Survival Options

Huffington Post on Amazon.com

This is a nice article, but the following stood out:

“Nelson had been a prostitute for 38 years. She started working on the streets of New York City at the age of 14, after her mother committed suicide. When she was 18, she heard that clients were a lot less violent in Hawaii, so she hopped on a plane and moved to Waikiki.”

The reality is simply this – prostitution is one of the very few options available to children, teens and young adults without families supporting them. As things currently stand, there are no reasonably accessible and reliable legal options for basic survival.

That is wrong. That needs to change.

Period.

Restaurant In Hawaii Offers Fresh Start For Former Prostitutes, Convicts, Others Who Need A Hand, The Huffington Post, by Carla Herreria

What We Do Matters

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Our lives are short, time passes quickly, and we will have our share of suffering and joy. Time, place, skin color, and gender will greatly affect the expectations, opportunities, and limitations placed on us. And yet, if we have a soul, then what we do here in the time we have matters.

Moving Toward the Millionth Circle: Energizing the Global Women’s Movement by Jean Shinoda Bolen


Circles of Nourishment

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I believe every activist needs the nourishment that a circle of women can provide to keep on keeping on.

Moving Toward the Millionth Circle: Energizing the Global Women’s Movement by Jean Shinoda Bolen

Ungrateful Poor

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The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted.  We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity.  Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful.  They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious.”

Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table?  They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it.  As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute.  Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.  It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.  Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty.  But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting.  It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal.  He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing.  As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.  No: a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious, is probably a real personality, and has much in him.  He is at any rate a healthy protest.”

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

Thomas Jefferson Declares Equality A Sacred Principle

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THOMAS JEFFERSON FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 1801

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions…But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.”

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.

Activism is Personal

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This book uses a lot of old-school feminist language. Some people, feminists included, may find the references to patriarchy and the nature of men annoying and possibly even bordering on offensive.

That said, the core purpose of the book is the creation and continuation of UN sponsored conferences focused on women. The author is also very involved in creating women’s circles, most (all?) of which have some form of spirituality as their center, with conversation and activism as an extension of that spirituality.These are good and important things that are worthy of support.

If the occasional discourse on the nature of patriarchy is unappealing, I encourage you to plow through (or skip over) those meandering asides and focus on the actions the author has proposed. Specifically: building community and creating long-standing UN sponsored conferences focused on women.

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Activism is a personal choice. It is a passion for a cause expressed through actions, funding, communication, as well as prayer, rituals, and art.

Moving Toward the Millionth Circle: Energizing the Global Women’s Movement by Jean Shinoda Bolen

It’s About People

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The art of politics, whether campaigning or governing, is the art of being practical at almost all costs, including making compromises—big ones. If you can’t handle that kind of thing, pass this book along to your girlfriend who can”

Inspiration, dreams, and a plan notwithstanding, you can’t win on Election Day without an army. Whether you’re pushing for a big elected office or a high-level appointment, your people are key to your success.

Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House by Rebecca Sive

Willingness and Fate

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Sometimes, all it takes to save people from a terrible fate is one person willing to do something about it.

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

Solving Problems Together

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With the great problems now facing human society, it seems increasingly important to find simple and nonsectarian ways to work with ourselves and to share our understanding with others.”

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (Shambhala Classics) by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

From the Introduction:

I would like to make it clear, however, that this book does not reveal any of the secrets from the Buddhist tantric tradition of Shambhala teachings, nor does it present the philosophy of the Kalacakra. Rather, this book is a manual for people who have lost the principles of sacredness, dignity, and warriorship in their lives. It is based particularly on the principles of warriorship as they were embodied in the ancient civilizations of India, Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea. This book shows how to refine one’s way of life and how to propagate the true meaning of warriorship.

Make It Better

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Your job, when you leave here—as it was the job of educated women before you—is to change the world. Nothing less or easier than that. For the world is not good enough; we must make it better.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker