A Change is Gonna Come

Here is a short piece I wrote for Muse Magazine about the idea of change and what it means beyond politics. This is intentionally apolitical as the MuseFest is a music event and has nothing to do with public policy but it’s something that people who have followed my political vlogs might find interesting. MuseFest is this weekend starting Friday and going until Sunday. It’s a hell of a good time and anybody within a few hundred miles of Ithaca NY should consider coming. You can find more information about the festival at musefest.org

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We live in an era of slogans and sound bites and one of the most popular these days consists of just one word, “change”. There is a good reason for this beyond the price of gas or its use as a political slogan. It is more than just the conditioning of being on this end of an industrial revolution in which the practicalities of every day life transformed again and again almost beyond recognition. Our embrace of the concept of change reflects our origin and our greatest characteristic as a species, that of adaptation and symbiosis with the environment.
Over the course of our evolution we have learned to work within the frame of biology and ecology for the benefit of our species. As our technological skills have grown, so has our capacity to effect our biosphere. Without doubt our capacity to comprehend the long-term implications of our activities has not always kept pace with our imaginative use of the Earth’s resources. This has brought us to a truly critical crossroads.
The challenges we face ecologically, socio-politically and spiritually are immense. While no one person can solve any of these problems alone everyone can participate in the elevation of our collective situation. The standby solutions of reducing consumption and increasing ones own base of knowledge remain excellent opportunities for individuals to begin to make a difference. Beyond that we all can do the incremental work on ourselves to increase empathy and compassion and to hopefully approach a society in which resources are distributed equally and we can take care of each other without burdening the environment. We already have solutions to these problems. All we need to do is engage them.

There were times when I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

–Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come

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~ by citizenworm on August 19, 2008.

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