Posts Tagged ‘war’

Weaponry and Livingry

January 25, 2012

I listened to tonight’s State of the Union address while driving in my car. Though I stay away from politics in my blog posts for the most part, I do want to mention something that I heard in this speech which heartened me very much.

Describing Kibera, the largest slum in all of Africa, to a friend recently, I told him that it is very hard to reconcile how we let such situations happen as humans. People get pushed so far into the margins. It is almost impossible to for me to grasp how we let this go on, how people who can do space exploration and invent computer chips can’t seem to solve the problem of our brothers and sisters living in illness, filth and hunger. The friend I was speaking to is also a great fan of Buckminster Fuller. He quoted Bucky. The energy is going toward weaponry rather than livingry.

Bucky spoke about this regularly. If we were to put all of the resources that we invest in war into improving the quality of LIFE – just imagine. What couldn’t we do? I have been turning this around and around in my mind since that conversation.

Tonight I felt a genuine rush of feeling and relief to hear Obama say that a huge chunk of the budget from the Department of Defense for the first time will be put toward finding clean energy in our country. Funds for weaponry now to be invested in livingry! Later in the speech he mentioned rural peoples who need greater broadband equipment so that they can sell their goods internationally just like urban people do. Being a mountain person who suffers constantly with that neglect in the budgets, I felt that! He spoke of our roads and bridges in need of repair. Then came the magic words for me once more – funds that had been put toward war will now used for addressing these needs. My heart jumped. Livingry rather than weaponry.

Please hear our prayers, You Who listens, help us to stop spending on weaponry. Why must it be so? Let us put all of that gorgeous innovation, energy and motivation into solving needs for living well, for all living things to live well. We humans make it seem so complicated, but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe it can be simple.

Gratitude for Hope for Haiti Concert

January 23, 2010

Last night I thought I would turn on the fundraising concert for Haiti and keep it on while I caught up with many things. I didn’t know that I would be drawn in at the first moment and unable to take my eyes off of the screen during the entire event. My heart kept opening a little more and then a little more, like a flower.  I felt proud to be human, to be American and to be a fan of these musicians, actors and newscasters not only as artists but as people. I’ve watched them for a long time and last night more than maybe any other time I felt they made their souls transparent through their voices and their whole bodies. It felt honest and genuine in every beat. Thank you.

I thought of Woodstock, how the notes played in that one event spoke so deeply to and for a generation. Of all the artists and musicians in the world, somehow those ones became the voices to speak for us in that particular way. At the time we didn’t realize it, but soon and as time went on we surely did. At any random moment in the day or night since then I might hear Richie Havens voice singing “Freedom. Freedom,” or Jimi Hendrix’s guitar strains on the Star Spangled Banner, or Arlo Guthrie saying, almost in shock, “The New York throughway is closed, man!”  It feels like those sounds are now inside of me, part of me, for some purpose. I wondered last night if this concert might turn out similarly – a confluence of people and voices singing to and for all of us in a way that could soon become iconic. Time will tell.

And I will add one more thought. When the concert was over I wished that also we could somehow do the same for the victims of man-made disasters in war. When mother natures strikes, it is less complicated – we can gather and pour out our hearts. But when nature through the untamed psyche of man causes us to strike each other, it is harder to unite behind the victims. We have to stand back; and we find it hard to gather. I wish we could stop killing each other altogether, that there would be no more wars ever, obviously; but short of that happening I wish that we could carry out such heart-rending consciousness raisers to gather support for the people who suffer from these disasters every day. May it become somehow so.