After I finished reading a really uplifting article on Co.Exist about adding a happiness measurement into the global economy, I was intrigued by a link that Hunter Lovins recommended. It was a story told by Wangari Maathai that could be a story that we’ve all lived. A little hummingbird did the best that it could to try to change the outcome of a forest fire, no matter how much others tried to dissuade him from his efforts.
There are a lot of really big problems that you probably feel very passionately about fixing. I know that my list is long. How many times has someone near you tried to dissuade you from getting involved in trying to fix what most feel is inevitable? Probably too many times, right? Well, here’s a powerful story that just might help you to stand up against the naysayers. Yes, things may feel impossible, but they only become possible if you try. So, be a hummingbird!
- Thanks Fast Company and Co.Exist for the valuable lesson
This moving story by Tyler Stableford tells of frustration in giving everything that you have to reach a dream, only to realize that you’re not prepared for the afterwards. Steve House is a climber who goes against the unimaginable, until he finally lived his imagination and came back broken and empty. He, like so many of his fellow adventurers, poured their hearts and souls into reaching the pinnacle, driven by that internal wind that drives you ever higher. So many people with dreams that take over have lived the experience. And so many people wander around lost as they try to find something new to fill their well once again.
Will any of us know when we’ve met our destiny? Will any of us know whether we can build our own destiny? Well, none of us will know until we’ve been faced with the moment in time that tells us the answer. What will we do before that moment? What will we do afterwards? It’s up to us to decide.
- thanks Vimeo for this emotional and transformational moment
Correction: Rep. Bost is part of the Illinois House of Representatives – same circus, different venue
Know that even people in Congress are getting pretty fed up of the bull***t that is happening in politics. I stumbled on this fiery video from Reddit showing Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois venting after having only 15 minutes to read and vote on a 200-page bill. Needless to say, we honestly need to show these representatives to the voters in this country, so that they know that not all politicians act the same way as other ideologically-motivated career politicians do.
This isn’t about party politics. This is simply about ineffective politics that needs to change. Agendas need to give away to actual plans that fix our mess of a country. And frankly, if you have to write a 200 page document for pension reform, then your pension program has a lot more problems than this irresponsible method of voting.
Here’s a thought: We have so many overpaid lawyers who could be used for real public good by reviewing all of the laws and case studies to develop viable plans that streamline laws to the most simplest form possible. Start building a national process that all states can follow to personalize the programs to the states actual needs. Enforce ethical guidelines for all players to uphold. Use polling to find out the needs of the people. Have all sectors actually work together to innovate fair practices that will promise a future for all. And that’s just for starters.
Looks like even our legislators are fed up of how our government runs. I totally agree!
Leave it up to Banksy to create even more strong statements on the world around him. Always known for his political (and other) commentaries, this particular piece from his recent indoor series is a commentary on child labor, but I also see a pretty large hit against the current copyright regime tied into the mix. That’s a pretty powerful combination that appears all too often in countries with less stringent fair labor practices, or an excess of corporate power structures (which brings the whole world into focus).
Art is never only about aesthetics. Most artists imbue something of their own ideals into their works, and Banksy is definitely one of the loudest and most imitated “voices” within the art community (especially since he spans the streets and the galleries). This piece is definitely going to the top of my favorites list.
This gorgeous wooden sculpture by Jaakko Pernu is part of his exhibition of land art. Using the lessons that he was taught by his father (a boat maker), he has transformed the natural elements that surround him into larger-than-life testaments to the beauty of nature. His pieces fit in with their surroundings, and yet are powerful enough to make their own statement. It might be a whimsical statement, but life always needs a little whimsy, don’t you think?
Jaakko’s art can be found throughout Europe and Canada, as well as in his homeland of Finland, and are accessible to anyone on the street where they might be resting, thereby making the outside world into a gallery of beauty. Now that’s making art an integral part of our lives.
I ventured onto My Modern Met and came across something utterly incredible (especially for those of us who don’t have steady hands). Hina Aoyama must have magical powers to be able to create such delicate fantasies with only paper and scissors. Yes, she cuts it all by hand with only some music to help her concentrate (and she’s giving instructions while she cuts). Take a look at her Flickr page to see just how incredibly intricate her work is, or look at the video below to see some of her pieces in an exhibition last year.
Here she is getting ready to be part of the exhibition, Kirie of the World 2011 (one of my other favorite Kirie artists participated, Patrick Gannon):
I can’t even begin to grasp how much patience and steadiness she needs to complete her delicate creations. All I can do is respect the fact that artists everywhere, like Hina, put out unimaginable dreams that make our world look even more beautiful. And that’s saying a lot because the most talented artist of all, Nature, has created some mind-blowing fantasies come to life, like these Monarch Butterflies.
People everywhere are looking for real ways to make a difference. And human rights is the single-most used reason to change the world so that all people live with the same opportunities and protections anywhere around the world. Well, YouTube has partnered with WITNESS and Storyful to create the Human Rights Channel [BETA] which will educate viewers on human rights events happening around the world. Many of these stories do not get reported to the world at large because of their government’s (and society’s) infrastructure. But now, they have another well-known platform through which their calls can be heeded. The more light that is shown upon all countries who violate human rights, the better people can organize to fight against such inhumane acts.
Read about the Human Rights Channel launch through YouTube’s launch announcement. Then go watch the videos and find out how you might be able to help. We won’t all be able to go there to help fight injustice, but we all have the power to fight it in our own way. Injustices of all size happen all around us. Some of it happens at the hands of people we thought we knew. But if you’re questioning a behavior, then it pays to look, learn, and try to change it if necessary. There might be an innocent person who has never had protection from the abuses. And you might be able to help change their life for them, or at least point them to someone who can. It’s up to every one of us to stand for good, so that injustice becomes the boogieman that we all want to vanquish together.
And remember to send any of your own footage you want to suggest for inclusion, then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an image from the student protest (which has expanded beyond its original scope) in Quebec, Canada. What had started out as a protest on tuition increases has now become a protest for people’s right to protest. All because of a new loi spéciale, Bill 78, that was passed to stop the protests from continuing without prior police approval. It should be easy to see why this is a problem. What’s worse is that it’s happening all over the world by previously democratic governments, including the United States. We are seeing that normal just doesn’t work (in too many places from personal observation).
If you can get Canadians to protest (known for being peaceful – stereotype, I know that we’re all different), then you know that you’re going down the wrong path in legislation. And this brings me to my own dilemma. I have waited all of my life for government to improve, so that all of life improves, but it doesn’t. However, things have gone so far off the track that voting in the 2012 elections is particularly appalling. Why does it feel like we only have a choice between democrats or republicans (why capitalize what isn’t capital)? Looking at the choices on offer is really looking at the bottom of the barrel past the scrapings. I know that this is the reason why so many people do not take the time to vote. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s that they don’t care for the choices on offer. Read more »
Techdirt covered the story last week of Google expanding its Transparency Report with a new section on copyright takedowns. With the Internet continually fighting for it very own life because of misguided takedowns like Brian Kamerer’s Open Letter to Jay Leno, this report will take on even more importance as the individual creators fight against corporate behemoths who have abused the DMCA system for far too long. Currently the Google Transparency Report focuses on search links takedowns, but that will probably grow as the US and other governments push further draconian legislation to extend copyright way past its validity.
We all understand that some form of rights are needed to protect the individual creator, so that they might get a fair share of the rewards and acknowledgement for their hard labor. But we have to recognize that the world is built upon learning from one another and taking that knowledge to the next level with our own unique take on the knowledge. Until we learn that knowledge is meant to be shared and not owned, we’ll have to rely on the Googles of the world to shine the light upon the destructive behavior being wrought by capitalistic titans who do not understand the true nature of innovation and creativity.
It’s a shame that legal holds little meaning in today’s world. Legality now consists of a bunch of confusing jargon that does little for morality. Not the religious kind, but the human kind. Right now we’re seeing way too many violations that our leaders claim are legal, but are far from moral in their results. And that’s got to stop! It doesn’t matter who makes the claim, if the results affect the masses within society brutally.
- Don’t forget to take a detail look at the entire Transparency Report. There’s a wealth of data that shines a light on governments as well.
So I’m taking a rare day off because, well, I need the day to think. As do we all. This is Memorial Day in the United States, which typically is a day of remembrance for those who paid the ultimate price to ensure that we all had a future.
Perhaps the best way to celebrate their sacrifices is to think hard about how we need to remake our world. I speak about it a lot here and at the Urban Times. My latest gives you a little clue of the vision that is radiating inside my head. I won’t be satisfied until I can finally live in a world that I would choose…wholeheartedly. I’ve been waiting my entire life to see it happen. And right now, the tremors are starting to shake the world. But it’s not tremors of fear (though that’s there as well). It’s tremors of joy. Because one by one people are choosing to build things that blow reality out of the atmosphere.
That would be the best way to celebrate the biggest gift they gave to us all. A life for a life. A dream for a memory. A vision of a glorious future that is unlike anything we could have imagined. And our imaginations are flowing in all directions, past the stagnation of the normal. So, just keep building that world where we all work together as one. Ignore the haters. Join the dreamers. You won’t regret it.
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** STOP CENSORSHIP! **
Our censorship fight with the US Congress is far from over, as they continue to attempt to break the Internet with legislations driven by crony capitalism in the US and abroad. Though SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) have been pulled back for now, more continue to follow them. Now, we have to contend with ACTA(more) and TPP(2), which are international attempts to censor and control the Internet for the sake of commerce. And if that's not enough, now there's CISPA (more).
Go to EFF.org to keep up with the legal news that impacts our world and its technology. The greed won't stop, so we have to stay vigilant as well. Especially now that lobbyists are admitting out loud that they expect to be rewarded for their "contributions": Read it on TorrentFreak
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I want to thank all of my visitors who are taking the time to leave such inspiring and thoughtful comments. I'm glad that I'm able to connect with so many of you through my writing. This blog is all about things that drive my creative inspirations, and all of you are part of that inspiration. So, thanks for your support. I look forward to getting to know you better throughout this creative journey.