My choice of quotation last Monday was taken from E. F. Schumacher: “Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility.”
Deciding on what should be my second selection turned out to be more difficult. Simply because there were so many buzzing around my head.
In the end I chose this:
Never underestimate the power of unintended consequences!
Despite a web search, that brought up numerous articles concerning unintended consequences across many fields of the human experience, I was unable to find a source for the quote and therefore cannot attribute it to the original author.
Nevertheless, it strikes me as one of the core aspects of human behaviour!
As offered on Monday, here are my nominations for today:
Within today’s world, we are seeing many truths now being exposed, as those whom we are supposed to look up to, are now finding their own Lies, echoing back to find them out.
We all of us at times join in the gossip train, that travels out, gaining momentum and speed, stopping at various destinations, it gathers on board more passengers, who add their own little flourish to the journey.
I caught myself on this journey only the other week, which led me to stop my inner chatter, for our thoughts, like our words, are also powerful, and travel out, to create their vibration.. Which is why I wrote
Are you listening to your Inner Chatter?
What you are focused upon really matters
The power of your thoughts is what we create
Take a moment, to Pause, and Meditate.
I hope you pause, and take a moment to see what thoughts are being sent out.. For believe me.. They Echo right back to the source of their creation, it may not be straight away.. As the train timetables vary.. So Listen to the Echoes of your Heart.. I hope we have all made a start… Hold your vision for the World..
For all my life this has felt like a very special month.
And, dear friends, at the risk of repeating myself to many of you, this is why the month of May is special for me.
Simply that I was born in London during the closing months of the Second World War. Inevitably, I was unaware of the number of German bombs that were falling on London during those last few months. But there were thousands.
On May 8th. 1945, the day that WWII ended and six months to the day from when I was born, my mother looked down at me and said aloud to me: “You are going to live”. Despite the fact that I don’t recall my mother saying that, it was verified many times later when I was growing up.
Now here we are approaching May 8th. 2017 and in a very real sense it seems that we are in another war.
A war of consequence.
A war that we have been engaged in for many, many years.
A war where we are inadvertently fighting on a global battlefield.
A war where 99.99% of us don’t consciously identify the weapons we are using. Weapons that are incredibly effective. So much so that we are in sight of winning the last battle; winning the war.
Yet a war where winning is no win at all. Indeed, where winning this war, this global war, spells the end. The end of life for 99.99% of us humans (and much else besides).
Now what on earth has got me so fired up?
Two things have:
The first is that I am living in my 73rd year of life. I have no idea of when my life comes to an end. But that death is a guarantee. Indeed, if one takes note of the average life expectancy of a male today in the USA (75.6 years) , it may not be that far away.
The second thing is that before my death I truly want to know that humankind has laid down its weapons of war against our planet and that there really is an unstoppable mission, a united wave of passion, to live in peace on this planet. Perhaps better put to live in peace with this planet.
Or in the words of an organization that I now want to introduce:
A mission which will require the hard work and dedication of each and every one of us as we do everything in our power as individuals, but also as we galvanize businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, city planners, communities, people and politicians—all those who share our purpose.
OK! Thank you if you are still reading this! (Someone give Fred in that soft arm-chair over there a nudge; I can hear his snores from here!)
In the last Smithsonian electronic newsletter that I was reading yesterday morning there was a reference to an organization that I hadn’t previously come across. Here is the link to that item on The Smithsonian website. I am republishing it in full in this place. As you read it you will understand why I am republishing it.
Using a New Roadmap to Democratize Climate Change
A new tool aims to bypass governments and put the power of climate action in the people’s hands
Olafur Grimsson, who was president of Iceland from 1996 to 2016 and saw his country through the worst economic crisis in its history, making headlines all over the world as banks collapsed and the country fell into a depression, is the very picture of an urbane statesman. Collected and poised, with a striking full head of white hair, as comfortable in English as in his native Icelandic, he seems an unlikely revolutionary, not the sort of person you’d look at and immediately find yourself thinking: “Power to the People.”
But Grimsson is one of the primary architects of a quietly radical new idea whose aim is to facilitate action on climate change without any of the usual suspects—governments, countries, international bodies, negotiating parties.
He and several other veterans of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change were in Washington, D.C., last year, just before COP22, the climate meeting held in Marrakesh in 2016. They were pondering next steps when the conversation took a new and interesting turn, Grimsson says, addressing the question: “Was it possible to have the success of Paris without governments necessarily being in the leading role?”
The group included movers and shakers such as Peter Seligmann, the chairman of Conservation International; Laurene Powell Jobs, president of the philanthropic organization the Emerson Collective; and Andy Karsner, an assistant energy secretary during the administration of George W. Bush. Galvanized by their own query, they decided to try to answer it—to set about creating a new tool to aid in achieving the goals of the Paris accord.
At the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit, a gathering this past weekend of conservation-minded citizens, scientists and activists, Grimsson explained: “You get governments that are opposed or even hostile to climate action. We decided to bring together in Marrakesh a gathering of thinkers and scientists and innovators and policymakers from different countries in order to discuss a new model of securing the success of the future of the climate movement.”
Grimsson’s group felt that due to changes in information technology and social transformations, the large organizations and structures that used to be necessary to effect change were now not needed. And thus was born Roadmap, a new crowdsourcing tool for anyone and everyone interested in climate action. Still in its very early stages, Roadmap’s founders envision it as a platform for those working on climate issues—from scientist and policymaker to farmer and fisherman—to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas, methods and techniques.
“A new political model is possible—where everyone can be a doer, where you no longer need big government or big enterprises to bring about success,” Grimsson says.
This new model for social change that skips the usual cumbersome channels and processes has been seen everywhere from public health, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has redefined the sector, to the hospitality industry, which is working to combat the human trafficking that plagues its businesses, to perhaps most famously the Arab Spring, where the role of social media in bringing about political change is still being debated today.
And this new model is complemented by technological changes. “The innovation in energy technology is such that we no longer have to wait for the big energy breakthrough,” Grimsson says. “We already have the available technologies. Every individual, home, village, community, town and region can execute change. The good news from the climate point of view is that, in addition to the information technology revolution, there has now also taken place an energy revolution. A house can be a power station: If the people who live in that house have extra energy, they can sell their energy through the smart grid. The notion that every house can be a power station is as revolutionary as saying that every mobile phone can be a media company.”
Grimsson admits that it may seem odd for someone in his position to be advocating that ordinary citizens take action apart from the conventional corridors of governmental power.
“For me to say that these traditional political organizations and positions are somewhat outdated is perhaps a strange statement: I was a professor of political science, I’ve been a member of parliament, I’ve been a minister of finance, I was president for 20 years,” he says.
It was during Iceland’s financial meltdown that he first experienced this new kind of social change: “I saw this very strongly through the financial crisis in my own country, which led to a big social economic uprising. All those activities were engineered by unknown people, people who were not part of a big organization, who used Facebook and the information media to bring thousands of people together in one day.”
Right now, Roadmap consists of a website and a lofty manifesto that speaks of raising the value of “moral currency” and creating a “best practices warehouse.” Visitors to the site can fill out a form if they want to become part of its community of “doers.” The practical part of the manifesto speaks of identifying the best methodologies and models; implementing a “real-time system of measurement” and a way to “gauge and understand what is working, what is not, and exactly what is being achieved.” As the platform develops, it will be interesting to see exactly what form these gauges, measurement systems, and warehouses take.
After the Paris Agreement, Grimsson says of himself and his Roadmap co-founders, “We were all optimistic, but we are all also realists.” It is his belief that if you “give people the tools, they can execute the transformation and the change—without governmental leadership.” Perhaps Roadmap will be one of those tools.
Here’s a video that spells it out in ways that I find impossible to ignore. (And, yes, I signed up, as in joining, yesterday afternoon.)
Because in hundreds of years time I want others to look at the following picture of Troutbeck Valley in England and know how precious is this one and only planet we live on.
We are witnessing more storms, more unseasonal weather patterns, and I just hope that we wake up soon to the damage we are doing to our beloved Mother that has held us in her eternal arms for so long..
Enjoy the month of May wherever you are in the world!
Closing by repeating a key pronouncement in that RoadMap video above:
I was outside working yesterday afternoon and came back into the house some thirty minutes before Jean and I were due to visit a neighbour. Ergo, I was looking for a shortcut in terms of putting together a post for all you good people.
The notion came to me that I would republish something that was on Learning from Dogs some fives years ago: October 8th, 2011 to be exact.
Here it is!
Sit back and Smile
With thanks to Ellen M. for passing this across to Learning from Dogs.
Then to prove how quickly time flies by, guess what! Dear Sue Dreamwalker left a message to that post back in 2011.
What a great story and video… 🙂 .. Love this guys last comment about his Best Friend being less expensive than a girl friend.. lol.. Dogs Rule..
Just as Sue is still doing and, I bet, will be leaving a wonderful response today!
Subsequently, I left a follow-up to my first comment, replying to a comment from Diane Husic. This is what Diane wrote:
Many of us realize what a critical junction the country faces in this election cycle. As an academic, I am trying to figure out the appropriate role I should play. We need to teach students to be respectful of difference, to be tolerant, to be problem solvers, and to be civically engaged, but we aren’t supposed to use our positions to “force” our political views on them. But given the magnitude of issues confronting the planet and humanity and the importance of having leadership that “gets it” (and displays compassion and empathy), this is a tough balance to try to find.
and this was my reply to Diane:
I particularly enjoyed the lyrics in the middle of this narrative of the inclusion of Rozalla’s Song Everybody’s Free to Feel Good, which is an old favourite of mine..
So Go On FEEL GOOD and DANCE.. LAUGH and SING..
And SHARE THE FEEL GOOD FACTOR
Sending Love and Blessings
Next time I will share with you the village I grew up in as we went back to see the Well Dressings.. Along with some of my thoughts..
Feeling good about ourselves is the result of knowing and liking who we are. The foundation stone of knowing and liking all the many good people we interact with throughout our lives.
This is the second time I have used Affairs of the Heart as a title to a post. The previous time was January 20th, 2012 (and I’m republishing that post tomorrow). How time flies!
Indeed, in a little over two week’s time, on July 15th, all you dear, dear readers and I will be celebrating me writing this blog for seven years! Indeed, how time flies!
Yesterday, John Zande from down in Brazil, another great friend of this place, posted a comment that included a most powerful video. His comment was, “Not sure if this link will work, but this is a lovely story of an adoption that saved a life.”
It has to be that way. For evolution is a product of the decline of one variant of life (plant, animal, insect, higher order ‘animals’, etc. ) and a new aspect of that life emerging (or not). That’s how it has to be for the beauty of life, the beauty of life in all its forms (even including politicians! 😉 ). Life is a function of a “gradual decline into disorder“.
I’m not a religious person, nor is Jean, and do not believe in any form of afterlife. When I die that’s it.
I was born in 1944. I am ageing. I have suffered some brain atrophy that means that my recall is terrible. I know that the ageing process is going to continue. It scares me. At least it motivates me to keep as physically and mentally fit as I can.
I have tried hard most of my life to stay fit, physically and mentally. I’m only now aware of the reward of such an attitude.
But I haven’t been emotionally fit. In the sense of not truly knowing who I am and what my values are. That darkness was illuminated for me in the Summer of 2007, thanks to Jon.
That very moving video of Eric and Peety speaks of Eric being saved by Peety. I so deeply understand Eric.
For in December, 2007, just a few months after Jon (as in being the best we can be) made me fully aware of my distorted view of myself I travelled out to Mexico and met Jean and all her dogs.
Jean has saved me. Directly from the love, companionship and intimate friendship that she offers me. But Jean has also saved me indirectly. By that I mean from me living my daily life these last nearly ten years surrounded by the most beautiful dogs that one could imagine. Those dogs, each one of them in their own special way, also offering me love, companionship and intimate friendship.
Prior to December, 2007 I didn’t know how to feel my true emotions and, in consequence, didn’t know how to express them. Jean and the dogs have enabled me to feel my true emotions, and to express them. Dozens of things pain me and it’s rare day when I don’t have the odd weep or two. However, dozens of things please me each day and now bring out a laugh, or a giggle. Even better, dozens of times each day I am loved by our dogs and the gift that goes with that love is me feeling so beautifully accepted; accepted in an utterly unconditional manner.
The love given to me from our dogs and the love from my beautiful Jean make it so easy for me to be good to myself. That love, from Jeannie and the dogs, has been a gift to me beyond my imagination.
I have hanging on my office wall a framed print of a poem by Roy Croft. I gave it to Jeannie on the first anniversary of our marriage. I want to share Roy Croft’s words with you. For they so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from Jean. But in a way that I suspect Mr. Croft didn’t imagine when he first penned his poem, his words also so beautifully describe the gift of love I receive from our dogs.
“Love” by Roy Croft
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.
I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
If you have read my post through to the end, thank you!
It’s Sunday lunchtime and I have come in from outside to check my emails and to put together the post for today. For reasons I can’t exactly put my finger on I’m feeling a little distracted. I sense a yearning for being transported away from the ‘outside world’ and turning inwards: Even giving blogging a rest for a couple of weeks (but I won’t).
So thank goodness for the blogging contacts we make all around the world. Just last Saturday Sue, of Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, published an exquisitely beautiful poem. Sue very promptly gave me permission to republish it in full. Sue’s poem speaks to me just now; speaks to me in this rather introspective place. I hope her wonderful words speak to you as well.