Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: Mahatma Gandhi

This Muhammad Ali quote says, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

What are our priorities?

I think we all understand that life will change after the pandemic, but what are our priorities? What guiding principles will light our way and inform those changes? In the face of glaring inequities revealed by the crisis, I worry about this.

Perhaps I should explain where I stand. I believe that the proper role of government is to defend and work for its citizensAll of them, not just the rich and powerful. This idealistic view parallels passages in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or, at least it does the way I was taught to read them.

Unfortunately, what we see unfolding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic all too often reflects different priorities.

Priorities revealed

It’s a truism that we don’t really know what we’re made of till we’re tested. 

This quote from Warren W. Wiersbe reads, "After all, a crisis doesn't make a person; it reveals what a person is made of."
Many thanks to QuoteFancy, for this quote from Warren W. Wiersbe.

For every prediction that smart investors should migrate to renewable energy, there also seems to be a view to the contrary that “We can no longer indulge the impulses of “environmental” activists. Sanitary plastic grocery bags are safer than reusables. Mass transit and densely-packed cities spread infections. Automobiles and suburban/rural living are healthier,” as Jerry Shenk put it recently.

Other decision-making whipsaws reflect just as little consensus. Whose priorities should we value? Whose should we reject as unworthy? 

Varied views of future outcomes

I’ve read interesting stories about wildlife venturing into areas where traffic has dropped off. Others about historically clean air in places where traffic has dropped off. And one about ways to make cities more walking friendly and keep car traffic at lower levels after the pandemic (see a trend, there?).

I’ve seen several articles about ordinary people’s decimated savings. Others explore the disastrous effect of recent public policies. And a flood of new ways for creative people to grow their businesses continues as people discover new and old techniques. 

Not only that, but there are predictions about ways our minds will change about things such as social distancingwork from homechild care, and universal health care. I’ve also read more cynical predictions about how some will spin retrospectives to skew perceptions if possible.

This quote from James Baldwin says, "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
Many thanks to Goalcast, for this quote from James Baldwin.

Our decisions reveal our priorities

Most of my fellow countrymen/women are pretty decent folks, as individuals. We’ve seen gallant examples of selflessnessself-sacrifice, and public spirit as this pandemic rolls out. These warm my heart and give me hope.

Some of my most-accessed blog posts in recent weeks have been those about ways to thank first responders, and how to understand and respond to their stress.

Many Americans–many people all over the world–understand the deep things. The value of honest work, the worth of a thank-you, the joy of praising admirable deeds.

This Muhammad Ali quote says, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
Many thanks to Discover Corps for this quote from Muhammad Ali.

But we’ve also seen a different spirit. 

It reveals itself in the unseemly scramble of large, publicly-traded companies grabbing up vast sums of money meant to go to small businesses struggling to stay afloat. The rules allowed it, so they grabbed. Some of them gave it back once they were caught. 

We’ve also seen banks garnish stimulus money from overdrawn customers, pre-empting what was meant to be grocery and rent money from ever reaching the desperate would-be recipients.

And we’ve seen crowds of closely-packed protestors, mostly white folk with guns, demanding that the lockdowns be ended immediately so they can get haircuts, among other things. They claim a constitutional right to liberty, plus economic insecurity, drives them. Although other motives have been noted.

What are our priorities? 

Now is the moment for us to decide. Are things more important than people?

Is our convenience more important than other people’s lives? Do we even have the right to make the decision that it is?

Who gets to decide how many deaths are “acceptable losses”–and, acceptable to exactly whom?

Do we live in a country that is of, by, and most especially for the people? All of the people? And, for this question’s purposes, corporations are not people, my friend. 

This quote from Mahatma Gandhi says, "The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."

I very much worry how history will evaluate our true measure, based on how we order our priorities today.

How do you think we should form–and inform–the priorities that will guide us into the future? What are you doing to join that conversation?

IMAGE CREDITS

Many thanks to QuoteFancy, for the Warren W. Wiersbe quote; to GoalCast, for the quote from James Baldwin; to DiscoverCorps, for the quote from Muhammad Ali; and to AZ Quotes, for the Mahatma Gandhi quote. I appreciate you all!

No accident

The Artdog Quote(s) of the Week

I recently realized that I’ve talked about habitat loss several times this year on this blog, but always in the context of plants and animals in the environment, never about humans losing their homes, except in the context of natural disasters.

But there’s an ongoing, not-too-dramatic-looking but heartbreaking and needless disaster unfolding in our country. Not the addiction epidemic, although it’s related. It’s a crisis of homelessness.

I’ll focus mainly on the US for my thoughts about homelessness in my December Quotes of the Week, because that’s a political system and society in which I participate. But it’s a global problem that all too few people are thinking about or addressing.

It’s time we started improving our record. Practical steps:

(1) Educate yourself. Start on the Internet but don’t stop there.

(2) Contribute as you can to a local, well-run homeless shelter or food bank.

(3) Educate others. Post, tweet, talk, participate.

(4) Advocate for change. Write, call, or otherwise communicate to local, state, and national government that you care about this issue!

IMAGES:Many thanks to Quote Addicts, via Joyce Naren’s Pinterest board , for the Linda Lingle quote-image; to UNDP (the United Nations Development Program) and the Summer Rain website, for the Nelson Mandela quote-image; and once again to Summer Rain for the Mahatma Gandhi quote-image.

Mirror moment: What are we doing?

The Artdog Quote of the Week 


What we sow, we reap. What goes around comes around. It’s an ageless lesson too many of us never truly seem to learn or take to heart.

How do you answer the question: What are you doing for yourself and others . . . and the world?

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Amazon Aid Foundation’s “9 Inspiring Quotes about Forests” for this quote-image, featuring a quote from Mahatma Gandhi.

Needs, yes. Greed? Not so much.

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Several posts this month have obliquely referenced the difference between need and wildest “want.” as it applies to the use of resources. From the very first post through discussions of respect for the original (animal and plant) inhabitants of an ecosystem, habitat encroachment, the role of corporations, and all the way through sustainable protein, this blogger has explored a range of eco-centric questions that weigh upon the fate of life on Earth–and beyond.

We only have one Earth, so far. Let us not exceed its capacity, until we have the capability to live beyond this sphere!

IMAGE: Many thanks to Seeking Answers from April 2013, via Green Heart at Work, for this image and quote from Mahatma Gandhi.

Taking it seriously

The Artdog Quote of the Week

If I want to improve my future, I have to do more than wish. Powered by dreams, I have to take the needed steps to make it so.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Quotefancy for the Jim Rohn quote, and to QuotesHunter’s great collection, “20 Inspiring Quotes About theFuture,” for the Mahatma Gandhi quote. I’m grateful to both!

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