Tag Archives: opportunities

the first 1,000 days

The excerpt of the article that follows, by Lauren Weber, is another red flag for the health of our country. The first 1,000 days are critical in providing the necessary nutrition for proper development of the brain. Malnourishment during this window from conception to two years of age will impact children for the remainder of their lives.

More Than Half Of American Babies Are At Risk For Malnourishment

The first 1,000 days of nutrition can set a child’s course for life or perpetuate a cycle of poverty.     By Lauren Weber

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. ― The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations.

But while the World BankUSAID, the World Health Organization and UNICEF push to improve early nutrition among impoverished communities in developing nations, there has been much less emphasis on the first 1,000 days in the United States. That’s not to say that all is well here: Over half of the country’s infants are on nutritional assistance and the top vegetable eaten by U.S. toddlers is the french fry.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a groundbreaking policy statement highlighting the importance, and irreversibility, of the 1,000-day window.

“Failure to provide key nutrients during this critical period of brain development may result in lifelong deficits in brain function despite subsequent nutrient repletion,” the AAP Committee on Nutrition said.

In other words, no amount of catch-up can completely fix the lost time for brain formation. Malnourishing the brain can produce a lower IQ; lead to a lifetime of chronic medical problems; increase the risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes; and cost that individual future academic achievement and job success. The impact can even be generational, perpetuating a cycle of poverty for lifetimes to come.

It’s unclear exactly how many kids in the U.S. are malnourished, but there’s some disturbing evidence: A quarter of toddlers don’t receive enough iron, 1 in 5 children are obese, 1 in 6 households with children are food-insecure, and over half of infants participate in the federal Women, Infants, and Children program for supplemental nutrition.

These children’s futures are at stake, said Lucy Sullivan, executive director for the nonprofit 1,000 Days, which advocates here and abroad for better early nutrition.

“The first 1,000 days matter for all the days that follow.”

liberation theology

liberation theology:

What we do for others, we do for ourselves.

All of us are part of one human family. And we are all bound to our four-legged and winged family as well. In fact all living beings are connected on this beautiful planet we call home.

This coming year is a new opportunity to be aware of how all life is connected. It’s a new chance to live in gratitude and deep appreciation for the gifts we have been given. This new year is a time for us to  save ourselves by saving each other as we all work together to save our planet.

 

for those without a voice

What a wonderful world we would create if all of us followed Malala’s lead, and lived with her courage. We are not all called to stand against the Taliban, but each of us are given countless opportunities to speak up and speak out for those without a voice. Who in your community has a voice that cannot be heard?

living wrong?

None of us can do everything. But all of us can do something.

Each of us are constantly presented with opportunities to touch someone’s life in a special way. The question is how do we make ourselves more aware of these opportunities.

Once we see a way to make someone’s life better we need to make sure we “just do it.” Good intentions are not enough. We need to make it happen.

We will be happier, and the world will be a far better place.

opportunities abound

Women in the Military:

There are no simple solutions to overcoming the growing violence, hatred and bigotry that infects our world. Yet, each of us has the capacity to resist being pulled down into such an ugly inhumane and dangerous mindset.

We are surrounded with opportunities to make a real difference in the world. Every single one of us can reach out and impact someone in need of care and compassion.

Will that end the violence and and hatred in the world. No. But, it will keep us human, And it will change the life of the one we have befriended. And that’s a start.

a prayer for more love

Most gracious and compassionate God, how thankful I am this morning for the love you pour into Your children’s lives. We are sustained through Your everlasting mercy and your grace. I praise You for Your presence that never leaves nor forsakes us.

Today, we have another gift, the multitude of opportunities to reflect that love and grace You have already shown us. Help us embrace that gift. Help us reach out to those most in need of love and compassion.

Empower us through Your Holy Spirit to be ambassadors of reconciliation. Let us be true peacemakers in a world filled with conflict and violence. Let Your love flow through us that all those around us would feel Your love and acceptance.

Especially, Lord, I would ask that those who are fleeing their homes might know Your strength. Allow them a sense of Your presence that they might have a respite from their fear.  And allow us who live in safety to reach out to them with the aid and relief most needed. Grant us all a spirit of hospitality.

Give us more love, Lord.

All of this we ask in the Name of the risen Christ. Amen

 

the path to greatness

If a person works only for himself he can perhaps be a famous scholar, a great wise man, a distinguished poet, but never a complete, genuinely great man. History calls those the greatest…who ennobled themselves by working for the universal. Experience praises as the most happy the one who makes most people happy. — Karl Marx

Man becomes great exactly in the degree to which he works for the welfare of his fellow men. — Mahatma Gandhi

Continuing the theme I began in yesterday’s post, I share these quotes from two powerful personalities, both of whom surprisingly share the same view on the subject.  As different as these men were, both changed history, and both came to a common understanding that happiness and greatness cannot be separated.

True greatness comes from seeking the good of the other. One is “ennobled” according to Marx by focusing on the universal good.

As radically diverse as these two figures were, both understood that creating good for those around us, creating happiness in our larger community, is the true path to personal fulfillment.

Someone wrapped up in him or herself makes a terribly small package.  At least that’s how the old saw goes.

Both Marx and Gandhi agree. Fulfillment, greatness and happiness all come from focusing on the welfare of those around us.

And in a world where 25,000 of our human family will die today from hunger, we all have abundant opportunities to achieve all three.