A Time for Wild Mercy

Hope, good will, and fairness are participatory. Without active, committed, forward-thinking collaboration and attentive participation, they are just words. Whatever political system we live in, it is a universal longing that leaders show deep loyalty to the graces that would allow their leadership to liberate people as they move through the everyday.

  • We must remember that cynicism is a destabilizing temptation, an emotional and spiritual vice that hinders clear thinking and pulls talented people off the road to constructive action.
  • Wantonness is not freedom; bearing its ravages is not a necessary condition of living among free people.
  • We owe it to our own humanity to rise above the toxic infusion of wantonness and degradation that comes with spending our sacred attention on those agents of toxicity who thrive on that wantonness and degradation.

To achieve this, we must seek, expect, embody and expand the more faithful intention to do the generous work we see too little done.

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Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy

by Parker Palmer

American Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart. The experiment is endless unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so, also, is the heart’s alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy’s demands.

Today we are in the middle of another election cycle. Once again, false claims, half-truths, hateful rhetoric, fear-mongering and demonization of the opposition dominate our civic space, driving out the genuine issue-oriented debate a democracy needs to survive and thrive. We need citizens with chutzpah and humility to occupy our civic space and call American democracy back to health. There is no reason, at least no good reason, why our number cannot be legion.

Read the full essay here…

The Struggle for Our Future

An expanded space for human liberty—free from persecution and degradation—is the measure of whether we, as organized society, are succeeding.

Some take the view that this means no constraint on any person’s liberty can be allowed. The result of this thinking is a strange hybrid radicalism, combining an aversion to all centralizing institutions with a permissive attitude toward powerful private interests that generate harm and cost for more vulnerable people.

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Journalists are Not the Enemy

From the Boston Globe:

A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.

Read the full editorial, and follow links to hundreds more, here

Voting Matters

An analysis published today by Axios finds that:

A shift of fewer than 80,000 votes in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) — or 0.06% of 137 million cast — would not just have made Hillary Clinton president.

6 one-hundredths of one percent of all votes cast decided the presidency in 2016, along with the future of the Supreme Court.

Whoever you are, whatever your views, make sure you cast your vote — every time it is your right to do so.

Every Person Everywhere Counts

Geoversiv.net

A week at the World Bank and IMF

The 2015 Spring Meetings and Civil Society Policy Forum brought people from many different sectors together to discuss how fiscal and development policy and governance can be made to serve real human need future-focused thinking and enforceable transparency. The news of the week, the running theme, and the most under-reported story in mainstream financial reporting, is that the work these institutions are looking forward to is about actual service to all people everywhere, especially the most vulnerable.

The World Bank’s mission is to end poverty and foster shared prosperity; the IMF focuses on fiscal solvency, and works to ensure nation-states don’t collapse from runaway inflation or crippling debt burdens. For decades, critics have argued that though well-intentioned, many of their projects have had the opposite effect, leaving harm where it didn’t need to be or propping up illegitimate regimes. As the voice…

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The Vastness of the Open Water

Geoversiv.net

A note on entering the new age of exploration*

Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world, by surface area, unless you count Lakes Huron and Michigan as one lake, because they are connected by an open flow of water 5 miles across. Where we draw boundaries determines how we rank the objects of our experience and exploration. On my first visit to Lake Superior, I had the privilege of being with two friends, who have redefined boundaries in ways that bring benefit to the wider world. Paul Thompson is a brilliant convener of friends and citizens, who brings people together, with a unique confidence in their ability to find each other’s virtues and build on them, together. David Thoreson is a sailor and Arctic explorer, whose voyages have taken him through the Northwest Passage, in both directions, and around the Americas, fully 28,000 miles in…

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