Monday, January 31, 2011

Seek first to understand

On a recent drive I held a conversation with an imaginary companion who was scornful of liberals.  I explained my position.  Then I realized I had failed to observe the third habit of Highly Effective People - Seek first to understand-- and I really should listen to the other person.  Since that person was imaginary, that's as far as it went.

Not really.

I realized that my articulating my views, I was seeking first to understand--to understand myself.  Have you asked yourself why you believe what you believe?  That's what I did, and below I share.


Thank you, planet!  Thanks, nation, society, and community!
I didn't ask to be born, nor did I really choose it.  Yet, here I am. I KNOW I have taken more from the planet (and my community and etc) than I have given back.   I eat food and return mere compost.  I use far more resources than most other living things on the planet, because I am human.  And since I'm American (again, not by choice but by fate), I use far more resources than most of the planet's other people. 

The planet and society benefit and nurture me.  So--I owe.  To say thank you, I must give back. 

Government must stick up for the little guy -- and girl.
Unless a higher power intervenes, the big will prevail over the little, the strong over the weak, the rich over the poor.  Predators eat prey that is smaller than they are.  Bullies are the big kids.  Sports teams choose the biggest players.  In many sports, we match contestants for size because it's such an obvious advantage.  A bigger army usually vanquishes the smaller.  Etc.

It's why the U.S. has a Senate, where a Senator from a tiny state has the same power as a Senator from a big state. 

Now our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people.  The government's role is to protect ALL the people, weak and strong, big and little, rich and poor.  To do this the government must make sure the strong don't prevail over the weak. 

That's the basis of labor laws.  Employers, you must pay workers.  You cannot work them too many hours.  You cannot use slaves.  You cannot use children.  You must provide a safe workplace.  Etc.  

Could a business make more money if it didn't have to follow these rules?  Certainly!  

Children are weak, small, and powerless.  So our government makes laws and regulations to protect them.

Our environment and the living things that live --but don't vote, or contribute to electoral campaigns--are weak too.  They cannot fight back if some pollutes or abuses.  Government must protect these too. 

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

We all want to live in a safe community with clean air and water, pretty open spaces, plenty of beauty.  Unbridled industry doesn't create these.  A government protecting the common good does.

These thoughts are not fully refined,   But what I did on that trip was seek first to understand--myself.  Now I'd like to hear from conservatives and understand what underlies their beliefs.

Peace, y'all

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On what goes around...

Last two weeks, I have undertaken a huge and overdue effort, clearing the clutter in my home study. What a process! It's dirty. There's dust and fur (my cats like this room and have contributed to its chaos by knocking things off surfaces). There is evidence of worse cat behavior, too.

Amid the boxes of stuff that is mostly going to be recycled, each day I have found a treasure. Things I have despaired of ever finding, genealogical treasures, various coins, cards and such that are worth real money, photos I had forgotten about.

Also this effort takes me back in time to the year the clutter settled in there.

I have found a leaders guide for Simplicity Circles. Environmental guides. Climate chain info from 18 years ago (alsojournal articles from that era on the need to reform health care in this country).

It helps me realize I've been working on same thing a long time, and that though thevissues persist, they change. So I recycled facts about consumer waste from 1994.

Maybe instead of recycling all this, I'll get it shredded so it can have further use as bedding or cage liners....

The boxes and boxes of STUFF I am ready, even eager to pitch (responsibly). It's daunting, sobering really.

I hope I never again create chaotic clutter like this.

Peace, Y'all


Sunday, January 23, 2011

On the verge of something....

I feel I'm on the brink of something. I've had strange dreams and I'm getting my home in order. Like a bird gestating inside the shell...soon I think I will break through with some new blaze of epiphany, inspiration, or activity. Beloved readers, what are you doing this winter to make the world a better place?

Peace, y'all


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

True confession - what I want in my obituary

Today I did an exercise in visualizing my memorial service, and what would I want others to say about me. This put me in touch with my most deeply held values and revealed the contrast between what I strive for and and what I really do.

What I want to show for my life is this: the planet's highest honor, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yup, that's what I want. Now I realize I must work on my pride issues. I also will write to the 2009 winner and urge him to live up to the faith placed on him with this award.

Peace, y'all