Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Raising Voices

Voices Education Project is on a simple mission: to lift up humanity and make the world a better place. They do that via the arts, humanities and social sciences using education, by teaching empathy, with communication that nurtures understandings for positive change between and among peoples of the world. Voices aims to transform how we manage conflict on this planet. They shine a light where more light is needed. And they do it with culture and elegance.

The arts can say what history books cannot in a voice that speaks past the human mind to the far reaches of soul. They say it with texture, with energy, with savvy, with sparkle and so much more and they do it leaving the humanity of it gloriously intact. Voices is all about the art of humanity and the making of humans. Their recent feature length documentary sharply etches and gives voice to the experience of war with poignant vignettes from those who live it.

So in the spirit of Voices and in the interest of encouraging us to be a little more human, a little more soulful and a little more aware, they have generously agreed to feature my “work and art in the service of humanity” with the publication and featuring of two recent pieces: One about a WMD Weapon that I believe warrants closer examination and another to recognize an often overlooked humanitarian genius and man of our time who, as it turns out, was a spiritual messenger hiding in plain sight.

At Voices you will meet a community of peacemakers, visionaries, humanitarians, leaders, way-showers, and responsible global citizens, Voices raises their voices to lift up and acknowledge the vast expanse of the human spirit. I believe in Voices because I stubbornly believe in us. It is with great pride and pleasure that I introduce you to a beacon for humanity- Voices Education Project.
Introduction and Editor's Blog: http://www.voiceseducation.org/content/new-version-weapon-mass-destruction
You may find the two features...

A New Version of a Weapon of Mass Destruction: http://www.voiceseducation.org/content/new-version-weapon-mass-destruction

Michael Jackson: Spiritual Messenger Hiding in Plain Sight: http://www.voiceseducation.org/content/michael-jackson-spiritual-messenger-hiding-plain-sight

And you may find my poetry in the online book Waging Peace at Voices in Wartime: http://voiceseducation.org/content/waging-peace

And if you like what you find at Voices, you might want to do what I did and “Make that change in Michael’s name” by leaving a donation in Michael’s memory: https://voiceseducation.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=3

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A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...