I have been musing about how I can reconnect to the despair and outrage at the state of the world I felt when I was a young boy – environmental destruction, societal oppression, religious indoctrination and so on. At the same time, I am also inspired and encouraged by today’s younger generations that bring fresh energy, enthusiasm and vision to champion for a better future through challenging the inhumane and unjust system that serves only the minority of “elites” at the expense of the majority of humanity.
Incidentally, I came across an article by Collective Evolution after my musing just now, and I dare say people like Russell Brand, who enthused in a recent interview video about the world revolution, is doing a good job in bringing more awareness and passion to more people about the need for a world revolution and how we all can be part of it in our own ways.
I also recalled having come across the phrase “rage against the machine” some time ago, and I decided to google it just now, and I learnt from Wikipedia that it is the name of an American rap metal band that was formed in the 1990s. I learnt that the band has composed and sung a number of songs to address injustice and oppression imposed by the political and capitalistic systems. I guess the word “machine” in the name “Rage against the machine” is probably used to allude to the propagandistic machine used by the elite to “brainwash” the masses. I was reading about one of their songs called “Wake Up”, and I noted from Wikipedia that the band’s frontman has been actively addressing inequality and speaking about the need for everyone to unite as one.
At the Big Day Out in Australia 2008, De La Rocha gave a speech discouraging globalism, saying it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. He applauded the crowd for voting out former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, then broke into screams of “Wake Up”.
At the band’s June 8 2010 gig at the O2 in Dublin, Ireland, De La Rocha gave a speech discussing the current economic system and how multinational companies are blaming the middle/working class for the problems that the multinational companies themselves caused. De La Rocha was quoted as saying:
“You know I’ve been getting really frustrated turning on the news recently and listening to all this talk. All this talk about Ireland and all this talk about Portugal and all this talk about Spain and all this talk about Greece. And all they seem to be saying is “Oh the people in Ireland and Spain and Greece and Portugal oh they had it too easy”. And the very companies that run these stations like CNN profited so greatly from the housing bubble and crisis that they created. The very people that created the economic recession are the first to blame to us for the reason that it came about. And I’m sick of them saying this over and over again knowing full well that the reason we have pensions that the reason we have vacations and the reason we have 8 hour work days is precisely because of the kind of actions that our brothers and sisters are taking in Greece right now. People taking to the streets against the wealthy class who have been robbing us all for years. And in the face of all this propaganda I wanna say, we have here to unite here in Europe, we have to unite here in Europe across ethnic lines across religious differences across racial lines and it’s now the lines are clear. It’s us against the wealthy plain and simple. It’s time to wake up. WAKE UP.”
I have come to see that the main problem is the mindset or the system that creates a social divide among people, or as Thich Nhat Hanh put it, “we are here to awake from the illusion of separateness”. As Charles Eisenstein of the Occupy Love movement in the below video also said, “this shift of consciousness that inspires such things is universal, 99% and 1%, and it’s awakening in different people in different ways”.
Here’s sharing an excerpt of my blog in which I was musing about the case of revolution, which I was re-reading in view of the above video about the love revolution.
“Many look at the twentieth century as a time of great economic and technical advance, but history, while recognizing the technical innovation, will condemn this century as the most vile in man’s history. The miracle that began in Greece, expanded in Rome, flourished in the Renaissance & Enlightenment and finally found its modern form in the western liberal democracy has been been gutted by a century of materialism, enslavement, slaughter and greed.”
“I agree with the gist of the message of the above-mentioned article that the best way to counter or overcome the self-serving regime controlled by mega corporations in the long run is “enlightened disengagement”. While protests and occupy movements have their place in creating awareness, the longer term and more permanent solution is within reach of each of us individuals – by consciously and actively making decisions in our daily life to disengage ourselves from the consumerist culture and propaganda and the like as much as we can, and to participate in collaborative and environment-friendly activities, such as reusing, reducing and recycling materials, buying locally produced organic food, spending within our means, seeking our own spiritual paths, and so on.”
Yes, to me, awareness is the first step, and then it involves a conscious decision to disengage ourselves from the system or the mindset of the consumerist culture, and at the same time, to participate in activities that contribute to a more humane world and a more sustainable environment, while spreading awareness through our day-to-day living and sharing of useful resources with others.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
I like this poem by Khalil Gibran. Yes, children come through their parents but not from them, and children possess their own thoughts and their own soul, not their parents. While parents can have a hand in nurturing and guiding children especially at the initial stage of their growth and development, they need to allow freedom for their children to express their own authentic self and cultivate their own ideologies and belief systems.
On a similar note, I think the proverb “train up a child in the way he should go” has sometimes been used by religious parents to control their children and impose their ideologies on them, which is unfortunate. I learnt that the proverb actually meant in the original Hebrew to bring up children according to their natural bent or inclination (or individual gift). I think this interpretation is more in line with the wisdom in Khalil Gibran’s poem as it pertains to recognising each child is unique, and giving the child the space and freedom to express his or her unique personality and individual gifts. For example, whether the child wants to be a free thinker is up to them, and I admire parents who respect children’s rights and freedom to be themselves and think for themselves.
VHEMT Volunteers love babies as much as anyone else. “Having babies” is not so much the problem—having adults is what’s causing the problems. The environmental impact of disposable diapers is heavy, but we are adults much longer than we are children.
People who envision having a baby often forget that they are creating an entirely new human being who will leave in a few years as an adult.
Youth is a wonderful phase of life, whether it’s people, panda, or panther. It’s sad to imagine there being no more of any of them. A baby condor may not be as cute as a baby human, but we must choose to forgo one if the others are to survive.
Children’s welfare will improve as there are fewer of them to care for. Considering the future world we are creating for future generations, procreation today is like renting rooms in a burning building—renting them to our children no less.
Choosing to refrain from producing another person demonstrates a profound love for all life.
Yes, generally speaking, having fewer children enables parents to devote more time and resources on them and focus on providing for their needs better, given the constraints of the environment. It will also help in environmental conservation in the long run, especially when more families adopt this wise and sustainable approach to family planning. Even in the natural world, animals such as emperor penguins have built-in wisdom in family planning – they usually have only one kid during each breeding season so that the parents can devote their time and energy to look after their children until they are old enough to fend for themselves. This is vital since they live in Antarctica where food is only found in the seas, and the climate is very cold, and survival itself can be challenging. Humans can learn from the natural world and plan their own families accordingly, so as to ensure their future generations can have their needs met in the long run without putting a strain on the environment.
“The Emperor Penguin is perhaps best known for the sequence of journeys adults make each year in order to mate and to feed their offspring. The only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, it treks 50–120 km (31–75 mi) over the ice to breeding colonies which may include thousands of individuals. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed; parents subsequently take turns foraging at sea and caring for their chick in the colony.”