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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 16 March 2015 at 7:27pm
The Great Tragedy of Speed


Speed in work has compensations. Speed gets noticed. Speed is praised by others. Speed is self-important. Speed absolves us. Speed means we don't really belong to any particular thing or person we are visiting and thus appears to elevate us above the ground of our labors.

When it becomes all-consuming, speed is the ultimate defense, the antidote to stopping and really looking. If we really saw what we were doing and who we had become, we feel we might not survive the stopping and the accompanying self-appraisal. So we don't stop, and the faster we go, the harder it becomes to stop. We keep moving on whenever any form of true commitment seems to surface.

Speed is also warning, a throbbing, insistent indicator that some cliff edge or other is very near, a sure diagnostic sign that we are living someone else's life and doing someone else's work. But speed saves us the pain of all that stopping; speed can be such a balm, a saving grace, a way we tell ourselves, in unconscious ways, that we are really not participating.

"The great tragedy of speed as an answer to the complexities and responsibilities of existence is that very soon we cannot recognize anything or anyone who is not traveling at the same velocity as we are. We see only those moving in the same whirling orbit and only those moving with the same urgency. Soon we begin to suffer a form of amnesia, caused by the blurred vision of velocity itself, where those germane to our humanity are dropped from our minds one by one. We start to lose sight of any colleagues who are moving at a slower pace, and we start to lose sight of the bigger, slower cycles that underlie our work. We especially lose sight of the big, unfolding wave form passing through our lives that is indicative of our central character.

On the personal side, as slaves to speed, we start to lose sight of family members, especially children, or those who are ill or infirm, who are not flying through the world as quickly and determinedly as we are. Just as seriously, we begin to leave behind the parts of our own selves that limp a little, the vulnerabilities that actually give us color and character. We forget that our sanity is dependent on a relationship with longer, more patient cycles extending beyond the urgencies and madness of the office."

-David Whyte

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 19 March 2015 at 5:10pm

KEEPING QUIET

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let's not speak in any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda

Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid)
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2015 at 6:50pm
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE ECONOMY

To better weigh the progress of innovative business models in the new economy, the E3 Network—a national network of economists focused on equity and environment—deployed researchers around the country to separate hype from reality. Armed with an analytical framework developed by our steering committee, these researchers looked deeply into how new business models function, what their impacts are, how scaleable they are, and how replicable they are.

futureecon.org/future-economy/welcome-future-economy


FIGHTING POVERTY WITH PARKS



“When I first came here eleven years ago, there were a lot of gangs,” says Peraza, stocky and upbeat and in his mid-30s. “People wouldn’t even bother buying bikes—they felt like it was throwing money in the garbage because they were always getting stolen.” Peraza eventually convinced Hacienda to build a safe bike storage room, and he started a bike club.

Then, in 2010 he landed a job planting trees with Verde, a Hacienda spin-off focused on creating jobs and greening the neighborhood. Before long he was working with a coalition of neighborhood groups, including Verde and Hacienda, in an ambitious venture that promises to transform the neighborhood’s identity: the conversion of a twenty-five-acre former gravel pit and construction waste dump into a new public park.

The park is the most visible example of an emerging economy built around green assets and citizen empowerment in Cully, a case I analyzed in depth for the Future Economy Initiative.

In Verde’s hands, sustainability becomes a neighborhood-wide anti-poverty strategy, addressing unemployment, displacement, health, and access to services and neighborhood amenities simultaneously...


futureecon.org/future-economy/fighting-poverty-with-parks
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 March 2015 at 6:23pm
Gracy Olmstead: Jayber Crow is deeply rooted in his community. He’s opposed to war and much of the so-called “progress” that goes on around him. Would you call Jayber Crow a conservative?

Wendell Berry: It never occurred to me to think of Jayber as a “conservative.” I don’t think that would have helped, though he is instinctively and in principle a conserver. His membership is not in a party or a public movement, but in Port William. He is a man of unsteady faith in love with a place, a perishing little town, a community, a woman—with all that is redemptive and good—struggling to be worthy. I didn’t (and don’t) think of him as a “liberal” either.

Jayber to me is Jayber unclassified.

The same for Edmund Burke, whose writings and speeches I have read eagerly and at considerable length.

I don’t read him to be confirmed in a party allegiance. I read him for his steadfast affirmation of qualities I see as, in a high sense, human. I read him for his decency, the luster of his intelligence and character, his patience and endurance in thinking, his willingness to take a principled stand, the happiness of his prose.

He was a peacemaker, a lover of “order and beauty,” of “the amiable and conciliatory virtues of lenity, moderation, and tenderness.” As a man in politics should do, he preferred reason to the passions. He thought that “the separation of fame and virtue is an harsh divorce.” He said, “I do not like to see anything destroyed…” He said that a person “has a right to a fair portion of all which society, with all its combinations of skill and force, can do in his favor.” He said, “The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression, is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man.”

A useful exercise for an American is to ask which of our holders of office has ever spoken publicly in favor of beauty or the “virtue” of tenderness.


GO: You once wrote of the Gulf War, “But we know that this was descended from a history of war and that it evokes the fear of other wars that may descend from it.” Is war with ISIS also part of this chain—descended from the Iraq War, in particular? How do we stop this cycle?

WB: It does seem that there are lineages of war and that wars are the causes of wars. And it seems unlikely that wars cause peace. Wars cause victory and defeat, equivocal terms because in wars both sides lose much that they would rather keep, and they cause exhaustion. But victory, defeat, loss, and exhaustion don’t define peace. It is certain that peace does not cause war. Wars, moreover, tend not to end. Damage from our Civil War continues today. We are still under the influence of World War II. We still suffer the effects of the succession of wars that have followed.

But I don’t believe we can hope to make sense of our modern wars until we have acknowledged that war is good for business. The industrialization of war has made it far worse than before. And weapons, ammunition, explosives, the vehicles of battle—like throwaway bottles, made to be destroyed and expensively replaced—are ideal products of industrialism.

Peace assuredly would pay even larger dividends, but to the wrong people. It is not at all clear how you could make a billion dollars by being peaceable. And so we don’t consider or study the means of peace, or make them available to our leaders. We speak well of peace, we say we want it, we have paid the lives of innumerable other people and unaccountable wealth supposedly to get it, but we seem not to mind, we seem not to notice, that all we have got for so much loss, for so long, is more war.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/wendell-berry-burkean/
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 26 March 2015 at 5:42pm
Wealth vs. Money

"There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"


The words are those of Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, speaking to Edward R. Murrow in 1955, as quoted recently in an essay by Paul Buchheit. What was he thinking? Six decades later, the words have such a counter-resonance with prevailing thought. They exude an old-fashioned humility and innocence, like . . . striking it rich isn't necessarily the ultimate point of life?

I read these words and sense so much spilled wisdom in them, so much wasted hope. The world we've created is governed these days by two unquestioned principles: commodify and dominate. And it's chewing up the resources that used to belong to every occupant of the planet.

"Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world's 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam," Mona Chalabi wrote in January at FiveThirtyEight.com. "The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms - while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world's population has fallen."

The winners keep winning and everyone loses.

Thus there is an "urgent need to tackle the vested interests of the 1 percent," writes Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. Wealth is a wedge to maintain wealth and widen the gap between those who have and those who don't. Wealth seeks to privatize the world and shut most people out.

"Wealth is used to entrench inequality, not to trickle down and solve it. . . ." she writes. "Across the world, we see that great money doesn't only buy a nice car or a better education or healthcare. It can buy power: impunity from justice; an election; a pliant media; favourable laws. With the privatisation of our universities it can even buy the world of ideas."

It's the opposite of the philosophy implicit in Salk's comment: that what we do as individuals we do for the good of the whole, and, indeed, there is no separation between the individual and the whole. As Lewis Mumford once wrote, as quoted by Charles Eisenstein in his book Sacred Economics: "A patent is a device that enables one man to claim special financial rewards for being the last link in the complicated social process that produced the invention."

The point I'm reaching for is not about being nice or charitable but about how we need to notch up our sense of what it means to be realistic. We are not alone in this world. We are intricately and complexly connected to it, and we need a system of being - political, social, cultural and economic - fully and enthusiastically cognizant of this fact. We need to reorganize humanity around this awareness, especially economically, because the current system blinds us to this crucial reality.


"I believe we can build a human economy where people are the bottom line," Byanyima writes, to which I would add: not just people but the whole planet. And it begins with a change in awareness: that wealth and money are not interchangeable concepts and, indeed, that wealth can be experienced but not, in fact, "held." And the 80 billionaires who control the same amount of capital as the world's 3.6 billion most impoverished residents may have corralled an astonishing amount of power over others but have wealth equal only to their level of spiritual awareness, which is an awareness that begins, perhaps, with a surrender of the self to the larger context in which we are alive.

You might call this context evolution. When we live our lives to the fullest, we contribute to the greater whole and this is the basis of spiritual fulfillment. It can't be hoarded; it can't be gamed; it's not a zero-sum process, in which more spiritual fulfillment for me means less for you.

"What was once sacred to us . . . is becoming no longer sacred," Eisenstein said in an interview with Jonathan Talat Phillips. "For example, just a couple generations ago, we revered growth: the expansion of the human realm, the conquest of nature, etc. Today our values are changing, and we want to protect and heal nature. But money is still rooted in the old values. So, what I mean by 'sacred economics' is the realigning of money with those things that are becoming sacred to us today, those things that we deeply value."

So this is our dilemma: Money is still rooted in the old values. Civilization had a 6,000-year growth spurt propelled by domination and conquest of the planet and one another. We're at the end of this spurt; we're running out of what we can conquer, but we're still enthralled to an economic system that insists that the conquests continue. We have to keep exploiting and privatizing the planet - "the commons," as Eisenstein calls it - chopping it up and selling it back to one another. This is an economic system that insists on proclaiming winners (very few) and losers (the many). It's an economic system that will sacrifice the public good when it's time to do so, and that time has come.


~Robert Koehler
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2015 at 5:55pm
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths

Introduction begins at 6 Min 30 Seconds into this video.
Program begins at 15 Min 40 seconds into this video.

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf speaks at the 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth Sacred Self in Louisville, Kentucky held at Actors Theatre of Louisville by the Center for Interfaith Relations.

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is joined by Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport for the second half of the session which features an audience Q&A.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asq_8S9qGvQ

(About 2 hours)
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 28 December 2018 at 2:05pm

A Green Tree in Your Heart

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come."

Building community is a sacred process, so I begin here, with a Chinese proverb that a healer and social worker turned into a song. The sacred has an intensely personal dimension to it, and the singing bird rips it open for me. 

Three weeks ago I wrote a column called "The Barbara Tree," in which I talked about two things: the orange papier-mch bird that mysteriously appeared on a branch of the linden tree that had been planted in a nearby park in honor of my late wife; and a blog-in-progress I'm in the process of launching, with some friends, called Chicago Spirit, which seeks to celebrate the world-in-progress that so many people are creating: the world beyond war, Eco-exploitation, domination consciousness, spectator culture and the privatization of the commons.

I invited response, i.e., participation, having no idea what it would look like. This is not a simple world, as cynics would dismiss it. It's a world of risky reaching out, groping for connection. What I got was music, art, story. What I got was politics, courage and craftsmanship, sometimes wrapped around anger, more often wrapped around love. And birds and trees kept showing up in fascinating and heart-wrenching ways.


"I too lost my wife to a long term disease and I think of her often," wrote Michael Boyter. "Paula also loved birds and our back yard was transformed by her love and care into a national bird sanctuary."

And so begins community, at the level of loss and truth. "I have a college degree in Environmental Studies and Solar Energy Design," he went on. "I understand what we need to do to save our planet, our environment and our civilization. Has it gone too far down to be saved?\

"Repowering hope," he said, "that is something that needs to be done for the people of the USA and the world."

http://https://www.islamicity.org/7894/a-green-tree-in-your-heart/


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 04 January 2019 at 1:49pm

Rudy Francisco - "When the Water Is Gone"



(2 mins)
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Save the World | National Geographic's Short Film Showcase


As the human population continues to grow, so does our impact on the environment. In fact, recent research has shown that three-quarters of Earth’s land surface is under pressure from human activity. In this short film, spoken word artist Prince Ea makes a powerful case for protecting the planet and challenges the human race to create a sustainable future.


(About 4 mins)
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Look & See -- Exclusive Trailer-Wendell Berry



Produced by Robert Redford, Terrence Malick, and Nick Offerman and directed by Laura Dunn (The Unforeseen), the documentary is a beautiful and poignant portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the eye of American novelist, poet, and activist, Wendell Berry.



(About 3 mins)
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 09 January 2019 at 1:54pm

Living indoors is slowly killing us




(About 3 mins)
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Beautiful Places: A Conversation with Wendell Berry


Listen to a conversation between two giants of the local economy movement in this extended episode. Helena Norberg-Hodge founded Local Futures, produced the film The Economics of Happiness, and wrote the book Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. Wendell Berry is a poet and activist, an author of over 40 books, and a lifelong advocate for ecological health, the beauty of rural life, and small-scale farming. Their far-reaching discussion touches on human nature, technology, experiential knowledge, agriculture policy, happiness, wildness, and local food systems.


(54 mins)
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How 12,000 Tonnes of Dumped Orange Peel Grew Into a Landscape Nobody Expected to Find

PETER DOCKRILL
30 AUG 2017

An experimental conservation project that was abandoned and almost forgotten about, has ended up producing an amazing ecological win nearly two decades after it was dreamt up.

The plan, which saw a juice company dump 1,000 truckloads of waste orange peel in a barren pasture in Costa Rica back in the mid 1990s, has eventually revitalised the desolate site into a thriving, lush forest.

That's one heck of a turnaround, especially since the project was forced to close in only its second year – but despite the early cancellation, the peel already deposited on the 3-hectare (7-acre) site led to a 176 percent increase in above-ground biomass.

"This is one of the only instances I've ever heard of where you can have cost-negative carbon sequestration," says ecologist Timothy Treuer from Princeton University.

"It's not just a win-win between the company and the local park – it's a win for everyone."


https://www.sciencealert.com/how-12-000-tonnes-of-dumped-orange-peel-produced-something-nobody-imagined

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Planet Warriors



(About 4 mins)
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