“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
An 1868 US-Sioux Treaty granted the tribe the Black Hills of South Dakota in exchange for peace. Eight years later, the US passed a law taking that land away because gold was discovered there. Four hundred years ago this month, the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia aboard a Dutch ship. Hold these people in mind as we hear the stories from concentration camps along our border. So many opportunities we have had to learn to choose generosity and altruism over selfishness and hatred. And so many times we’ve failed to do so. Peace knows neither color nor border. Recently in my own life, a neighbor asked us for a favor. And I, living on land stolen from indigenous people with all the privilege of my race and color had the opportunity to choose generosity over selfishness. It won’t undo any wrong, but hopefully it will teach me to walk that way…Betsy
“Action is the antidote to despair.” ~Joan Baez
This week has been far from peaceful. We have seen several horrifying examples of the devastation that comes from division and hatred. Despair must be the first thing our minds go to — despair that we have failed to reign in the awful violence of too many guns; despair that people can be filled with so much hatred; despair that people of color are not safe in our midst; and despair that “isms” such as racism and nationalism seem more important that humanity and compassion. So it is ok to spend some time in Continue reading
“Art is such a powerful vehicle for change.” ~RAICES, a Texas Immigration Advocacy Organization
This week, two California professors installed pink seesaws at our southern border. The images of children playing and families laughing contrasts sharply with previous images we have seen from the border. The headline reads “we are all connected”. This story is a great learning tool for us in so many ways. How simple it is to transform violence into something beautiful. It only takes us to participate. We cannot be mere spectators. And any gift we have to give can work to power change, especially in concert with the gifts of others. Each side of the seesaw must act in order for it to work and the action of each side impacts the other. Likewise, each of us has a part to play in a world that is all connected. And every thing we do — for good or bad — has an impact on others. The Alternative Energy Resources Organization is encouraging us to eat one local food each day during August. I’d like to challenge us further to find one act of connection we can do each day to transform the violence of our world. I’m going to start today by writing a note to someone who is going through a tough time. What can you do?…Betsy
Friday, August 2, 5-8:30, JRPC. Join us for First Friday with our own intern, Jessica Jewell. Jessica is a local artist with a passion for the environment. She looks to Nature for inspiration and wisdom which are reflected through her paintings. Through art, she seeks to rekindle our relationship with our beautiful planet!