Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saying NO MORE to Domestic Violence!

by M. J. Joachim



Physical violence is a crime. At least that’s what the lawyers and detectives said when I watched Law and Order Special Victims Unit last night. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,”Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.” But then we already know this because we’ve heard it for as long as we can remember. Is this an excuse or a statistic?
The National Domestic Violence Hotline states that “On average 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States - more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.” So clearly domestic violence isn’t anything uncommon.

The American Bar Association conducted a study back in 1995 and 1996 throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia, which found that “nearly 25% of women and 7.6% of men we’re raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime (based on survey of 16,000 participants, equally male and female).”

Dare we get into child abuse statistics?







Reports are made every 10 seconds for those.

According to the Administration for Children & Families Children’s Bureau, “All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have child abuse and neglect reporting laws that mandate certain professionals and institutions to report suspected maltreatment to a child protective services (CPS) agency.

How does a country like the United States tolerate such outrageous statistics when it comes to abuse against its own?!



But America is not the only country in the world with domestic violence issues!

A picture says a thousand words. Do we really want to fill our cities and towns with monuments like the Ottawa Women’s Monument in Minto Park, downtown Ottawa, Canada? This monument represents all the women who have been murdered due to domestic violence!







Check out this map of Africa depicting the prevalence of female genitalia mutilation from UNICEF 2013!





UN Women (That’s United Nations, folks!) makes a bold and accurate statement, “Whether at home, on the streets or during war, violence against women is a global pandemic that takes place in public and private spaces.”

Based on the research I’m conducting, there’s no way we will wipe out domestic violence in the near future, or possibly even my lifetime. There is a way, however, that we can turn the tide and make it less tolerable, comfortable and easy to be an abuser who gets away with the violence inflicted on their victims.

NO MORE!


Take a stand and insist that others do too! Abuse is so wrong on so many levels! It should never be acceptable in our world!

Please share this and help with our minimal grassroots efforts to take a stand against domestic violence!

Thank you!

M. J.

Resources

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf
http://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/
http://www.americanbar.org/groups/domestic_violence/resources/statistics.html
https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/
https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/statistics/can.cfm
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2012.pdf#page=20
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MintoParkMemorial.JPG
http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
https://www.facebook.com/NOMORE.org

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 17, 2014

2nd Annual Holiday Food Drive

by M. J. Joachim

Everyone is invited and encouraged to help, so please spread the word about this! 

What? When? Where? Who?

2nd Annual Holiday Food Drive

December 4 - 6, 2014

Everywhere on the World Wide Web

Hosted by Effectively Human


Goal

To help fill our local food bank shelves, so as many people as possible can get the food they need.

How?

Promote local food banks via sharing their websites on our social network sites, profiling them in our writing, sponsoring activities for them and volunteering to help them in any way we can.

For 3 days we want to saturate the web with anything food bank and hunger related to raise awareness about hunger and help feed those in need.

Why?

Because people are hungry, food banks need our support and we want to help.

#feedthehungryeh

The Back Story

Some of you may know I lost a dear friend this past summer. Her name is Tina Downey, and she was a woman with a heart of gold! She and I were more than Internet friends. We talked on the phone, exchanged emails and hoped to meet in person one day. Sadly, she passed away before that could happen.

Last year, Tina and I hosted the 1st Annual Holiday Food Drive on the web. We exchanged all sorts of emails about it, and of course we talked on the phone. She asked Jeremy to make our logo, because she and Jeremy were good friends too. This year, I asked Jeremy to make our logo and he happily obliged.

The thing is, Tina and I had big plans for this Annual Holiday Food Drive on the web. We talked about making it bigger and better every year, because no one should go hungry and food banks were running a bit low last year, having helped with a few other (then recent) major catastrophes. 

We asked our blogging community to write about local food banks, who they were, what they did, how they helped people. We also asked them to volunteer and help at these same places in any way they could, and share their stories about it on their blogs. 

The other day when I realized the holidays were almost upon us, I knew I couldn’t eliminate our Annual Holiday Food Drive from the rest of the festivities. I also knew I needed to make it bigger and better than last year, just like Tina and I had planned.

Sooo…

It’s a World Wide Web event this year! Anyone on the web can help and participate! That’s a whole lot of people when you think about it!

Our goal is to saturate the web for 3 full days, with all things food bank and feeding the hungry related. Use social networking to blast the Internet with anything that will help these groups fill their shelves and feed the hungry. Naturally we can donate food and volunteer too. As well we should. 

The main thing is to raise awareness and saturate the web with food bank information, articles about how people can help and volunteer, articles to raise awareness about people suffering from hunger. We don’t have to write them ourselves. If we find them on the web, all we need to do is share them.

I hope you’ll join us on December 4 - 6, when we blast the web with all things food bank and starving people related. I hope you’ll share this with your local news media, asking them to join us too. I hope we raise so much awareness, those food banks need to scramble to find enough trucks and volunteers, to distribute all the food we help collect to those in need. 

I know we’ll make a difference. Thank you in advance for all your efforts when you participate in this event.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Jeremy Hawkins

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Loss, Hopelessness and the Stages of Grief


by M. J. Joachim


Perhaps one of the most painful sufferings we experience in life is the loss of a loved one. It doesn’t matter if they are departing on a new adventure, or if their bodies can no longer be with us, because they’ve passed on to whatever comes next. Losing someone is hard; mourning is to be expected and compassion required.

Loss is never easy to deal with, despite our tempting urges to shout, “Good riddance,” like people do in hard broken relationships, jobs that no longer suit them due to negative experiences or communities people have outgrown for a variety of reasons. We try to soften the blow by saying it’s for the best, but we still feel a sense of loss and mourn the absence of that which is no longer there.

Many of us believe we will see our loved ones in the afterlife when we die. We have hope and cling to it to get us through, especially on rough days. We know we will see our children again when they go off to college - at least we hope so. Even in communities where one neighbor moves across town, people cherish the thoughts of maintaining friendships, despite the absence of living in the same community together.




Hopelessness comes when people rival each other. Perhaps someone is singled out and deemed unworthy in a group. The pecking order descends on all, and the person singled out is often at risk of losing hope in so many things, not the least of which is somehow being worthy enough to remain even the most insignificant member of the group.

Hopelessness happens when hurts and pains have been inflicted to the point of self preservation, the point where the victim(s) no longer wants anything to do with the person or people who have hurt them. They lose hope in the humanity of those people or persons, declaring them incapable of understanding reality and acting appropriately in their lives.

The above scenario often creates a permanent sense of loss, one where hopelessness is the only reasonable response. A firm disconnect has been established, and nothing short of a miracle will ever offer hope of joining those who have separated together again.

Wounds like this take time to heal. As they do so, numerous emotions equated with the stages of grief surface.


Stages of Grief
  • Denial takes place when the hurt first begins to happen. Victims are often willing to compromise (within reason) to prevent a devastating outcome. This stage of denial can lead to a personal sense of unworthiness, loss of self esteem, depraved indignity.
  • Anger comes and goes throughout the ordeal - anger with the person or circumstance creating so much conflict, anger with self for not being strong enough to resist the negativity, or anger with self for being too submissive and tolerant of intolerable behaviors and events. Never mind the anger of the people responsible for causing the pain, theirs an effort to be powerful and gain control of the situation or events.
  • Bargaining takes place, where both parties try to (sort of) work together, making whatever small sacrifices they are able, to end things on a better note. Bargaining is often two-faced, with broken promises being left in its wake.
  • Depression, not clinical, but that of mourning and a sense of deep, serious loss, is only natural. Letting go of someone or something significant in our lives is no easy task, especially when letting go is a result of being betrayed. Memories (both happy and sad) don’t disappear with the absence of whoever or whatever it is that we lost. 
  • Acceptance is the hardest one of all, because once a person accepts a permanent loss in their life, there is no turning back. It is hopeless to ever think of reclaiming that which is no longer there. 
As much as we’d like to believe that all is not lost, that there is hope in all things, we must also conclude that creating and nurturing hope is up to us. If we fail to stand up for what is right, those being affected by what is wrong will remain at risk of losing hope. Those doing wrong will be empowered to darken our world and inflict their pain on others.

The choice is ours, and whether we choose to unite in the efforts to help those in need, or choose to remain silent, we always have the ability to make a choice. We will never be able to erase all wrongs and injustices in our world. Yet, if we make even the smallest difference to one person, a difference that is the miracle that gives people hope to keep moving forward in a positive direction, we will accomplish more than we will ever know, because we will be a light in the darkness, a stronghold representing that which is still good in our world.

Thank you for joining the journey with me. We are Effectively Human, and ours is the task of making the world a better place to live.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Grief Stricken Woman, German Federal Archives, Cooperation Project, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany; FEMA, Workers Unemployed by freeze in Californa, PD-US; A family mourns during a funeral at the Lion’s cemetery in Sarajevo 1992, Mikhail Evstefiev, GNU Free Documentation License

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our New Effectively Human Community

by M. J. Joachim

Slowly but surely I’m making the rounds on all of my blogs today. First up was a little ditty I posted on FlashTyme about my two favorite dogs. Next up was a post on Writing Tips about Just Being a Writer. All the while, I was feeling a little bit guilty for not posting to this blog first, because this is the blog that as of yesterday has its very own Google+ community

Unfortunately, I have to keep stepping away from my computer, because there is this very energetic moth playing on the inside of the window in front of my desk. I’m not fond of buzzing, flying critters when they get too close. It’s not like I want to kill it or anything. I just wish it would find a better place to play, like outside in the yard, perhaps!

This from the mom who helped her daughter save a cocoon, when I was tearing out some dead honeysuckle plants a few years ago. It was alive and science fair projects were starting, so we saved and nurtured the cocoon, watching the moth inside grow and break free. 

My daughter won first place for that one. It wasn’t as bad as buying and feeding her pet frog crickets. Oh, the things we do for our kids. Now my daughter is grown, the frogs are gone and the crickets are seasonal, entering the house from outside at will. My daughter is deathly afraid of them, which only causes laughter when we mention she used to pick out the biggest and juiciest crickets to purchase and feed to her frogs.

Community is a funny thing. Whether it’s intimate in families or cherished in friendship. People need each other. We need to live, work and play together, sharing our world and doing what we can in whatever small way, to make it a positive experience for all concerned. 

Our Effectively Human Community is very special to me. I know the people here are good, solid individuals who care about each other and the world around us. I know we will develop lasting and cherished friendships here, where we work together for a common cause, because being effectively human requires nothing less. We will share our stories, tears, fears and worries here. We will bond together as we try to help others. We will celebrate our successes, joys and blessings here. We will build each other up, tearing down the walls that threaten to divide and tear us apart.

It’s about us, because people matter. I look forward to getting to know you better in our Effectively Human Community. Thank you so much for being part of this wonderful journey!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Leonardo Da Vinci, PD-US 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Children We Lost & Need to Find

by M. J. Joachim


It all started with a dream about Mikelle Biggs, a young girl from Mesa who went missing 15+ years ago. I’ve been thinking about sharing stories of missing persons on this blog for a long time, and here I was dreaming about a girl I first heard about so long ago.

The only thing left to do was search - on Google, I mean. I needed and wanted to find out more, so I could create a post that might make a difference, or at least make one that would be passed around, so as many people as possible might start thinking about Mikelle again, giving new eyes to her plight and perhaps getting more people involved with helping to find her. 

My work was temporarily diverted when I realized how many missing children there actually are, and discovered all the websites dedicated to finding them. I still plan on sharing as many individual stories as I can here, but for now, I want to share some websites which have been sharing these kids stories for a long, long time. 

Maybe you have the tiniest bit of information that might bring one of these people home. Maybe you have children of your own, and could never imagine being a parent in this circumstance. Maybe you love kids and because of that, want to help in any way you can. Maybe it’s not a child, but a grown up who went missing.

For this I ask, please share this post with as many people as you can. Please look at the sites I’m listing and virtually adopt one or two children or people you find there. Make a point to help their families find out what happened to their children. We are an effectively human community here, and together we can make a difference. Together we can offer the smallest bit of comfort to those searching for their children who have vanished.

Thank you!

M. J.

Missing Children Databases & Resources

Help Find Missing Children (on Facebook) Log into your Facebook account, search for this group and join it. 

Find Missing Kids 





This list is not all-inclusive. If you know of a site or resource dedicated to helping find our missing loved ones, please add it in the comments. Thank you!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Mikelle Biggs Missing Poster Photo

Monday, November 10, 2014

Health and Nutrition: Beets Can’t Be Beat!

by M. J. Joachim


Low in calories, high in nutrition, beets are being acclaimed as one of the latest super foods we should add to or increase in our diets. Beets are good for the blood, and what’s good for the blood can’t help but be good for the rest of the body. 

Think of all the things the blood does for us.

Low blood pressure is good, but so is increased energy when the blood is clean and flowing through our bodies without hindrance. Anyone with diabetes knows how energy levels can be compromised, and beets are believed to be beneficial to diabetic patients because of their antioxidant properties. Speaking of antioxidants, foods high in them are said to be advantageous in the fight and prevention of cancer too.

Thinking clearly, maybe even remembering things better, seems to be a common plus for eating your beets. Hey, you know good blood flow, with the right amount of oxygen makes all the difference in this department. I mean, think about all the other areas where good blood flow might be beneficial. Yes, I went there, but only because libido matters and beets are thought to be helpful in this regard.

Beets have been praised as a liver cleanser, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory for people with all sorts of ailments. They are high in natural nitrites (keyword being ‘natural’), “Beets, spinach and radishes all have naturally occurring nitrates, which will convert to nitrites during digestion in your body. These naturally occurring versions are not harmful to the body and are very safe when they are eaten with the wonderful natural antioxidants that beets and radishes also provide,” states Doctor Oz.

It only makes sense that the health food industry is capitalizing on the “New and Improved Benefits of Eating Beets.” Beet juice is a biggie, as are capsules, vitamins and organic powders, many which sell for a premium price. You don’t have to buy any of these, because beets are readily available at your local grocery store.

Beets can be pickled, canned, mashed like a potatoes and yams or boiled and sliced. Their tops can be added to salads or cooked like chard. Growing them is almost as easy as putting a seed in the ground and watering it, and their leaves make for beautiful greenery in the garden.

When I was young, I didn’t care too much for the taste of beets, but as I grew older, I often found them to be very delicious. Now I seem to crave them from time to time - more likely, my body is craving what it needs, and beets are the natural remedy for whatever shortage seems to be happening at the time. I buy mine fresh from the market with my other vegetables. They truly are a magnificent food, providing lots of health benefits to the body.

Thanks for visiting, commenting on and sharing Effectively Human today. Here’s to your health!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Beets bundle, Evan-Amos, Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication

Resources

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/benefits-beet-juice
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205123825.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277432.php
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/beet.cfm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/tip/all-about-beets.html
http://news.wfu.edu/2010/11/03/benefits-of-beet-juice/
http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/its-hard-beat-beet-juice

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teaching Our Daughters How to Date & Marry

by M. J. Joachim


I watch a lot of historical drama on t.v. where I learn about loosely told tales of history throughout the world. I’m often intrigued by noble expectations that daughters should marry in or above their station in life to keep the family’s honor in tact. Raising my own daughters, it wasn’t so much about teaching them how to date and marry, along with who was a suitable match not only for them, but for the entire family. It was about keeping them safe, teaching them to choose boyfriends who were kind to them, treated them right and made them happy, without taking advantage of them.

I’m not sure any parent can teach daughters how to date and marry. I suspect we can teach them what not to do, but love has a will of its own, so attempting to teach children to pick and choose according to any sort of status in life seems a bit of a moot point. Hopefully our daughters will choose men who can carry their own weight, providing necessities for the family, just as our daughters do their part to take care of the family.

As much as roles can be different, they also very much remain the same. Dating is the pre-event, the learning phase of what one can and cannot live with “’til death do they part.” If a significant other can’t live with something while they are dating, it’s a pretty good bet they won’t like it when they have to put up with it every day.

There’s more to it, however. Inside each of us is a still, small voice telling us exactly what we need to do. It can easily be drowned out by an over anxious partner, who is just as certain with an opposing point of view. Perhaps teaching our daughters (and sons) to listen to that wee, small voice is the most important thing of all, rather than telling them or expecting them to somehow flounder about, testing waters that may or may not nourish their lives, providing fulfillment in good times and bad, regardless of the outcome of their individual dating experiences.

As parents, we can only do our best when it comes to our children. We can only love them more than we believe it is possible to love another human being, and we can only do our best to keep them safe. One day when we least expect it, they end up out there in that great big world, making choices for themselves. Sometimes we agree with those choices. Sometimes we don’t. And sometimes we don’t even know they had choices to make,let alone made them without any input from us.

Hopefully teaching them to listen to that small voice within them will make a difference. It’s not up to us to make their choices. Hopefully, we will give them everything they need to make the best choices, capable of keeping them happy and positive, even when life is hard and things are uncertain. For if there’s one thing we’ve learned as parents, it’s that life is hard and full of uncertainty at times, which is why it’s so nice to share it with a person who cares about us, as much as we should rightfully care about ourselves.

Thanks for visiting Effectively Human today. I always appreciate it when you stop by.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Anxiety-uncertainty management theory, Kaolincash, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported