There's something to be said for Kitchen Table Wisdom - you know, like in the old days when people sat around the kitchen table after a meal and talked about life, the universe and the meaning of it all - as well as the gossip doing the rounds in town...

Well, that's what this place is - a place to share common wisdom, thoughts and feelings about things important and unimportant, that bring us joy, laughter and happiness and that trouble, sadden, confuse and anger us ...

What I write here is what's 'real' for me. It won't always be PC or 'nice'. We're missing out on true connection and chances to grow and change because there's too little authenticity, too little honesty, too much holding back what we really feel and mean.

Welcome to my world...

I used to have a copyright claim here, but I've removed it...

Ideas don't belong to anyone -

they come to those who are receptive and are to be used for the well being of all...

I find images and movies and music all over the web

and I use them to accent/expand on my thoughts and understandings...


If you feel you have experienced or received something of value in reading my posts,

please consider either:

Giving a Koha/Love Offering Here - Donate with WePay

or paying it forward to those who need

material and emotional/spiritual sustenance in this world...


Thank You


As You Think, So It Is - Your Beliefs Create Your Reality

If your Reality isn't Working for You, Create a New One!

Life Unlimited!


Namaste

(the Divine in me, recognises and honours the Divine in you)

Sahila




Friday, September 30, 2011

The Occupation Continues...




"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
~ Howard Zinn





Two weeks now, and still going... 


Though you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media...





The Occupation is spreading as people realise WE ARE THE 99%...

Occupations are now happening all over the US and across the world:

MIDWEST
Occupy Chicago
Occupy Cincinnati
Occupy Cleveland
Occupy Columbus, OH
Occupy Indiana
Occupy Indianapolis
Occupy Kansas City
Occupy Michigan
Occupy Minnesota
Occupy OKC
Occupy Omaha
Occupy OSU (Stillwater)
Occupy St. Louis
Occupy Tulsa
Occupy Wisconsin
Occupy Youngstown


NORTHEAST
Occupy Albany
Occupy Binghamton
Occupy Boston
Occupy D.C.
Occupy Hartford, CT
Occupy Maine
Occupy New Haven
Occupy New Jersey
Occupy Pittsburgh
Occupy Providence, RI
Occupy Rochester
Occupy Vermont


SOUTHEAST
Occupy Arkansas
Occupy Asheville
Occupy Atlanta
Occupy Birmingham, AL
Occupy Charlotte
Occupy Clarksville, TN
Occupy Columbus, GA
Occupy Daytona Beach
Occupy Durham
Occupy Florence, SC
Occupy Greensboro
Occupy Jacksonville, FL
Occupy Knoxville
Occupy Lexington, KY
Occupy Louisville
Occupy Memphis
Occupy Mississippi
Occupy Nashville
Occupy New Orleans
Occupy Orlando
Occupy Raleigh, NC
Occupy Richmond, VA
Occupy Tallahassee
Occupy Tampa
Occupy Winston Salem


SOUTHWEST
Occupy Albuquerque
Occupy Austin
Occupy Dallas
Occupy Houston
Occupy Phoenix
Occupy San Antonio
Occupy Tucson

 
WEST
Occupy Boise
Occupy Colorado Springs
Occupy Denver
Occupy Eugene
Occupy Las Vegas
Occupy Los Angeles
Occupy Olympia
Occupy Portland
Occupy Sacramento
Occupy Salt Lake City
Occupy San Diego
Occupy San Francisco
Occupy San Jose
Occupy Santa Cruz
Occupy Seattle
Occupy Spokane




INTERNATIONAL
Occupy Adelaide
Occupy Brisbane
OCCUPY DEN HAAG (NL)
Occupy Finland
Occupy Frankfurt Germany
Occupy Hamburg Germany
Occupy Manchester | March on the Tory Party Conference
Occupy Melbourne Australia
Occupy Montreal
Occupy Perth
Occupy the London Stock Exchange
Occupy Toronto Market Exchange
Occupy Vancouver 




KIA KAHA - BE STRONG






Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This... POSTSCRIPT...

Been dreaming a lot of very vivid dreams lately (or rather, remembering the dreams)...
Gross Out Alert... 
 
                     
Kinda creepy/worrying when the latter part of your night is spent dreaming about poo...
Your own and other peoples'... measuring it, examining it, comparing it with old, dried up, dessicated poo left by someone else...
In huge, vaulty spaces that feel holiday-ish (or Harry Potter bathroomish...
With an unnamed sexy male character wandering around in the background of the story, who may/may not be a potential romantic partner...
Maybe it's because this is how I ended the day:
"feeling pissy... too long with not enough sleep; wanting/wishing/intending the revolution to go forward; looking for somewhere else to live (temp/perm, either here or in Australia!?!?); needing to put more time and energy/focus into new short-term, part-time job and to give lots more attention to son!"
Freud, Jung - what say you???!
POSTSCRIPT (Wednesday 28 September 2011):
Came across these two photos on Facebook today... as if the universe was joining in the conversation!

And had intended originally to insert this video clip (one of my favourite songs):
LYRICS:
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

I wanna use you and abuse you
I wanna know what's inside you
(Whispering) Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Hold your head up, movin' on
Keep your head up, movin' on
Movin' on!

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

I'm gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside
Gonna use you and abuse you
I'm gonna know what's inside you




 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Occupation...

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil OBEDIENCE. 
Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their governments and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. 
Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. 
Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem."
~ Howard Zinn
My fellow activists in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and everywhere...
I recommend that we all put our different foci aside temporarily, and concentrate on replicating what is going on in New York right now...  in cities all over the world!
After all - everything that we are working to change, stems from the oligarchy that has its power base (in the US) divided between Wall Street and the Capitol...
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Opting Out - At Least In One Small Way...


First day of school for son (8, 3rd grade), yesterday...

He didn't want to go... nothing's changed over summer and we had the usual tears and pleading and having to be pried from me at the classroom door...

Horrified to find the flag flying in the classroom, with a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance pinned underneath it... 

My son has four nationalities and I don't want him brainwashed to be loyal to any one country, any one philosophy, any one culture, any one religion, any one ethnic or social group...

He's a citizen of the world, and I've already written a post about my beliefs around flags, borders, anthems and patriotism:

A World Without Flags, Borders and Anthems

And then, a notice came home in the afternoon, saying that the first 10 days of school would be taken up with testing, testing and more testing...

And son had a temper tantrum last night, which in the end, was the releasing of pent-up tension and unhappiness about his day at school, where all of his security references/ties have been taken away from him... 

He said his day had no "roses", just all "thorns" and that after the initial greeting 'circle up' and warm-up game, it was all boring...

What more information do I need to legitimise my almost-made decision to take him out of school and "unschool" him?

This morning I sent this letter to the school/district, son is staying home and I need to finally reconcile my ambivalence about "formal" education...




Sent 13 September 2011, Shoreline School District, Washington

Dear Shereen, Trinh and Superintendent Walker...

I, Sahila ChangeBringer, hereby exercise my parental rights under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to withdraw my son "C" from any and all forms of standardised testing conducted at Room Nine and within the Shoreline School District.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents posses the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” Furthermore, the Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35) The Supreme Court criticized a state legislature for trying to interfere “with the power of parents to control the education of their own.” (Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 402.) In Meyer, the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten "liberties" protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (262 U.S. 399).

In recognition of both the right and responsibility of parents to control their children’s education, the Court has stated:
“It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for the obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.” (Prince v.Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158)

C is not permitted to take the test during mandated testing days nor during designated make-up sessions.

Additionally, I am requesting that the school make accommodations for meaningful alternative activities or assignments that will continue to promote his academic and intellectual growth.

C will not be in attendance if academically viable alternatives are not available.

Furthermore, I must be guaranteed in writing that whatever option is taken, either alternative assignments or absence, my child will not face any negative consequences to, for example, course grades, social or behavioral evaluations, workload, promotion, or future classroom assignments.

Furthermore, I ask that no record of this testing be part of C's permanent file, as I do not wish him to participate in standardised achievement testing for promotion, graduation, or school/state report cards.

Strict adherence to state and Federal high-stakes standardised testing, including the extensive classroom preparation that occurs prior to test administration, prevents my student from receiving a well-rounded and engaging educational experience.

Additionally, it:

•Is not scientifically-based and fails to follow the U.S. Government’s own data on learning

•Fosters test driven education that is not meeting the individual/intellectual needs of students

•Presents a racial and economic bias that is beneficial to white middle/upper class students and detrimental to second language students, impoverished students, and students of colour

•Violates the United States Constitution’s ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act

•Supports complicity of corporate interests rather than democracy based on public concerns

•Fosters coercion over cooperation with regards to federal funding for public education

•Promotes a culture of lying, cheating, and exploitation within the school community

•Has used the achievement gap to foster a “de facto” segregation that has resulted in separate and unequal education for minorities

I do apologize in advance for the inconvenience or scrutiny that this decision may cause the administration, the school, and staff.

Sincerely,
Sahila ChangeBringer
parent...


Friday, September 9, 2011

State of the Nation...


Chaos and confusion...


...and crooked paths...


...that are found only by crawling and feeling my/our way through the jungle undergrowth...

 "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism"

from George Orwell's 1984,

in the chapter entitled "War Is Peace",

edited by Miguel Sanchez:

 

In one combination or another, these three super-states are permanently at war, and have been so for the past twenty-five years.   War, however, is no longer the desperate, annihilating struggle that it was in the early decades of the twentieth century. . . .

This is not to say that either the conduct of war, or the prevailing attitude towards it, has become less bloodthirsty or more chivalrous.   On the contrary, war hysteria is continuous and universal in all countries, and such acts as raping, looting, the slaughter of children, the reduction of whole populations to slavery, and reprisals against prisoners which extend even to boiling and burying alive, are looked upon as normal, and, when they are committed by one's own side and not by the enemy, meritorious.

But in a physical sense war involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly-trained specialists, and causes comparatively few casualties.   The fighting, when there is any, takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the average man can only guess at, or round the Floating Fortresses which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes. . .

To understand the nature of the present war -- for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war -- one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive. . . The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.

What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself.    Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war.   It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly.    All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

The splitting of the intelligence which the Party requires of its members, and which is more easily achieved in an atmosphere of war, is now almost universal, but the higher up the ranks one goes, the more marked it becomes.   It is precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of the enemy are strongest.  In his capacity as an administrator, it is often necessary for a member of the Inner Party to know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and he may often be aware that the entire war is spurious and is either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by the technique of doublethink.  Meanwhile no Inner Party member wavers for an instant in his mystical belief that the war is real, and that it is bound to end victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world. . .

War prisoners apart, the average citizen of Oceania never sets eyes on a citizen of either Eurasia or Eastasia, and he is forbidden the knowledge of foreign languages.   If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies.   The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate. . .

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture.   It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another.   But though it is unreal it is not meaningless.   It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. . . 

In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all.   The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact..."

 





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Talk...





Heavy time... time now, maybe, for talking about how to make your dreams come true...

 








As You Do Unto The Least Of Them...


... so you do to me - Jesus...

I've been completely flummoxed lately by the numbers of people who call themselves "christians", but who have the least empathic, least un-christian attitudes towards life, the planet, other species and their fellow humans...

I've been encountering this a lot in the "education reform" arena, where people purporting to be educated, religious, loving, compassionate beings actually defend the fact that people doing menial work are not being paid enough to live well...

One person stated that these people had not worked hard and paid for a college education as he and his wife had done, so it was only right that they not live as well as he does...  He had earned his "comfort" and they had not... And he said that if they earned enough to live well doing only menial work, there would be no incentive and reward to work harder and climb up the ladder...

But, as Mother Teresa reminded us:




WHATEVER YOU DID UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST,
YOU DID UNTO ME

Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Given at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC
Thur, 3 Feb 94.


"On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." 

Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." 

These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"


As we have gathered here to pray together, I think it will be beautiful if we begin with a prayer that expresses very well what Jesus wants us to do for the least. St. Francis of Assisi understood very well these words of Jesus and His life is very well expressed by a prayer. And this prayer, which we say every day after Holy Communion, always surprises me very much, because it is very fitting for each one of us. And I always wonder whether 800 years ago when St. Francis lived, they had the same difficulties that we have today. I think that some of you already have this prayer of peace - so we will pray it together.

Let us thank God for the opportunity He has given us today to have come here to pray together. We have come here especially to pray for peace, joy and love. We are reminded that Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor. He had told us what is that good news when He said: "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." He came not to give the peace of the world which is only that we don't bother each other. He came to give the peace of heart which comes from loving - from doing good to others.

And God loved the world so much that He gave His son - it was a giving. God gave His son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary's life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child - the child in the womb of Elizabeth - leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary - Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth.

And as if that were not enough, as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb of Mary, Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love. He died for you and for me, and for the leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street, no only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and everywhere. Our Sisters serve these poor people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us. Jesus gave His life to love us and He tells us that we also have to give whatever it takes to do good to one another. And in the Gospel Jesus says very clearly: "Love as I have loved you."


Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us - to save us from our selfishness in sin. He gave up everything to do the Father's will - to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God's will - to love one another as He loves each of us. If we are not willing to give whatever it takes to do good to one another, sin is still in us. That is why we too must give to each other until it hurts.

It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is not true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me."

When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.

I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and forgotten them - maybe. I saw that in that home these old people had everything - good food, comfortable place, television, everything, but everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on the face. I turned to Sister and I asked: "Why do these people who have every comfort here, why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?"

I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile. And Sister said: "This is the way it is nearly everyday. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten." And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that 'the future of humanity passes through the family.'



I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: 'Because there is no one in the family to receive them.' Our children depend on us for everything - their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So their children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child, which is were love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace...


When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society - that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome...


... Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: "You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse." So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: "thank you" - and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: "What would I say if I were in her place?" And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: "I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain," or something. But she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. 

Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half eaten by worms and, after we had brought him to the home, he only said, "I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for." Then, after we had removed all the worms from his body, all he said, with a big smile, was: "Sister, I am going home to God" - and he died. It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel - this is the greatness of people who are spiritually rich even when they are materially poor...



... And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?

I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing.

But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins - at home in the family..."

(I excised the parts of her speech where Mother Teresa expresses her views on contraception and abortion - SC) 



PS... Is it my imagination or do "conservatives" really have a selfish, mean & vicious streak in them? I think there was a study that proved they did... SAD ...

for more thinking on this, go to: The Quest for the “Liberal Gene”

The Empathy Gene: Are We Really Born Good or Evil? from Claremont Graduate University on Vimeo.