Kwanzaa and Cooperation: Celebrating a Commonality of Interest

Monday, 01 December 2014 01:21

By Joe Romano,
Marketing Manager

kwanzaa-stamp

Sticks in a bundle 
are unbreakable.

— Kenyan proverb

When you look up commonality in the Oxford Dictionary, it provides a simple and sole definition: "1. The state of sharing features or attributes." The definition is followed by this use in a sentence: "A commonality of interest ensures cooperation."

Finding the word cooperation in this brief thirteen-word entry seemed odd, because the purpose for my seeking the definition in the first place was to support the idea that there exists a commonality between Kwanzaa and cooperation.

Kwanzaa's Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of African Heritage, and the seven principles of cooperation that guide us at GreenStar certainly seem to share features and attributes. Do Kwanzaa and cooperation have a commonality of interest that would ensure cooperation between them? That they each hold seven principles as the foundation of their philosophy is a promising start.

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Rethinking Thanksgiving

Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:12

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

Rethinking Thanksgiving 300Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.

— Henry Van Dyke

We're rolling into that part of the year when Thanksgiving arrives, with its festive overtones and deeply misunderstood history. Most of us know that there are problems with the holiday as it's currently celebrated, so why not update the festivities?

Everyone enjoys a good meal and getting together with friends, neighbors, and family. And most of us have much to be thankful for. Since Americans have already built a perfectly good holiday season, and because this is one of the better events in it — you can, after all, eat and fall asleep without buying a single present — maybe we should keep it around ... with a few updates.

The name, Thanksgiving, is fine. A day to actually celebrate gratitude would be a great holiday, even for those among us who suffer trying circumstances in their lives. As a youth, for example, Alice Walker had less to be thankful for than many others did. The daughter of sharecroppers, her mother worked as a maid to help support the eight children in her family. She had what most Americans would call an underprivileged upbringing. When she was 8, she was shot in the eye with a BB pellet. The serious injury left her quite self-conscious of the scar on her face. She wanted nothing more than to be able to hide from the world, which, in her mind, was that of a young, disfigured black girl in the racially divided South of the 1950s. After all, what could she have to be thankful for? Instead of building hate or resentment, she managed to write words of gratitude: "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."

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Ithaca is Rock Stars

Monday, 01 September 2014 14:47

The rocks are not so close akin to us as the soil; they are one more remove from us; but they lie back of all, and are the final source of all. ... Time, geologic time, looks out at us from the rocks as from no other objects in the landscape.

— John Burroughs

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

Geologists-tools hgIssues like fracking, protecting our local biodiversity, whether local wine should be sold in supermarkets, whether Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) should be stored in the Seneca salt caverns, which neighborhoods get funding for what, supporting local farmers, and the role of the colleges up on the hills of our community seem like issues of the moment here in Ithaca. But actually, all of these things were caused by the same factors and each had its genesis over 360 million years ago.

You may be looking down at your feet and scratching your head, wondering how that is possible. Well that's a perfect response. In fact, look down at your feet right now, because that's where the answer lies.

Imagine that it's 410 million years ago. The continents have yet to differentiate and drift apart. High sea levels have flooded this part of what will become the North American continent, so you're standing under warm ocean water very near to the Earth's equator. A collision with the landmass that is now Europe has created a long mountain range on the scale of the Himalayas that rise above the water just to the east of this undersea Ithaca. The water around you is teeming with life. At your feet are seashells and skeletons of sea creatures that form a limey mud that will eventually become limestone.

Read more: Ithaca is Rock Stars

 

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