Dire News

This past Saturday Malu Aina hosted another successful farm day.  In addition to the regulars we were joined by 3 students from the university and a young couple on holiday from Vancouver.   It rained on and off through the morning but we still managed to plant some sweet potatoes and weed the ones planted last month.

Additionally, we transplanted our “Taro Collection”.  The collection is made up of about 22 varieties of Taro which we are cultivating to help maintain the genetic diversity of Taro.  Before the Hawaiian islands were colonized by europeans there were said to be over 200 varieties of Taro being grown.  Currently, there are only about 50 or 60 in cultivation.

Everyone was in good spirits and lingered over lunch until 3 in the afternoon.  Though this was a joyous and hopeful event, I am trouble by the many ominous signs and dark tidings from around the planet.

The paper today, as on many days, was filled with dire news.  The cost of oil continues to rise, which makes everything more expensive.  Living on an island, we feel the higher cost of fuel very quickly.  The prices we pay for food seem to rise weekly and the cost of gas moves upward on a daily basis.  There are also reports from around the world of food riots.  These have been triggered both by scarcity and the fact that staple foods are becoming unaffordable.   More and more people on the planet are lacking the necessities of food, water, shelter, and basic medical care.

As a society we should ask ourselves what role have we played in the creation of this current crisis?  What is it about our societal system that is creating such privation and suffering.  Why are we “choosing”, consciously or unconsciously, to live in,  participate in, and perpetuate a system that requires that others go without?

Dorothy Day saw the systemic nature of the evils we as a society participate in with such cold thoughtlessness.  She called it the “filthy rotten system.”  As a Catholic, she saw the “Works of Mercy” and teachings of Jesus as way out, a way to build a new system based on love and compassion.   She spent most of her adult life battling the “filthy rotten system” and trying to create something new and better.

Are we willing to do likewise and challenge and change the system?  There doesn’t seem to be much time left before things really get out of hand.  Those of us living today are the ones that must do the hard work of eliminating the many threats to humanity created in the last 50 years.  If we fail in our work, or simply do not see it as necessary, some of us may be alive to usher in the end of the human era.

The transition between yugas (cosmic aeons) is always a messy affair.  It is a point of transition, a bardo of sorts.   It is a moment in time in which change happens quickly.  However, we, collectively, must be the instruments of change.  There will be no rapture or miraculous divine intervention that saves us at the last minute.  We are on are on own and must awaken to this bardo, this time of transition.

If we are to survive then we must abandon our suicidal pursuit of greed and violence and find the resources for positive change within ourselves.  We must, as Gandhi said, “become the change we wish to see.”  It is a teaching far more profound than it appears at first glance.  It is formula for change from someone who took on, and defeated, the then most powerful nation on the planet. 

The possibilities of the future lie within us .  Will we choose the path of gods, and create and protect life, or the path of demons, who love death and slavery?

Peace, Paul 

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One Response to “Dire News”

  1. 4854derrida Says:

    Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/4854derrida

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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