February 5th, 2012

After Recess - Change the World - NYTimes.com

Skepticism is warranted, but so far Change.org petitions have seen some remarkable successes.

Ecuador, for example, used to run a network of “clinics” where lesbians were sometimes abused in the guise of being made heterosexual. A petition denouncing this practice gathered more than 100,000 signatures, leading Ecuador to close the clinics, announce a national advertising campaign against homophobia, and appoint a gay-rights activist as health minister.

The masterminds of the successful campaigns aren’t usually powerful or well-connected. Mostly, they just brim with audacity and are on a first-name basis with social media.

After Recess - Change the World - NYTimes.com

Song Lyrics > Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Put A Little Love In Your Heart
(Annie Lennox duet with Al Green)

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart

You see it's getting late
Oh please don't hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by
And still the children cry
Put a little love in you heart
If you want the world to know
We won't let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see
Wait and see

Take a good look around
And if you're lookin' down
Put a little love in your heart

I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in -
Put a little love in your heart...


Song Lyrics > Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Roots of Compassion in First People Societies

"...(A)mong the Ni U Konska (Osages), what ethnographers would classify as "religion" pervades even the habitual acts of sleeping and putting on shoes. All the ceremonies and prayers of the Osages reflect the principle of the simultaneous duality and unity of all existence. Prayers commonly begin with an address to the Wakonda Above and the Wakonda Below (manifested in Sky and Earth, respectively), the two great fructifying forces of the universe. This principle is mirrored in the architectural structure of Osage towns and in the marriage customs of the people. Each Osage town was divided by an east-west road into two "grand divisions" representing Sky and Earth. Just as Osages perceived the necessity of these two forces coming together in order for life to be sustained, so too they saw the two grand divisions of the people as sustaining the life of the whole. To insure that the principle of spiritual and political unity in this duality would be maintained, Osages were mandated by social custom to marry someone from the other grand division. To further enforce this religious sense of wholeness, members of each of the two grand divisions developed distinct personal habits that helped remind them of their own part in the communal whole. For instance, those from the Honga grand division customarily slept on their right side and put on the right shoe first, whereas those from the Tsizhu grand division functioned in the opposite manner. As a result, even in sleep the two divisions performed a religious act that maintained their unity in duality as they lay facing each other across the road that divided the community.

Thus the social structures and cultural traditions of American Indian peoples are infused with a spirituality that cannot be separated from, say, picking corn or tanning hides, hunting game or making war. Nearly every human act was accompanied by attention to religious details, sometimes out of practiced habit and sometimes with more specific ceremony. In the Northwest, harvesting cedar bark would be accompanied by prayer and ceremony, just as killing a buffalo required ceremonial actions and words dictated by the particularities of tribal nation, language, and culture. Among the Osages the spiritual principle of respect for life dictated that the decision to go to war against another people usually required an eleven-day ceremony—allowing time to reconsider one's decision and to consecrate the lives that might be lost as a result of it. Because to be successful the hunt required acts of violence, it was also considered a type of war. Hence the semiannual community buffalo hunt, functioning on the same general principle of respect for life, also required a ceremony—one that was in all respects nearly identical to the War Ceremony.

Encyclopedia of North American Indians - - Religion


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