Friday, November 02, 2007

A Little Way Of Justice and Peace Part 4

Final Part
by Robert Waldrop

11. "Gather your community." Connect with your local neighbors and friends. Be a good neighbor. Help your neighbors and friends and work with them to make your community more sustainable and resilient. Be active with civil society organizations or informal associations that are working for good causes and goals. If you vote, do so intelligently and with thought about the consequences. If you have no community, find one or create one.

12. "Be alert and aware." Know what's going on. Search out "side-stream" media for news and useful information. Tell others what is happening in your area and be generous in sharing knowledge and skills. Ignore government and corporation propaganda. Don't buy the lie that "what you do doesn't matter". Kill your television, or at least grievously wound it. Beware of and resist media messages that encourage gluttony, waste, and instant gratification, which are often the source of the excuses you make to yourself that keep you from doing what you need to do. Procrastination is deadly.

13. "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Select small, easy projects at first ("pick the low hanging fruit") and as you get better at those, adopt bigger and more challenging goals. If you can't do the best, it's OK to be simply better, or at least good, even "fair to middling." Be willing to start small, or it is likely you will never start at all. But beware of procrastination. Learn many things. Practice many skills. Teach others. Be ready to adapt to major changes that may come your way. To avoid fools, take steps.

14. "Think globally, act locally. " When the going gets rough, nobody gets thrown to the wolves. This is a basic principle of a civilization of life and love; we ignore it to our peril. Our first concern is naturally for those who are closest to us, but that can't be the extent of our involvement. Our families, friends, and neighborhoods are impacted directly by world events. Our response to the globalization of greed and gluttony, and to the rise of violence in this world, is the globalization of solidarity, which must manifest itself in practical actions, not just rhetorical flourishes. An injury to one indeed is an injury to all: we must make injustice visible and protect the poor and the powerless. The more solidarity and cooperation that is present in a society, the more resilient, just, and sustainable it is

15. "Remember the time of hunger in the day of plenty." Watch out for dangers that may be ahead, and act in advance to mitigate the impact of such events. The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits.

16. Support political & voluntary initiatives that promote sustainability and resilience, such as public transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, small farms, decentralized econo-mics, balanced government budgets, & local markets.

17. "Love life as it is." Be present to each moment as you go through time and place. Be open to the wonder of grace that abounds, and be wary of the demons which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Do everything with a heart of generosity and gratitude and with joy and celebration. Pray without ceasing.