Anything I might try to say about this would be redundant. It is amazing.
I have a confession to make – I don’t like doing things that I find difficult.
Recently I took a bed apart and moved it to another room. This may seem like a fairly paltry achievement to most of the world – and indeed it is – but ordinarily I keep these annoying, awkward and screwdriver wielding jobs for my long suffering husband.
He never complains. He never says things like, “Am, for a feminist you aren’t that forthcoming when it involves messy/exerting/difficult jobs, are you?” My logic (excuse) is that I had the babies and that that means I am in credit in the messy/exerting/difficult department. This is quite robust logic as he doesn’t (usually) suffer too much pain of the being-torn-limb-from-limb-by-a-giant variety while moving furniture, cutting grass or fixing stuff.
So, I tell myself I do plenty of other things and that I don’t need to do (more) stuff that’s hard for me.
But it’s not true.
We all do.
There is so much unnecessary suffering in the world that things really need to change.
The likelihood is that we all need to do the messy/exerting/difficult jobs – whatever they happen to be for us as individuals – if that is to happen.
As always, nobody says it better than Anon –
Love conquers all, but if love doesn’t do it, try hard work.
“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tsu
“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean– ‘tame’?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”
“‘To establish ties’?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…”
“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower… I think that she has tamed me…”
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The Little Prince (espliego.wordpress.com)
The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.
I was very taken with it. In particular, I was taken with the idea of, ‘the modern poor’, being, ‘written off as trash.’
Is that true?
Do we blame people for being poor as though it is always an action they have taken or a choice they have made?
I suspect we do.
But I don’t know why.
Photograph – Children in a company housing settlement, Puerto Rico, Photographer, Jack Delano. December, 1941.
Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Part Of: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection 11671-25 (DLC) 93845501
General information about the FSA/OWI Color Photographs is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.fsac
Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a34030
Call Number: LC-USF35-437
- John Berger Writes on Art, Politics and Philosophy (3quarksdaily.com)
- N.C. tour turns poverty’s ‘bloodless statistics’ into reality (obxpeaceandjustice.org)
UNFPA is the United Nations agency that deals with providing much needed family planning and reproductive health services in the developing world. In 2002, the American government decided not to give a promised 34 million dollars to UNFPA.
In different parts of the country and without ever having met, two ordinary American women, Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham, asked the women of America to send $1 dollar each to UNFPA.
Nobody – not even UNFPA – thought it would work. But it did. Soon a deluge of envelopes with single dollar bills began arriving at the UNFPA offices from women – and men – all over the United States.
From this an organisation called 34 Million Friends of UNFPA (www.34millionfriends.org) was formed and millions of dollars were raised to help families all over the world.
In 2009, the U.S. administration restored the funding to UNFPA but 34 Million Friends still continues to work to support this vital service.
And all from the efforts of two ordinary women – a social action butterfly effect if ever there was one.
In the interest of developing vision, it is worth examining how others see the world. This video of a talk by Philip Zimbardo has a look at how our perception of time – real, physical time – influences our cultures and behaviour.
Hope you enjoy it.
An event horizon is the point of no return near a black hole in space where the gravitational pull becomes so great escape is impossible. Once you cross the event horizon – that’s it – you get pulled into the black hole – into the singularity – no argument.
But right up to the event horizon nothing is predetermined.
So. My question is this – are there ‘event horizons’ in human actions and societies?
There do seem to be event horizons in evil. It does seem as if once a threshold of sorts is crossed it can be difficult not to be pulled into the vortex of evil.
But if that is true then it must be true that there is also an event horizon of good. A place that once we cross it we will be pulled – inexorably – towards goodness.
Like a physical event horizon, up to that very point it might look as if we are just wandering aimlessly in space when all the while we are working our way towards a big, important and valuable change for the better. Inching along –
Tiny, discrete, butterfly action
Tiny, discrete, butterfly action.
The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
- Astronomers Getting Ready To Take The First-Ever Photo Of A Black Hole (gizmodo.com.au)
- Fun Facts about Black Holes (needmoreshelves.wordpress.com)
- New telescope array will capture the first-ever photograph of a black hole (dailymail.co.uk)
We wonder how to be in the world. What to do. Where to go. We spend our lives trying to ‘be’ someone.
Why? We are all already someone.
Stop worrying about what others think.
Here’s the only real question – what do you think?
You’ll never be able to get away from yourself so
For that reason – if no other
Try to become someone you can admire.
To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind. – Theophile Gautier