By Mankh, (Walter E. Harris III)
“Are there not still fireflies
Are there not still stars at night...”
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti
In his book Blessed Unrest
(2007), Paul Hawken states, “... I now believe there are over one—and maybe even two—million organizations working toward ecological sustainability and social justice.” A mind-boggling and uplifting statement, though sometimes it feels we need that many more. In the 100-plus pages appendix are categories ranging from “agricultural policy” to “freshwater aquaculture” to“worker rights,” a treasure trove of words and phrases to stir positive action. One thing that still stands out to me, having read the book some years ago, is that if you want to solve a problem or address a local environmental hazard, instead of feeling helpless you could simply name and start an organization that addresses any issue, for example, RiverKeepers Association. You can be active and make a difference, especially if you make it bigger than yourself.
An excellent current example (though not a made-up name like above) is the Standing River Sioux efforts to protect the Missouri River/sacred waters, Mother Earth, the environs, and people living downstream; the Dakota Access Pipeline Project aka the “black snake” threatens well-being on multiple levels. Those efforts have become a lesson in swift unity, with approximately 90 Native Nations/Tribes across Turtle Island (aka North America) already voicing solidarity. In an August 24th press release, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault stated:
“I believe that we have established an important precedent, and that in the future, Indian voices will be heard before the federal government acts. ... I believe we have set the foundation for the future in terms of tribal unity. We have seen the power of tribes coming together in unity and prayer and we will continue to pray for the protection of water, mother earth and her creation, as well as all past and future generations. ... We must stay unified in peace and in prayer.” 
The combination of peaceful and prayerful ancient traditions along with technology/social-media has helped bring this about. Though American society has tried to make it otherwise, Original Peoples haven't ever 'gone away'.
Another example of the timeless art of linking together comes from the East. What we know today as the solitary haiku (shortest poetic form, 1600s Japan), was preceded by renku or haikai-no-renga, “linked-verses,” a kind of forerunner of the Internet as well as another testament to group-heart-think connecting with Nature. The haiku master would write the first short poem (called “hokku”) of the season, then others added short verses until it became one long linked poem. Haiku, in many languages, has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Catchphrase if you can
Some people link from past to present by emulating heroes. A popular catchphrase nowadays is: What would so-and-so do? Perhaps a better question is: What would YOU do? In other words, each of us has a unique gift, a talent. I can't go to North Dakota but a poem got written in solidarity. “The Resistance
Maybe you haven't read a poem since high school but you happen to have extra camping supplies in the basement because your kids have graduated from college. Here are two links if you actually want to make a donation: here
Plus, it must be asked: What would WE do? … because any individual choice ultimately works best if it serves the greater good.
With the daily barrage of news it’s not hard to get discouraged, yet it’s helpful to spend some time focusing on what’s good in the world as well as how one can improve conditions. In a wonderfully titled (after an age-old saying) recent article, “It Is Bettter to Light One Candle than to Curse the Darkness,” Harvey Lothian posits: “Can we solidly unite, watch out for each other, protect each other and help those in need?” 
Lothian's bio states that he “is a 79-year-old man,” which got me thinking of another treasure trove, the Internet, where a person with years of life-experience or virtually no experience at all can suddenly find an outlet to express their views and potentially be read/watched/listened-to worldwide.
These connections, these links, are what make us stronger and strength is needed so as not to be bullied by the supremacist control freak elite minority. When it comes to what would seem like a no-brainer, “89% said they favor mandatory labels on 'foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled to indicate that,'” government-corporate-mad-scientists are making it difficult with the DARK Act (H.R.1599). According to a July 14, 2016 report:
“The bill, which passed by a 306 to 117 vote, directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create anational labeling standard that allows food producers to choose how they want to disclose the presence of genetically modified ingredients. Under the legislation, manufacturers will be able to use text, symbols or a QR code that consumers must scan with a smartphone to relay the information.” 
Do I need to take a computer science class just so I can purchase a bag of chips?!
As with the fascist fossil fuel industry, these hungry ghosts aren't eager to, ahem, give up the ghost.
The never-ending stories
In my experience, attention to what is good/right/positive literally builds more of that energy and creates a more positive flow. By paying attention to and nurturing what is positive, you can begin to notice more of and feel more of what is positive, and so it goes. To re-spin the saying, it's like making a steadfast mountain to go along with a humble molehill.
Attention to the positive is not to deny paying attention to problems; being wary is wise.
An odd thanks is also due to the nasty do-ers – those promoting the Dakota Access Pipeline Project – for having helped to bring people together to stop them. Or as a paraphrased gem of a saying from the East advises: my enemy is also my teacher.
What's good/right/positive is immediate, you can easily find something to commend/bless/praise, if you make a point to do so. Like eating chips, bet you can't notice just one, bet you can't give just one compliment a day, find only one constructive thing to do, find only one thing you like about yourself...
Other situations take time to observe/contemplate/pray... before an answer arrives. Whether you call that the school of hard knocks, karma, evolution, etc. the point is: time passes when it seems that nothing much is happening; don't be fooled, the moles are busy – in a positive doing their natural underground thing way, yet in a metaphorically negative way, pipelines.
What also survives and thrives throughout the ages are stories and learnings, linking generation to generation. And anecdotes. For years on my patio ledge are planter boxes where the annuals don't do so well but various grasses grow wild and take over. A friend once commented, “Why don't you clean that up, it looks ragged.”
“Look,” I told him, “you don't sit here during the day and simply observe, so you don't know that the sparrows come and nibble on them, there's something in those wild grasses and little wildflowers they
“Blessed Unrest” is an excellent phrase-reminder for these times. Amid the unrest, let us not lose sight of the blessed. As well, this is a time where much positive action is needed and we are blessed to be able to participate.
3. “In Victory for Food and Biotech Industries, Congress Passes DARK Act 2.0
”. Also see, “Center for Food Study
Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His new book of genre-bending poetic-nonfiction is “Musings With The Golden Sparrow.” You can contact him via his literary website.
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