at the end of the week, and because of the friendships we develop.

Ramblings of a Middle Aged Average Joe

007-2 Social Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and threat of an nuclear meltdown in Japan. Anchovies and sardines dying is the millions in a San Francisco harbor. The honey bee population dwindling and still no explanation as of why they are dying off. Something seems out of balance, change is coming to our world and it isn’t looking too good to me. Change is unavoidable and paying for our neglect / disrespect towards our home plant earth. Greed and lust for power outweighs the welfare of mother earth and those who live on it. The Select or Elite rule our world and care little about anything but their own gain while the masses stand by watching it all fall to pieces before them.

Violence is not the way for change though it is an unfortunate reality in our world. War and violence is a necessary evil at times to keep the balance in our world. Peace, love, understanding and cooperation are the best ways to enact change. Also Truth is a great igniter of change, for knowledge and truth are the building stones for a better world. The fact we all are responsible for this world we live in and we must find better ways to do so. Better ways to generate electricity and an alternative to Oil.

Oil, coal and natural gas will eventually become depleted and the pollution from their use will further damage our environment and also our economy. The world needs to wake up and see the wisdom in both renewable fuel sources and power sources like solar wind and hydro. Our children and grandchildren have to live in this world we leave them, so we should try to leave them with a Ecofriendly and wiser world. The fact that eventually oil sources will become scarce and depleted brings to light we need to have an alternative fuel source to avoid possible wars over the dwindling supply.

There is so much we need to change in the world and in the way we both view and live in it. It is going to take the effort of governments, businesses and the civilian  population to make the changes needed to get our world on the right track. There will have to be some sacrifices in the process but so many benefits will be found along the way. Nothing of great value is ever gained without hard work and sacrifice, Neither does any good deed done go without an award in the end. Even if our labor and sacrifices don’t bring forth fruit until several generations it will still be worth the effort.

The good thing about truth, love, peace, understanding and change is that they all can start in one person.  Just like one seed can grow a orchard if not a forest  , one persons voice can become a nations or even the worlds in time.

Well enough of my tree hugging ramblings for now.
Peace to all

Raymond Barbier

Heart full of Sadness, Mind full of Awe –Thoughts of an Old Man

Japanese People

My heart is full of sadness from the current death and suffering across the globe. Between the problems in the Middle East and North Africa to the ruins left in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan there is a lot of work to be done by the international community. The tasks at hand are not easy ones due to the fact too many governments playing politics while so many suffer and are dying each day. While N.A.T.O. and the U.N. debate over possible solutions the crisis is becoming more and more critical with each day that passes. We should come together as a world to help Japan avoid the Nuclear disaster that is looming on the horizon. We should do something to keep Libya from becoming a nation soaked in the blood of civilians and revolutionaries.

My mind is full of awe from the discipline and courage of the Japanese people in the face of such great danger and devastation. Workers and military personnel willing to get so close to the reactors as they are going critical and doing so knowing there will be great health risks involved if not death. People such as those are what we call heroes and great humanitarians. They put their own life on the line for the good of all of mankind. I pray their heroic efforts succeed in stopping the looming nuclear disaster and that we can learn from this serious situation. Nuclear power may be a financially ideal source of energy but the possible costs involved such as nuclear waste and the chance of nuclear meltdowns. Maybe the situation in Japan will open the eyes of the world to the dangers in playing with nuclear power and that we should be investing in alternative power sources such as solar , hydro and wind power technologies.

The Libya problem is one that effects not only North Africa and the Middle East but the whole world. The United Stated should be leading the way in finding a solution to this problem and should do so soon. Each day America wastes playing political games the more people are slaughtered by the Kaddafi Regime. Strong words and sanctions are not going to stop the slaughter of thousands of civilians and rebels. The situation in Libya went from a political struggle to a humanitarian crises and something needs to be done soon.

Just the thoughts of some old man, May God watch over those in Libya and Japan.

Peace
Raymond Barbier

Investing in success — Habitat for Humanity, Int’l

nvesting in success

By Neale Kempe, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia volunteer.

 

   
 

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There is an allure about Cambodia that is difficult to articulate. This country, more than most, has suffered the ravages of war. But rather than dwelling on all that was — and is — broken, this “smiling” country has moved on and is embracing change and challenge with vigor and optimism. My experience building with Habitat in Cambodia has been perhaps the most rewarding of my life.

Having led four teams to Cambodia over the past three years, including working as a house leader during the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, I have been nothing but impressed with the organizational ability of the local program, the warm and wonderful staff and skilled workers, and the partner families who are so appreciative of our work.

As a country, Cambodia faces a number of unique challenges. Cambodia’s population is dramatically on the rise, with some 40 percent of the current population under the age of 16. The challenge in Cambodia is not only to build houses, but also to address infrastructure that will accommodate the needs of the burgeoning population. After visiting a school in the community of Oudong, I became aware of this lack of infrastructure. We found only one serviceable toilet to accommodate more than 500 children. Our team immediately set about to repair two other toilets and have plans in mind for 2011 to build more to better serve the needs of this growing school.

I am very excited about continuing my work with Habitat Cambodia and am currently planning to provide financial support and expertise to a planned blitz build in 2011. Habitat Cambodia is doing marvelous work in this part of the world and is truly reaching a population in desperate need. I feel proud to be a part of that process and feel that a part of me is invested in the success of the families we have served.

ReStore helps revive hope — Habitat for Humanity, Int’l

ReStore helps revive hope

By Evan Quinn, Habitat for Humanity Buffalo ReStore marketing manager

 


Learn more about Habitat ReStore resale outlets.

   
 

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Last fall, I was searching for a job to get back into the retail industry when I came across a post from Habitat Buffalo. I was excited because I knew this was a golden opportunity to use my professional skills while contributing to a mission that was much greater than me.

I began my job as the ReStore’s marketing manager in October and assisted in the south Buffalo location’s grand opening in December. The opening had special significance for me, having grown up only three blocks away from the store.

It’s an area that is downtrodden and economically challenged. The number of boarded-up houses and businesses grows every year.

But our community is beginning to see resurgence. Habitat Buffalo’s ReStore is the first business to open in the area in a long time. Since our doors opened, the ReStore has provided more than just home furnishings and improvement materials to the public. It’s provided people with some hope that local commerce is returning and that the economy in this area is getting better.

Habitat has a rich history in the area. Habitat for Humanity first came to Buffalo in 1985. Since then, we have built, rehabbed or repaired more than 200 homes. In 2005, we opened our first ReStore in the Black Rock section of the city. In four years, the ReStore raised more than $500,000 to fund the rehabilitation of 12 homes.

We’re hoping that the South Buffalo ReStore will help fund the construction or repair of even more homes for low-income families in the city of Buffalo. We’re off to a good start. Not only is foot traffic high at the new store, but donations of home goods are pouring in. We receive a variety of donated items, from boxes of nails to furniture. We recently received a furniture donation that had a retail value of $12,000. We sold it for $2,500. It was a great deal for one of our customers!

And while we’ve been able to provide some bargains to our customers, possibly the greatest achievement is what they have done for us — more residents than ever are getting involved in Habitat’s mission.