Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: Nelson Mandela

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.

What does it take?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

Nelson was onto something, although “making the world a better place” is a massive goal, when we take it in the abstract.

So don’t look at it that way!

Luckily, we don’t need to have godlike powers to make a difference. As our last quote noted, it simply takes acts of kindness (random or otherwise), and the willingness to do something.

So speak up for what’s right. Pay it forward. Be gracious to those around you. Do something nice for someone, just because you can. Support a cause you believe in. Recycle. Think before you talk, or act, or hit send/post/reply. 

It really is in your hands.

IMAGE: Many thanks to The World Food Program’s Pinterest board, “Food for Thought–Inspirational Quotes.”

“Weaponized” education?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

I don’t know about you, but I rarely think of education as a weapon. My general concept of education has always been that it is more of a path through a tool shop, although I suppose some of those tools could be considered sharp-edged weapons . . . especially those in the Critical Thinking Department.

And yet two of my earlier Quotes of the Week this month have looked at education as a way to fight poverty and terrorism, both of which are well worth trying to combat.

I think this “education is a weapon” concept is why folks at the more authoritarian end of the political spectrum so often seek to subvert, control, or de-fund universal education. They may come out openly against it (as does the Taliban).

Others may give lip service to the importance of education, but follow a more hyper-individualist and/or fundamental religious philosophy that can produce varying degrees of destruction as a side-effect (as do the extreme tax cuts in Kansas that were supposed to “free” businesses to create jobs but didn’t, or the push to use public education money for vouchers to fund parochial schools).

However we think of education, we must always remember that it is a powerful force, a sharp-bladed tool. It can improve lives all over our country and our planet–or it can be subverted in ways that stunt and warp and destroy. As thinking adults, we must keep our wits, look at outcomes, and make our choices about education as wisely as we can, lest that weapon fall into the wrong hands.

IMAGE: Many thanks to “Basic Knowledge 101” for this quote image.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén