“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
I’ve been really busy lately: my colleague (and good friend of mine) left for better pastures, pursuing other dreams and I inherited all her work (plus mine); I was sick, which impacted my performance at work and studies and I still have three heavy university courses on my plate…plus all the other projects I am involved with!
I found, however, time to start reading Naomi Klein’s new book: This changes everything…I do possess the rare “ability” of engaging in yet “another” task when I’m most busy: it has the opposite effect on me, it gives me a necessary break from all the other things and I come back to them re-energized…this always happens with cooking, canning or even cleaning the house: I seem to choose the weirdest (and busiest) moments to do those things and they always create that “oasis” for me…and yes, even reading Naomi’s book has had that effect on me!
What are we to do? While it is true that nobody knows what the future holds…it is more certain than not that it doesn’t look all shiny and fair: we are living dark times, and the approaching ones are even darker, with the powers-that-be doing all what’s in their hands to either entertain us or scare us: both (treat or trick) can be seen in the many “shows” put in place, from sowing fear based on isolated incidents here and there (by making them bigger than they actually are) to sex scandals that nobody really cares about; from celebrity weddings and births to pandemics and wars, created or not, exaggerated or not…meanwhile, we are told to concentrate into business-as-usual , we are called “consumers” and we (well, some of us) passively accept being entertained and scared, turning away from reality because it is either too complex or too daunting…
I have heard it all:
“It won’t happen”
“They will find a solution; human ingenuity and technology have no limits”
“It has always been like this, so why caring?”
“I chose to be happy and focus on my life”
“I don’t want to know…better to focus on doing positive stuff and leave the world to the rest”
“I rather watch my TV show, thanks”
“This is a great opportunity to become rich, invest, and seize the chance!”
“You worry too much”
“What difference will it make if I engage or change my ways? Nothing!”
“Change has to come from the top”
I wonder if the ones who say the above have thought how would the world be if the slave abolishers, the civil rights activists, the women’s rights fighters, the scientists who discovered how illnesses were propagated and could be stopped, city planners who put sewage, water and electricity systems in place and so many more who changed the world one little or big revolution at a time…had the same attitude at these people above…
Thanks to those who were or are “worry” and “concerned”, those who chose to have their eyes open even when it hurts, those who engage even if that means getting a bit uncomfortable or even risking their freedoms and lives, is thanks to them that black people are free and can move around without being discriminated, it is thanks to them that women can vote, it is thanks to them that we work 8 and not 14 hours a day and that there is no (legally) child labour. It is also thanks to them many animals are now well cared of or protected, that waste is not just thrown (at least not openly or legally) in the open for all to enjoy, it is thanks to them that regulations make sure we are not more contaminated that we already are, and that people (men, women, homosexual) can love and marry whoever they feel like (well, not everywhere) and show their affections in public..
I have discovered that even when the luring of an uncomplicated, “selfish” life just dedicated to my work, family and garden may be really attractive, it is just not me…
Although Halloween is a Christianized feast (of three days to remember the death, the saints and the martyrs), it has its real roots in Celtic, pagan harvest festivals: celebrating what we got from Nature, mother Earth and fruit of our efforts during all spring and summer.
For me, it will be an evening of both being grateful (for all what it has come and happened this past season in my life) and for remembering those who didn’t care about being either tricked or treated or keeping “business as usual” and dedicated their lives to change what many thought couldn’t be changed…
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“The Road goes ever on
and on Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring