Nature urgently needs our good works! Together we can indeed bring back, re-create even, a healthy biosphere. But in order for our world to heal, we must all commit to do something—all it takes is a small step in the right direction. I would like to share with you four ideas about “changing and doing”; thoughts that have beenrumbling around in my mind over these past few weeks. Ideas and concepts that possibly can be of use, guide us, but also hopefully help us to develop compassion for all sides: to instigate vital changes—with a loving heart.
Life is about relationships
My philosophical view is that there are five relationships possible. We have relationship with ourselves. We have relationship with others. We have relationship with nature—other life species in the biosphere. We have relationship with things— jobs, hobbies, cars, homes, possessions, etc. We have relationship with God— if we are a religious/spiritual person. Think about it— life and relationships are synonymous.
We become who we hangout with
Our family background shaped our beliefs, desires and the ways in which we see the world. In fact, not just our immediate family, but our family’s tree contains generational beliefs passed on to us, making us who we are. We are all born to a certain place, society and culture and our culture prescribes a particular point of view for us, and encourages us strongly to accept these values. These may include religious values or not, depending on our background. Most of us, reading this newsletter, are Americans and our culture has indoctrinated us with a particular worldview— one that we will look at closely in a few minutes.
We are a global community
n this day and age, what we do in our own neighborhood effect not only the people around us, but people all over the world. We are all connected.
As Americans we have been conditioned to be consumers. We are a culture of shoppers, motivated by constant advertising campaigns all around us. In fact, the all-American thing to do, to save our economy (besides bailing out erring banks), is to consume. As Americans we like things and the accumulation of things. We are a nation of shoppers.
The industrial revolution made it possible for us to produce lots of goods, and
In last week’s email I cited Dohrea Bardell’s article entitled, “The Dynamics and Development of Western Power from Colonization to a Global Regime”. This is a very important document that put into perspective what our consumption mentality is doing to the rest of the world. It is obvious to us today that the colonizing ways of the 19th Century, the enslavement of other cultures’ people for the purpose of getting their country’s resources and their cheap (free) labor, is evil and unthinkable. But, that is exactly what our Western transnational corporations are doing throughout the global south today, linked in power with the World Bank, WTO, IMF, First World governments and Third World despots.
Last week we watched an interview with John Perkins, author of “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, his book can be viewed as Economics 101 when it comes to understanding the neo-colonialism of today; and why there is a massive movement afoot by millions of peasants worldwide, standing up for their sovergn rights to control their own land, their food, their agricultural practices and their way of life. Two-hundred thousand farmers in India have ended their lives by suicide since 1997 because of the actions of transnational corporations— Monsanto, Cargill and Syngenta. See the Huffington Post article, “From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and how Can We Stop This tragedy?”
This week I want to introduce you to Chris Hedges, former Bureau chief for the New York Time Magazine in Iraq, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and an extremely articulate and lucid voice in seeing where we are and what we must do. Speaking out on the American consumer culture in Town Hall Seattle July 22nd, 2009 Hedges states, “Corporations have morphed our consumption into a constant, nagging compulsion.” He makes a powerful case against consumerism, celebrity culture, mainstream media and unfettered capitalism. I encourage you to listen to his half-hour talk. Just click on the link above and then click on “Listen to Speaker’s Forum” and you’ll hear his talk.
We all are shaped by our relationships, and the beauty of life is that it is never
Becoming an activist.
We begin where we are at. For example over the last 30 years I have become a city person—definitely not a farmer. But I haven’t been that way all my life. So my friends, I present to you, in exibit A (the picture on the left) my first fruits— the little potent cherry tomato, beautiful basil and this delicious pepper (tiny but tasty):
The tomato came from our plant on the deck and the basil and pepper came from the garden patch I planted for our condo community. As you can see from the middle picture the crop is growing. And, last but not least, the picture on the right is the harvest in our box this week from the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each week is different, we receive whatever is ready to be harvested, and we keep getting produce that we have never seen before or know how to prepare. What is so wonderful, as you know from my earlier emails, is the Newsletters we get each week from our CSA Helsing Farms, updating us on life on the farm, educating us on what we received in our box, and giving us gourmet recipes on how to prepare each item.
For example, and forgive me but I have to share a recipes with you because it is so elegantly simple and good. As you can see we got some fennel bulbs on the left, we got a clove of garlic, a bunch of chives and a pound and one-half of purple potatoes (I think they are really taro). Look at this recipe.
Roasted Purple Potatoes and Fennel with Garlic Butter:
Our produce is local, organic, straight from the farm, picked this morning,
In their “happenings on the farm” this week they are welcoming us all to join them, kids and all for the yearly music festival on the farm. It is a sleep over (camp over) and it sounds fantastic.
So, my point in all of this is that we are so influenced by who we hang with, and it is imperative for all of us to stretch our horizons so our hearts and minds are expanded to be able to make intelligent actions towards saving our planet. In Green Facts this week I have again promoted the Peoples Grocery. Just look at the critically fundamental and important work these activists are doing.
Clinical Note: We are almost at the end of the summer and the beginning
The Last Quiz Answer: This gorgeous creature is a Wild Yak. Once
The Peope’s Grocery is a community-based organization in West Oakland that develops creative solutions to the health problems in their community that stem from a lack of access to and knowledge about healthy, fresh foods. Our mission is to build a local food system that improves the health and economy of the West Oakland community.