Category: Active Hope



Mighty SEISMO is real and not real. His name comes from  the Greek word seismos, earthquake, and seien to shake. He is real by virtue of those root definitions and he is unreal by virtue of his role as the perpetrator of our social disorder. He is like a miasma that weaves its way through entire populations. In his personification he represents an entire milieu of shock and awe events that infect our youngsters, our middle-agers, and our elderly In essence he infects us all at one time or another either directly or by happenstance. Regardless his shock and awe effect disturbs the orderliness, humaneness, tranquility, and virtue of every human life. The above image illustrates both Mighty SEISMO’s presence and the disturbances he creates among us.

So how does Mighty SEISMO produce these behavior aberrations?  Well first, he inspires or enables them, but we are the ones that produce the effects. Since he is an infection, each of us reacts to that infection differently. Some of us become consumed by greed and tend to lose our focus on any other aspect of our lives and of those around us. When interrupted or blocked in our acquisitive pursuits we can be extremely hostile, even vengeful. Shakespeare in his play, Henry VIII (3.2.306-7 Surrey) observes: “Thy ambition, Thy scarlet sin, robbd this bewailing land” which serves to illustrate the fierceness of lust and greed.

Yes, lust, like greed is a forceful infection. Today, it seems Mighty SEISMO has infected so many of us with a burning lust that replaces true love and reduces human affection to the physical assuaging of that lust.  Most knowingly and one of SEISMO’s famous victims, the Marquis de Sade opines. “Lust’s passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.”  Emotional indifference seems to be a residual and somewhat permanent scar of these lust-feasts. This carries over to a rising dispassion by us for what would otherwise be extremely serious, potentially frightening, and often deadly events or future human actions. Modern warfare, for too many, is met with shrugs of indifference. The declining state of our planet is equally shrugged off by the indifferent. Yes, there is also a lust for one’s own-self with respect to our response to ambition, the acquisitions of position, power and wealth, and as extreme egocentrism. This tends to isolate us from all that is not relevant to our particular focus. The biggest victim in this is often compassion and that is what can hold MightySEISMO at bay.

Perhaps our most dangerous and socially damaging reaction to Mighty SEISMO’s infection are acts of vengeance or revenge. Yes, some major cities report declines in violent crime, but others report an increase. Add to this an almost overwhelming rush on TV shows to push violence into its various forms. All of this is compounded by the extreme right politically pushing for uncontrolled access to guns. As reported in The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence,

  • In their view (NRA and extreme right), unfettered access to firearms is the key ingredient to protecting individual rights from overreaching by government.   They argue that the only way to keep centralized authority in check is to ensure that individual citizens retain the capability to confront the government with force of arms
This twisted and impassioned love of the GUN and its deadly impact is clearly displayed in a recounting of its use by a victim of the Tucson, AZ shooting of Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords, her associates and followers.  Randy Gardner a wounded survivor writes,
  • Over the past years, we have all witnessed an unacceptable level of gun violence in our country. For too long, I’ve sat on the sidelines watching families struggle in their pain and grief with losing a family member to gun violence. I feel the need to do whatever I can to prevent others from experiencing this terrible heartache.”
So, we have the possibility of guns in schools, in bars, in the bedroom, the office; even at the beach; where does it stop?  Are we regressing to the days of the Wild Wild West? Do we need to revive and recruit those paragon gun-slinging law enforcers like the Earp brothers? Seems we are, if you consider the massive increase in security measures that are edging closer to the limits of our personal privacy. Add a gun into the hand of an otherwise law-abiding citizen who is suddenly overwhelmed with some socio-politcal incident and BANG, BANG and a life somewhere stops. Bar fights, of course take on a whole violent and dangerous pattern of behavior. Will bouncers now carry automatic rifles?

Mighty SEISMO must be stopped! This is not an overnight task. An entire change in our social order with an emphasis on greater equality and distribution of wealth is absolutely essential. Right now, Mighty SEISMO and powerful and wealthy interests fight to retain the current imbalanced, unfair and damaging social order. As noted, Mighty SEISMO is an infection so we humans must develop our resistance to that infection. Somehow we must overcome our fascination and obeisance to greed and lust and in that process re-acquaint ourselves with acts of compassion. Those acts need to start at home first then spread out. Finally, we need to resist violence. This becomes easier when we have revived compassion. Yes, I know there is a risk in being compassionate in response to violence, but it is a potential reverse shock and awe that stuns the irate when they face care, concern and a helping hand.  Should we succeed, guess who slides away never to return?  Mighty SEISMO.

Yes, we are all empowered to resist and dispel Mighty SEISMO and we can take both energy and succor from our Cosmic surrounds. The following video stresses this in a soothing and inspiring way. Good bye Mighty SEISMO we can now be free of you.

IMAGE CREDIT:  Mighty SEISMO’s public impact. Courtesy: Crowds of People – popartmachine.com


		
Advertisements

The hand, as far as the article is concerned, is governance (local, state, national and territorial). The cradle is the entire spectrum of commerce and industry that represents the economy of a community of people, commonly known as a nation. Rocking the cradle, barring some horror movie contexts, represents part of the parental nurturing process of offspring. Offspring within the context of this article represents all those productive elements of a nation’s economy. Those productive elements include all the citizens of that national entity.  Governance is, of course, all the above when we think about democratic societies, and this immediately imposes a web of interactions and reactions that affect management.

Considering the complexity of the above cradle-rocking process, it is no wonder that there is often more than one hand on the cradle and that each hand has fingers in which each finger represents an array of nurture elements. So let’s look at nurture within the context we have created for this article.

Nurturing with respect to parenting involves a host of efforts from early life sustenance to the process of enabling the growth and development of the offspring. This includes behavioral adjustments, physical enrichment, education, and, in many ways, moral integrity. Multiply the offspring by a population mix of citizens, businesses, educational institutions (at all levels), and a host of governmental agencies (also at all levels) and rocking the cradle is no easy task. Most critically, the hands doing the rocking are equally required to have been nurtured to the same rigorous standards. As history has informed us, repeatedly, it does not always come out successfully; quite often in the area of moral integrity.

So what can happen?

The focus must be on the hands and fingers, in other words all aspects of governance, but especially the hands. The hands are the choice of the people who jointly and cooperatively decide exactly which hands are best to help rock the cradle. This is good and has served democratic nations well and successfully until the hands come under the influence of special interests (groups, industries, financial). When this happens the cradle gets jiggled more than rocked and the hands become impaired because they no longer respond to the people. Obviously the fingers, become confused, and often dysfunctional. When all this comes together, the cradle is no longer rocked, much less jiggled. It is abandoned!

Inside the cradle are all the operations and policies that insure a nation is safe, economically strong, progressive and dedicated to the enrichment of all life, including the environment. Obviously, when the cradle is only jiggled or, worse, abandoned the entire nation suffers. This can have dreadful, long-range effects that can retard the nation’s global standing which in turn has serious economic impact. The nation struggles and shrinks, the crippled hands are overpowered by special interests and democracy becomes just a tattered label.

What to do? What to do?

Well here are five steps that can help restore the hands and fingers and repopulate the cradle with all the important policies and practices that will help nurture the nation back into a strong, progressive and democratic country.

  1. Completely revise the electoral process to insure that the people select the hands.

  2. Insure that the fingers are carefully controlled to serve the well-being of the nation and its citizens.

  3. Respect the presence of special interests, but only within the framework of the will of the people. Special interests must gain approval from the people, not the hands.

  4. Governance is a mutual process that involves people, hands, fingers and the cradle. This must be sustained and never allowed to weaken. This means the people need to be alert, committed, and active in support of rocking the cradle.

  5. Progress is non-political. It is the joint activity of all elements of governance that move the nation forward. Rocking the cradle is the summary of that process and represents the continual nurturing of democracy.

Right now, the cradle is nearly empty, the hands twisted and manacled by special interests and the people all have either turned away or turned on each other.  We better hurry before there is no cradle to rock.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia) courtesy of faculty.polytechnic.org


A Blue Cosmic Hug Courtesy Of Hubble Space Telescope

Looking for a quick and easy, everyday spiritual boost?

Well, have you tried a Cosmic Hug? They are all around you. Right under your nose. Let’s look over some various nearby and distant samples and the reasons why they are cosmic hugs.

Our own cosmos and associated hugs: The image on the left is a part of my local cosmos, but every one of us has one. All we need to do is look for it. It doesn’t hide. If we cannot see it, it is because we are not looking for it.

The image of the gulls in both flight and reflection are cosmic elements that enthrall us. Experiencing that uplifts us just as if we had been given a warm, affectionate hug. The sound of the gulls’ sometimes gleeful, sometimes plaintive cries also draws us in to that cosmic moment and we feel tension; even bitterness or grief fly away from us.

Well, not everybody is for the birds. Be assured they do not mind, and you are not abandoned either. Many of us are often stopped in our tracks by the stunning beauty of a wildflower calmly waiting for our discovery. No musical cries, often not even an enticing odor. The only thing that emanates constantly from it is pure beauty.The lovely wild orchid on the right is also part of my local cosmos, but it can also be yours just as those gulls can be. These cosmic elements are always with us, if we doubt that then most likely we are not paying attention to our local cosmos. While we are taking those hikes in the woods we may also find other stunning examples of our personal cosmos. Like the gulls and the orchid, those examples await us. In each case in some very unique and personal way we are both surprised and renewed. We actually feel it course through our bodies as we welcome a treasured cosmic hug.

Although venturing forth across our earthly cosmos or even beyond and into the great Cosmos is an appealing goal. Our first efforts should begin locally. It will include all that is and all that surrounds us and they will always be rewarding. Yes, there are pockets of ire, sorrow, hate, and abuse within our human cosmos, but we will never find those perils from the natural world or the Cosmos above us. We can take full refuge within our naturally local cosmos. Once we have made those discoveries then our ventures into the deep glory of  the great Cosmos will bring richer more fulfilling hugs. Most importantly, usually those hugs come from a glance, not from prolonged, difficult searches. The image on the left is an example of a surprise embrace that we only receive if we keep an open spirit to all that surrounds and often awaits us.

Often frantic, sporadic hook-ups are physically refreshing, but are cosmically vacant. The stimulation from these hugs starts in the brain and spreads throughout and usually becomes embedded psychologically.  Perhaps the most effective process for finding and benefitting from these embraces is to practice a Star Trek “shields down” attitude.  We are each a cosmos, so a smile, a friendly greeting to all, or a” hello young man/lady” to a youngster are all elements of cosmic hugs. No contact required; just awareness and acknowledgement.

Do you greet beautiful Spring flowers? Do you laugh with a joyful bird? Do you express sympathy to a fractured or dying tree? All are cosmic and when you share and extend a cosmic hug all are enriched; especially you. Above all, we suddenly realize the opportunity for these hugs is both unlimited and universal.

Have you had your cosmic hug today? Have you given a cosmic hug today? If neither, why? Well, you can get an awesome hug by joining Carl Sagan in a walk along the shores of our Cosmic ocean. Just click the Lady Vinca image below to begin a stroll along the shores of that majestic ocean.

May The Cosmos In All Its Ways Be With You.

IMAGE CREDIT: 

Blue Cosmic Hug – courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope and NASA/ESA

Gulls: Waddell Robey (c) 1968

Wild Orchid: Waddell Robey (c) 1965

Shy Racoon: National Wildlife Refuge images

Vinca: Waddell Robey (c) 1970


An urgent reminder that applies globally

Hello, please consider clicking <HERE> for a You Tube presentation that is a good prelude to this blog article. Hope you will take some time to view and enjoy it. Thanks.

The young girl-child, an eleven year old, had the typical social behaviors of children with one of the forms of autism. Direct exchanges with even family could be an extreme variable with the child often secluding herself in her room with shouts of “go away. go away.”

That same child was an incredible artist. Her sketches were detailed, balanced and accurate. Most of her drawings involved human figures and they were all attractive and often animated (she often drew complete scenes of human activity). There were never any signs of fear or hostility in her work. They were so striking they took your breath away. Problems arose only when someone would stop to view and compliment her on her work. The “go away” demand arose at once, and if a person persisted then the youngster would begin to shout and try to flee. I was one of those admiring persons and my reaction to the girl’s pleas was sadness. I was sad for her; that so much talent was so tightly locked in autism’s grip.

The young girl was not one of my clients, but because of my work with another client I was able to follow her progress. Through the wonderful efforts of a talented therapist and her loving parents, she began to understand her reactions and learned to begin to control them. As this happened she responded more openly and happily to praise and was encouraged by it. I am hoping that now, somewhere she is a successful illustrator and artist; finally at peace with herself and her world.

Yes, the youngster discussed above had clearly obvious talents and could be considered an exception. She is exceptional, but that does not deny the existence of hidden talents or gifts in other children with either severe disorders or with cognitive weaknesses. It is most severe in those children besieged with behavioral problems Those demand therapeutic and parental focus at the price of never discovering those hidden treasures within. Usually through aggressive applications of medications and some therapy these “behaviorally challenged” youngsters are quieted down and then overlooked; mostly from relief than from indifference. This must change to not let “calm” become the ultimate goal.

Regardless of the particular disorder or disability, the process of helping the child to achieve individuality and to expose that hidden gift is expensive, often tension filled, and elaborately time-consuming. Parents, schools, therapist all reach their respective levels of exhaustion and many children end up in a caretaker environment. We are talking about our future, and we need to innovate ways to improve each child’s opportunity to develop to their individual utmost. Right now, organizationally, financially, and professionally we have not got it right.

Part of the answer is extended individual attention, both therapeutic and emotionally supportive. In this regard, the strongest medication is parental love. Yes, even this vital support gets tattered and bruised. In fact it can tear families apart. For the wealthy this is less of a problem because of their ability to bring on “live in” support or at least daily support. For the rest, it is a terrible struggle that is often just levels of coping with limited or no active efforts to help the child control the child. Hidden behind all of this is that one skill or interest that is the key that can liberate the entire family. Finding and nurturing it is extremely challenging, if it is even initiated.

Here are six actions that need full implementation and support: (None of the following are unique and are only partially practiced today. What is needed is better organization, funding and direct prescriptive implementation for each child that is both followed and enforced).

  1. Increase a sustained program of support for families, especially the parents. This includes instructing the parents in ways they can be more helpful to the child, but also ways that they can ease their own anxieties and frustrations.

  2. Intervention therapies should be started as early as possible, and ideally well in advance of school age. Some of this should occur in the home to avoid separating the child from its most important support group.

  3. Behavioral modification based on earned reward concepts does not help the child understand what is going on inside. We must never assume the child does not or cannot understand. The child needs to be an active partner in the therapeutic process not just a recipient.

  4. There are very good existing therapy programs in speech, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and occupational therapy, but all are severely limited by costs and variability of the diagnostic process and subsequent recommendations. It would not hurt, in my opinion, to ban the DSM IV and DSM V guides.

  5. The current reliance on pharmaceutical controls and not working to help the child develop self-controls abuses the use of medications and eliminates the vital “one-on-one” therapeutic exchange between therapist and child.  In a great many cases, the speech therapist winds up being the most successful in that important one-on-one therapy.

  6. The special aide or professional Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) person is a vital element in the entire process both in the home and in the schools. Costs, more than any other reason, are the biggest barrier, although some parents, schools and teachers resent the TSS. This professional is the extension of that “one-on-one” vital process that can fully enable a successful liberation of the real child. A partnership develops and out of that partnership the child can begin to understand the child, and most importantly begin to like the child it gets to know. This opens the door to discovery of those hidden gifts.  For the child and for its parents it represents a newly found freedom and opportunity. For the lucky TSS it is a never forgotten reward.

I close with the story of an encounter between a therapist and a now college age youngster. The youngster, a young man, greeted and hugged that therapist exclaiming fondly. “you helped to liberate me and taught me to learn who I was and who I could be. I shall remember you and our times together, forever.” This kind of moment must become standard and to do that there must be changes across the entire spectrum of treatment, education and respite protocols for the child, the parents and the entire family.

Are we there yet?

%d bloggers like this: