An uplifting news item, poem, thought or quotation each day.

27 June 2004

Win - Win 

(Version 1)

Do you have a secret wish?

Tell a friend, and it becomes an aspiration.

Tell two friends and it becomes a goal.

Tell three friends and itís your destiny.

(Version 2)

Do you have a secret wish?

Tell a friend, and feel unsupported and resentful.

Tell two friends and begin a process of self-examination.

Tell three friends and you are ready to re-imagine your future.

-Josh Mitteldorf

26 June 2004

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open.
-Martha Graham

As an aphorism, this is awkward and wordy, but she makes her point quite effectively nonetheless... which, come to think of it, is just what she was saying.

25 June 2004

Rely not on the teacher, but on the teaching.
Rely not on the words, but on the spirit of the words.
Rely not on theory, but on experience.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
        -Kalama Sutra (Buddhist text)

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
        -Albert Einstein

24 June 2004

A banner hanging over my daughterís school proclaims, "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." The phrase has joined our folklore, and is cited without attribution. This would have pleased A J Muste, whose words these are. Born in 1885, Muste devoted a long and vigorous life to peace and justice. He evolved from a man of the cloth to a labor organizer to a Marxist, before finding the center of his mission as an advocate for nonviolence. He lived long enough to spark the incipient protests against the Vietnam war, and was at the height of his power when he died at 82.
The AJ Muste Memorial Institute in New York continues his work today.

23 June 2004

 

The Myth of the Passive Citizen

( Le mythe du citoyen passif) :

In this essay from the primary newspaper of Paris, Le Monde, Rossanvallon observes that even though voting rates are down, it doesn't mean that people care less about politics. Other forms of political action are on the rise (signing petitions, going to demonstrations, participation in environmental and humanitarian advocacy groups). People are finding different and more effective ways to engage.

I would add that corporate interests have gone to extreme lengths in the last 20 years both to control public opinion and to neutralize dissent. On 15 Feb of last year, there were millions of people defying President Bush to march for peace in cities throughout the world. The people's voice will not be silenced.

This morning, I'll be joining a Sierra Club group out in front of a church where W Bush is campaigning in North Philadelphia.

 

22 June 2004
To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.  
 
Anatole France (1844 - 1924)

 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.

 - Martin Luther King

 

The dream reveals the reality which conception lags behind.  That is the horror of life - the terror of art.

 Franz Kafka

 

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. 

- Richard Bach

21 June 2004

By 1970, I had become convinced not only that black holes are an inevitable consequence of general relativity theory and that they are likely to exist in profusion in the universe, but also that their existence implies the mutability of physical law. If time can end in a black hole, if space can be crumpled to nothingnes at its center, if the number of particles within a black hole has no meaning, then why should we believe that there is anything special, anything unique, about the laws of physics that we discover and apply? These laws must have come into existence with the Big Bang as surely as space and time did.

        - John Archibald Wheeler

(Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam, p 351)


Life is stranger than any of us expected,
There is a somber, imponderable fate.
Enigma rules, and the heart has no certainty.
    -Richard Eberhart

 

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