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The Cheetah in Us All

The Cheetah in Us All

Frida Berrigan

“I don’t want to live in a world without cheetahs, Mom.”

Seamus loves cheetahs and what’s not to love -- unless you are a Thomson’s gazelle? Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on the planet, formidable predators, sleek, saucy looking, and they even have spots.

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Because this never gets old and someone here made need their fix today:

War is not victory, it is death. Even T. Rex only ate what they needed.

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One week from what would have been John’s 78th birthday. He’s been gone almost as long as he was here… how’s that for mind-blowing. War is over, if you want it.

I agree John Lennon’s song, Imagine never gets old, but I would sure love it to come true! Imagine if it came true!

This is such a thoughtful article! I can’t imagine how it must feel for Frida to know her 78 year old mother is in jail! How do you explain that to a 6 year old? I know she is probably proud of her mom, but her reflections are so very succinct. Here we are in the year 2018 and still dealing with nuclear annihilation! What good did all that protest do? We are even worse off now then we were in the 70’s and 80’s. Keep trying? Then what?

There is a horrible element in the human mind that is determined to self-destruct. Those ruled by this drive to create war and misery can be stopped only one way. When love and light win the day–the darkness will recede to the background. So yes…let’s save the cheetahs!

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Yes, Dan. And that is the reason we must not give in to despair. Read Churchill’s speech to commons on the retreat from Dunkirk (the “We shall fight them on the beaches” speech). Had it not been for the fierce determination of that old royalist–and an organization called The Cooperative Wholesale Society (the very antithesis of royalism)–we would all be speaking German today.

The reason humans are like this…is to do with its cultural story !!!

We think we are seperate from each other and seperate from the divine .

This has caused every murder ,every rape ,every war ,famine ,genocide the inequality that is growing every year, and all the environmental and nuclear madness that you can observe .
Have a read at a book called Communion With God it’s a very intersesting small book, but takes you through the illusions of humans and let’s the reader understand why we are where we are .Most importantly it gives us the tools to change everything and create a world that works for the highest good of all and that serves Life as Prime Value.

namaste

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Yes it’s time for Repair not Despair ,thankyou.

Yes, much of what we think we know, such as being “in control,” is illusion, a notion the ancient Hindus explored at length. The mystic traditions in the Abrahamic Faiths and some other theistic traditions seek to get beyond the illusion to peace.

Au contraire, mon frere! We see what we think we know, if not simply what we want to see. Start looking, and you will see that there is a worldwide “movement of movements” large and small of people dedicating themselves not only to saving what can be saved of the environment upon which all life depends and which itself consists primarily of living organisms: At least as many of them are working to restore, rejuvenate, and expand the social infrastructure that has been decimated by “The Media” and by suburbia with its six-foot privacy fences.

Will they/we succeed? We don’t know. The future is unknown and unknowable. A more realistic question would be something like, “To what degree could they succeed, if at all?” In that context there is good quality research that suggests it takes only about 3 percent of a population to initiate sweeping change. We’re not there yet: Three percent of the US population would be about ten million. But the movers and shakers that started the modern “conservative” movement going back to Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats (1948), the John Birch Society (1958), and others of that era surely represented no more than 3 percent of the population at that time (about 4.5 million activists out of about 150 million).

That movement actually embraces change on a grand scale to restore a mythical golden age that never was–the very opposite of conservatism. It’s highly enticing to a lot of people, but those looking forward have a lot more to offer, even without the rainbows and unicorns!

I understand darkness–been there, done that. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, a positive feedback of negativity. It can easily turn into despair, which is paralyzing, and it sounds as if you may already be there.

I am not disputing any of the ghastly things you see. I see them all, and there is very little you and I together can do to banish them. I turn away from them and LOOK for things people are doing that push us collectively in the other direction, and for opportunities to help or create my own.

In order to see them one has to actively LOOK for them, even to see the ones that are in plain sight. Here are three:

  1. McKibben’s 350.org is one of the largest activist movements of all time. I don’t know how many people contribute and participate worldwide, but it exists in virtually every country on the planet, nearly 200 of them. It was solely responsible for the campaign to convince large institutions to sell their holdings of financial paper (stocks and bonds) issued by the fossil fuel industries. Even the Rockefeller organizations are disposing of their interests in those industries!

  2. The neoliberal “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” which would have greatly enhanced the already obscene power of corporations worldwide, was stopped not by T-Rump but by an enormous public campaign that lasted several years. Participants included not only just about every progressive organization on the planet (Public Citizen and its many affiliates, EFF, all organized labor–I have lists with hundreds of organizations that were involved), but also tiny grass-roots groups of academics, politicos, honest economists, and just interested parties. Building on that background, it should not be too hard to stop NAFTA 2.0, which of course incorporates most of the evils of TPP.

  3. Greenpeace has devised creative ways to slow and sometimes thwart completely many egregiously destructive corporate adventures for nearly 50 years, most of them destructive of the environment on which all life depends. They have done so against powerful and well organized interests that have sought to put them put of business, including the bombing of their first ship on direct orders from President Mitterrand of France! That is just the tip of a very large iceberg, and says nothing of the organization’s educational activities.

4 (bonus). Here is a very small one that I’m sure you have never heard of: Walk Out, Walk On, a small but growing movement (the book was published in 2011) that began in an effort to address the school dropout problem worldwide but quickly applied the principle to dead-end situations of other kinds. Here’s another: Slow Food, a community approach to funding for “Slow Food” (yet another movement, now approaching 30 years).

To say that these organizations have not eliminated their opposition is to miss the point: Evil will never be eliminated, and the doo-doo in which we stand would be much deeper today were it not for just these three groups. Without the thousands of others, we probably would not be having this conversation at all.

But in order even to look to see more of that bigger picture, one must somehow drag oneself up from the depths of despair. This comment began by acknowledging the truth of the discouraging and dispiriting events that are the subjects of many of the articles on this and other web sites with similar missions.

Unfortunately I cannot provide you with a magic key to help you to rise above all that. Personally I like Kierkegaard, even though I consider myself an atheist. He refers to despair as “The sickness unto death” (from the story of Lazarus), at mind-numbingly repetitions length, but his definition of despair is worth noting. I also recommend the comments toward the bottom of the page on the article, “Confluence of Trump’s Climate Villainy . . .,” to which you also contributed. I think that particular quote from Einstein is simplistic (not everything he said was brilliant!), but the one from Pratchett, which I had not heard, IS brilliant, and fundamental, the reason I added an earlier one to the same effect. Baba Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” is in that same vein.

Scott, thanks for the pep talk. Basically what you’re saying is look for the flowers amongst the weeds in the junkyard and take hope from their persistent existence, to give you energy to carry on.

But people like Dan and me are either Eeyores or burned out. I’m tired of the windmills to tilt at. When do you get a break from fighting The Good Fight? In death? I’m tired of the illusion of thinking that if we sustain enough fight, eventually we win. Entitled? Maybe. But I’m really tired of the two steps forward, six, backward. And now the vile Cabal makes it twenty steps backward. I can’t abdicate. I must fight. But I’m tired of it, sickened at what I see and hear relentlessly, day after day.

Maybe your perspective will rub off on a couple of us jaded cynics. At the least, don’t you get depressed at the same time we are. Someone has to stand up while we’re huddled in a fetal position.