Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Persistence/Long Time Gone

Greetings!  Anyone There???

Well, I know I watch too much tv.  One show I often enjoy is "Mysteries at the Museum".  I particularly favor the stories of folks who are working to help people or working for a cause and DO NOT GIVE UP in the face of obstacles.  They had the story of a doctor who persisted in getting health care workers to wash hands and the one-time Mayor of Detroit, Mr. Pingree, who persisted in wanting to establish community gardens, even to the point of selling his beloved horse to raise funds for the cause.  The latest installment was very good, especially the story of Elizabeth Jennings Graham, who, 100 years before Rosa Parks, fought segregation in New York City.  You can read her Wikipedia entry .  Of special interest (to me, anyway) was the emphasis her Mother placed on education, especially for women!  

Also there was the National Geographic/ PBS mini-series, "The Greeks".  It was on before and I really paid no mind to it.  However, I managed to catch parts of the first installment when it was rerun recently and decided to definitely watch the second two. I've been stressed out lately due to the very ugly political climate.  One feature of this well-done series that drew me in was the eerie similarities drawn between some of these Ancient events and today's headlines.  I certainly hope we can escape another "Dark Age" or a Draconian period.  Still, seeing how the Greeks made it through the Dark Age into their Golden Age was certainly a pinprick of hope.  It was also intriguing that even though their Golden Age didn't last, the ideas and ideals spread, first by Philip of Macedon and son, Alexander the Great; then by the Romans.  Hard to believe that Christianity almost snuffed out their achievements but it was good to know that they were rediscovered during the Renaissance and The Enlightenment.  I suppose most of us learn this in college, no? But a refresher and seeing the parallels with today was really something.

A new report also told us that a 'coalition' of many organizations most dedicated to causes related to African-Americans' concerns has released a platform of demands for reform - real, systemic reform.  This is the kind of thing we need -to push together to make progress.  You can read the platform and info here !  When I scanned through them, I was struck that many, many of the demands would or could work to better conditions for EVERYONE.  A couple of examples of that would be supporting the right of workers to unionize and ending the control of money over politics.  So I would advocate EVERYONE to read and think about them.  Yes, many are targeted toward African-Americans and people of color, but just remember, whatever affects "A" today may just affect YOU tomorrow; so uniting might just be a good thing.

So, somehow, I, we, have got to "keep on keeping on."  Music always helps, doesn't it?  For some reason, a song from Crosby, Stills, and Nash, "Long Time Gone" popped into my head recently.  Lyrics are here;  and the story of David Crosby writing it is here.    Especially love the lyrics which echo an old proverb:  "The darkest hour is always / Always just before the dawn"  It seems to me the song is saying --- even though it may be a long time coming, DON'T STOP looking for the dawn.  Guess the Greeks didn't; the Abolitionists, Suffragists, and Civil Rights Activists didn't.  Hope we don't stop looking, either.

And, oh yes, the song!                       Long Time Gone

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