Category Archives: Evolutionary Activism

Terrorism as The Dividing Line


In recent weeks we have witnessed a significant dose of terrorist activity – “we” being France and other parts of the world as well.  Shootings and bombings never  remain isolated in the geographic sense of the word as news highlights and reactions on social media reach us 24 hours a day/seven days a week.  (I’ve spelled that out because “24/7” is so automatic that it’s almost lost its significance in recent years.)  So, the “we” is really everyone – even if you live under a rock or if your head is stuck in the sand with the other end of you up in the air.  The energy of terror can still be felt.

I appreciate the tools we have at our disposal to accomplish this level of communication.  It is truly extraordinary.  What concerns me at another level, however, is that what gets transmitted is more than facts or even speculation and interpretation of events and motivations.  We do, in fact, transmit the energy of terror, and somehow, when that happens, terrorism is winning.

If you’ve ever experienced terror, then you know that it’s not simply anxiety or fear.  It’s much, much bigger than that.  It’s an energy that grips your whole being in the face of what’s happening to you that is beyond your control and is an immanent threat to your life.  It is more than fear of the possibility of death, because there are no possibilities.  The situation you face is a certainty.

Witnessing the terrorist events in Paris through the media is different than being there but great journalism does its best to target the emotional as well as cognitive centers in us.  So we share a bit of this energy of terror.  And our experience is an isolating one that causing a contraction in our bodies – all aspects of the body including our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves.  This energy is one that triggers the impulse to do whatever can be done to protect the living, breathing body we inhabit.  It is not an energy that supports connection with others, but one that defines and separates the individual.

The more we as observers, however removed we think we are, tune into this energy of terror, the easier it may be ultimately to buy into the notion that we are all separate.  It can foster a sense that, ‘While I feel your pain from afar, I must preserve my own personal being, family, town, city or country.” This intention to preserve requires distancing oneself from an energy that terrorizes and that means letting go the sense that we (this “we” being all of humanity) are interconnected, interdependent and share a common ground on this planet.

It will take some effort on all our parts not to give in, to remember that the way forward to a world beyond terrorism is through the wisdom of connection.  The understanding that there is no separation among peoples is critical if we are to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling presence on this earth.


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More on Planet Politics…


It seems way too simplistic to say that my recent experience of lobbying in Washington, DC with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby was incredibly rich.  The reason being that the week provided the kind of experience that demands much and rewards more.

Here’s what I noticed –

First, imagine the collective energy of over 600 people who are committed to the same effort!  The amount of adrenaline flowing was palpable from early on when participants were arriving.  It kind of picks you up and carries you along.  And there’s the energy of meeting so many new people from all over, especially exciting since we speak the same language!  Then two days of getting to know each other while being exposed to valuable information, ideas, opinions and opportunities before setting out to meet with members of Congress. This “setting out” was akin to riding the crest of a wave – a wave that washed over the offices of almost all members of the House and Senate!

The second most impressive aspect for me was that we lobbied in groups.  Simple, yes, but brilliant.  Each of us brought a unique background of experience and set of skills, not necessarily having to do with whether we had participated in lobbying efforts before.  What was more important was how we worked with our group as we met with  the member of Congress or, as often happened, with his/her legislative aide.

Also, I saw the importance of caucusing in the hall before entering the meeting with the MOC.  Establishing priorities, setting out who takes on which role in the meeting, reviewing what we knew about the MOC and checking in with any more tangible connection any of us might have to bring to the mix.  In the broader perspective, we were connecting with each other around our common intention and then, refining our potential for connection with that particular member of Congress.

Finally, being present to the “in the moment” dynamics of the meeting itself.  Seeing how important it was to be aware of when to let go of some detail of our agenda,  when to back off of evidence of climate change or expounding on the data of the REMI report, when to challenge, when to sympathize, how to find that opening that allows you to jump in and land on both feet.

Then, of course, the postscript – what worked, what didn’t, and what’s our next step with this House Representative or Senator to get closer to passing carbon fee and dividend legislation.

Now, take a deep breath, and on to the next meeting…


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Stepping into Planet Politics…

After participating in the Pachamama Alliance Game Changer Intensive,

I asked myself this question…


Who am I now?

I am the same, at the core.

It’s my perspective that’s shifted


So that when the voice in my head says

Who do you think you are

Trying to change these things

You don’t know the language

You won’t be able to articulate the argument

You can’t compete with big money power

Who’s going to listen to you

These are not the skills you have

Your efforts will be like a drop in the bucket


I can center myself in the moment and

take a deep breath

and from this place

at the edge of my courage



I’m doing what needs to be done

I’m learning the language

It’s not a debate

Not a competition

Someone will listen because we are many in this together

developing new skills

filling thousands of buckets with our efforts.


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Filed under Evolutionary Activism, Prose and Poetry