How Puny Are You
"Many people believe they are so puny they can't affect the climate or the degradation of the earth,'' writes Val Yule.
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"Many people believe they are so puny they can't affect the climate or the degradation of the earth,'' writes Val Yule.
"At present, our scientists are on the brink of discovering all the secrets of life, at the same time that we face innumerable problems that threaten us, many of our own making,'' writes Val Yule.
"Most old people contribute to the community and the economy in inestimable voluntary work in every area,'' writes Val Yule.
"Many people believe that they are helping the third world develop when they buy overseas goods. However, each purchase should be scrutinised and determined whether it actually does help the citizens of these countries. Sometimes commodities produced in developing countries are controlled by multi-nationals at the price of those countries' own self-sustainability,'' writes Val Yule.
Val Yule protests at the building of a huge new house in her et Australian quiet suburban street.
"People whose environment has no terror in it, do not copy the violence in terror-filled games, but people who live amid violence can learn to copy the violence they see in games which have a similar context to their own lives,'' declares Val Yule.
"I have a fantasy that Stonehenge is all that remains today of an electronic civilisation. The rest is lost,'' writes Val Yule.
Val Yule is opposed to controlled burning as a means of protecting Australia from wildfires.
"How do we produce a clever country?'' asks Val Yule.
Val Yule gives reasons for legalising gay marriage.
"Excess generally has been followed by social collapse – as in 5th century Athens and before the French Revolution. It is a
characteristic of the fall of empires and nations,'' writes Val Yule.
"We talk of Big Things, but so many little things cause a great difference,'' writes Val Yule.
"What some first imagine, others are liable to do,## writes Val Yule.
Val Yule wrote this poem, a take on William Blake, during the Vietnam war.
Val Yule says that Australia is becoming increasingly segregated through its schools and education system.
Val Yule is concerned about the slaughter of animals by speeding vehicles.
"From the Paralympics we are all learning to respect the courage and the abilities of those afflicted. We can also learn about the causes of their affliction,'' writes Val Yule.
...Another small thing causes injustice and huge waste of talent, when the disadvantaged, dislexic and forin-born face barriers that need not be...
Val Yule calls for spelling reform.
Val Yule says we are making the world safe for predators.
"Nature made food and sex pleasurable, to ensure eating and reproduction,'' declares Val Yule.
...“Yuck!” I said, as loudly as I could, and I pushed it back at her. I thought she was a horrible little girl for making me eat the stuff. I might have pushed her harder than I meant to, because she fell off her chair and she started crying...
Val Yule tells of a child who did not behave as well as she was expected to behave.
Our responses to being dumbed down are often paradoxically stupid, writes Val Yule.
"We are letting ourselves to be made more stupid,'' declares Val Yule.
"We are allowing ourselves to be made more stupid.'' declares Val Yule.
"People have always been stupid,'' declares Val Yule.
Val Yule presents a distopian view of present-day human affairs.
Val Yule advocates new thinking to solve the probelms we have created.
Val Yule suggests that the wishing game can be played to keep your mind occupied during boring meetings or when you are finding it difficult to fall asleep. It can be played individually or in a group.
" In the garden of the future some unpleasant facts may sprout,'' writes Val Yule.
Val Yule imaginesgardens of the past - "little paradises on Earth''.
"Small suburban lawns can be mowed quickly with a light modern hand-mower that improves the waistline and cuts obesity, greenhouse gases and fuel bills,'' declares Val Yule.
Val Yule brings a poem which reminds us of the temporary nature of human existence.
Val Yule extols the virtues of gardening.
Val Yule muses on her life spent in gardens.
".What can we do with all our anger?'' asks Val Yule.
Val Yule suggests there's much more than meets the eye in many a garden.
"Use what you can and can what you can’t. There are many garden cook books, so here are just a few ideas that don’t make it into most books, using the easier plants to grow,'' writes Val Yule.
"But thousands of babies across the world are born to people who don’t want them,'' writes Val Yule.
"Hoarding is popularly said to be a problem of our age, but it may turn out to be tomorrow's salvation. And it isn't the problem of our age - which is acquiring what you do not need,'' writes Val Yule.
"Surely small birds have enough predators with cats, foxes and cars. Surely there is no need to protect all of the growing hordes of native crows or Australian ravens,'' writes Val Yule.
"The noises of children in a garden are lovely - I am fortunate that there is a well-behaved school over my back fence, and as I enjoy the garden, I hear the laughter of children at play,'' writes Val Yule.
"Gardens are wonderful places in which to be one with Nature, and also to be fed up with Nature,'' writes Val Yule.
Val Yule suggests that Nature should be allowed to take its course on strips of land at the roadside.
Val Yule proposes a great idea to help cheer up those in need of good cheer.
Val Yule suggests social reasons for the legalisation of gay marriage.
Val Yule expresses strong views on how great wealth could be used to best effect.
Val Yule wants someone willing to carry forward her work and research into literacy innovations.
Flowers can be better than pills in cheering up those who are depressed, suggests Val Yule.
"You too may help to save the world with an experimental garden!'' writes Val Yule.
...The place is like Andrew Marvell’s poem about a garden, with everything that’s made turned to green in a green shade, and different flowers throughout the year.,,
Val Yule describes her garden.
Australian Val Yule brings a cautionary tale which applies to every nation.
Val Yule tells tales about the wildlife in her garden.
Val Yule tells of a hospital garden for children.
Val Yule gives suggestions on how to make a garden child-friendly.
Val Yule has a theory that plants flourish from being looked at.
...I have cooked eggs and toast on a tin tray in the yard, and water for washing-up will heat in buckets. Simple solar...
Val Yule reveals how to best use back yards.
Val Yule introduces a book about her garden - a garden which combines delight and thoughtful ecology.
"Much of what the West throws out into landfill only needs mending - and what a lot of carbon emissions and non-renewable resources could then be saved. Many forests might not need to be cut down,'' writes Val Yule.
"Children can have pride in their Australian culture and pride in their origins too,'' declares Val Yule whose extended family includes nine races and 21 nationalities.
People whose environment has no terror in it, do not copy the violence in terror-filled games, but people who live amid violence can learn to copy the violence they see in games which have a similar context to their own lives, writes Val Yule.
Customers deserve some idea of how long a product is expected to be repairable or parts available,'' derclares Val Yule.
Val Yule calls for a simplified spelling system.
"Competition has caused more disasters in the world than it has stimulated progress,'' declares Val Yule.
Val Yule begins a series of articles on the delights of her cottage garden, and the creative imagination that has gone into the making of it.
"So much sorrow, strife and stupidity could be avoided if everyone understood simple addition, percentages, and how to imagine numbers,'' writes Val Yule.
Val Yule's poem brings no coimfort for the greedy and wasetful.
Val Yule's poem demands that humanity should remember past misdeeds.
Val Yule pleads that we should not forget our past military wrongs.
Val Yule's poem reminds us that the whole Earth is our "country''.
Val Yule finds hope in the midst of destruction.
Val Yule's poem suggests that we cheer like children as we rush towards the abyss.
Val Yule's poem reflects on the consequences of a nuclear war.
Val Yule's poem reminds us that play war can become real war.
Val Yule wrote this poem after reading a news item which announced that Britain was reducing its spending on missiles.
Val Yule brings a powerful anti-war poem, a poem more useful than a million tanks.
Val Yule brings a powerful protest against those who make evil weapons of war.
People on the whole believe what their family belive says Val Yule.
Val Yule highlights the flaw of seeing evil in others, but not oneself.
Val Yule looks at the follies of human history from a new angle.
Val Yule suggests ideas to help you make the best use of your life.
Val Yule longs for rooms as bare as a haiku.
Val Yule invites us to see where we stand on the ten steps to climate changes.
Val Yule brings us a poem for this particular day.
Val Yule's poem forces us to face our own nature.
Val Yule wrote this poem after hearing of a bunker in Scotland in which "important'' people could shelter in the event of a nuclear war.
Val Yule's poem begs for a more thoughtful, peacable world.
Val Yule brings an updated version of William Blake's famous poem.
Val Yule presents a doom-filled poem.
Val Yule offers an apocalyptic vision - and a hint of hope.
Val Yule was prompted to write this poem after reading about a conference which discussed the provision of nuclear bunkers for "essential'' people.
Val Yule's poem emnphasises the dangers of patriotism.
Val Yule brings us a sombre poem of warning.
"How did the Victorians of the 19th century manage to get so much done? Because they did. So many of them had the energy to fill every minute of every day with what they believed were 'Good Works' - and often they were,'' writes Val Yule.
In this three-verse poem Val Yule says a whole volume about the idiocy of colour prejudice.
Val Yule tellingly reminds us that we only have ourselves to blame for the ruination of our world.
Val Yule tellingly reminds us that we only have ourselves to blame for the ruination of our world.
Val Yule's reflects on the fate the greediest of the greedy in this mercenary age.
Val Yule suggests a travelling mueum to feature our possible futures.
Val Yule suggests ideas to help the have-nots towards a life thought to be worth living.
A Nobel Prize must go to whoever resolves the fatal contradiction between the economic need to increase consumption to save jobs (and profits) and the environmental need to cut consumption to save the environment and resources for our future, writes Val Yule.
...'There's no point saving the planet if it wrecks the economy' said former New South Wales premier Maurice Iemma. But there's no point saving the economy if it wrecks the planet...
Valerie Yule considers the big ussue of the 21st Century.
"When you buy furnishings and furniture, ask questions,''says Val Yule. "Are you wanting something stylish, or to show-off, or are you wanting a home?''
Val Yule brings excellent advice on how to obtain and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Val Yule calls for more thought to be given to making life easier for older people.
"Most old people contribute to the community and the economy in inestimable voluntary work in every area, including as grandparents, who provided 68% of all informal child care in Australia in 1997,'' says Val Yule.
Val Yule offers some thoughts on sensible planet-saving clothing.
"When I was a child thinking that the bushland and the seascapes were infinite, we used to go with our buckets and bring home what we found in the rock pools, and collect all the wildflowers we could pick from the bush'' recalls Val Yule.
"Now the fish and other creatures and the living shellfish are gone from the pools.''
Valerie Yule suggests that householders should establish their own worm farm.
Humans are no longer part of Nature’s food chain, returning waste to the Earth, declares Val Yule.
Val Yule concludes her series of articles on how we can make best use of imagination.
Val Yule challenges a "widespread distaste for thinking''.
"When imagination becomes inured to blockbusters, explicit gore, constant novelties, explosions of information, or the ear becomes used to decibels that verge on damage to the eardrums, then softer music, finer emotions and feelings such as sentiment, gentleness, subtlety, appear blanched and insipid,'' says Val Yule.
"The stories that we all tell ourselves influence our own lives, as our imagination weaves interpretations and expectations,'' says Val Yule.
Val Yule tells of the educational and cathartic effects of children's stories.
We can learn from the vicarious experiences provided by stories says Val Yule.
Val Yule indicates that we regularly use imagination to guide our lives.
Imagination is the ability to see what is not in front of your eyes. It is the most exciting faculty you have, declares Val Yule.
Val Yule encourages us to preserve the best of the past.
Val Yule suggests that if we must be angry we should direct our anger towards towards demanding solutions to social problems.
"Great things in life are mostly free,'' says Val Yule. "Life is meant to be happy, even if life is not easy.''
Val Yule urges us to go to war against wasteful and poorly-designed products.
"About half the timber that is grown is wasted,'' declares Val Yule, putting in a passionate plea for a more sensible use of one of our most valuable natural assets.
...We left in the early morning, when the country-side was fresh and beautiful with dew. It was Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm, before the wind rises, - with the delicate poplars and quaint bent pines and patterned terraces and tidy clusters of villages and blue lakes edged with white sand. There were the herons and the fishermen; the back of a bullock harrowing among the green barley by the yellow road; the black goats being driven over a graceful stone bridge...
Val Yule concludes her account of the time she spent in Korea some 60 years ago before the country was riven in two by war.
...Their dancing enthralled me. I have seen Australian toddlers bouncing around to music. These children, boys and girls, moved like entranced ballet-dancers; they pretended to be birds with such grace that I held my breath. It was perfectly spontaneous, free movement that they made up to the music...
Val Yule continues her account of life in Korea before a fierce war tore the country apart.
...Sometimes school children were excursioning on the hills, vivid dots among banks of azaleas. Or a couple of old gentlemen would be sitting in a little pagoda of a play-house, half-way up with a good view reserved for such old gentlemen to enjoy. Usually on a hill-side somewhere, were round green knolls, the graves of ancestors, set among a few crooked pine-trees...
Val Yule travelled by train from Seoul to Pusan in the days before Korea was torn apart by war.
...There were also spavined, sway-backed horses looking as if they were slung on stilts, and tiny, miserable furry donkeys, half-buried under their loads of pine-brushwood, the universal fuel. Bicycles dodged in and out, - and what bicycles. They had heavy, crude, solid frames, always going back to the welders, but at night they looked rather beautiful, as each carried a low-slung, flickering carbide lamp, with flames that seemed to lick the rider’s feet every time the pedals came around...
Val Yule describes the Korea of long ago, before the country was torn apart by war.
Val Yule continues her account of life in Korea before the outbreak of war in the early 1950s.
Val Yule tells of arriving in Korea before the 1951-52 war as a 21-year-old with her husband who was going to teach at Seoul University. This is the first of a six-part account of life in the Korea of that era.
Val Yule calls for a more sensible use of the waters of Australia's great river, the Murray.
...Local economics is possible, while a community is at the same time also participating in national economics, with banks, supermarkets and imports of what cannot reasonably be supplied in the region...
Val Yule suggests a novel way of keeping small communities ticking in hard economic times.
Val Yule is no friend of power lawn mowers.
Val Yule calls for the establishing of museums to glorify peace.
Val Yule says great-grandmas are a bridge to another world and should be treasured.
Every baby should be wanted, declares Val Yule.
Hoarding may turn out to be our future salvation, says Val Yule.
Val Yule thinks a proper assessment should be made of the value of the elderly to society.
Val Yule believes we should all combine to fight the common foe - the devastation of our planet.
Val Yule calls for revolutionary changes in English spelling.
Val Yule advises us to explore the past and learn the lessons it has to offer.
"Millions of envelopes are thrown away daily,'' says Val Yule, going on to outline a number of brilliant tree-saving ideas.
Val Yule suggests a novel way of dealing with kitchen waste.
Val Yule suggests that the time has come for a really modern Olympic Games.
Re-using saves more money than recycling, declares Val Yule.
Val Yule tells of working with children thought to be dyslexic.
Val Yule prepared these short cartoon literacy videos to assist failing learners who were not helped by conventional methods.
...we are busy trashing. We are the biggest trashers in history. Buildings survived unvandalised for hundreds of years, and then our vandals or our developers trashed them...
Val Yule puts in a plea to preserve the good and valuable things which human beings have created.
Val Yule highlights the biggest challenge facing human beings.
Val Yule says that we humans waste animals. In this regard we are different to all other animals.
Val Yule concludes her surrealistic tale concerning a great man’s missing sock.
Val Yule continues her surreal tale.
To read earlier episodes and other articles by Val please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/useful_and_fantastic/
Val Yule continues her imaginative a surrealistic tale of the missing sock of a very famous man.
Val Yule continues her surrealistic mind-bending tale.
Why was the great Da Vinci wearing only one sock? Val Yule begins a five-part story which touches on the Secret of the Universe.
Val Yule demands more thought and responsibility in the ways we harvest the oceans' limited numbers of fish.
...Most people do not exercise half the abilities that are latent within them. They may even realize that they are not fully living, not being fully what they could be...
Valerie Yule offers practical advice on fending off senility.
Val Yule suggests antidotes to war.
Val Yule's thoughtful tale will make you think hard about how we bring up children.
Val Yule says that our brains are our greatest resource and we should make the very best use of them.
Val Yule voices a vigorous plea for the re-using and repairing of household goods rather than treating them as throwaway landfill rubbish.
Val Yule suggests the stories made up and told by immigrant children can help us to understand their thought, feelings and attitudes.
…Lawns reflect a 200-year-old Romantic dream of fusing ourselves with nature. Yet that very dream now poses a major threat to the nature it so lovingly celebrates. Everyone with a pocket-handkerchief of a lawn thinks they need their own several-hundred-dollar noise-making polluting neighbor-annoying petrol-mower. Why? MOST suburban lawns do not need the great enormous waste of power mowers…
Val Yule expresses radical planet-saving views on the care of lawns.
Val Yule summarises the rights which make civilised living possible and worthwhile.
...Twain, with his sharp eye for nonsense, was an energetic campaigner for spelling reform. Lacking modern knowledge of linguistics and cognitive psychology, he was a ‘spell-as-you-speak’ Pitman’s shorthand man, and like Shaw, wrote in a new shorthand himself, but he was very aware of the problems of both the old spelling and the new, and of the reactions of the public...
Val Yule, along with Twain and other celebrated figures, is an enthusiastic supporter of a more logical form of spelling.
…The goldfields teacher represented the Victorian pedagogue at his most enlightened. He was so enthusiastic about his belief that education could produce a civilised society, and that knowledge distinguished civilisation from the savage…
VaL Yule concludes her account of a remarkable man who taught at a school in the New South Wales goldfields in the 19th Century.
Val Yule continues her account of one of the mosty gifted teachers in Nineteenth Century Australia.
...“Thirty years ago there was a strong prejudice extant against educating the poor children, lest their enlightenment should produce discontent but this benighted fallacy has exploded and vanished into thin air. Education does not promote discontent, but on the contrary, lightens labor and conduces to happiness.”...
Val Yule continues her account of a highly gifted school master who taught in a rural part of New South Wales in the early years of the Nineteenth Century.
Inspectors who visited the school run by Mr McCombe in Australia in the early years of the 19th Century were astonished by what they discovered there.
Val Yule continues the story of a schoolmaster with very special talents.
Val Yule investigates the truth concerning a "paragon pedagog'' who allegedly taught in a school in the New South Wales goldfields in the 1880s.
Val Yule is eager to hear from anyone who has been influenced by Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia
Val Yule concludes her series on the effects of loud music.
Val Yule organised a survey which confirmed that the vast majority of youngsters like loud music.
Val Yule suggests that muh more research work is required on the effects of loud music on the human brain and body.
...At a time when we need brains that can work at capacity, is there any evidence that long term exposure to very loud music might affect abilities such as thinking of more than one thing at a time, connecting ideas, reasoning, concentration, intellectual curiosity, ability to face the problems of our time or mental stamina itself?...
Val Yule presents the results of a survey which asked young people why they like loud music.
Val Yule concludes her series of articles which emphasise the need to encourage new thinking and give every new idea a chance to prove itself.
"Almost anything we make can be used. Everything we make can be abused,'' says Val Yule, going on to consider whether the flood of loud music which assaults our lives may have a long-term damaging effect on our lives.
Val Yule says that much human progress has relied on the efficiency of co-operation, even more than the spur of competition.
Val Yule offers practical help to those who are having difficulties in learning to read.
...We were alarmed about the farm orphanage he had come to in Australia. Although the boy’s report of it was ‘OK’ and he had fun with the other boys, it was noticeable that when he came down to us for holidays he improved rapidly in reading and behaviour, and the gains were lost by the next holiday. The orphanage also took no interest in the boys once they had left. They were out in the world alone. When it closed, they had no links left...
Val Yule brings a first-hand account of children who were give no reason for hope - an account which is distressing yet at the same time inspirational.
Val Yule suggests areas where new thinking and new inventions are needed.
Val Yule tells of a sombre and sad ending.
Val Yule, a great encourager of new ideas and inventions, suggests a way of developing creative thought.
"No previous time, no previous place, has ever had it as good as the average Australian has now,'' declares Val Yule.
Val Yule reveals that she comes from a family of inventors.
It's amazing when young eyes see and young ears hear when they go on a shopping trip with mother.
Val Yule tells an enticing tale.
Val Yule recommends that we should try to make a habit of thinking up solutions to problems, rather than having a good whinge.
Val Yule begins a vividly engaging account of her stay in the Manchester Fever Hospital in 1953.
People who have ideas are never bored, says Val Yule, continuing her series of articles which call for a fair trial for every new concept.
Come on now! Flex your spelling muscles on these rhymes presented by Val Yule.
Of all the nursing homes I have visited, the ones where residents live longest and healthiest and happiest are those where the staff say straight out, ‘We don’t bother with trying to cure, or even forcing them to keep fit. We just want them to have fun.’
Val Yule brings a host of practical suggestions to improve the lives of older folk who need full-time care.
Val Yule lists invenions which are needed to cut waste.
Val Yule, a person who welcomes innovation, emphases that new ideas should be carefully tested before being greedily rushed into production.
Val Yule’s imaginative tale takes us 2,000 years into the future.
Val Yule, who believes that every inventive idea should be given a chance, lists some of the many thousands of concepts patented in Britain in the first five years of the Twentieth Century.
Poor Sir Lancelot. Hit by two cars…
Val Yule tells a modern tale.
Australians have had a reputation for enterprise, initiative and problem-solving yet as Val Yule reveals more than a quarter of the great achievers were ridiculed for their ideas.
Val Yule tells a magical story for children of all ages about a great wish contest organised by three wish-granters.
Val Yule, firmly committed to the belief that new ideas should be tried out rather than being laughed at, continues her list of inventions and organisations which were at first scorned.
Joyncie zipped in among the guests at a Greek Orthodox wedding offering them packets of SunWhite rice from his mother’s shop, so all could join in the general throwing. He transcended the linguistic barrier with a most effective sign-language of gambols and gesticulation, interrupted with giggles, but his round eyes alone would have been sufficient.
Val Yule tells of a most remarkable boy.
…For ten years from 1834 on, Charles Goodyear was laughed at for trying to solve the problems of how rubber could be produced as a useful product. He suffered one fiasco after another, and he was often in jail for debt…
Val Yule lists more people and ideas which attracted derision when they came to the attention of the public.
Val Yule, who firmly believes that new ideas should be given a chance to prove their worth, tells of some concepts which were at first laughed to scorn.
Things are not going well on the farm run by animals, as Val Yule reveals in this bedtime story for children of all ages.
Val Yule, who believes that new ideas should be given a chance, even if at first they seem strange and laughable, tells of some new thoughts and suggestions that were greeted with derision.
Val Yule outlnes dozens of ideas that would provide work, improve the environment and add considerably to human happiness.
...Marathon runners and Everest climbers have it easy compared with the heroes who developed the blessings of tinned food and zip-fasteners...
Here is the second episode of Val Yule's book which encourages us to appreciate people who come up with new ideas, no matter how fantastic those ideas may seem at first glance.
Val Yule tells a most remarkable and memorable sxtory concerning a silent little girl.
Today we begin the serialisation of a book by Val Yule which sets out to discourage the ridiculing of ideas which may turn out to be benificial.
"It would be good for everyone to learn at school to hold back from ridicule, persecution and perverse obstruction of ‘ratbags’ enough to give them a chance.'' says Val.
Writing with wit and style Val defends all those who brought benefits to mankind by dari8ng to come up with new ideas.
Further episodes of the book will run in Open Writing on forthcoming Fridays.
...One morning, as Jenni was putting change in the till, she saw a little drawer underneath the cash drawer that she had never seen before.
She pulled it open, and in the drawer lay a little posy of spring flowers, all pretty and pink...
Val Yule tells a wonderful, magical life-enhancing story for childen aged fom 2 to 92.
Here's a huge welcome to a new Open Writing columnist Val Yule.
Today Val gives some guidance on how to use your daydreams constructively.
Watch our for Val every Wednesday in Open Writing.