“It can only be after we stop hating ourselves that we have the opportunity to stop hating (and love) others.” ~ cjzurcher
“The fundamental political question is why do people obey a government. The answer is that they tend to enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall when the people withdraw their support.” ~ Étienne De La Boétie, The Politics Of Obedience
“Learn to look behind your judgments to the need at the root of them. Learn from your limitations without losing self-respect. Learn to mourn your actions without blame, without guilt.” ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg
“On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn’t the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. The soul of the murderer is blind; and there can be no true goodness nor true love without the utmost clear-sightedness.” (sans toute la clairvoyance possible) ~ Albert Camus from one of the more memorable passages of The Plague, in which he addresses the volunteer sanitary groups put together by citizens to clean the town’s overloaded hospitals.
“For the millions in a prison
That wealth has set apart—
For the Christ who has not risen,
From the caverns of the heart
For the innermost decision
That we cannot but obey
For what’s left of our religion,
I lift my voice and pray;
May the lights in the land of Plenty
Shine on the truth someday.”
John Lewis wrote this article in the New York Times as he was dying.
Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.
I started writing something about the masks we wear and this quotation from James Baldwin popped up in my email today:
“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” ~ James Baldwin
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“I think the crime is the weapons. The crime is the money spent on the weapons. The crime is the money taken from the real needs in our country and in our world to spend it on these weapons of mass destruction. And we need to stop that. And that’s the message that I want to continue to stand behind.” ~ Liz McAlister
Read more about her sentencing for acts to save humanity from nuclear war
“My heart is moved by all I cannot save: So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” ~ Adrienne Rich
“We come in peace on this sorrowful anniversary of the martyrdom of a great prophet, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee as a reaction to his efforts to address “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism.”
Dr. King said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.” This remains true in the midst of our endless war on terror. The United States has embraced a permanent war economy.”
“When you light a candle, let it mean intransigent resistance. When you pray, imagine a new world is possible. And then live it.” ~ Liz McAlister
“‘Consider’ (con sidere) means ‘with the stars’; reconsider means to rejoin the movement of heaven and life.” ~ Paul Hawken
I believe the “we” have always been fighting stupidity just as the “they” have always been fighting it too, just a different sort or from a different angle. I saw a headline today about “left-leaning groups” lobbying Biden over the defense budget. When writing and reporting for possibly millions of eyeballs, why don’t we use true descriptive words — like progressive, or ethical, or peaceful, or socially just, or traditional, change-averse, anti-innovation, religious, whatever — when we refer to groups or people associated with certain values, rather than generalizing by saying they are “left” and “right?” Is it because we have lazily allowed ourselves (and the media) to assume that everyone knows what left and right means (“good” and “bad” probably mostly), depending on what side you’re on? Rhetoric. Semantics. Language. La Langue. They are more powerful forces than most realize and we need to deploy them specifically and with great care and attention. ~ cjzurcher
“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garmen. One that fits all of humanity and nature.” ~ Sonya Renee Taylor
It’s probably just, not merely, a dire measure taken by this blessed Earth and creation to protect what is hers, and shed some light on that which is ours, but that which is less than all the intelligence that has been in our hands to do with what we would, and did, from the dawn of creation. What, after all, looking back, would you have done? What did you do? And what were you capable of? Surely nothing as grandiose or magnificent as this. Surely nothing even close. ~ cjz
It’s comforting to know that I’m one of millions who are having a difficult time truly understanding what it means that half the world is under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 virus. There’s a feeling of solidarity with those millions that you can, or maybe that you must take for granted. I would think that feeling — the feeling of being a part of a global community that shares the feelings that you’re having — I would think that alone might help ease the feelings, whether they are feelings of fear, anxiety, dread, boredom, or a gazillion other things that are the result of the absolutely unimaginable effects that a microscopic molecule is having on all the human inhabitants of this blue planet of ours.
“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is a crisis that demands we come together now as a global community (not at 350ppm or after the next great flood, but now); when we are indiscriminately threatened – rich or poor, black or white, Middle Eastern or Asian or Mexican or American. Living on this large ship, Earth, has always been a process of grasping at straws. It’s just a question of how we respond to the severity and the immediacy of the need to help and care for each other that determines how successful we will be keeping the ship afloat and the passengers both safe and peaceful. It’s not a question of who’s got more money. It’s not a question of who has more bombs. It’s an elemental question of how much capacity we have to muster our compassion, sympathy, generosity, humanity. ~ cjzurcher