Skip to main content

Preparing for an uncertain future: A Response

Janet, your essay provokes thought and moves towards defining the kind of action which this future seems to require. Nonetheless, when you say that we must become the piece in the puzzle to support and sustain what is life revering, I am not sure that all that is required is to offer alternative views in a respectful manner. That is one kind of action, yes, and an important one, especially in the face of the kind of power and privilege that does everything it can to shout down other voices. And I, as well as you, should and will continue to take that kind of action wherever and whenever we can.

However, I think there is another kind of action that is equally important, if not more so, now. I would like us all to think about and do this kind of action – the kind of action that acts out our values, not just talks about them. For some of us, for example, that might be civil disobedience of the kind where we sit down in front of the bulldozers clearing the way for oil pipelines. For others, it might be the growing of food, the conserving of water, the development of survival strategies for our tribe, however we might construe that term. In particular, I am seeing local organization of small groups around emergency preparedness in neighborhoods as critical to resilience in the conditions I now fear rapid climate change will bring down on us. And I think we have to pay attention centrally to the kinds of communication and organizational skills that will permit these groups both to emerge and to flourish. Developing and using such skills is not just enactment of our values, it will be critical to our survival.

So for me at this point, I am more concerned with these practical actions, enactments of my values if you will, and less with attempting to change minds, particularly the minds of those who have a huge investment in certain kinds of behavior. An investment that is literal as well as figurative.

We don’t have a lot of time left, and I want to use my “community time” as effectively as I can. Yes, to support those who will do civil disobedience, but more particularly to take action with others in my neighborhood to try to ensure we care for each other as well as possible when things get really difficult – which it seems, they surely will.

May Partridge - Sociologist, Creative Non-Fiction writer and Poet.


Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…