Top Ten things you should know about laughter

10. Laughter is a physical reaction in humans and some other species of primate, consisting typically of rhythmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system.

9.  It is a response to certain external or internal stimuli.

8. Laughter can arise from such activities as being tickled, or from humorous stories or thoughts.

7. It is considered an expression of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief, etc.

6. On some occasions, however, it may be caused by contrary emotional states such as embarrassment, apology, or confusion such as nervous laughter or courtesy laugh.

5. Age, gender, education, language, and culture are all factors as to whether a person will experience laughter in a given situation.

4. Laughter is a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations.

3.  Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback.

2. The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body, is called gelotology.

1. Laughter is just out and out fun and it is the best medicine!

 

with thanks to wikipedia!

Top ten ‘A’ Goddesses (in alphabetical order)

‘A’ Goddesses as in Goddesses whose names begin with the letter ‘A’.  Who knew there were so many wonderful Goddesses round about our little world!  please feel free to suggest others to add to the list . . .

Aphrodite: Greek Goddess of love, lust and beauty.
A’akuluujjusi: The great creator mother of the Inuit people.
Aine: Irish Goddess of love, growth, cattle and light. Her name means bright as she lights up the dark. Celebrations for this goddess were held on midsummer’s eve.
Andraste: a Celtic war goddess invoked by Boudica while fighting against the Roman occupation of Britain in 61 CE.
Angwusnasomtaka: The Crow Mother. a wuya, and a mothering kachina figure. She is considered the archetypal mother of all the , or of all kachinas. She also often leads other kachinas into a ceremony, often carrying corn kernels and bean sprouts as a symbol of fertility and good luck for the upcoming new planting season.
Arianrhod:  Welsh Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate. Her name means “silver wheel,” representing the cycles of life.
Artemis: Greek goddess of the hunt, daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister to Apollo. She is usually depicted bearing a bow and arrows. Artemis was known as the leader and chief goddess of the Amazons. Goddess of the moon, fertility, childbirth, and the hunt. She is the protector of children and maidens and she is also a virgin goddess.
Ashtarte: Greek Goddess of fertility, sexual love, and war.
Athena: Greek Goddess of crafts, strategy, wisdom and war. Athena is also a virgin goddess.
Atira: The Pawnee Sacred Earth Mother of every living creature.

The Pawnee were hunters, when they told to abandon hunting and settle down to farming, the elder replied: “You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die, I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother’s hair? It is a bad law and my people cannot obey it.”

 

Top Ten (plus two) Novels that taught me about Social Justice and Life

 

10. How Not to Save the World (Remi Austin #1)Jessica Yinka ThomasRemi Austin is a fundraiser for the African Peace Collaborative (APC), a conflict resolution nonprofit founded by her late mother. Frustrated by her inability to raise funds and faced with the imminent closure of the APC, Remi turns to a life of crime to keep her nonprofit afloat. With the help of her best friend, a designer and inventor who creates gadget-packed gowns, Remi eludes a dashing insurance agent and a terrifying stalker, all while redistributing the wealth of the world, one work of art at a time.
9. Forging JusticeMargaret Murray.In this restorative justice mystery, Claire Cassidy is a police detective in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who’s beginning to think she’s wasted the last fifteen years of her life. Claire meets Daniel Pierce, a vice principal at a local high school. Frustrated by an education system that throws kids out onto the street at the first sign of trouble, Pierce claims he knows a better way.
8. Just MercyDorothy Van SoestBernadette Baker lives through every mother’s worst nightmare when her adopted sixteen-year-old daughter, Veronica, is brutally murdered in a shocking and random act of violence. Ten years later the murderer, Raelynn Blackwell, is facing execution for her crime, and despite being united in their grief over Veronica, the Baker family is deeply divided on the subject of the death penalty. After Raelynn receives a last-minute stay of execution, a secret is revealed that changes everything and leads to an unlikely bond between Raelynn and Bernadette. This is a heart-wrenching, redemptive family drama of forgiveness, destiny, and the true nature of justice.
7. PushSapphirePrecious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, has up until now been invisible: invisible to the father who rapes her and the mother who batters her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just one more of Harlem’s casualties. But when Precious, pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined and highly radical teacher, we follow her on a journey of education and enlightenment as Precious learns not only how to write about her life, but how to make it her own for the first time. (Do read the book, it is SO much better than the movie.)
6. The Giving Tree.Shel Silverstein.”Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.” Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. A moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return. For me it is a Rorschach test of my current level of openness and generousity.
5. Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
Chinua AchebeThe classic tale of Nigerian tribal life before and after European colonialism. A short, powerful tragedy that examines the impact of European economic and cultural domination on traditional life in Nigeria.Reading this book got me thinking about colonialism!
4. Sarah’s KeyTatiana de RosnaySet in Paris in 1943 and 2002, this is the story of Sara who at ten is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours; and of journalist Julia Jarmond who is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
3. The Zoo Keeper’s WifeDiane Ackerman(A true story that reads like a novel) After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.”
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsMaya AngelouThe early years of Maya Angelou’s life, this is a story of suffering, grit and resilience. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
1. Stranger in a Strange Land.Robert A. Heinlein.Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love. This was one of my earliest introductions to hope for justice and a better life.
+1. The Alchemist
by Paulo CoelhoThe story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. The story is a testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
+2. The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-ExupéryMoral allegory and spiritual autobiography, it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.  “it is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” This is the book that taught me about human dignity and the responsibility of relationships.

 

With thanks to Good Reads for the book descriptions!

Top Ten Hannah Arendt Quotes on Forgiveness

So, yes, Hannah Arendt can be a little abstruse, but she says stuff that other folks don’t. And I come away from reading her thinking just a little differently, a little more deeply, a lot more compassionately. So, give these a read!

 

10. Forgiveness is the exact opposite of vengeance, which acts in the form of re-enacting against an original trespassing whereby far from putting an end to the consequences of the first misdeed, everybody remains bound to the process, permitting the chain reaction contained in every action to take its unhindered course.
9. The alternative to forgiveness, but by no means its opposite, is punishment, and both have in common that they attempt to put an end to something that without interference could go on endlessly. It is therefore quite significant, a structural element in the realm of human affairs, that men are unable to forgive what they cannot punish and that they are unable to punish what has turned out to be unforgivable.
8. Until now the totalitarian belief that everything is possible seems to have proved only that everything can be destroyed. Yet, in their effort to prove that everything is possible, totalitarian regimes have discovered without knowing it that there are crimes which men can neither punish nor forgive. When the impossible was made possible it became the unpunishable, unforgivable absolute evil which could no longer be understood and explained by the evil motives of self-interest, greed, covetousness, resentment, lust for power, and cowardice; and which therefore anger could not revenge, love could not endure, friendship could not forgive. Just as the victims in the death factories or the holes of oblivion are no longer human in the eyes of their executioners, so this newest species of criminals is beyond the pale even of solidarity in human sinfulness.
7. Trespassing is an everyday occurrence which is in the very nature of action’s constant establishment of new relationships within a web of relations, and it needs forgiving, dismissing in order to go on by constantly releasing men from what they have done unknowingly.  Only through this constant mutual release from what they do can men remain free agents, only by constant willingness to change their minds and start again can they be trusted with so great a power as that to begin something new.
6. The possible redemption from the predicament of irreversibility──of being unable to undo what one has done──is the faculty of forgiving. The remedy for unpredictability, for the chaotic uncertainty of the future, is contained in the faculty to make and keep promises. Both faculties depend upon plurality, on the presence and acting of others, for no man can forgive himself and no one can be bound by a promise made only to himself.
5. Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history.
4. . …only love has the power to forgive. For love, although it is one of the rarest occurrences in human lives, indeed possesses an unequaled power of self-revelation and an unequaled clarity of vision for the disclosure of who, precisely because it is unconcerned to the point of total unworldliness with what the loved person may be, with his qualities and shortcomings no less than with his achievements, failings and transgression.
3. Action is, in fact, the one miracle-working faculty of man, as Jesus of Nazareth, whose insights into this faculty can be compared in their originality and unprecedentedness with Socrates’ insights into the possibilities of thought, must have known very well when he likened the power to forgive to the more general power of performing miracles, putting both on the same level and within the reach of man.
2. Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
1. Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever.

 

Top Ten (plus two) Quotes on Friendship

 

10. Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends. Shirley MacLaine
9. Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Anais Nin
8. Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over. Octavia Butler
7. Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace. Christie Brinkley
6. I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing. Katherine Mansfield
5. A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely. Pam Brown
4. My parents, and librarians along the way, taught me about the space between words; about the margins, where so many juicy moments of life and spirit and friendship could be found. In a library, you could find miracles and truth and you might find something that would make you laugh so hard that you get shushed, in the friendliest way. Anne Lamott
3. She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind. Toni Morrison
2. The best time to make friends is before you need them. Ethel Barrymore
1. If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own. Charlotte Bronte
+1. It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it. Zora Neale Hurston
+2. Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Top ten reasons to want to get married

10. you can get your picture in the paper without doing anything illegal

9. you get lots of engagement presents

8. you get lots of fabulous wedding presents

7. you get access to the 1138 benefits detailed in federal law

6. married people live longer

5. you will always have someone to share two-fer deals with

4. knowing someone will always have your back

3. having someone to laugh with

2. having someone who knows you, and loves and likes you anyway

1. because you are head over heels in love with your best friend and want to celebrate it!

Top Ten plus Two Quotes on Marriage Equality and Marriage

 

10. At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he black.  George Clooney
9. I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. Rita Rudner
8. There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as a married couple, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. Homer
7. Marriage equality is a term so ridiculous on its face that when you hear it mentioned, you would think you were in Riyadh. Years from now, perhaps we can lose the equality part, the same-sex part and call it what it is – marriage. Henry Rollins
6. By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. Socrates
5. The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about. Bruce Forsyth
4. I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights. Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz
3. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Mignon McLaughlin
2. When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory. Friedrich Nietzsche
1. The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation…There is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices. Anthony Kennedy
+1. To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up. Ogden Nash
+2. It is a full time job being honest one moment at a time, remembering to love, to honor, to respect. It is a practice, a discipline, worthy of every moment. Jasmine Guy

 

Top Ten Plus Two Quotes on Justice

10. I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it. Voltaire
9. If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine. Che Guevara

8. The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.  Marcus Garvey

7. To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.  Pearl S. Buck

6. We educated, the privileged have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, legal, social and economic justice. Sonia Sotomayor

5. Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.  Dorothy Day

4. There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures. Bell Hooks

3. In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.  Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place. Marian Wright Edelman

1. Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences. Gloria Steinem

+1.  Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. You must take it. Malcolm X

+2.  Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. Coretta Scott King

 

so, Share Friends!  what are some of you favorite quotes on Social Justice?

 

Top ten plus two quotes on human rights

 

Top ten plus two quotes on human rights

 

10. I’m not an activist; I don’t look for controversy. I’m not a political person, but I’m a person with compassion. I care passionately about equal rights. I care about human rights. I care about animal rights. Ellen DeGeneres

9. The biggest road block to action on genocide and other human rights crimes is ignorance. Most people just don’t know that such things are happening, and often, if they have a vague idea they are happening, there is a feeling that there is nothing that can be done to stop these crimes. John Prendergast

8. In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace. Wangari Maathai

7. Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth. Liu Xiaobo

6. Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential. Kofi Annan

5. If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right? Paul Farmer

4. Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

3. Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world. Eleanor Roosevelt

2. ‘Freedom from fear’ could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.Dag Hammarskjöld

1. To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. Nelson Mandela

 

+1.  Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

+2.  Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. Human Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom. 14th Dalai Lama

 

Top Ten (plus two) quotes on Gratitude

10. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. Karl Barth

9. Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Jean Baptiste Massieu

8. Gratitude takes less energy than anger. Kristin Cashore

7. Gratitude is exultation awaiting between the cracks of normalcy. Frederic Potter

6. Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. Henri Nouwen

5. Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr

4. Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward

3. For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile. Elie Wiesel

2. Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder. Thomas Merton

1. Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks – I’ve got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night. Irving Berlin

+1. Gratitude is liberating. It is subversive. It helps us to realize that we are sufficient, and that realization frees us. Joanna Macy

+2. I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her generosity. E.B. White

 

With thanks to Wisdom Commons.

 

So, share friends! What are your thought and favorite quotes on gratitude?