Tag: change

“Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents”

Although written in 1770 by British spokesman, orator and political thinker, Edmund Burke, that title could have come from our headlines today, and certainly reflects my heart and message for this blog.

It is Burke who is credited with one of the most popular quotes of all time, (even though his speech never specifically said the words.)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I’ll still take it, wont you? It is so good, JFK used it.

What Burke did say in his writing “Thoughts on the Cause…” was –

When bad men combine – good men must organize.”

Edmund Burke

I feel such an urgency for good men (mankind) to speak up, step up, step out, launch out, reach out, take action, refuse the trends, stay the “good” course, and as Burke said, maybe even organize. Why not? It is time!

In the words of President Grover Cleveland, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something.”

I am not running for office, nor are you most likely, but here’s the hitch- what are we standing for? Are we standing up for anything? Or have we allowed our voices to be silenced by fear, complacency, louder voices, cancel culture and censorship?

In the days of Women’s Suffrage there were suffragists and suffragettes. Suffragists believed in peaceful, constitutional campaigns for women’s right to vote. Suffragettes were activists, willing to take direct action into the community. Their motto, “Deeds not words” often led to hunger strikes and handcuffing themselves to the White House fence.

Both believed in the same thing – that women had the right to vote but they took action in different ways. The key though, they took action. The result? The passage of the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony would have been proud, after being arrested and still voting 150 times illegally. She stood up for that right long before others jumped on board and made it legal.

Being a student and lover of American history (I hear a yawn 🙂 ) I can’t help but go to dozens of examples of those who stood up in the face of “discontents”, injustices, and hardships and joined with others of like mind to push through change.

The good people voluntarily organized and took persistent action so that the evils of their day would not triumph in their society.

What would the nation/world be without these who stood up for the cause that gripped their soul, and sacrificed their own self interests for the good of the society and future generations?

Consider the following and their causes:

  • Dorthea Dix – mistreatment of the mentally ill
  • Horance Mann – education reform
  • Frederick Douglass – anti-slavery, civil rights
  • William Lloyd Garrison – abolition
  • Ida Tarabel – investigative journalism (what’s happened to that?)
  • Jane Addams – help for the poor and immigrants
  • Booker T. Washington – black education and training (peaceful)
  • WEB Dubois – black rights, NAACP (violent if needed)
  • Sojourner Truth – abolitionist
  • Harriet Tubman – anti-slavery
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson – writer, reformer
  • Caesar Chavez – farmworkers rights
  • Malala Yousafzai – Taliban awareness, women rights
  • Florence Nightingale – nursing
  • Clara Barton – founder of the Red Cross
  • Marie Curie – medicine
  • John Muir – wildlife conservation
  • Upton Sinclair – meatpacking industry reform
  • Jackie Robinson – racial equality
  • Sally Ride – space travel

The world is a better and changed place because each of these did something with the passion they felt. They joined with others and got things changed. These good humans pressed through the evil and triumphed over it. “Overcome evil with good”.

Solomon, in Proverbs warned us:

If you do nothing in times of trouble, your strength is small.

Proverbs 24:10

So, how’s your strength? These are NOT “do nothing days”. Shame on us if we are “do nothing-ers”.

I conclude my thoughts on the cause of the present discontents.

Cheers to you.

Time to Move

It’s that time again. It’s time for us to move.

no dinner guests in this dining room!

My husband and I, as empty nesters, have been considering downsizing (again) for a while, and are feeling now is the right time.

That is pretty much all that is certain at this point. We feel it is time to move, so we have begun packing and all that it involves. To date, we are still uncertain exactly where, but know it is in the area and hopefully by the end of the month.

Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. It requires action and affects everything. And I do mean everything, including our circulation, digestion, metabolism and even immunity. Movement even helps the body regulate hormones, detoxify and respire! So movement is good for you, me. (I need to keep chanting this to myself during this crazy time!)

Movement, whether it be daily activity, a change in position or ideas, or change in place of residence or employment has undeniable value.

I would like to offer these 5 points that I have been impressed with during our moving time. They apply not only to residence changes, but movement in our thoughts, positions, policies, and priorities. For your consideration, they are:

1. Realize it is time to move – It is important to admit when it is time to move on from the situation you are in. Realize it is time to get out. It is time to let go. It is time to move ahead. Until you can do this, you are stuck!

2. Move to – where? You may not have the specifics immediately, but having a general idea the direction that you want to move is vital. Continue your due diligence, and continue to pack while it becomes clear. You are moving and are preparing while you wait for all the details to become clear, not sitting around twiddling your fingers waiting for more information. Move on. Move forward.

3. Pack: keep or toss – The labor intensive part of moving is packing and with it the emotional wear of the constant decisions of what to keep and what to toss. It is physically grueling to load into boxes your life and all it’s precious possessions and it is emotionally taxing to let go of those things that once held prime space in your memories. How do you detach, let go of those precious memories? Throw away? Are you kidding?!!!! Some things just must go.

4. How to release? Where and how do you let go of those priceless memories? They can’t just be thrown away? (Actually, some can and should and will be). What about the others? To whom should I donate them? Share them? There are things you should share with others – give them away to your friends, family. It is time. Do it. There are other things, that should be donated. Find your charity, there are plenty, fill up the car, or have a pick up. Let it go. Release it, all. Give generously.

5. Support – It is really tough to do a move totally on your own strength. A support team is tremendously helpful. Whether it be a realtor, moving company, friends with trucks and strong backs, or helpful family members; you need support to move. Period. A major life decision like relocating, will impact you for sure in every way, but it will be with less stress if you have the proper support around you. So too with change in our thoughts and attitudes. We need support.

I challenge you, whether or not you are physically moving, to consider these 5 points. How? Why? In what way?

We as people are changing, moving forward in our ideas; personal, spiritual, and political. In what ways do you need to consider or apply these 5 points to your spiritual ideas? Personal ideas? Political ideas?

What ideas need to change? What will be your new stance? What needs to be tossed out completely or kept and edited? Where should the old idea(s) go? What support is around you to help you continue walking in your new found idea, perspective?

Let’s move on in our lives. Let’s not be trapped in a clutter of old ways and routines. It’s time to move. Pack up or discard the old and move into a brand new way of thinking, living, speaking, and being.

Is it time for you to move on in some way? Think seriously about it.

Cheers to moving.

Times are changing

Yesterday, in our area, we had a dearly beloved historical attraction and youth overnight field trip location SINK. Literally.

The tall ship – “The Pilgrim”, docked at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point, began to keel starboard and take on water. By the next morning, it’s deck was totally below water, with only the masts and a part of the bow above water.

the ship is keeling

The Pilgrim is a replica of the 3-masted schooner that Richard Henry Dana sailed from Boston to California on in 1843 and upon which he wrote his diary, which became the book and movie “Two Years Before the Mast.

It was a popular overnight field trip site for over 400,000 fourth and fifth graders from throughout Southern California, as they “enjoyed” nights at sea, living the life of a sailor.

It was known to have a leak that was being “handled” and was scheduled for a full pull out, that had been postponed. It is considered a total loss now, and is being salvaged.

a crane working on salvage

It’s been sad for our community, as we have now added the loss of the Pilgrim to everything else that’s going on these days.

Times are definitely changing.

It was Walt Whitman, who wrote the poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” in which he compared The United States to a ship. At the time of his writing, 1865, the US had just ended the Civil War and President Lincoln had just been assassinated.

During his days, times were also changing – drastically.

Through her long and rich history, the good ship – America, has weathered many storms. She has brought joy and fulfillment of dreams to millions of children and their families as she has carried them on their varied adventures.

She is worn but she is not weak. Her values are just, her purpose clear – life and liberty for all. She has taken hits, and may appear to keel, but her foundation is sure and secure. Her hull is not breached, her body resolute. She is not lost and is not sinking.

Her people, aboard her, within her lifelines and rails may be knocked by pounding waves and deadly tempests, yet they will sail through the squalls and they, aboard her will safely dock again in peaceful, quiet harbors.

Times are changing.

But America is strong and resilient because her people are, her foundations are. May we change as needed, where needed but not compromise who we are as Americans and the purpose for which we have been called – life and liberty for all.

Cheers to America!

Sail on!

Butterfly Effect

Butterflies are such beautiful and delicate creatures that most of us have taken the time to enjoy their movement, colors and mannerisms. Their wings are massive compared to their bodies and don’t even need to be so big for them to fly. They can actually fly with a damaged or broken wing.

They don’t flap their wings either, like birds do. You know – up and down. Butterflies create a figure 8 pattern motion with their wings by constricting their bodies thus moving their wings and propelling them through the air.

Their large wings act like a rudder. The larger the rudder, the faster you can turn a ship. With butterflies, their large wings enable them to turn faster and thereby not become someone’s dinner.

But that’s not all, let’s not forget how butterflies start out… as catepillars, then cocoon, then butterfly!

As that caterpillar is in confinement in his cocoon, the time grows near for his emergence. But that will never happen without a struggle, without pain, without a difficult fight. Without that struggle his transformation is incomplete.

As he pushes through the small hole, his swollen body and small, shriveled wings rub and rub and rub on the cocoon, until his struggle is successful and he emerges, nearly at the point of exhaustion. His body has been resized and is no longer swollen and his wings are dried, strengthened and he is NOW ready to fly.

Without the struggle, he will never grow or fly! This whole process, by the way, takes 5-21 days. Hmmmm.

This struggle that we now face, is not unlike the butterfly’s story.

We have allowed ourselves to become “swollen”, filled with excesses, and accumulation of things. Our ability to spread our huge wings and fly over it all has not been sufficiently developed, partially because the difficulties and frictions of life have been few and manageable.

” As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.”

” Storms make trees take deeper roots.”

” All flowers grow through dirt.”

In this time of “struggle”/confinement – let’s embrace the rubbing, reduce the excess, enjoy the process, persevere, and emerge with gigantic wings to fly above all that is earthbound.

Resist the urge to flap up and down at the same old pattern of your life. Let your wings develop a new pattern of flight and find their strength in practicing this new way, while still in your seclusion. For soon, you will be free to fly and turn quickly in your new found life.

Who knows what “Butterfly Effect” you are destined to cause?

Cheers to you.