DO WE DO NOW?
Given the incredibly messed up state of the world, what can/should we be doing ? Well, we probably shouldn’t be assumingÂ that byÂ being PC in what we eat, use, drive and etc. we are making a huge dent and doing all that is possible or necessary.Â Read Derrick Jensen’s recent article in Orion Magazine, “Forget Shorter Showers,” for more thoughts on this.Â http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/4801/
His point, well taken, is that we have to be actively doing something to change politics as usual; just beingÂ model consumers isn’t enough. Yes consumer choices can drive the market, but effective, well-organized consumer boycottsÂ do more. We have to stand up for what we want and believe in and really agitate for change; we’re not made out of time here.Â AsÂ Jim Hightower puts it, the agitator is what gets the clothes clean in a washing machine. So how do you agitate?Â Join groups locally and nationally that are working to change things. (I likeÂ Â theÂ Progressive Democrats of America, pda.org). Write letters to the editor and to lawmakers, make calls and send emails. Speak your mindÂ and take a stand.Â These kinds of actions really do help. SupportÂ groups that you feel are helping make the change we need in the world. Work for democracy,Â local control and sustainabilty at the community level, like making political campaigns publicly-sponsored rather than privately-funded. Â
To potentiate your actions, add the element of manifesting. I think that might be an underutilized X factor in social change movements.Â I am exploring this aspect with a few friends and we hope to have a course available soon to help teach people to use energy, healing, intention, thought, and emotion to heighten the impact of their efforts, individually and collectively, Â to help the animals and the earth. Stay tuned for that one; we’ll be getting back to you.
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My student, Cass Martinez, helped me do it. Thanks Cass! I think horse trekking is the coolest thing you can do in this world, unless of course, your horse goes lame, you fall off, run out of water, or get lost. BTWÂ if you ever do get lost just drop the reins, your horse can figure it out! Its notÂ me in the photo, but don’t they look like they’re having fun?
Here is the final installment of Mark Whitley’s story about Starfire. Thanks for the great story Mark.
That was not the only time my right leg buckled, nor was it the only time I fell off of Starfire.Â But over the next four months I gradually became stronger, and the shaking stopped.Â The pain receded, and proper sensation returned to my calf.Â The following summer Starfire introduced me to the local trails, and we often spent a quiet Sunday afternoon riding through the fields and woods.Â I kept on riding, and moved on to other horses.Â But at least once a month I made it a point to ride Starfire, until years later after I graduated from college, and I moved to Connecticut.
They say you can never go home again, and I suppose that is true, for the one thing that never stops is change.Â Even if the place you return to is not that different, and the people you love are still there and healthy, you will have changed more then you know.Â When that happens, â€œThe old suit may no longer fit.â€Â After, a war and seven bitter years, I knew I had changed, and not for the better.Â But sometimes, with opportunity, hard work, and a bit of divine help, you can heal.Â For me, my help from heaven came with four sure hoofs, a soft nicker of encouragement, and a gentle yet courageous determination.Â I am forever grateful that Starfire lived up to her name.Â
Mark and Pompie (his current equine friend)
I was watching the News Hour on Public Television a few weeks ago, and saw to my surprise a segment on horseback riding physical therapy for badly wounded troops returning from the war in Iraq.Â The â€œOld Guardâ€ cavalry troop in Washington, DC, working with the medical staff at Walter Reed Hospital and physical therapists, is providing riding physical therapy for even amputees who may be missing both lower legs.Â It helps that the horses of the â€œOld Guardâ€ are some of the most â€œbomb proofâ€ horses available.Â Since these horses perform all of the military funerals at the Arlington National Cemetery, they are used to rifle and cannon fire, as well as cars, traffic, and parades.Â These horses are about as unflappable as they come, and totally focused on their riders and handlers.Â So, it appears I was present at the start of military horseback riding physical therapy, and now it is a mainstream treatment.Â I hope and pray each of those wounded men is chosen by his own â€œStarfireâ€, who will help him heal and become whole again.
If you have stories to share, comments, questions,Â and ideas to contribute, I would love to hear from you. Share this blog with your friends.