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BS: What Can I Do?

Jerry Rasmussen 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 AM
Jeanie 24 Mar 03 - 02:35 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 03 - 03:06 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Mar 03 - 06:27 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 03 - 10:17 AM
Rick Fielding 24 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM
John Hardly 24 Mar 03 - 10:56 AM
*daylia* 24 Mar 03 - 11:15 AM
Bill D 24 Mar 03 - 11:19 AM
JenEllen 24 Mar 03 - 11:33 AM
JedMarum 24 Mar 03 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,guest 24 Mar 03 - 01:14 PM
Big Mick 24 Mar 03 - 01:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Mar 03 - 01:20 PM
Peg 24 Mar 03 - 02:27 PM
mg 24 Mar 03 - 03:43 PM
Ebbie 24 Mar 03 - 03:46 PM
DougR 24 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,for now 24 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM
NicoleC 24 Mar 03 - 09:34 PM
wysiwyg 24 Mar 03 - 10:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Mar 03 - 12:15 AM
katlaughing 25 Mar 03 - 12:31 AM
Troll 25 Mar 03 - 12:32 AM
Rustic Rebel 25 Mar 03 - 01:09 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Mar 03 - 01:19 AM
Peg 25 Mar 03 - 01:20 AM
katlaughing 25 Mar 03 - 03:25 AM
John Hardly 25 Mar 03 - 07:33 AM
Tinker 25 Mar 03 - 09:51 AM
Sam L 25 Mar 03 - 10:18 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Mar 03 - 11:13 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 25 Mar 03 - 01:34 PM
JedMarum 25 Mar 03 - 02:44 PM
DougR 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 PM
Rick Fielding 25 Mar 03 - 05:56 PM
Rustic Rebel 25 Mar 03 - 11:18 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 25 Mar 03 - 11:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Mar 03 - 10:15 AM
Big Mick 26 Mar 03 - 11:55 AM
JudeL 27 Mar 03 - 06:42 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Mar 03 - 07:58 AM
Walking Eagle 27 Mar 03 - 05:21 PM
JedMarum 27 Mar 03 - 05:25 PM
DougR 27 Mar 03 - 05:43 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Mar 03 - 11:10 PM
DougR 28 Mar 03 - 01:36 AM
Jeri 28 Mar 03 - 08:48 AM
bassen 28 Mar 03 - 09:32 AM
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Subject: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 AM

I can't sleep tonight. I spent the last hour or so of yesterday, slowly dematerializing in front of our tv, watching the latest news on the war in Iraq. When I finally checked Mudcat before I went to bed, I noticed I had an e-mail, and pulled it up on screen to read it. It was a copy of a long article about why The United States is REALLY waging a war on Iraq. "It's the economy, stupid." And power.
Are France and Germany and Russia being moralistic? Maybe in part, but for them too, "it's the economy, stupid." Greed runs rampant, and power corrupts. As it always has. And probably always will. It makes me angry, and depressed.

So, what can I do about it? I praise everyone who is demonstrating against this war, everyone who is expressing their anger and this country, because we can do it and not get our hands chopped off for doing it. But, this thread isn't really about the war in Iraq. It's about what lies in our power, and what doesn't. And what we can do with our lives. Despite the millions of prayers and the millions of demonstrators who marched against the war, here it is. Were the prayers meaningless?: The marches? What about praying and marching, now that the war is raging? I don't think prayer is ever wasted, or protesting or speaking out against injustice. I don't think that we can live without hope. And even though I can't sleep tonight, it is not a lack of hope. While we may seem to be powerless to control world events, we are not powerless to effect lives around us.

On the way home tonight, my wife and I stopped at the local Walmart. I needed to pick up some medication for this miserable sore throat I have that makes me sound like a wounded crow. While I was waiting in line to check out, there was a Mother, her 5 or 6 year old daughter, and the Grandmother in line in front of me. Without any apparent provocation, the little six year old burrowed her knickles into her eyes and let out a screeching yell. She wasn't getting her away about something and just started "bellering like a prune-fed calf." The Mother looked embarassed and shrugged her shoulders, and when her Mother asked her what the kid wanted, the Mother just said, "I don't know." I know what she wanted, a good whack on the rear end. But, I just smiled more sympathetically than I felt. The two women looked at me appreciatevily and said, "Why don't you go in front of us?" An unexpected act of kindness which I gratefully accepted. When I got back into the car and we were pulling out of the parking lot, a woman rolled down the winodw of her car and asked if we knew where Marshall Manor was. It was dark, and the woman was lost. Our neighbor has just been committed to Marshall Manor with Alzheimers, so we know where it is. I offered to lead her there, and she was very appreciaitve. It only took an extra five minutes of our time, and I don't know if she ever would have found the place in the dark.

Tonight, I couldn't do anything to stop the war in Iraq. Neither could the frazzled woman with the bratty kid and her Mother. But we both did something little that made life momentarily better for someone else. Tomorrow, it will be forgotten, most likely. But tomorrow, there will be an opportunity where, if we can just look outside ourselves and how we're feeling and see someone else who would appreciate a small act of kindness, we are not helpless. I see that happening every day here on Mudcat, and I often find my spirits lifted, just dropping in to Mudchat and kidding around with friends.
We are not helpless or without hope. The prayers are not in vain, and neither are the protests. And especially, neither are acts of kindness and humor.

I think tonight of John9 from Hull ands it makes me smile. Mudcat's Every9man. John, you cheer me up, every time I run across you on Mudcat. Leadfinger's rebellious keyboard does, too. Leadfinger's keyboard is Charlie Brown's tree-eating kite. There are too many other Catters who lift my spirits every day to mention.

For every LOL that rolls through my body, and every expression of hope I see in here, I am thankful. We can do something. We can care for those around us... whether they have a bratty little kid in pigtails who's driving us nuts, or are someone we love who is feeling depressed.

I knew I couldn't go back to sleep if I didn't express this all, and thank all of you who lift my spirits like a balm.

Love,

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jeanie
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 02:35 AM

Oh, well said Mr. Rasmussen, and ditto-ditto-ditto back to you !

I know exactly what you mean about that awful overwhelming feeling of helplessness and powerlessness in the face of all that is happening, despite the prayers and the protests - and I've had very similar experiences to you over the last couple of days, of both receiving and giving, which showed me very clearly what I *can* be doing. And yes, it's the (apparently) little things, moment by moment by moment. Every time you move a grain of sand, you change the structure of the universe.

No matter what is happening in the big wide world or the world inside our heads, there is a parallel world waiting for us to step into at any and every moment, where the currency is Love and the coins are smiles, laughs, offers of a helping hand, words of encouragement. It is a *currency*, which means it needs to *flow* in order to exist and have any value, passed from hand to hand, given and received and given again.

I step into and out of that parallel world, moment by moment every day - and I know where it's best to be. I hope that today I can be living that life more than I was yesterday. The choice is always there.

I don't know whether to sign off as "Jeanie" or as the new name your own feisty little keyboard gave me yesterday in the Mudchat ("Jequoei" wasn'it ??)

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 03:06 AM

Beautifully put, both of you. Thanks very much.

One other thing we can do, a very practical thing...turn off the tv and radio when it is filled with war news. By all means, stay informed, but we do not need the "overkill" of images seered into our hearts, minds, and psyche to know what is going on. When we feed into it by being glued to the tv we give it our energy, our power of thought and, I believe, help to perpetuate the negative power.

By removing ourselves from the full force of the mighty, muddy river of coverage, we can partake of the clear, fresh waters from the small rills which flow into the larger one. We can remember to breath, to fill our minds with images of peace, love, and the beauty of our planet; we can show someone the way to a nursing home or give in some other way and, yes, receive, as well. The Universe needs our positive thoughts and actions. We humans have been left to our own devices through exercise of free will. When we let our true desires for peace, love, and thoughtful actions be known and foremost in our thoughts, we can become conduits of our own mighty force for good and help the Universe bring about the changes for which we long.

Namaste,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:27 AM

Thanks, Jeroquai and Kat: Good friends.

Boy, are you right about the tv, Kat. I have a feeling that it is insidiously entering our minds and bodies and will suck our souls into the tube without our feeling a thing, if we let it. I see all the illusions and lies coming from all directions, and I know that the one thing they aren't covering is reality. The road to Hell is paved with commercials. That's why you're right, Kat... try to find the truth slathered over with Madison Avenue slogans like Iraqi Freedom, but don't let the tube suck you dry.

Today will be a beautiful day, I can speak this morning without sqwauking, and I'm looking forward to popping in at Mudchat, and getting out to see some friends around here, who have a ready laugh.

A ready laugh. The weapon that is more powerful than a scud missile.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:17 AM

"Television hangs on the questionable theory that whatever happens anywhere should be sensed everywhere. If everyone is going to be able to see everything, in the long run all sights may lose whatever rarity value they once possessed, and it may well turn out that people, being able to see and hear practically everything, will be specially interested in almost nothing."

- E. B. White -

That last bit may not be necessarily true in these riverting times, but I do think the man has a point. Can you imagine all of the children who have their own tvs right now? How many parents are monitoring what they watch in their bedrooms while the parents watch whatever on their own? Talk about disconnect.

Thanks, Jerry, glad to hear your "speaker" is back.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM

Jerry, I feel as discombobulated as you!

Not much can make me feel better these days. Michael Moore's guts at last night's Oscars helped......but the bottom line is that the vast majority of the world thinks this could have been handled better....and yet...there they are...killing, bombing, and spreading false information (both sides equally). I'm hoping that at least all the marches, words, prayers etc. MIGHT shorten this thing.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:56 AM

Jerry,
I come to the mudcat and usually find my beliefs reviled and derided...
...but I absolutely agree with the premise of your post -- we do what we can........and that's no small act. In fact, I think that THAT's what life's about -- the door held, the selfless helping hand given with no expectatin of praise or payback --it's what people DO.

In fact, I think we get caught up in thinking that the real world is the political scene -- and it's really not (in fact, I think that continuing enlightenment, education and technology have and always will shape the world more than any politics ever will). I guess, at my most hopeful, that's why I can still enjoy the fellowship here among those to whom I am the philosophical enemy...

...our common ground is actually (though rarely viewed as such) more important, more POWERFUL than politics. Music and the Arts make politics seem so.....powerless.

I remember an event that happened a few years ago that really impressed me. When Clinton was on vacation on Martha's Vineyard he invited James Taylor on board his yacht to play some music for him. I suddenly got this big ol' goofy grin on my face. I pictured the reality of the situation. It wasn't a musician good enough to have audience with the president -- it was that it took THAT much clout (a presidency) to get a one-on-one concert from JT! What a lovely thought!

Just ask me, "would you rather master your guitar...or political science?" "would you rather be able to win an arguement with the great liberal minds of the mudcat.....or play a tune for them and watch them smile or shed a tear?"

no contest.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: *daylia*
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 11:15 AM

Thank you Jerry, Jeanis, kat, John et al for sharing your thoughts. I really needed to see them today.

I've decided that I'm not going to inflict the news upon myself after 6pm - I'll keep updated around lunchtime instead, so that I don't toss and turn all night with those awful images fresh in my mind. I'm pretty fuzzy-headed this morning ...

And I want to thank Mudcat and all you Cats just for being here. I posted this on the "Tiny Piano Programs" thread this morning, but I want to post it here too, so more people will see just how helpful and important that Mudcat - and the sacred art of music - are in coping with this war:

"BillD, just wanted to thank you again for posting these programs.

One of my 10yr old piano students just moved to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates a couple weeks ago. She e-mailed me yesterday, very disappointed that because of the war she won't be getting her keyboard or the rest of her stuff till probably May - it's still on a boat waiting to leave Canada. She sounded very angry ... "I just hate Bush and Saddam. They are just soooooo stupid! I still have all my songs in my head but I can't play them ..."

So I sent her the MIDIColors program, and she was tickled pink! She's on holidays from school this week, and it's giving her something fun to explore and a way to make music for now.

Thank you so much again Bill, and thanks to Mudcat for helping one little girl find some relief and distraction from the insanity of this war."

"What Can I Do" you ask? You're doing it, you wonderful folk!

Gratefully - daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 11:19 AM

~~~~~~~~~~~~


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: JenEllen
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 11:33 AM

It's about what lies in our power, and what doesn't. And what we can do with our lives.

Thank you Jerry, that is it precisely.
I spent some down-time this weekend flinking through the news channels just to see what the poop was, and all I really got from it was a headache. But, as kat said, the damn thing does have an off-switch, and I used it and then WENT OUTSIDE.
Guess what? It's spring out there. (When you know what Bagdad looks like at night, but aren't sure if the trees in your own yard are budding yet or not, something is terribly wrong.) The lambs and kids and calves are coming, and our dry part of the world is getting it's first taste of the short 'green season'. The fact that the world carries on despite our petty squabbles is quite humbling when you think about it.
As to what we can do with our lives? We can simply give joy. My thanks today goes to Jeri who gave me the gift of a really good laugh this morning. It takes very little and means a lot.

Go outside and play,
~Jen


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:45 PM

I feel exactly as you do, Jerry - about "What Can I Do" but I feel exactly the opposite on your conclusions.

I have long wanted to participate in this event. Where can I help, where can I contribute. I know I am in excellent physical condition and could probably cope well with the demands of military life - but I am too old to join. They wouldn't even let me in the door. I have no other special skills that might get me a role in the current military support actions - and I am currently wondering if I could find some way to help out in the aftermath, rebulding the country and helping the Iraqi people.

I do sit, glued to the TV, watching every picture, thinking about every word - there is a huge difference in the way the same news is reported by the BBC compared to Al Jeezera compared to the US networks and even compared to the US local stations. I know the 'truth' lies somewhere within all of those comments, and I turst myown judgement to decide what it is.

I know each of the political perspectives pretty well, and so I can likewise discern the 'truth' in what they report, or in the comments they make. But unlike you, I have no problem understanding the truth in the motives of allied military actors.

It is true, the community of nations has stood by and watched before as terrible dictators or terrible regimes in sovereign nations do terrible things to their own people - even when we are all, or when many of us wish to intervene for humanitarian reasons. This situation is much more then that. We could stand back and let Saddam continue to crush his own people and stay out of the fight because it is his country and Iraq a sovereign nation - but Saddam does not just kill his own people - he has killed his neighbors. He crossed the national boundaries of another sovereign nations and took them over - for which action we crushed his armies and sent him out of Kuwait - and let him return to Iraq if he would abide by the conditions set by the allied forces against him. He has steadfastly refused to do so. This alone justifies the current military action - but most importantly, to my way of thinking, at least against the backdrop of those known behaviours of Saddam - he continues to make massive ammounts of terrible weapons. These are not weapons that are effective military weapons, but they are rather weapons that will be used against populations - strictly for terrorsit purposes. The are not being made for humantiarian purposes, they are not being made just to kill Isrealies, Kuwaities, Iranians or other Iraqi neighbors. They will be used against anyone Saddam doesn't like - and will be carried into the territories of any country at the will of terrorists - and those terrorists will be Saddam's friends or not. If they have a common enemy - the weapons will certainly find their way to New York, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Toronto. In fact, we've already found them in London and Paris.

I don;t seek to change your mind about the war - I simply wish to express my support for it. I do wish I could help, somehow. I do base my beliefs on my love for humanity, and like you, I do practice the day to day moments of generosity for my neighbors as occasion allows. In fact, I actively look for those opportunities.

Now, the sun is shining and I cannot do anything of practical assistance by sitting glued to the TV - so I will tear myself away, and join you in prayer for peace - and for the well being of the Iraqi people and the allied soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:14 PM

jed, have you looked into the national guard or reserves? they have a more liberal recruitment policy than the regular armed forces as far as age goes. i'm sure you could find a way to serve if you truly wish to. there are many humanitarian organizations that could use your help too in the aftermath of war. i'll look forward to hearing how you've chosen to serve.
by the way, i don't believe that any of the terrorist weapons you refer to have been linked credibly to iraqui sources.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:17 PM

As I write this, I realize what a prisoner of my own experiences I am. I have experienced both sides of the peace equation. I was raised with the "my country right or wrong" etho's, yet lost it during the 1969 - 1975 time frame. I want peace more than I can express, yet I have seen what happens when the "peace at all costs" attitudes prevail. I love the people who are bold enough to protest this war, yet wonder where they were when Saddam was gassing the Kurds, and arbitrarily killing anyone who disagreed with him. Having experienced war, and hating it, I still wonder what solutions my friends in the peace movement offer to world events. I wonder why there weren't mass demonstrations when it was only Iraqui children dying and not American troops. How do we deal with despots who do terrible things, if not through the sword?

Yet, my spiritual leader tells me this is an unjust war. I can't help but notice the hypocrisy of attacking Iraq for not complying with UN resolutions, yet Israel leads the way in ignoring them. Saddam has a terrible record of human abuse, yet Israel certainly is in the top 10. I can't help but notice the manufactured links of Saddam to Al Quaeda, yet we continue to ignore the fact that virtually all of the ringleaders of this murderous bunch come from Saudi Arabia. Yet we ignore this fact, I suspect, due to our need of their oil which makes us guilty of acting with morals of convenience. We talk of coalitions, yet act unilaterally.

And I hate the coverage of this war. It is too sterile. I want people to see bodies, and blood, and see the screaming, terrified kids. I want them to experience their sons and daughters crying for their lives as they die. I want them to see the lives torn apart. I want this for the right, and the left, the conservative and the liberal. I want them to understand the gravity of war, so they will understand why we must hone diplomacy and sanctions into a more formidable weapon so that we need not kill and be killed. I think that only those who have experienced the horror can truly, and primally, understand why this is such a tragedy.

If this sounds rambling and unfocused, it is because it is. I am trapped by the experiences that leave me confused about proper action. I think I shall turn off the TV, as my friend Jerry suggests. I will take the guitar, the pipes, and the old Low D to the hill. And I think I will cry for what I know is happening. Why, Lord, can't we learn?

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:20 PM

Hi, Jed:

Thanks so much for expressing your views. I wish I could believe what Bush and his cohorts are saying, and perhaps they are even telling the truth. This "war" is far more complex to sort out than the clean-cut ones, like the Second World War. I wouldn't have had a problem fighting in that one. But, I believe that the rationale for war that is driving Bush and his gang has very little to do with what you believe it is. I think it is oil, money and power. I hate what Hussein has done, and will be glad to see him gone. But, the United States has supported dictatorships far worse that that in Iraq if it was in our financial or strategic interest.

But then, I didn't start this as a "war" thread. There are enough of those. What we could agree on is I'd be happy to work side by side with you in rebuilding Iraq.

In the meantime, I can't sort out Madison Avenue, illusions, Hussein's lies and ours. It remains to be seen whether Iraq even has weapons of Mass Destruction. If Bush and Rumsfeild "Know" this, why can't they produce them? All I know is that there are good things to be done right outside my door, and a beautiful day to give thanks for.
We don't have to go to Iraq to help someone less fortunate than us. The people around us who need help will never be on the six o'clock news..

Thanks again, Jed...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Peg
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 02:27 PM

Beautifully spoken, Jerry. You give voice to what many of us are feeling these days.

In the midst of this wartime madness I lost one of my dearest friends to cancer. A young, vibrant, generous, compassionate, capable, highly-intelligent, loving human being.

I have stopped asking why this happened and have started asking what I can do to honor his memory. Helping others was his raison d'etre. I strive to be one-tenth the helpmeet he was to so many.

Your words have echoed this same sentiment. Why are we here? Not to feel helpless against tyranny and aggression, surely. But to help one another. To live life fully and well. Go forward in hope and do what you can to ease the way of your fellow humans on the path, if it is given to you to do this.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: mg
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 03:43 PM

donate to Mercy Corps and Red Cross/Crescent and Northwest Medical Teams..people like that. They are lined up and ready to go. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 03:46 PM

Sitting glued to my tv the other day, a historical precedent suddenly occurred to me.

I think it was during America's Civil War when the word went out that the Rebels were coming to Washington DC and the North sallied out to drive them back.

Some men and women drove their buggies (I think it's said that there were 16 buggies) out to the hillside above the battlefield to watch the north send the south scampering back whence they came.

Instead, the Northerners fell and the Rebels swarmed forward. At a certain moment, the onlookers divined what was happening and in panic they whipped their horses away to safety.

I'm not sure what the message is here. I just suddenly became aware that I was the onlooker on the hillside.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: DougR
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM

Jed: you might check into the USO. Used to be good entertainers were much in demand to entertain the troops. Think Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and so many others who gave their time selflessly to provide entertainment for the troops. Of course if any Mudcatters were recruited, they probably would be required to leave their signs at home. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: GUEST,for now
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM

Doug, Doug. Why do you always have to put the zinger in at the end of your posts now? The implication is that all of us other than Jed and a couple of others are disloyal mindless idiots who haven't thought out our positions carefully. If you need to zing someone who you feel has been rude to you personally, fine, but the vast majority at Mudcat treat you with respect and as a friend, period. Some who disagree with you vehemently, still reply to your posts with courtesy. Why do you paint all 'mudcatters' with the same brush? It hurts.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: NicoleC
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:34 PM

Actually, Big Mick, I often wonder where all the right wing "outrage" over Saddam's humanitarian record was when we were protesting the US economic and military support and sale of chemical and biological weapons to Saddam in the 80's. Oh right... it was okay because we though Iran was worse then.

There was a lovely and thoughtful article (editorial) in the Boston Globe the other day on just this subject. (Non-subscriber link to a 3rd party transcription.)


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:11 PM

Times like these show us how well we are living our personal belief system and whether it's a system that can sustain us if we do try to live it. What can we do? Pay attention to what we are doing and do what honors our beliefs.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 12:15 AM

Hi, Peg:

I appreciated your posting. I see how fractured we all are. There is even that sense in this thread which wanders off into whether or not we believe the war is justified. I feel the anxiety and anger in some of the postings, and recognize it because I feel it.

About ten years ago, in a time of great personal trauma in my life I wrote a song seeking comfort. This is the first verse and chorus. It may not give any comfort to my friends who don't share my beliefs, but they can probably feel the same longing in their hearts:

   "I take cold comfort in the ways of man
    I see no justice in this land
    I see the anger of the un-stayed hand
    May my heart find rest in Thee

       And in the darkness, give me the eyes of faith
       In my sorrow, send down your healing grace
       And on my journey, may my path be straight
       May my heart find rest in Thee

And while I'm typing... the second verse is:

    Give me the wisdom that I might understand
    Give me the courage, that I might take my stand
    And when I'm weary, lend me a helping hand
    May my heart find rest in Thee."         

Faith comes in all flavors. And in times like these, we all seek peace wherever we can find it.

Another difficult night to sleep

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 12:31 AM

Jerry, that is absolutely beautiful. Thank yo for posting it. Would love to hear you sing it sometime.

Here is one from Unity. Their prayer line, Silent Unity, uses this all of the time. The card it is printed on, with another on the other side, was taken to the moon by one of the astronauts.

One can easily substitute "god" and "christ" with whatever works for them:

The light of god surrounds me;
The love of god enfolds me;
The power of god protects me;
The presence of god watches over me.
Wherever I am, god is!

Here's the other by Hannah More Kohaus,

God is my help in every need;
God does my every hunger feed;
God walks beside me, guides my way
Through every moment of the day.

I now am wise, I now am true.
Patient, kind and loving, too.
All things I am, can do, and be,
Through Christ, the Truth that is in me.

God is my health, I can't be sick;
God is my strength, unfailing, quick;
God is my all, I know no fear,
Since God and love and Truth are here.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Troll
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 12:32 AM

It may well be for power, but if it were really for oil, don't you think we would simply have taken over Iraq and Kuwait in '91?
We get oil from both Canada and Mexico and we haven't tried to take them over.



Yet. (BG)

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:09 AM

It occured to me while reading this thread, that people are more than just good. They are passioned and driven by something deeper inside than they can imagine. The power of compassion and love fills the room and turns our lives into song. That is why I composed this little ditty...


Jerry my friend, sleep well tonight,let the spirits lift you like a balm,
today will be a beauitiful day, just to feel the calm.
Jen Ellen,you do simply give joy,when you tell us to go outside and play.
That is good advice for all of us Mudcatter's today
Kat, your words take us to a place of clear fresh waters, with images of love.
I can see in my mind in the air I breathe, the sailing of a peace dove.
John Hardley, you philosophical soul, yes I would rather you play me a tune,
Perhaps I will shed a tear or smile up at the moon.
Rick Fielding, you discombobulated rascal, I don't even know what it means,
but it's fun to say and funnier to sing so I'll say discombobulated once again.
Daylia, the sacred art of music that you pass to the next generation
will help develop a new art of the mini piano revelation.
Jeanie, everytime you move a grain of sand, you change the structure of the universe,
such an eloquent statement is your verse.
Bill D,~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jerry, It's about what we can do with our lives, a statement that deserves applause.
It's about what lies in our power, that is a great cause.
Jed Marrem, you trust your own judgements, on what is right or wrong for you,
and base your beliefs on your love for humanity, what a wonderful thing to do!
Guestguest, recommends organizations, to help Jed a little more,
and Mary Garvey spreads her love by donating to Mercy Corps.
Big Mick, is a prisoner of his own experiance, but his heart is filled with good-will
It is Mick, low-D and the pipes, spreading joyfull music up on the hill.
Peg, you question why we are here, but found your answer to tell
To help each other to live life fully, and to live our life well.
Ebbie, you've found yourself looking in, at your own journeys ride
and became aware that you are a looker, up on the hillside.
Doug R., you have a wonderful solution, to help soldiers with a song
entertain the troops, if this war continues on.
Guest for now, you are hurt, by some words that might have stung,
but take the words with a little humor, and let the song be sung.
Nicole C, you passed along an article with thought and insight,
reading loving words, makes a lot of wrong, right.
Susan, you have the last say, your post the last I read,
Your words were strong and true and this is what you said,
Pay attention to what we are doing, and do what honors our beliefs
My last words to you all
is let us strive to live in Peace.
Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:19 AM

Peace and Goodnight to you Rustic... just came out of another chatroom and feel refreshed, relaxed and ready for a peaceful night's sleep..

Thanks for the lyrics, Kat.

I owe a recording of that song, long overdue, to Ferrrara... if I tape it, I'll send you a copy, somewhere down the line..

The last verse is:

   "Some spend their lives in a search for power
    Ignoring treasures, time can't devour
    All that I ask in my final hour
    May my heart find rest in Thee"

And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Peg
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:20 AM

Great song Rustic! Something for everyone.
And beautiful lyrics in your own song, Jerry. All roads to God bring us to the same place eventually; that is what I believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:25 AM

Beautiful, RR and Jerry. Thanks so much and goodnight, dear friends, one and all.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:33 AM

thanks RR!


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Tinker
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 09:51 AM

What a wonderful thread ! Thank You. I've been spending as much time as I can in the garden, trying to reclaim and order one little section at a time. Perhaps if I can reclaim a small haven of sanctuary in an all too hectic world. Rising above the yard there is a small garden I've yet to feel ready to reclaim. It's centerpiece is a lifesize naked woman (on a five foot pedestal) looking down on a small running child. It's old, and weather worn and in need of repair. The flower beds around it are either choked in hostas or pushing up rocks. But as the world spins it feels important that the Lady be cared for, now... So today I start reclaiming the beds and preparing to plant flowers and herbs dedicated to healing....


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Sam L
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 10:18 AM

I've been trying to explain to 3rd graders that an idea isn't an invention, but I can't seem to get them off the "big idea" track, and focused on messing with things, following an idea, seeing what happens. If I could start over I think I'd compare it to skateboarding and call it Extreme Thinking, so they might take the point that they might start with an idea of what they intend to do, but it may come apart, and the thing is to be able to improvise, react, use the accident, turn it into something good.

   My daughter had this idea of a kite that you could tell how high it was, and we've been flying that, and it drops parachutes when you give the line a sharp snap. I don't know what this has to do with anything, but it's something I've been thinking about instead of watching much news.

   Whatever the motives or reasons for this war, I hope whatever good that can possibly come out of it, will. Some well-informed people thought containment was the right policy, and I supposed it probably was--it's not a big swell of patriotism that I've left off my guarded opposition. I hope it's over soon, and results in a better situation for individual human rights, just as if that was the whole reason for it, and that was what we always do. Comparisons with Israel break down in that I don't expect anyone to be elected there with 99% of the vote--that really does mean something that matters. I hope to be open to accept what good might come from very questionable ideas, mixed political motives, or it seems to me there would never be much good anywhere at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 11:13 AM

A very wise observation, Fred. I believe that many of the good things that man has done have not necessarily been done for the right reason. Like you, I am hoping (and praying) that goodness will still come out of this in ways that we can't forsee. I've heard the phrase many times in recent years that "We can't see around corners."
We are all of limited vision. While I fear that the middle East will be de-stabilized, I realize that it's been de-stabilized for over 2,000 years. I sure didn't consider stable two months ago.

In the meantime, I think reclaiming gardens and lawns is a way to create something beautiful with our own hands.

Now, where did I put that rake?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:34 PM

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can't change
courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 02:44 PM

Big Mick - with the strongest respect for your spiritual leader, I have to remind you that he also urges even stronger opposition to a woman's right to choose abortion. This pope believes that any choice to kill is wrong, any time anywhere - and while most of us can feels some sympathy with that notion - most people know there ought to be exceptions. Again - I don't want to disrepect the Pope's position, but these thoughts place his opinion in context for me. I believe he is wrong in both cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: DougR
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 PM

Rustic Rebel: thank you for one of the most positive posts I've read on the Mudcat.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:56 PM

Thanks rebel. Jeez, ya got us all in there.

I "think" that the word "discombobulated" may have come from watching Walt Disney's "Brer Rabbit" when I was a kid.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 11:18 PM

Thanks everyone. You all were my inspiration!
Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 11:49 PM

Yes, this is really a great thread. Between it and the "Claymore's in the Hospital" thread there is just way too much goodwill going on around here.

I think that, regardless of where any of us stood before the war began, we all feel a little helpless now. And I think that sense of helplessness is causing us to realise that the differences between us aren't as fundamental as we thought.

I had a unique (well, it was unique for me) experience over the weekend. My wife and I make our living as potters, selling at arts and crafts shows on weekends. We didn't get in the show that we had wanted to be in this past weekend so we scrambled around for a backup show and wound up at a "sausage festival" put on as a fund-raiser for a nearby volunteer fire department. We weren't familiar with the festival, and were expecting pretty much the same scene as most area craft shows - a little food, a little art, entertainment by a few local bands. Wrong! The festival is very much about live entertainment and the live entertainment it's about is country music. The headline acts were Craig Morgan, Darryl Worley and Blake Shelton, names that mean nothing to me, but all of whom I was assured are pretty big dogs in the CM world. Anyway, here my wife and I were, quite possibly the only two pinko peaceniks in a sea of red, white and blue shirts, cowboy boots and Budweiser cups. And nobody shot us! Hell, we even made a little money.

Most importantly, I was impressed with the sincerity of the folks who were there. They aren't a bunch of war-mongers with "Time to kick some ass!" bumper stickers on their pickup trucks. They are as sincere in their beliefs as I am in mine. It's easy to deride the attitudes of those with whom we disagree if they're faceless yahoos. It's harder if they're real human beings.

That's enough warm fuzzy shit for one night. Better stop before I start telling you that Gargoyle is really a nice guy and that he's just yanking everybody's chains with that asshole misogynist persona he adopts here.         

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 10:15 AM

And there's a lesson to be learned there, Bruce.If we could all try to build on those things we hold in common, instead of putting so much energy into proving that we are superior to others, we might be able to find some common ground where we could live with our differences. That holds true in the Mideast, and in Mudcat. Maybe it's just too threatening to admit that life is far more complex than we are willing to accept.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 11:55 AM

As my Gran used to say. "Look for what you have in common, celebrate the differences".

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: JudeL
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 06:42 AM

When I was a child I can remember there was a set of stories, each with a moral sting in the tale. One of them was about peoples perceptions of heaven and hell, and the value of helping one another.

After a man died his guide took him and seated him at an enormous table. In the middle of this table was a huge pile of the most delicious food. From where he was sat he couldn't reach the food for himself. He found he could not move out of the chair. In front of him were a very long spoon and an equally long fork, more than long enough to reach the food. He picked up the spoon and the fork and used them to reach the food, but he found that they were too long for him to put food into his mouth with no matter how he tried. Each time he tried to turn the food towards his own mouth before he could eat it always fell off. Dispirited he started to give up, and he raised his eyes to look around. Down one end of the table he saw people who looked as if they were starving, some were cursing and insulting each other, some were just sitting crying. He then looked down the other end of the table and saw people were happily eating. He saw that although no-one could reach their own mouth they could and did reach their neighbours. By helping each other they could all eat.

He turned round to his guide and asked is this "heaven or hell" he was told "things are as you make them, you have the choice"

I cannot remember where this story came from but I remember hearing it as a child and in my turn told it to my children.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 07:58 AM

Hi, Jude:

It's been awhile since I've heard that story, and it really is timeless. Thanks for reminding me of it...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 05:21 PM

Thanks to eveyone for the song bits. We need to keep in mind that music has a deep and tangilbe healing property.

Here's a funny lyric bit by (I think) John Denver:

Blow up your TV>
Throw away the paper>
Move to the counrty>
Build you a home>

or something like that.

Another thing to do besides donate to good charities is write, call, email, or show up to the news agencies and voice your discontent with All War, All Day.

I usually listen to NPR but I really had a fit when they cancelled some of the good music and entertainment shows, like Prairie Home Companion and Whadya Know and Car Talk. My station, WHYY, got my wrath. We need those shows to keep us sane.

W.E.


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 05:25 PM

USO has no response yet ... I am too old to join the military, but have applied for a waiver. I am awaiting a date for the test. I may get in afterall ...


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: DougR
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 05:43 PM

Jed: when I was in the Army there was a Special Services division. This division was involved in troop entertainment, and, I believe, education. Perhaps you could inquire whether there is such a division in today's armed services and you could fit in there.

No offense, but you might be a little long in the tooth to compete with those 18-20 year old recruits when it comes to combat.

:>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:10 PM

But Doug...he can sure OUT PICK THEM!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 01:36 AM

No doubt about that!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 08:48 AM

Well, the Air Force has a country band and bluegrass band working out of Bolling AF base in D.C., but when you only need about 5 people, the competition is pretty darned high. It's probably the same in the other services. Jed, if you manage to get in and make it through the required training, I hope you don't wind up in a job you can't stand, serving a 2-year unaccompanied tour in Korea or Panama or some other exotic place. Once you're in, they own your ass - verbal promises aren't worth the paper they're written on.

You might want to look into volunteering for the Red Cross or check with the personnel office at your nearest military base. Info on jobs with the VA here, and Department of Defense civilian job opportunities here. Somehow, I don't think you're looking for a job working for the DoD, but hey - at least you can quit that!


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Subject: RE: BS: What Can I Do?
From: bassen
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 09:32 AM

A small offering from one corner of the much-despised "old Europe":

US and Iraqi students find common ground in Norwegian class!
Aftenposten

bassen


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 19 January 6:07 AM EST

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