One thing that remains 10 years on

I heard this poem read the day after September 11, 2001. Like many, I was trying to make sense of what had just happened, and was about to happen. 10 years on, I still associate this writing with that lonesome day ... for me, it still speaks to our very human journeys, how we move forward through the great uncertainties, it speaks to the path we all travel, knowingly or unknowingly. Thinking of my son, in his dress blues, uncertain where our futures will take us; only knowing that our family has a gravity that holds and deepens as we pull each other closer through the turns. -Brian
Waltzing the Spheres

"We pulled each other closer in the turn
around a center we could not see -
This holding on is what I had to learn.

The sun can hold the planets, earth the moon,
but we had to create our gravity,
by always pulling closer in the turn.

Each revolution caused my head to whirl
so dizzily I wanted to break free,
but holding on is what I had to learn.

I fixed my eyes on something out there firm,
and then our orbits steadied so that we
could pull each other closer in the turn.

The joy that circles with us round the curve
is joy that passes surely as a peace,
and holding on is what we have to learn.

And, if our feet should briefly leave the earth,
no matter, earth was made for us to leave,
and arms for pulling closer in the turn,
This holding on is what we have to learn."

- Susan Scott Thompson, 1946-2007

http://www.pbs.org/americaresponds/moyers912.html

This Man Pulled the Thread that Unraveled Dictators

All things are possible in this century, all things happen fast now...

Excerpt from Time:

"He is now famous throughout Tunisia and the Arab world — a legend, in fact. But Mohammed Bouazizi never set out to be a byword. His aunt Radia Bouazizi says his dream was to save enough money to be able to rent or buy a pickup truck. "Not to cruise around in," she says, "but for his work." Her nephew was a vegetable seller. "He would come home tired after pushing the cart around all day. All he wanted was a pickup." Instead, he started a revolution.

Bouazizi was like the hundreds of desperate, downtrodden young men in hardscrabble Sidi Bouzid. Many of them have university degrees but spend their days loitering in the cafés lining the dusty streets of this impoverished town, 190 miles (300 km) south of the capital Tunis. Bouazizi, 26, didn't have a college degree, having only reached what his mother says was the baccalaureate level, which is roughly equivalent to high school. He was, however, luckier than most in that he at least earned an income from selling vegetables, work that he'd had for seven years. (See pictures of the ransacked mansions of Tunisia.)

But on Dec. 17 his livelihood was threatened when a policewoman confiscated his unlicensed vegetable cart and its goods. It wasn't the first time it had happened, but it would be the last. Not satisfied with accepting the 10-dinar fine that Bouazizi tried to pay ($7, the equivalent of a good day's earnings), the policewoman allegedly slapped the scrawny young man, spat in his face and insulted his dead father.

Humiliated and dejected, Bouazizi, the breadwinner for his family of eight, went to the provincial headquarters, hoping to complain to local municipality officials, but they refused to see him. At 11:30 a.m., less than an hour after the confrontation with the policewoman and without telling his family, Bouazizi returned to the elegant double-storey white building with arched azure shutters, poured fuel over himself and set himself on fire. He did not die right away but lingered in the hospital till Jan. 4. There was so much outrage over his ordeal that even President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, the dictator, visited Bouazizi on Dec. 28 to try to blunt the anger. But the outcry could not be suppressed and, on Jan. 14, just 10 days after Bouazizi died, Ben Ali's 23-year rule of Tunisia was over."
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2043557,00.html#ixzz1HpnOGa8j

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi

Undermining the Idea GateKeepers

Love this interview with LeVar Burton on Building 43 - Communities without Gatekeepers.

We should not be afraid of “more accountability and integrity in our communicating.”

Broadcast media & commercial communication are one-way conversations bundled with sales messages, actors, branding, and entertainers. Often it is marketing made to look like authentic human interaction.

The goal of most mass media communication is to generate revenue.

When you unpack Broadcast media messaging we find it is often a partial hollow representation of human communication. In the age of mass media, companies and large organizations have controlled, or at the very least influenced, the messages that people receive in the broadcast channel.

Mass media messages have been tightly controlled. With revenue protection in mind,  the distribution channel owners and funders have acted as the message gatekeepers. 

No more.

Check out LeVar's thoughts in the video above. He has has been a champion for challenging people to think, discover, and ask "what if?" for decades now.

In the Web 2.0 Social web, we are increasingly able to find and choose messages that make sense and resonate; conversations that enhance our perspective and our understanding. And ironically, it is technology that is extending our authentic conversations beyond our local reach.

The many-to-many Social Web now matches and extends beyond the reach of one-way broadcast media.

More than ever we are able to choose an alternative to the status quo of how we hear, understand, and discuss issues that involve all of us. With broadcast messaging declining and non-commercial communication increasing, we are finding connections with new people and forming new communities – along the way uncovering those things that make us more alike than different. We are able organize around different commonalities and undertsandings. It is here that we are collectively remembering that there is more to life than selling, consumption, and commercial agendas.

The hegemony of the idea gatekeepers is eroding every passing day. And it is in this sharing of stories of being human, Levar Burton says, we have an opportunity for imagination ... An opportunity to say “what if ...?”

We should not be afraid of “more accountability and integrity in our communicating.”

That, friends, is our starting point and ideal worth evangelizing.