Thursday, February 4, 2010


So many things happening... that is growing and expanding, now has it's own Facebook group
Become a friend, and share it with others!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nice people dying

The past few days were filled with coverage of the funeral of Ted Kennedy and people sharing memories about him. What a wonderful person he was. As I listened to the huge array of areas in which he made a difference, in small and in big ways, I joined the multitude of people who hadn't met him personally yet felt sad about his passing.
But then I thought - Passing. Going through a place and continuing. What an interesting word. Actually, it's not when the person disappears that he passes. Rather we need to think of the life as passing. Now - what mark are we making as we pass through this life, this planet? It's not a surprise when the ride is over, to say oh!? he passed!!?!
He was passing his whole life....
Another thought I had was the heritage. Some journalists talked about the end of an era, the Kennedy era. I thought - now that Ted is gone, what do WE all need to do? individually, collectively? Like in a tribe, when the shaman dies, is this the end of the wisdom and healing? It isn't. Others pick up on what they had the chance to learn.
It made me think that it may even good that an exceptional person dies, so that the responsibility of starting to do what the other was doing can expand onto others. Otherwise it's like one person doing the dishes, no need for others to do it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorials of what

Being a stranger in a culture provides interesting opportunities to look at things from a perspective that is not bound to that culture. Because the culture we are born into is like having a painting hanging on a wall since we came to the world, we don't see it any more.
So I was reflecting these days about the meaning of a memorial day. Besides shopping frenzies at malls-in-sale-mood and bbq's, what are we celebrating? The deaths of soldiers and officers? The causes for which they lost their lives? Ok, I can hear an answer. It's not a celebration, it's honoring them. Since they gave the ultimate gift - their life, it's the least we can do. To have bbq's and shop for sales, put flowers at commemorative plaques and monuments, may be a few speeches, and start thinking of it way ahead, looking forward it when making travel plans for the Memorial Weekend.
So is it may be a capitalistic stimulus action, to promote spending? Because it seems odd to me to celebrate war and armed, planned violence against each other. It seems to me old fashioned, to resolve disputes with explosions and killing. It doesn't sound smart, intelligent, a great example to live by, an inspiration of the heights of human mind and talent. It doesn't seem to be a symbol of values to guide our life: go kill or get killed. It doesn't speak well of human race, pretty backwards if I may say so, since in Nature there is no war, only eating each other for strict survival, with zero animosity. Now I yet have to find the war that was fought for survival. I mean, not ego survival, not to restore damaged narcissism, not to defend the national identity whatever that is, not to retaliate aggression, not to prove what we are able to, not to defend our values that symbolize who we are, and to which we get so attached that we end up taking them for who we actually are.
I'd propose a new memorial day, it could be the day to Learn From History, what not to do again, it could be the Learn from Nature day, to go back and be more animal-like. They are smarter and have figured out how to live on this planet for centuries, whithout disrupting their home and without arguments with other species.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

we are so many

Early morning on Sundays there is an NPR program called Speaking of Faith, hosted by Krista Tippett. Every week she brings some new angles on topics related with making meaning, beliefs, values and spirituality. She interviews poets, scientists, philosophers, Nobel Price winners, and creates profound dialogues. Over the last months she has opened a blog called Repossessing Virtue (I don't understand that title) where anyone can post their thoughts and experiences about dealing with the economic crisis. I was writing my June newsletter and went into that blog to search for some quotes, and was fascinated to read the comments posted there! What a depth of thinking, what an inspiring input, and above all, it made me think that these are common people, these are people we are crossing on the street. These are not a small group of exceptional thinkers, they are regular people, making a difference in the everyday just being themselves and in their small circle of influence. Well, we actually never know the boundaries of our circle of influence... You see, they post their reflections on a blog, I read it and write about them in a newsletter and on my blog, you may go back to the link now and read more by yourself, talk to others about it....
Yes, we are so many, and growing. Tipping point is getting close.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama and Chavez

I am thrilled with this gesture. Obama reaching out, bridging the nonsensical prejudices that indicate that the people that don't think like you, that live by values that you don't share, that act in ways that you don't accept - that you just plain ignore them, and don't talk to them. As if that would solve everything, would make them disappear, vanish! How will we ever get an understanding going, if we don't start acknowledging the other, no matter how strange they look? I always remind myself that as far from me that the other person seems, this is the same distance that the other sees mi.
I read abouthat this gesture of reaching out and giving a smile and the hand. And then I read the words of Chavez saying "I want to be your friend". I may be naif to see this as an interesting statement, but given the choice to be cynical and distrust, or to be naif and believe, I choose the second. As a matter of fact, being naif and believing has given me more positive surprises so far than I could imagine. Why not?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We forgot it

I feed peanuts the bluejays, and they come every day and ask for it, since they count on it. When we are travelling and no one is at home, they just don't get their used portion. When we come back, it always takes a few days until they notice things are back to usual. This time I noticed an interesting behavior in the bluejays. They were very happy to take their peanuts and fly away with them. But after a few take-outs, they began to dig and hide them in one of the planters. I have seen animals hiding their food many times in my life, dogs, squirrels, I know it happens. Yet, I was looking at it differently today. I said to myself: They are saving the peanuts, they are putting them away for a time when we're not at home for example. They are not eating more than they need today.
Then I immediately thought about the global crisis we are in, product of greed, of excessive consumption, of the take-make-waste mentality, where we are the 20% of the population that has been eating so much more than we needed, and 80% is paying the bill - together with the 20% of course too, just in a milder way.
As i was reflecting on that, I heard in the news that Gandhi's sandals will be auctioned this week in New York, and the bid expects to sell them at USD 20 or 30,ooo. Now, what is this telling us about our values, if someone is willing to spend that money to own a pair of sandals from one of the most virtuous persons? Definitely it will not help him walk in Gandhi's shoes...
At what point in history did we forget we were part of Nature, and forgot the wisdom we were carrying because of that? At what point in time did we become less smart than birds?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More than a moment

Yesterday, Inauguration Day, over 2000 instant messages were being posted on Facebook through its link into CNN Live. Over 2000 one-liners from all over the world. I wanted to print a screen shot and it came out as 55 pages. :-O
Joy, hope, excitement, tears, amazement were some of the emotions shared. Many comments refered to "what a great moment".
In this fast paced world that takes over the more contemplative one, where short attention span is such a generalized disease that it is almost taken as normal, I shouldn't be surprised to read those words - what a great moment. Yet I think it's not a moment. Yes, yes, a moment is all we have, the snapshot of now, the inmediate present... However observing what was taking place I think it is not about a great moment. It's about a time, a chapter in history, that has been in the make for long time, marinated in good and in bad events. May be what happened yesterday was a moment of collective awareness raising, of noticing that something was going on, and we all were actors in it.