Sunday, January 28, 2007

Personal Peace in a Warring World

I haven’t written for a while because I have been so overwhelmed by the amount of issues that I feel I need to write about. In fact, the state of the world has gotten to me so upset, that I have had to stop listening to NPR while driving to avoid getting in an accident. Here are six things in the world that are pissing me off the most right now. They are not really in order of importance because it’s difficult to prioritize when it comes to human suffering and social justice.

1. George Bush and the fact that he is living in White House instead of in priso
2. The War in Iraq
3. Poverty (related to this, the fact that there is even a debate as to weather we should raise the minimum wage from $5.15/hr, which should be a crime in this the wealthiest nation, or $7.15/hr, which is also criminally low.)
4. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act and how it is destroying opportunities for “real teaching” and “real learning” to happen.
5. Global warming
6. The fact that health insurance or some guaranteed access to health care is not considered a right, but a privelage.

I’m sure the list could go on, but I think this is a pretty full load. Don’t cry! There’s hope. Here are some ways that I am handling this world that, if I only read the newspaper or listened to NPR, could throw me into a deep clinical depression.

  1. Snuggling and Playing. Spending lots of time snuggling and playing with pooch, Ella, and my human partner, Robb. We have gotten some snow in Vermont and have enjoyed how this frozen white stuff throws a positive glow on our troubled world.
  2. Working towards peace. I went to a really inspirational anti-war march in Montpelier on a frigid day (10 degrees). Despite the weather, there were hundreds of people who marched to the VT state house and demonstrated their desire and drive to end the War in Iraq. Knowing that there are others who share your beliefs is very comforting. There was even a songwriter who played his anti-war songs for the chilly crowd. That’s commitment.

3. Knitting.
I have been knitting quite a bit and will actually post some of my projects. I finished my first sweater and am 85% done with a vest for my mom. When I am knitting, I am so focused on the colors, textures, and shapes that I am working with that I am able to focus on the abstract issues that often shuffle around in my brain. I hope that all of you are able to find some personal peace in our currently less than peaceful world.