Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wisconsin and the Sleeping Giant

It seems Wisconsin has become ground zero for a new movement that is a push to bring true democracy back with a few new amendments: Integrity, truth, fairness, accurateness and not manipulation in media, an end to partisan politics, a voice for the people, leaders who listen, human rights, civil rights, civility, inclusion not exclusion, a shift in power from leaders to constituents, acknowledgement of human worth...

Is there an app for that?

Read about Barbara's immersion experience at the Wisconsin Capitol Rally:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Speaking of Violence- Words in the Wake of Tuscon's Tragedy

There are words and phrases in every language that convey the intention of violence. In colloquialisms, slang and everyday speech we find violent references and military metaphors. When did our casual language get so violent? It is worth examining our speech for indicators of violence. The result may surprise you. The Huffington Post featured my article after the shootings in Arizona that many speculate were politically motivated by a climate of violent rhetoric. What do you say?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bullying is Not Just for Playgrounds

Working on the "Words and Violence" Curriculum for the last year has made me acutely aware of the power and impact of words. 

The power of words has been recently demonstrated with a worldwide protest against the use of an image and program that crossed a line of civilty and a in the worldwide focus and  discussion about a fallen leader-- U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

People are dead including a nine year old girl because for whatever deranged reason, someone found what someone else was saying unacceptable and tried to silence a voice. People died in the crossfire. Crossfire and crosshairs-- those were the buzzwords. They are words that hold charge. And the words we speak should be examined for their lethalness-- just like any other wielded weapon. We can maim, harm and murder people with the weaponry of words.

Words harm or they heal. Words bully. And sometimes they kill.

See my article on bullying with words and images at the Huffington Post...

Friday, March 11, 2011

If They Asked you to "Come Change the World" would you RSVP?

How many times do we receive an offer to change the world? To make it a better place? To reach the hearts and hands of people across the globe? If that moment comes, the question is first of all, do we recognize this opportunity for what it is? Or do we spin around and look behind us to see whom "they" are talking to? Who me?

If and when that moment arrives what would you do? Laugh? Grin sheepishly? Stammer? Put your nose back in your book? Pick that fuzz from your navel?

It's not widely believed that one person can change the world. Such a giant idea is hard to wrap one's head around, no? Because we expect a full marching band with the arrival of that kind of announcement or invitation, maybe we miss it when it is whispered in ordinary company or flickers by in a fleeting moment. Would you know it if it arrived in your life? And would you RSVP?

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...