Friday, December 30, 2011

Will You Stand Up in 2012?

Yesterday I learned actress and activist Meryl Streep donated the salary she made for the movie The Iron Lady to charity. In the clip I watched, the interviewer asked her, "Why did you do that?" Meryl responded, "Sometimes you just have to stand up, you know."

Streep's philanthropic passions are varied; children's welfare, Haiti relief, and the passion to which she made her recent donation: encouraging the creation of The National Women's History Museum.*

One of my favorite songs of 2011 is "Stand Up" by Sugarland. It reminds me of the spirit in which Meryl gave. It makes me ask myself, and ask you, "won't you stand up and use your voice?" What program or cause lights your fire and forces you to think and feel in the spirit of giving and making a difference?

Giving = Participating. 2012 can be enriched by you, no matter how big or small your gift. Donating time is just as vital. Donating your blood can save another life. Will you stand up in a professional role at work? Will you stand up in a personal capacity? Giving of your talents, your ideas, or your dollars makes you stand head and shoulders above the crowd -- and your efforts will not go unnoticed!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Some Things You Can't Hate Forever...& You Shouldn't!

There are only a few foods I don't care for. I believe the majority of our general human behavior is learned, not excluding our behaviors as they relate to foods and flavors - those we say we "like" or "hate". Growing up I was exposed to a relatively diverse variety of foods, though not all interractions were love-fests.

Prior to the year 2011, I "hated" the taste of only a handful of foods - last year I moved brussel sprouts into the "like" column thanks to the thoughtful preparation and encouragement of a friend. Tastes, like other blatent behavior, can change over time - it's challenging and takes effort, but we can unlearn some things and change our minds about others, outgrowing what in some instances just became mindless habits.

In this spirit, each year I make a concerted effort to "re-try" foods to answer the question: "Is this the year my tastebuds evolve to enjoy "x"???" This year I am proud to add to my taste repertoir: both alfalfa sprouts and celery, though let me be honest. I do prefer both of them when accompanied by other supportive flavors and I must give credit to a Jimmy John's for giving me a nudge in the right direction. Although I ordered my tuna sandwich with NO sprouts, it came with sprouts -- and because I was starving and too lazy to pick them off, I decided it was time to give the little thready, slippery devils another try. IT WORKED!

So, never say never. Don't rule anything out for good. Just like most people (and places and things and ideas, too) foods deserve a second chance. Don't put them in the "hate" box forever - give yourself a chance to evolve and let them in when you are ready.

What ideas, which people, and what flavors will you re-visit in 2012 ?