"If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem", has motivated me to action for over 40 years. Eldridge Cleaver's words elegantly remind me that the buck stops HERE - with me. If I become aware, then I am obligated to act. The tough question involves what course of action to take. The bad guys are more clever than ever, and, the right course of action is more difficult than ever to choose.
I am reminded of the time when Anita Bryant spoke out against gays, and a virulent "Hate Anita" campaign ensued, replete with bumper stickers and buttons. I stopped someone sporting a the button, and asked them where the proceeds from the button sales were going. "Dunno?"
It dawned on me that if Anita was REALLY smart, she would have been out there, making and selling as many buttons as she could. Today, I have no doubt that we are heavily manipulated by the illusion that we are doing good. We may THINK we are opposing evil, when in fact, we are mostly co-opted by it. The bad guys are slicker than ever. They enjoy power and intend to keep it at all costs.
Visit the International Red Cross headquarters sometime. After you walk past their many limos, proceed through the entrance way. Lofty columns tower above your head, as you walk across the marble floors leading to vast conference rooms that are furnished with no expense spared. WHERE IS ALL THE AID MONEY GOING TO? Oscar Schindler looked at his wedding ring and asked how many lives he could have saved in exchange for its value. How many starving babies could be fed just by selling the limo tires???? What are their priorities? I would say staying fat and comfortable was at the top of the list!
But look at all the good they do! Does their end justify their greed? Who would dare to attack these wolves in sheepskin clothing? They have become an institution that is above the letter of the law, like the Vatican, and so many other self-serving institutions.
I want to shift gears, and address one other important concern.
Have you ever noticed that inevitably, at the end of a lively political discussion about what is WRONG today, everyone agrees that something is amiss, and yet NO ONE has the faintest idea about a definitive, remedial course of action? We ALL feel incapable of solving what we ALL clearly see as problematic. WHY? Because we feel small and overwhelmed by technology and bureaucracy.
So, what is the answer?
Think small! Grassroots! Patience! Evolution not revolution. If everyone of us responded to a small piece of the problem, we would be on track to solving our needs as a community. While it is true this philosophy may not immediately solve many big problems, it will go a long way to solving many of our basic human problems, such as sustenance and shelter. I believe that when minds are not clouded by the constant threat to their survival, then they are more capable of wrestling with the bigger issues that govern our existence. I believe we should help people who are trapped in the grind of abject poverty, and elevate their existence by providing subsistent food and shelter. A civilization is only as strong as its weakest link. Relieve the bondage of a substandard existence, and you free the mind for a higher pursuit.
I plan to pursue my ideals by supporting the people in the communities that are helping to care for those in need. The people who are creating the soup kitchens and free clinics. Just as important as our need for adequate food and shelter, is our need for health care. My plan is to support the community providers of these services and more by creating mini- documentaries that will be uploaded to YouTube and made available to the general public through other channels. My hope is to create support for the providers and encourage and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
I refuse to waste time shaking my fist at the dark clouds in the sky. Instead, I will light one candle. I AM that candle. I AM that light in the dark. Jan Rose Kasmir is a former American high-school student who became known due to an iconic anti-war photograph taken by French photographer Marc Riboud. Kasmir was photographed on 21 October 1967 while taking part with several thousand anti-war activists who had marched to The Pentagon to protest against America's involvement in Vietnam. Seventeen-year-old Kasmir was shown clasping a daisy and gazing at bayonet-wielding soldiers. The photo was published world-wide and became a symbol of the flower power movement. Jan Rose is currently living in South Carolina where she is a massage therapist. Webpage: HiltonMassage.Com