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In light of the anniversary of 9/11 yesterday,
as well as the violence, despair, prejudice, and fear
around the globe,
I find myself turning to the words of Edith Cavell
‘Patriotism is not enough,
I must have no hatred nor bitterness
Our Whole Life
While I was sitting at my computer yesterday
drumming my fingers while my e-mail window opened
and wondering if I needed a new, faster computer
so my windows would open in .56 seconds rather than 1.4 seconds,
the words of Will Rogers popped into my head.
Half our life is spent
trying to find something to do
with the time
we have rushed through life trying to save.
[Note to self: Deep breath. This is life.]
I have been pondering an unsettling conversation
I had with a colleague yesterday about the idea of progress
which is (more or less) a concept of the Enlightenment.
What I have been pondering is the startling notion
she shared from recent study and research,
that ‘progress’ is, by definition,
inextricably linked to the ‘better-worse’ continuum.
Just think about it.
As it turns out, then, ‘progress’ enables
(in fact, empowers and encourages)
all the ‘ism’s: racism, sexism, ageism, patriotism, ableism…
The quandry we are in is that we have been so shaped by the Enlightenment
that we cannot even imagine another way of
describing or experiencing life than linear progress.
The good news is that brains can be rewired –
this has been proven over and over.
The less-good news is that it takes a lot of work.
My suggestion is that we get started today
before the ‘ism’s nudge us into an implosion
from which humanity cannot recover.
[What if we tried some different maps and guidebooks? I wrote a longer post about ‘mapping’ from a different perspective while I was on sabbatical. If you are interested, it is HERE.]
On this day in 1928, Bacteriologist Alexander Fleming
returned from a vacation to discover
that a mold had contaminated his petri dishes.
When he put it under his microscope,
he saw that it had prevented his bacteria from growing.
On that first day, he wasn’t really sure
whether it was happenstance
or something that could be replicated.
By September 28, he had been able to produce enough
of it to confirm that it really worked…
…and he announced the first antibiotic to the world.
Now, I happen to be allergic to penicillin
(the mold that was growing in those petri dishes),
but if you enjoy reading these posts,
it is a good thing that my mother was not allergic…
…because as a teenager, she got blood poisoning
and what saved her life was penicillin.
By an odd coincidence, I was born — just about four years later —
on September 28.
Do I take that as proof of forces tilting my way in the universe?
Not really, no, but I do notice that my life would not have existed
except for that discovery on that day.
And I take delight in the fact that penicillin and I share a birthday.
So: what are the mysterious, amusing, strange,
profound, adventurous, intriguing events
that weave you into the web of creation?
Walking the Talk
Too many of us hear without heeding,
read without responding,
confess without changing,
profess without practicing,
worship without witnessing,
and seek without sharing.
(William Arthur Ward)
The only thing necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good [people] to do nothing.
We are not helpless.
We do not need to be paralyzed.
We do not need to give in to despair.
We need to act with confidence and courage.
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLCDaily Posts Lughnasadh 8