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The Road to Resilience

In case you’ve been procrastinating on your New Year’s resolutions, I have a few suggestions.   This was a tough year, and 2017 looks like it could be worse.  The ball is definitely in our court, and we have to decide whether and how we are going to put it in play.  

Resolution #1) No matter how much or how little, we all must definitely put our own personal ball into play.  This is no time for spectators nor for people that find the situation to painful to think about.  

Resolution #2) Be as informed as we can be about what is happening.  I watch and read some mainstream media (PBS Newshour, Seattle Times) because I want to see what most of us are seeing.  I find that the online sources I look at are much more comprehensive and come at the news with a perspective that makes sense to me.  For me, these are progressive sites like Common Dreams, Alternet, Nation of Change, FAIR, Yes! Magazine, The Nation, Project Syndicate.  We should all try to find responsible conservative news outlets to put our assumptions to the test.  I’ve recently checked out for a variety of conservative bloggers, and amongst many things I found infuriating, I’ve also found things worth considering, although often for reasons other than the author’s.  

In depth knowledge is even better.  There are a lot of good books out there by people that have really researched and thought about our predicament.  Naomi Klein’s latest book, This Changes Everything, gives a wonderful perspective on the many fronts we are skirmishing on and how they are all related.  All of David Korten’s books are very readable and will give you a lot of insight into the big picture.  If you are looking for someone who can decode economics for you, my favorite is Dean Baker, followed closely by Joseph Stigletz, Jeffrey Sachs, and James Galbraith.   If you think economics is just too boring and mundane, Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein will blow your mind.

I suggest that we become really well informed, but not because we will then be able to win arguments with people who think differently than us.  The chances of that are slim.  The purpose for being informed is to motivate us to do something and to decide what that something should be.  That “something” doesn’t have to involve changing other people–just about anything that leads to solutions and/or doesn’t worsen things would be good.  As they say, deeds speak louder than words.

Resolution #3) Join a group!  One of the amazing results of the election of the orange guy is that groups are popping up like weeds here on Vashon.  There is nothing like camaraderie for making you feel a little better about the mess we are in.  When you realize that there are probably fifty like-minded people for every one that shows up at a meeting, you realize that most of us are really decent people, and, if so, we should be able to override much of the lunacy that the non-thinking orange one may try to impose on us and the world.  I’m fairly certain even most conservatives bristle at the thought of his orangeness being our face to the world.   

Vashon groups:  

Revolution Vashon (Check on Facebook or contact me, meeting Jan 10, Sheila and Brian Brown’s, 19234 Vashon Hwy SW, 6-8pm), Berniecrats carrying on the revolution
The Resistance! Meeting Jan 7 ( Issue focused discussion for action
Climate Action (Jan 5, 2-4pm, Library)
Ladies’ Sewing Circle and Activist Society (view on Facebook, meets monthly) Backbone Campaign (, home-grown artful activism, help build puppets and props, parade duty and field trips for feisty progressives

For those that are still hanging in there, Resolution #4) Get out in the streets!  This may be a bit daunting for some of us, but, fortunately, only three or four percent of us need to be out there.  The decent majority in this country needs to be very visible to the rest of the world as well as to ourselves.   We need to say to all, this guy does not represent us!  We are not like him.  We don’t approve of his behavior, and we, as responsible citizens, will do all we can to minimize his impact here and abroad.  (Can’t help noting how much I sound like some critics of Obama) We can’t stop him through Congress or the court nor do we have the time to wait for another election.  The money is with him.  The major media is too timid.  Only massive numbers of people on the streets will convince us and the world (and the orange one) that we will not tolerate bullying and bigotry.  Arguments won’t do:  all we have is numbers.