Monday, October 6, 2014
Today's blog post will be brief. I gave a presentation on the On the Road to Ground the Drones walk at Riverside-Salem United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ environmental chapel in Grand Island. I showed my collection of pictures from the walk. I told the group what I learned from having walked through the "rust belt." I learned a lot about how people struggle with environmental devastation and with lack of job opportunities. I saw how there was no money to maintain cities as healthy places for people to live.
It is all an issue of priorities.
Right now, I see that death is winning out.
I'd like to believe that, if ordinary people are willing to make sacrifices to say that we can do better than we are doing, things would change.
Unfortunately, I don't have the confidence in that power of change by ordinary people that I had when I crossed the Fort Benning fence three times. The last time that I crossed that fence was now nearly eight years ago.
I keep walking and I keep asking for change...
No, I have little confidence in Congress and the president and the U.S. government in general...
When I'm not looking, change may still happen.
Change in government policies... that's glacial.
But change in people's hearts... that can happen overnight.
The people in Gary, Indiana, and in south Chicago and in Marktown, Indiana, helped to change my heart. I learned so much about life in a difficult environment, especially in Indiana. I learned about resilience and about joy in simple things... an old man taking care of a small garden, a bunch of elderly people at an adult day care enjoying an outdoor tea party, a shared meal.
Life is good.
And that is why I feel that I need to keep walking and to keep asking for change.
Because the world has beauty, even in places that seem hopelessly ugly. There are flowers growing in the cracks of sidewalks and there are birds living in abandoned buildings. It is all about life and hope and, when we walk and carry signs asking for the killer drones to be grounded, we are expressing our hope that tomorrow can be brighter and more hopeful than today.