Monday, November 16, 2009
I decided to file some of the stack of papers on my desk and walked toward the file drawer. Just as I pulled out the first stack of files a runaway truck came careening down the road, burst through the outside wall and smooshed the file cabinet flat against the opposing wall. After a blizzard of papers settled I thought: "Now what do I do?"
So I decided to photocopy some documents. While hunching over the copy machine a colossal wind blew through the window and pushed this sensitive apparatus right off the table. Glass shattered, springs sprung, and sparks flew. When the sprockets were finished rolling across the floor I thought: "Now what do I do?"
With the one side of my offices in disarray, I went to the library side with the hope of organizing some books. While working on the books, an alien spacecraft landed nearby, a three headed, green scaled beings from outer space walked into the library, pointed a wicked looking incoherent photon disruptor weapon at me and demanded our books. When the alien walked out with 5 tentacles full of absconded books I thought: "Now what do I do?"
I decided to call it a day.
When I got home that evening my wife, Carolyn, asked me: "How was your day honey?" "Oh", I said, "You know how it is here, I didn't get much done."
[Story told to Solomon (5) and David (3) Rudy at the supper table one evening to keep the boys seated and make them stop squirming, Swaziland Sept. '96]
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A friend of mine once said that if war would bring peace, the human race would have achieved peace long ago. This idea exposes one of the lies about the use of violence to accomplish any kind of so social change, that ends and means can be inconsistent.
It is this incompatibility of methods and goals that has become such a blind spot in western culture today. From influencing a person to change their ways to nations being persuaded into giving up certain ambitions, the west continues to try to heckle, strong arm and bomb the other side into ‘correct’ actions.
I suppose the conventional wisdom is that the use of force is the most ‘rational’ course in many cases. However, how many of the ‘rational’ military adventures in this nation have started out as seeming the right thing to do only to become a quagmire once they are underway. Likewise, how many nonviolent campaigns start by looking like irrational and untenable efforts only to, in the end, bring real sustainable change? See http://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/PDF/IS3301_pp007-044_Stephan_Chenoweth.pdf for a hint.