Opinion Peace

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Agents of change, have you heard the phrase? It's been passed around a lot lately and so I pay attention. Other things I hear getting passed around is that we can't be afraid, that our fear holds us back. But I am afraid. This is what I think about it.

I already know what I'm going to say, so I say it. I already know what I'm going to write, so I write it. Sure of the opinion I had before starting and the way I'm going to swing it while ending, I'm not simply reporting- I have an agenda.

I'm going to sway you. You'll like me and we'll dance to the same music, the good music, and you'll see the world how I see it. Whatever it is I'm trying to convey, I'll convince you I'm right, I'll know that I'm right even when the facts evade me.

I've stopped taking pleasure in facts because- I am right. Others report the same thing with more facts and I fear how very right they are, too. Strange as it sounds, there are no winners, we're all right and we're all at a loss.

Like me, you may feel paralyzed by the facts. You may hear them and not know what to do. That's normal, that's step one. You may read the whole book, listen to the whole argument, watch the whole documentary and be overwhelmed. Step two, you'll either want to know more, wish to shut down or you'll do something about it. I have yet to meet a person that knows how to do something about it. Academics are all hiding in corners of the world where things get done. That's what most of us are thinking.

But that way of thinking is flawed. It's no longer their problem. It's yours. It theirs and it's yours, but it's also mine and ours. You and I, we can do something. Maybe we're not the ones in charge or the ones trained to be agents of change, but we can be.

Agents of change, have you heard the phrase? It's been passed around a lot lately and so I pay attention. Other things I hear getting passed around is that we can't be afraid, that our fear holds us back. But I am afraid.

Oh, I'll learn to get past it because that's the point. We have to see past our fear, we must overcome the habit of feeling small and powerless, we must stop feeling like victims. But first, I'd like you to know that I am afraid. Because, if I am afraid and I want so badly to speak up, I know there are others out there just like me.

Like you, I react to inspirational words. I wouldn't be a writer if not for uplifting articles that stroke my vulnerability with a caring hand and lead me out of the dark, assuring me the process plays out just this way, that this dismal reality I call my state-of-mind is all part of the process and will be overcome. Inspirational words say a single string of circumstances can change everything; a day, a moment, a twist in the cosmos and all that was tragic and heavy enough to kill; the weeks, months or years it plagued, is forgotten. Happiness can fold time. Inspiration is a necessity.

Sadness is easy. Happiness takes real change, but change makes us nervous even if we're not happy. Change takes effort and sometimes the effort appears insurmountable. For some people, change costs a lot of money. There are those of us who swallow with difficulty because we are painfully aware of what needs to change, but we can't afford to. Poison-free food, poison-free water and poison-free products, we can't afford them. Does this mean we can't afford good health?

Some change seems out of our control; poison-free politics, poison-free science, poison-free religion; we can't begin to wonder how to rally for poison-free soil and poison-free air because we have lives to live, children to care for, jobs to work. We're so inundated with poisoned environments, too much awareness would be paralyzing. We're still moving, aren't we? It can't be all that bad, can it? We leave it up to the experts to decide the good, bad and the ugly; what requires change. We leave it to the academics hiding in corners of the world where things get done. That is what most of us think. Few seem to wonder who those experts are, who they're working for. Few seem to consider that the best experts fighting for our best interests are probably under-funded and ignored, laughed at even.

If you're anything like me, this thought will leave you sleepless. It shouldn't be a privilege to live poison-free. Poison-free should be a right. But here's where things gets sticky. The cycle has gotten so out of hand. There's no more time to point fingers and blame. There's no option to opt out. We're all getting poisoned and they are, too. We're all bloated guinea pigs and our future children will be, too.

They” did it and we did it because we let them. “They” assured us it was safe and we believed them. We let them because it was convenient. Plastic is convenient. Technology is convenient.

But what do we need convenience for when 1 out of 10 humans suffer from depression and that number grows 20% each year? What do we need convenience for when convenience creates more time and more waste — time we waste — time we spend working out ways to make things more convenient so we can simply strap on, strap in and live. But we've left the living behind. Convenience has stripped us of purpose. Lack of purpose is the number one source of depression. Stop taking those anti-depressants. I prescribe, with my lack of facts, a strict return to nature, to live how it was naturally intended; to work for your health and a healthy ecology. You wouldn't have time to be depressed.

Convenience says it wouldn't be living if we had to spend all that time growing our own vegetables or butchering our own animals. Laziness transfers power. Power, lies in corporations over-breeding, over-grazing, genetically modifying, chemically inducing; pumping animals with hormones, mistreating, force feeding, abusing, mutilating… but if we had to do it ourselves, that would be a cruel and unusual punishment. That is what most of us think. So we put it out of site, out of mind and let the corporations control how much chemical gets sprayed on the behind of cows or the heads of lettuce; how much light or how much space an animal needs to live; what dose will do the least amount of harm to our health.

Now I can see you're getting angry, but I'm angry too. You own a small business and can't afford to listen. You're working 2 jobs and finishing your masters degree, you don't have time to consider better choices; you’re not physically fit; your housing conditions make you unable to do what I'm proposing- I know, but get angry, because this problem isn't going away and it's my problem too.

Science can predict only so much. Money dictates the rest. We all know a child that suffers from a learning disorder or a person who has suffered from cancer. We all know and all is a critical maximum.

So let's blindly advocate for reform the way “they” blindly assumed whatever arbitrary dose of this or that chemical would be harmless, where something as simple as an epidural in mothers led to cancer in their daughters. Let's take a narrow-minded approach and fight to heal our human ecosystem just like their narrow-minded approach fought to hurt it with this broken pipeline or that nuclear test fallout. Let's do this any way that we know how. You no longer need the facts. You're already living the consequences. Really, all you have to do now is close your eyes and aim. Fight in that direction. There's so much to choose from. Really, all you have to do is fall. You'll fall on an issue worth fighting for. Still uncertain what you're fighting for?

 

There are two tin cans

Like a makeshift phone

From the earth to the ear of the human race.

We used to speak quite easily

Like the brain to heart or the heart to the veins.

 

There once was a string connecting all things

The earth a proverbial heart

That we filled and we fed, we shared and we bled

We loved and we cherished, we bred and we perished

Now all that's lost as an antiquated art.

 

I have read with a feverish need

Of how this loss of connection has led to disease.

And all modern ills, disillusionment too

Is because of this loss of spiritual truth.

No religion I know will save you from this

The answer is dirt held in the fist

The connection it beats like a small dying heart

The earth is your body and we're tearing it apart.

 

But hope is sound as clear as a bird

As small as a spider spinning unheard.

Hope need not know when you plan to begin

Only to know that the seed is within.

Hope is a trickster that cannot be measured

It is past, it is future, it can heal, it can pleasure.

Hope is the one thing that remains poison-free

So feel it and know it can reconnect strings.

 

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