Which side are you on?
Noble Fringe offers choices
Last week I attended a meeting of our local Green Party. It was an activist subset of our community’s well-intentioned citizenry. They are the ones who identify and verbalize the most dire, most profoundly disturbing issues of our time. They are the noble fringe. They have chosen and are working to oppose those who they see destroying not just our political system; but, our planets ecosystem.
In all the political debates on television, I have not heard any reference to the elephant roommate: the real life and death issues of our time: global contamination and warming, and what needs to be done to remedy them. The Green Party members take a realistic view of what is happening and do what they can to influence what they identify as the problems. Selfish altruism, for our optimal wellness and really, our survival.
This group believes time is running out. More studies will not change our trajectory. Minimally disruptive changes; those that will not impose too great a discomfort or diminish the profits or economic stakeholders’ power are to them, by definition, ineffective. The group I shared cheese, crackers, and apple cider with is the modern metaphorical equivalent of David against Goliath (which was also a metaphor for its time). These are the contemporary Don Quixote’s and Sancho Penza’s tilting at windmills. This time the windmills are not imaginary demons on empty Spanish plains. The windmills they want tilted, are real. They are run by, and in the interests of, the most powerful people, corporations and countries on our planet. These are the ones who teach us what they want us to believe is important. They are the ones “too big to fail.” This group is intent on being obstructionist to the point of making a difference. Their model is the Sierra Club, which was so influential on changing public opinion of causes from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. http://www.sierraclub.org/
The Green Party has a set of 10 key values, originally ratified at the Green Party Convention, Denver, June, 2000. You can read more about it at http://www.gp.org. They are, as I described, the Noble Fringe.
They pledge to support:
- Grassroots democracy.
- Social justice and equal opportunity
- Ecological wisdom
- Community-based economics and economic justice
- Feminism and gender equality
- Respect for diversity
- Personal and global responsibility
- Future focus and sustainability
I Travel through time and space
Listening to one of the presentations, I was transported back to a warm and sunny spring day in 1966. I was dashing across the Oval at The Ohio State University. My books and notebooks clasped in my sweaty hands, I was intently focused on getting to my next class on time. Classes were 48 minutes long and we had just 12 minutes to move from one building to another, where the classes were held. I was jogging hard, because the next lecture was clear across the enormous campus.
This day, I was distracted, mid-stride, by a fellow standing on a bench near my path. It was the first time I heard someone using a megaphone. He was beseeching students to gather around and listen to him. That’s why I was in college: to learn about whatever was going on in our society. Maybe he was an anarchist! That might be amusing. So I paused for a couple of minutes to check out this “happening.”
He talked about civil rights for African Americans, a new phrase at the time. He talked about equal rights for women, Feminism. He talked about the Viet Nam conflict (not yet called a war) and defined who the powerful interests were that made up the stakeholders that profited; and who the powerless victims were, the real losers.
I listened. I thought, “That’s interesting,” and turned to continue to class. But then he stopped me on the spot when he looked directly down at me and challenged, “These are fights for our future. Which side are you on?”
I flushed. I felt goose bumps. There in the moving crowd of students, I experienced an exquisite stillness, as I focused inward, tapping into what my personal sense of truth and honor was directing me to do. I had that moment –and only that moment, to decide. My moral compass indicated my True North. It was a crossroad. A line in the sand. A brass ring. And the choices I made changed the direction and tone of my life.
The choices we make, in these important moments determine who we are, and the trajectory of our futures. Even more importantly, we are making tiny choices all day, everyday. Little adjustments, each of which could have a potentially momentous import. Some choices involve timing. Since my pre-school days, my morning mantra has been: Five more minutes. What, I wonder, would my life be like if I’d started on schedule every day?
Have you ever driven by a tragic accident and noted to yourself that if you hadn’t been detained by a stop light, a phone call, a neighbor’s question, or some other cause for a pause, that you could have been the one in the mangled vehicle? Have you ever noticed a perfect parking spot open up as you approach? Have you ever been somewhere on a whim and met someone who turned out to have a significant influence on your life? We are constantly making choices. The choices we make are important.
Coke or Pepsi?
Beer: microbrew or large corporate brewery? Wine: imported or domestic? Meat and vegetables: locally sourced or with a big carbon footprint? Running shoes or cross trainers? Tablet or laptop? Apple or Samsung? Do I take the freeway to work or the surface roads? Do I eat at the franchise or pack my lunch? Do I attend a networking group or stay home and watch TV? Do I open that inviting email with an attachment or delete it? Do I adopt a rescue dog with baggage or a fresh one from a breeder? Bully breed or shepherd? Do I contract with this company to repair my roof or that one? Do I go to this school or that one?
We have choices.
We have choices. All the choices we make are important. There are times when it is easier to choose on than others, like the time I was put on the spot back at college. There are times when the choices are made by the spirit rather than the mind. There are times when the choices are made by the body-fascia rather than the mind.
Drivers for my passion about PetMassageTM
These awareness’ that we have choices, and that the choices we make can be significant in creating our lives are the primary drivers for my passion about PetMassageTM. Each time I touch a dog, each time I pause to experience a response, each time I ask permission, each time I observe a myofascial relationship, or a cascade of positional releases, I am thrilled to be witnessing a dog making a decision. And, it is a decision which will be the gentle course correction that will affect the way the rest of its life is experienced.
The greatest opportunity is in the answer you give now
I am challenging the dog, “These choices are for your future.” Do you want to stay on the course you are on, and have the same results? Or, would you like to explore alternative pathways that will allow you to move toward a more healthful and comfortable quality of life?
Okay, puppy. The choice is yours. What will it be? Which side are you on?