Monday, April 28, 2014

The Children Shall Lead

“It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.
It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
A big part of my job is persuading people: judges to grant what I’m asking for, opposing lawyers to be reasonable, clients to get real. It spills over into daily life as I bend the ears of friends, family, colleagues and strangers, trying to sell my particular brand of The Right Way to eat, live and think.

All for a good cause, of course, to end the suffering of all beings, everywhere. Probably a smiley face should go here.

Human evolution. Leaving behind cannibalism, slavery, racism, sexism, homophobia, war, the death penalty, exploiting animals. We can give it a push, or at least, get out of the way. 

It dawned on me that I've spent quite a lot of energy trying to change opinions that were formed back when I used a slide rule. Pushing molasses uphill comes to mind.

I can relate to the inertia, as I suffer from the same opposition to change - clinging vainly to a version of the English language that's crumbling before my eyes, and I feel as helpless as my forebears who watched in dismay as “you” relentlessly replaced “thou” and “thee”.

It further dawned on me that evolution won’t come by changing the tightly held views of old people, but by encouraging the amazing hearts and minds of those who have never seen a slide rule, an eight track tape or a brick phone.

I went looking for statistics about the views of different age groups and found these:

Statistcbrain (2013): 

Age demographics of the the 8.3 million vegetarians/vegans in the USA
42.0% 18-29
40.7% 35-54
17.4% 55+

Americans opposing the death penalty
43% 18-29
38% 30-49
33% 50+

Gallup (2012):

Americans who believe same sex marriage should be valid
73% 18-29
49% 30-49
51% 50-64
39% 65+

Taking the cynical view, it could be argued the statistics mean our liberal ideas become more conservative with age, but I don't buy that.

If we encourage our children and if we seek out and nurture the child in us, I believe the human race will evolve beyond our wildest imaginings.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Field of Swans and Ducks and Geese

A field of swans and ducks and geese,
A twilight picnic meeting,
Together wade and feed in peace,
No thought of time as fleeting

How precious, life, how hard to know,
Yet time I’m prone to squander,
My home is here and now, although
My mind is prone to wander

Let’s open up our guarded heart,
No matter if it’s breaking
And all we cherish falls apart,
We’re from a dream awaking

The lonely wave, it laughed aloud
Then wept with such emotion,
Cried, "Oh my God, I see it now -
I've always been the ocean!"

Compassion is a burning flame
That sears away our blindness,
Though we may never be the same,
What matters else but kindness?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...