A Non-Starter

6

November 21, 2022- Both of us are respectful of electricity and its power, being careful to avoid mishandling the pair of battery jumper cables. Friend was glad to hand off the task of attaching the cables cables to me. I did so, easily enough, but when I started Sportage and tried the same with the problem vehicle- crickets. As a “door is ajar” warning sound continued to ding, even when all doors were closed, I suspect a short in the wiring. I gave friend a ride to a place of lodging, and he will resume dealing with the matter tomorrow morning, hopefully with help from his insurance carrier.

This was nearly the last task to occupy me today, before my flight to Dallas, early Tuesday. The day mostly consisted of accompanying a 10-year-old student from one class to another. She is soft-spoken around adults, but is very much independent and seemingly in charge of her disability, rather than the other way around. The day went well, and her teacher asked me to consider taking on the task full-time. While it might be better for a younger, female paraprofessional to do the job day-to-day, I am not ruling it out for the second semester.

The last task was to conduct a Baha’i study of social action formulae. We came close to finishing the unit, but my purpose is to generate meaningful discourse, which indeed came out of our study of three sections. leaving two to examine, next Monday evening. This will mean my birthday dinner will be an early event, which I prefer anyway.

After a bit of packing for tomorrow, it was early to bed- with joy at a productive day.

Common Ground

2

September 28, 2022- One of my family members, and a high school friend, let us know they were safe and well, as Hurricane Ian made its slow move through southwest Florida, for several hours today. The sometimes contentious state and Federal governments are on speaking terms for this one, and there is no daylight between the arrival of the storm and that of Federal aid.

There are a few troublemakers trying to disrupt things- a bogus article claiming that President Biden has “abandoned” Puerto Rico, with the theme that “a whole week has gone by, and nothing has been done.” Sorry, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency has no drive-through window. It usually takes three weeks to a month before tangible results can be seen and felt. Just yesterday, funds to help Mora County and Taos, New Mexico recover from the wildfires of May and June, were approved by Congress-meaning that those who felt abandoned by FEMA will shortly begin to get actual relief.

The larger picture is that when disasters like those mentioned above, or in Alaska, or further afield in Pakistan or the eastern Caribbean, happen, we feel a genuine desire to help. I am somewhat indisposed to physically go to Florida right now, owing to a commitment to be available for two Social Action prep courses, between now and the end of December. These are Friday morning classes, online, so work of any form would be disruptive. I trust that there will be a multitude of people going to help-with the Florida Emergency Management director telling people to go through official channels, when volunteering, and not to just self-deploy.

The big picture, though, is in seeing that we all are standing on the same common ground-and in times like these, no one gains from throwing stones at others, including government workers.

Regeneration and Reaping

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March 20, 2021-So many times, I have been knocked down and gotten back up-sometimes right away, other times after a fashion. It is a solace that I am far from unique, in that respect. Mohandas Gandhi was knocked down, by a South African policeman, at least half a dozen times, and simply got up-not to attack the officer, but to move along, independently of what anyone in authority thought. The Civil Rights crusaders of the Twentieth Century moved through targeted assassinations, betrayals and studied indifference, to build the framework that has so changed at least the trajectory of social discourse, to an elevated place where hatred is rightly seen as the fruit of ignorance and psychological instability.

My own struggles pale in comparison to those faced by so many, across the globe. The best of those, especially the indigenous people in so many countries, have withstood centuries of degradation, squalour and deprivation of human dignity-only to spring up anew, and lend their life learning to the betterment of some of the very people who oppressed them. I have learned far more from the First Nations peoples of North America than I ever imparted to their children. African-Americans have imparted a goodly amount of common sense solutions and the importance of maintaining presence, which have gone a long way towards bringing my often convoluted thinking processes in line with what is needed on the ground floor.

South of the Equator, people are getting ready to reap what they have cultivated over the past year- both in terms of agriculture and social action. We, who are north of the Earth’s midsection, are preparing our soil and our societies for another season of productivity. Will we struggle aimlessly, or keep our focus on what will bring relief and power to all concerned?

Proud

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September 20, 2019-

I’m proud of you,

who stood for what you believe

and told the world that Man

has a duty, to be a good steward

of this planet.

I’m proud of you,

for telling those who ignore

the warning signs,

to wake up,

as this planet doesn’t just belong

to the polluters,

to the Big Dogs,

to the billionaires,

to those who tell you

to shut up and go away.

I’m proud of you,

for saying that

your life matters

as much as anyone else’s.

I’m proud of you,

for standing tall.

for standing firm.

I’m proud of you,

every one of you.

Be prepared for the hard work that follows from today.

(Written on the occasion of Climate Strike)