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"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
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"Imagine All the People Sharing All the World."
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"If enough Christians followed the gospel, they could bring any state to its knees." 
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"You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."
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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow September 2008 arrow September 20, 2008

September 20, 2008
WAWA Blog September 20, 2008: Passion, Activist Burnout and US



 

Activists are driven by passion fueled by a radical hope that the power of just one can indeed help change the way things happen to be. St. Augustine defined Hope as having two children: Anger at the way things are and Courage to do something about it.


 

Activists are hopeful people but they are not necessarily optimistic for optimists look at the world through rose colored glasses while activists adorn the dark shades of realism. Justice and Peace activists who fight the good fight are fueled by the desire to begin the world again which requires an over throw of the status quo. The work of activists provides no perks and success is as rare as an honest politician.


 


"Within apathetic, mainstream American culture, people involved in the various movements fighting for real change are a minority, and can be taken for granted...we losing incredible people with a lot to offer by not supporting them, we are also failing them as a community. If our goal is to make the world a better place and forge new societies and communities based on mutual aid and sustainability, what does it mean when we can’t even take care of each other and keep things running…The dominant culture in this country does not teach us to appreciate the hard work and contributions of the people around us. We need to change this pattern…Next time you are working on a project with someone, take some time out to think about the amount of work that the both of you have put into the project, not how much more you have to do. Recognize and respect the time taken to work on the project and any sacrifices either of you have made in order to get things done. Be vocal! Give praise; don’t just assume that because you aren’t criticizing someone that they know you think they are doing a good job…Give credit where credit is due….what is important is that we have dialogue." [1]



 

But before we converse, we must look within to discern the desires of our own heart which is the birthplace of passion and the sanctuary of love and only love will birth positive change. I am not talking sentimental, romantic or erotic love, but pure love that sees 'the other' as oneself. Jesus reminded us that the greatest command is to love God first [and God is Love] and then we are to love all our neighbors [everyone on the planet] as we love our self: in other words we are to treat 'the other' as we desire to be treated, for the law of karma is that what ever we put out will return to us in spades.

 

 

 

During my first of five trips to Israel Palestine, the whistleblower of Israel's WMD Program, Mordechai Vanunu spoke to me about his 18 years in jail for telling the world the truth that Israel was already nuclear in 1985 and I was blown away that this former Orthodox Jew who was baptized a Christian just weeks before being kidnapped by the Mossad stated, "The Shen Beet, you know like the FBI and the Mossad, like your CIA…tortured me by keeping a light on in my cell constantly for two years. They told me it was because they were afraid I would commit suicide, and the oppressive camera was for my safety. They recruited the guards and other prisoners to irritate me. They would deprive me of sleep by making loud noises near my cell all night long. I chose to read them 1 Corinthians 13 instead." [2]



 

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with THE TRUTH! It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things."- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8



 

 

Psychotherapist Allen L. Roland wrote, "By loving yourself I mean giving full and honest expression of your deepest feelings regardless of the risks ~ which in itself is an act of love…Remember that love, joy and a state of soul consciousness, not anger, pain, resentment and ego consciousness lies deepest within each one of us and joins us to a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness…You cannot tap into your passion if you are careful or controlled by the ego's need for outer validation versus inner validation.  As such, you must be willing to say YES to yourself and not be controlled by fear particularly when you are on the path of the heart. YOU MUST LIVE YOUR DREAMS. And the ultimate dream is just being yourself and making a difference in the process. YOU MUST CONQUER FEAR…Most fear is false exaggerations appearing real and the most common fear is That being myself is not enough…YOU MUST SAY YES TO YOURSELF. When you say yes to yourself you are in sync with your destiny whereas saying no to yourself is the ultimate self-negation…YOU MUST MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Making a difference means being in service to a greater humanitarian need than the ego's self-serving needs.  And it starts by owning and believing in yourself. YOU MUST BE INNER DIRECTED…willing to stand alone and have faith in yourself even at the risk of those closest to you not understanding. Many are called, few listen and fewer still respond to their own inner voice but true passion begins with listening and responding to your true and authentic inner calling." [3]



 

Discerning ones inner calling requires being open to all of ones emotions, being open to all the people one meets, being fully present in every situation with a trust that the power of one can make a difference in our dysfunctional world that cries out for Tikkun; which is Hebrew for heal, mend and transform the world. The only way to do that requires we use our days living them to the full in service to 'the other' who is oppressed and who also is really our self in different skin and in a different place.




 Martin Niemoller, came to German public awareness in 1933 with his book From U-Boat to Pulpit, outlining his journey from a U-Boat commander in World War I to a pastor in a Protestant church who survived Dachau.


He wrote about the apathy of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group after group.
 
I spin his poem like this;



They came for the Communists, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Communist.


They came for the Jews, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Jewish.


They came for Lebanon's Christians, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Marionettes.


They came for Sudan's blacks, and we didn't speak up because we weren't Sudanese blacks.


They came for the Catholics, and we didn't speak up because we were Protestant.


They came for the trade unionists, and we didn't speak up because we were white collar.


They came for the gays and lesbians but we didn't speak out because we were straight.


They came for the asylum-seekers and refugees; they fed us suspicions and fears, soothed us with mindless entertainment and tried to keep us clueless to the true facts on the ground as we pursued keeping bread on the table and a dry roof above head.

Then they came for those who listened to the voice of their conscience [another name for God] and spoke the truth from their gut.


But the only sound was a small voice in the wilderness...

 

 

1. http://slingshot.tao.ca/displaybi.php?0086016

2. Fleming Eileen, MEMOIRS of a Nice Irish-American Girl's Life in Occupied Territory pages 105-106.

3.  http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/2008/09/18.html#a2149

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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