Sunday, September 30, 2012

They're Rioting in Africa ...

"They’re rioting in Africa, There’s strife in Iran
What Nature doesn’t do to us will be done by our Fellow Man*"

Many life-times ago, in a land far-far away, known as the early 60's,  folk singers made us feel as if we could change the world.  

Half a century later, many, if not most, of us no longer believe.

Recent conversations with smart, positive, engaged and enlightened friends have shown me the depth of the dark shadow that hangs over us.  One friend facing new grandmotherhood, worries about the state of the world her new grandchild will face.  I remember those same feelings as my granddaughter entered the world three days after 9/11.  Another believes there are forces of evil conspiring to control the world.  And, every day, it starts to sound less crazy as the activities of shadow organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are brought into the light.**

  • Yes, there is a trash pile in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas.
  • Yes, there are billionaires and corporations willing to pour obscene amounts of money into controlling our democratic processes.
  • Yes, there are tribal hatreds that go back thousands of years that could rip holes in our gauzy fabric of peace.
  • Yes, stuff is being done to our food supply that we neither understand completely nor can comprehend its future effects.
  • Yes, the climate is changing and much of it can be related to our gluttonous cry, "More, please … NOW!"
  • Yes, hatred and exclusion seem to be increasingly part of our great religions.
  • Yes, our education system is broken and the people with answers are locked in old thought.
  • When we focus on the shadow, we miss the light.
  • When we stop believing, we give away our power.
  • When we take a pill to go to sleep (whether it's Ambien, food, alcohol or television), we no longer dream.
  • When we accept lies, greed, dishonesty and pre-digested pablum, we enable the shadow.
  • When we forget the great challenges our ancestors faced and survived, we feel weak.
  • When we ignore the great gifts of life, we accept death.
  • When we give up, our children, grandchildren and their futures are lost.
A great many of us are entering the era of retirement.  Can we afford to make that a time of retreat?  

We started out on this journey as young idealists who wanted the world to be a better place.  A lot of hard blows came our way:  Martin, Bobby and John … Vietnam … as well as all the little dents of normal living.  Surely, we gained some wisdom along the way.  Wisdom that could be poured lovingly and wisely like warm molasses onto our wounded world.

Rumi says "the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. don’t go back to sleep."

The world needs us … don't go back to sleep.  Samuel Jackson in a recent political video says, "Wake the Fuck Up!"  Good advice even beyond the world of politics.  

If every one of us who once believed that we could help make the world a better place, began again to add our voices, our talents, our intelligence, our wisdom, and our open hearts to the forces of good, truth and beauty, maybe ... just maybe ... we would accomplish some of the great things we dreamed about in our youth. 

 And, maybe that could be the legacy of our generation.  I'm signing up to this call.  I am ready to Wake the Fuck Up!

* from Merry Little Minuet, it came straight from the “Hungry i” cafĂ© in San Francisco, a “mecca” of folk music in the late 1950’s. Performed by the Kingston Trio, it was song-writer Sheldon Harnick’s tribute to the troubles and tensions of the world.

About this Image:  Both/And Call

This is an ancient and universal symbol of balance and the interaction of light and shadow.  Within the darkness is a seed of light; within light is a seed of darkness.  Words remind us that it is our actions that bring forth the seeds of new realities.


  1. You go girl! Let's all wake the fuck up. There is far too much to do to retire our voices and our talents. We need to hold the vision that WE CAN still do something to stop the machine of corporate I see it, as I read and watch the ones who are not yet voices for the corporate elite, is that we must demand the end of Corporate is the only way the money will stop corrupting our political system and save the planet.
    Mother earth is doing the only thing She knows how to do...she is evolving into something else, and that something else is not quite so friendly to humans. She can't stop the raping, the poisoning, but she can shake us off.
    This is a link to sign a petition to have the following question asked of the presidential candidates during the coming debate...

    Do you believe corporations should have Constitutional rights, and that campaign spending is exercising free speech under the Constitution? What would you do as President to further your position?
    Do you believe corporations should have Constitutional rights, and that campaign spending is exercising free speech under the Constitution? What would you do as President to further your position?

    I hope all your readers will take a look at what ALEC really is...thanks for this post...xo

  2. Thanks Julie for being so wide awake and sharing your spirit with all of us.

  3. The mention of the trash vortex in the Pacific being the size of Texas is misleading because it makes it seem like ONE trash dump when our oceans are becoming a plastic soup. This video is soberingly graphic and should make us remember that we not only need to recycle ... we need to stop consuming plastic.

  4. I believe there are two of the soups now in the Pacific...and there are now beaches with plastic sand...sigh...if we would just demand different packaging it would be helpful...but plastic won't go away until the oil monster does... :-(