Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Joyful Process

The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. - Howard Zinn

Lately it seems that I keep coming back to a familiar theme: how not to get bogged down in the despair that comes with caring, as Andrea so aptly put it. So the message that hit home for me in last night's brief interview with Frances Moore Lappe on PBS's NOW was quite simple: living an engaged life is the good life. It's not dull or boring to get informed and take action. It's the heart of what it means to be involved in society, and there is joy in connecting with others and trying to change the world. Of course, reading here that Bush's job approval rating is on the rise is enough to make even the most committed citizen feel more cynical than joyful. That's when we need to take the long view and realize that today's actions may not yield any results in the foreseeable future...but we have to keep faith that they will change things. And we need to feel joy in the process. After the program, I curled up (with a box of tissues -- the baby and I are both fighting a nasty cold) and re-read a Howard Zinn essay in the worthwhile collection, The Impossible Will Take a Little While. Zinn seemed to speak to my state of mind. Read a shorter, modified form of the essay here if you need to be reminded why being "hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is also based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness."


  • At 12:51 AM, Blogger Siel said…

    It's tough to be optimistic, sometimes, while retaining one's healthy skepticism -- Thanks for the encouraging words :) I'll remember to be more joyful :)


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