Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The problem with water, & why I started this blog

We are all fish.

Some of us are little fish, darting past the lumbering giants known as corporations, the government, the military. Sometimes we attach ourselves to one of those giants in the hope of nibbling enough off of them to survive. Sometimes we fend for ourselves, flitting here and there to glean what we can.

But some of us are the giants. We are the political leaders, the CEOs, the vice presidents, the generals, the executive editors and big-time journalists, the middle managers climbing the corporate ladder.

A tiny few of us are even the hated CEOs who lead our companies to failure, but take hundreds of millions of dollars with us when we leave. We are the people with the power – the presidents, both Republican and Democrat; the speakers of many houses of many state legislatures, not to mention the fact that some of us are the leaders of Congress.

All of us, though, no matter how powerful, are struggling. We may succeed, but never quite the way we want. Often, we don’t even get close to doing what we set out to do when we were idealistic youngsters. Even worse, we may well decide that idealism is suited only for children.

As practical adults, we give up the idea that we can live in a society where all can get a fair deal and all can live an authentic life. It’s simply the way it is, we think, that some are poor, some are desperate, some are second-class citizens and many (most?) of us are struggling to put meaning into lives that seem to be without purpose or connection.

We accept limits. We make our paychecks.

We live in such a way that we know we’re poisoning the world, yet we can’t figure out how to stop. We know about the genocides (Darfur today; where else tomorrow?). We know about war and death and dismemberment (Iraq today; where else the day after?). We know about terrorism ( New York and DC on 9/11, Madrid and London after that; where else next?) We know about torture. (Guantanamo Bay today; where else next month?) What can we do, though? We yearn to break free, but our lives are constrained by the water we swim in.

We believe the problem isn’t the water itself, but our closeness to it. As metaphorical fish, all we truly know is water. Day in, day out, we swim round and round in our culture, and even though we feel constrained and yearn for something different, we can’t fully imagine what that other thing could be. Because we are immersed in our culture, we can’t get enough perspective to see how to create the change we all need.

That’s why I created this blog. Call it the audacity of a lowly fish who wants to see what the ocean really looks like.

This blog is an attempt to leap straight out of the water of our culture and to look around. By doing so, I hope Becoming The Change will provide the perspective us dreamers so desperately need, along with giving us a safe haven where we can discuss ideas, tactics, frustrations and successes.

Becoming the Change will:

• Review the news from a changemaker’s perspective;
• Provide resources on political issues and links to organizations and individuals engaged in creating change;
• Provide a forum for discussion.

Among the topics this blog will tackle are:

Changing Politics (How can our civic life be transformed so that it is fair and representative of all the people?)
Changing the News Media (How can journalism morph itself so that citizens get a more complete and accurate view of our culture?)
Changing Ourselves (How can we learn to step beyond our own fears and issues? How can we participate in civic culture in a constructive and effective way?)

Read. Comment. Email me your thoughts.

Right now, I will be the primary blogger at Becoming The Change. Writer and attorney Nancy Jane Moore, a woman of perspective and great humor, will post periodically.

I'm also looking for other bloggers to help with this project. If you want to get involved, please email me directly at hopeandpolitics@yahoo.com.

As many of you may know, I’ve been blogging for more than a year now at a little place called In This Moment. I intend to continue to keep In This Moment going. Now, though, that blog will include links to posts on Becoming The Change, as well as In This Moment originals.

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