Remember "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute?"

When I was a little girl, my friends and I would drop gum and candy wrappers on the ground without feeling any guilt. While on a Sunday drive, we didn’t bag up our garbage and wait until we got home to throw it away. We tossed pop cans, empty chip bags, and apple cores out the window. It wasn't a big deal. Everyone did it.

But in 1970, a campaign which focused on cleaning up the environment began with an owl named Woodsy and the slogan, “Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute!” Commercials showing a tear running down a Native American's cheek as he viewed the garbage cluttering a forest and stream tugged on our heartstrings.

The movement to stop polluting began to change how we looked at our surroundings. Many of us began taking pride in keeping our streets and parks clean. We not only took the extra time to place our trash in cans, we embraced recycling.

Now I cringe every time I see a piece of paper floating in the wind, a pop can left on a sidewalk, or a pile of cigarette butts poured onto a parking lot floor. Really? They couldn’t walk several feet to deposit their waste in a garbage can? And what really gets me is seeing a piece of old furniture and bags of garbage left on the side of the road that animals have pawed through. Who made that spot someone’s personal dumping ground?

Despite a few people still not giving a hoot, the movement has made a difference.

People can change. People have changed.

Things don’t have to stay the same.

It may take a lot of time and effort. But it’s possible to influence and inspire people to make good changes in their lives, communities, and world.

You can make a difference.


Public Apologies. Necessary?

The number of public apologies for indiscretions seems to be on the rise. After being “discovered,” politicians and celebrities have stood in front microphones and with national, or even global coverage, have confessed to marital affairs or involvement in illegal actions.

But I wonder . . . are these televised public apologies necessary? Or even helpful?

The latest spotlight hit on Tiger Woods, known for his skill as a professional golfer and reputation as a family man. Yesterday, the media actually continued to give the countdown in hours, and then minutes, during the time leading up to Tiger’s public statement pertaining to his numerous affairs. There was much speculation as to what he would say and how he would say it.

I happened to see the TV show Nightline last night, which aired a taping of Tiger’s statement. Was this a part of his treatment for sexual addiction? Possibly. Was it a way for him to begin making amends with family, friends, and business associates who he’d let down? Very likely.

But it disturbed me when people began analyzing and criticizing Tiger’s appearance – questioning if he was sincere, or just acting the part. It also made me feel sick inside when it was ridiculed during the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late night show. Maybe I’m naïve, but what I saw was a broken and embarrassed man. Maybe I’m not only naïve—I’m blind. Or maybe I just want to believe he wasn’t staging a show.

Did Tiger do wrong? Of course he did. His actions hurt a lot of people. He has a lot of work ahead of him to make amends.

But he didn’t hurt me. I didn’t deserve an apology and neither did millions of other people. Tiger needed to apologize to his wife, kids, family, and friends. And I supposed he owed an apology to his sponsors, who may lose money due to a drop in his popularity. I don’t fall into any of those categories.

Why is it that we, as a people, believe public figures owe us knowledge of their intimate and private lives? And then when they do come clean – we crucify them? Do we really want to forgive people? Or do we just enjoy focusing on other people's mistakes, so our own aren't noticed?

It makes me wonder if we’d feel differently if during church on Sunday, every person had to step up front, confess their sins, and apologize to the congregation. Followed by several members analyzing whether we were sincere or not. And if we took it a step further, we’d send out a live feed to the Internet for anyone out there in cyber space who wanted to view.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8: 7 NIV)

Put down your stones, people.


Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry???

I was 13 years old in 1970 when the movie Love Story, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, was shown in theaters across the country. It was a smashing hit with audiences and received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. It won an Oscar for Francis Lai's Original Music Score.

I cried at the end of the movie when the heroine died. I sat at the piano for hours playing the haunting, sad melody, and singing the beautiful lyrics to the theme song.

Even though I was a young teenager who had never experienced love – numerous crushes and fantasies don’t count – I understood how deeply in love the two lead characters were and how devoted they were to each other.

But I never understood the famous line from the movie that people still quote.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

It didn’t make sense to me then. It doesn’t make sense to me 40 years later.

I suppose you could argue the point that if someone knows how much you love them, they should assume you’re sorry when you’ve wronged or hurt them.

Nope. Nada. I don’t buy it.

It’s just the opposite. Love means wanting to make sure things are right between you. Love means wanting to tell someone you’re sorry. And the person wronged? They need to hear it.

Telling someone you’re sorry isn’t exclusive to your spouse or significant other. I strongly believe in parents apologizing to their children, as well as friends making amends.

Some time ago, one of my daughters confronted me. I wasn’t prepared to hear her relay through tears how I’d hurt and embarrassed her by something I’d said in the presence of family friends. That wasn’t an easy conversation for her to initiate. My heart broke when I realized how my words had affected her. But she was right. And I was wrong. I hadn’t meant to hurt her, but I did. I told her I was sorry for being so careless. The result was healing and a peace of mind for both of us.

Love means ALWAYS having to say you’re sorry . . .


Following a Dream

I believe in following dreams.

I believe God places dreams in our hearts to fulfill a purpose.

It’s up to us whether we’re willing to study, train, sacrifice, or climb over large obstacles in order to achieve those dreams. But the reward – the reward brings peace and a sense of fulfillment. The feeling that we’re doing what we’re called to do.

While my grown daughter, Brooke, and her husband were visiting this week from New York, they went to see another married couple they’d been friends with for thirteen years. When Brooke first met them, all three were students at a local martial arts school. They trained together, moved up the ranks, and later taught the younger students. The young man, an accomplished black belt, dreamed of owning the school himself.

He graduated from college, but the school wasn’t available, and he went on to work in banking. But it didn’t satisfy the desire in his heart. Eventually, he was able to take over that very same martial arts school, which had been run into the ground by another owner. Since then he’s worked hard to build the school’s reputation back up.

This young man waited, but he didn’t give up. Today he’s happy doing what he believes he’s called to do. Train and mentor kids through martial arts. And he’s great at it.

I get soooo excited when I hear stories of people following their dreams!

This week I continued to work toward fulfilling one of my dreams, which is to work from home, editing and writing full time. The very thing that causes some people to experience anxiety, energizes me.

After a year of preparation and laying down a foundation, the business license is hanging on the wall, the Web site is up, and I’m open for business at Faithfully Write Editing. You can access the site at

No – I haven’t left the day job yet. But I’m a few steps closer to focusing exclusively on what I believe I’m called to do. :-D

What are your dreams?
And what are you doing to follow them?


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