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January 23, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Be the Jimmy

Beach with seal and woman in swimsuit strolling. 1924.Silver Sheet/Galloping Fish (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Autogenic training can transform the most stressful situation into a sesh of inspo and fabulosity. Oh? At a loss of words? Webster’s 2019 list of added words here.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wanna bet this’ll be one of the new words added to dictionaries in 2020?

When you’re hearing it in regular conversations, it’s a done deal.

“Don’t go all Greta on me…”

“Don’t call me Greta on this, but…”

Look, it’s like those loud car alarms or home security alarms (especially in areas where the criminals know exactly how much time they have before the Copa show up), at first people snap to attention, but after a while, yawn, impact lost: just standard background noise: meaningless.

But

That doesn’t mean the game is over, kids.

Yelling woman among other people. (Laura La Plante in film, The LAst Warning (1928) (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Laura’s been screaming since 1928. You’d think she’d run out of breath. Ironically from the film, “The Last Warning” – it wasn’t. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s like the stages of grief, and good grief, this is really like that – good, that is…

Shrinks tell people “Immerse yourself in the grief anger – it’s healthy – then move on to the next stage – or risk being forever stuck in an unproductive state with high blood pressure”…

    • “My generation will not give up without a fight” “I want you to panic  (Activist Thunberg)
    • “The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have energy, and we have solutions.” (Zamia’s activist Natasha Wang Mwansa, at Davos)
    • “…young activists are doing more than just talking” “We’re not waiting five, 10, 20 years to take the action we want to see. We’re not the future of the world, we’re the present, we’re acting now. We’re not waiting any longer.” (Puerto Rico’s Salvador Gómez-Colón)

Uh, what exactly are you action heroes actually doing?

Spare me the virtuous “We are raising awareness (While under breath: “Other people will do the serious actual work. WE are the flag bearers.”)

Either part of the problem or part of the answer, kids. Right now you should feel pretty problematic – not for the other side you scorn , but for the side you wish to advance.

Listen to yourself. You risk becoming totally irrelevant because you are stuck in place. A one trick pony.

Girl posing with rose. Miss Mackay's Pageant Children of Sunshine and Shadow as presented at Washington Irving High School.1915 (USPD. pub.date, artist life, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No one wants to be the sparkler that burns so brightly only to grow dim and be quickly discarded. No gold stars at the end of the road for footnotes. Do you think this lovely of the 1915 “Miss Mackay’s Pageant Children of Sunshine and Shadow” later claimed out of embarrassment that this wasn’t her? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Consider:

That old guy Jimmy Carter saw a need for housing – and got out there and actually got his hands dirty building houses. Habitat for Humanity. That program had real impact, made life better, and is still well respected and functioning.

Consider:

Kids in an area totally devastated by 2017 Hurricane Harvey , Dickinson, Texas and we are talking 3-7 feet of water in homes as the pictures show. After the shock wore off, and the cleanup started, they did not organize a march.

The students of Dickinson ISD saw a problem in their environment and came up with a solution…and, get this, actually built it: a robot that can travel down bayou/streams and clear out obstructions which slow water drainage.

Baby step in the big picture, yes, the point is that they didn’t just sit around and tell others “do something”

They got their hands dirty and built a fix. (video: DISD’s K-12 STEM initiatives. Team picture here)

Their project earned them a finalist spot in the 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a $3 million nationwide competition for kids creating innovated solutions  for real problems.

“The issues communities face today look a little different than when we first launched the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest 10 years ago, but year after year, students and teachers rose to the challenge, tackling complex issues from climate change and disaster recovery, to the opioid crisis and school safety,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “As we celebrate this 10-year milestone, we reflect on how Solve for Tomorrow has transformed from an environment-focused contest into a project-based learning initiative that fosters critical thinking and creative problem solving among thousands of students across the country.” (Source. Read how Samsung pre-loads with funding and technology as projects are developed here.)

Consider that baby steps are critical:

Have a nephew who was intrigued not by horses on the ranch, but by mechanics, engineering, and what makes things go at an early age His parents despaired. (Gads. The Monster truck shows).

But grease under the nails pays off.

In college his experimental vehicle group developed a car with a long distance solar capacity. That translated to a job with a major car company creating clean fuel/environmentally friendly/electric vehicles for the new era. (But nope, not gettin’ in that Origin autonomous people mover...not yet anyway – even if it is good for the environment. HAHA)

Scared woman in spider webs. Carrie Daumery in movie The Last Warning(USPD, pub.date of 1927, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

What a tangled web we weave by ignoring interconnectivity? (Also from “The Last Warning”/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

So I am hopeful. Maybe.

If they decide to be the Jimmy.

That’s the last word. 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(and for goodness sakes, pick up that litter under your feet instead of ignoring it, turn off the lights when not in use, and learn to live with a few weeds in the yard. Baby steps: always the start of something bigger)

Frightened couple sitting in basement. 1928 Horror film, the Terror Warner Bros. (USPD. pub date, artist life/commons.wikimedia.org)

“Quiet. They’ll never know that’s a real meat hamburger or that your shoes are leather. This too, shall pass. Super Bowl and Spring Break are on the horizon.”  (USPD/commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

21 Comments

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  1. shoreacres / Jan 23 2020 7:15 am

    So much posturing, so many desperate grabs for attention. Ordinary people doing ordinary work get results. Instagram/Facebook/Twitter posters get attention. Plus: older folks who swear the kids are bringing salvation excuse themselves from having to be involved, too. Spare me.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 7:36 am

      So much crying wolf; so little Litle Red Hen. Little Golden Books needs a better sales rep.
      Something was discarded with the bath water that is apparently vital to developing self confidence and sense of identity so all the selfies/virtue signaling/ constant outrage is thought immature and not necessary. Bring back those twice a year elementary school stage productions! Being a tree or a rock on stage must be a critical personality building block. HaHa (actually, not kidding)
      You already know I find language shifts interesting. Stopped in my tracks the first time I heard that “new” phrase on TV. Sign of the times, I guess. (“Phubbing” – snubbing someone on your smart phone…puts people at risk of depression) Please! Go outside and play – even in the rain (will it ever stop…Molly has given up) Thanks for picking up a shovel and digging in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres / Jan 23 2020 7:41 am

        Heard on the Michael Berry show this a.m.
        “You know what goes well with the Corona virus? Lyme disease.”

        Of course I laughed. It’s ok to laugh, too!

        Like

  2. Kate Crimmins / Jan 23 2020 7:21 am

    It’s winter here and unless there is snow it’s ugly. All the litter shows up better than when green stuff is covering it up. Locally we have (or maybe had) an adopt a road program. It was great. A business would allow employees some time off to pick up litter on a specific road. There was a sign and all! I wonder if it’s still around. Who me? I pick up litter in my neighborhood except for dog poop. My cats would know. They wouldn’t approve. Why do people litter anyhow? It’s so easy to put in trash even if you have to cart it home. All the rest is overwhelming but my stepdaughter (who is pushing 50) has taught me a lot about keeping my footprint small. I’m very proud of her generation.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 7:59 am

      We laughed when kid moved the first time to snow country. When we asked about snow, kid said “Yeah, but it’s ugly snow: melting, brown, and you can see all the trash under it.”
      What is the deal with all the trash? How hard is it? Pick it up. Geesch. Little things make a big difference. Many of your stepdaughter’s generation did and still do so much and the earth is better for it…must drive them crazy when the loud newly hatched start accusing and ranting. Never good to irritate the foot soldiers. Even Molly does her share by picking up all the loose sticks in the neighborhood and carrying them home to her stick pile…which we bundle up and sneak off periodically…she pretends not to notice, but we know she does.
      Thanks for bundling up a comment and tossing it here

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Passport Overused / Jan 23 2020 8:08 am

    Great post😀

    Like

  4. Ally Bean / Jan 23 2020 8:27 am

    Excellent points. Put up or shut up, as they used to say. This applies to the young and the old.

    Like

  5. Paula Light / Jan 23 2020 9:07 am

    I don’t like to criticize people who want to help, but YES I too am sick of the celebs who fly (or sail) to glittery venues to tell others to “do something.” Now Greta is yet another one of them. I like your message: just pick up some litter! It’s everywhere.

    Like

  6. easyweimaraner / Jan 23 2020 10:22 am

    the gretaism is our daily torture here… and I learnt that apart from ABBA or Pippi Longstocking bad things can come from sweden too… even when they have the same funny accent like the chef from muppet show…

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 6:23 pm

      Pippi Longstockings! Talk about a resourceful, self reliant, creative character. (and who couldn’t love the Chef?)
      Children and dogs basically do as their parents train them….more of all of them should watch The Muppets and read Peanuts/Charlie Brown….along with Aesop’s Fables?
      Thanks for howling along.

      Like

  7. marina kanavaki / Jan 23 2020 12:10 pm

    Greta errr… great point, my friend! If only each and every one of us just did the right thing, just because it’s right and not in order to tweet it or something! Simple really… baby steps! 😉

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 6:27 pm

      Simple is true. Start around your house, then the neighbors – then a few blocs/miles wider…if everyone tried to take care, nourish, their corner of the world and those in it, eventually there would be overlap and a whole new world. One pebble in a stream can catch others and eventually calm even the wildest, rough torrent. Little things are the biggest start.
      Thanks so much for stepping in with your comment

      Like

  8. Curt Mekemson / Jan 23 2020 3:28 pm

    I spent much of my life working as a community advocate and I’m proud to say that a few million people are alive today who wouldn’t be otherwise. My primary efforts were involved in the environmental movement and the anti-tobacco efforts, like discouraging kids from taking up tobacco, helping adults quit, creating smoke-free areas, and creating fund sources for prevention, which led to the world’s largest prevention program. The tobacco industry spent $25 million to defeat the effort. Not everything succeeded. For example, I was deeply involved in efforts to reduce air-pollution in the 70s. We made progress, yes, but profit trumped clean air. We might not be facing global warming today if the adults who were responsible had ‘done things right’ as Marina longs for. But that’s a pie in the sky kind of wish. Imagine the type of world we would live in if people automatically did the right thing.I certainly won’t argue that hands on involvement is critical to change and great for young people and adults. Jimmy Carter is one of my all time heroes, as is Martin Luther King. One showed his commitment buy building houses. The other by organizing protests and putting his body on the line. He was killed for his efforts.

    Along with a 19 year old woman, I once organized a recycling drive in Sacramento in 1971 that involved 500 volunteers at 10 sites where 10,000 families brought their recyclables once a month. Media coverage was phenomenal. Numerous young people and adults were involved. Lots of folks jumped at the opportunity to recycle. Education was extensive. Still, our efforts had a small impact on the overall trash that was being generated in Sacramento and there is no way volunteers can sustain that effort over a long period. A broader, societal effort was called for. After six months, I had to shut the operation down because of fatigue and increasing accidents. When a few thousand people called our center to know what they could do, I suggested that they call the Board of Supervisors. The Board finally called pleading with me to have them stop. I told them they would stop when Sacramento developed a Sacramento wide recycling program. Eventually it did.

    My point is that achieving meaningful change involves having a wide range of tactics in your arsenal. Showing your commitment by picking up trash is important.My wife Peggy carries a trash bag with her everyday when she hikes along the road to pick up mail. Organizing a thousand people to pick up trash would have a much greater impact. Persuading more people not to throw out trash even more important. ( ( I envision education. For example, catching people that throw out trash and sentencing them to a month of trash pick up. That would be educational :)) Persuading industry to stop creating so damn much throw away trash would have the greatest impact at all. Maybe our oceans would cease to be the great dumping ground for plastic that they are. Imagine industry doing the right thing. A few might. Protests are one of many tactics than can be valuable. Would the South have ceased their Jim Crow practices had Martin Luther King not done what he did. Maybe in another hundred years.

    I am proud of today’s youth. They have something on their minds other than how can they make a million bucks and live in a a big house and drive an expensive car to establish their social status. I am proud of the kids who lend a helping had ( a group of high school students working with me help to createda world wide movement to get tobacco out of children’s movies), I am proud of young people who vote. That may be there most significant contribution this coming year. And I was proud of the kids in Florida who had the guts to stand up and be counted when they saw their classmates shot down in Florida.

    Good post, Phil. Obviously, it rang my bell. 🙂 –Curt

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 7:08 pm

      OMG, Curt – you are going to shock the newly hatched that there have been activists before them. HAHA
      Ah, memory lane – We have similar paths. My oldest cousin marched with MLK and was murdered because of it. Case is still open if anyone wants to confess. Civil rights attorneys in the family as well as Drs. I’ve done my share of protests and eventually focused on areas that called to me and where I could actively affect change.
      We all are proud of those in each generations who speak out to make the world better. We’d be more impressed now if those who talk/ participate in walkouts/marches, on FB and social media to take the next step and become doers to actively do productive work that bears physical, solid results. – like those that came before them did. And it’s great when there are adults are willing to help others grow and become real change-makers….not just Chicken Littles.
      Ride on, Curt, you champion for earth and inhabitants. Thanks for stepping out

      Like

      • Curt Mekemson / Jan 28 2020 3:20 pm

        Okay, I’m impressed. 🙂 Yes, the old adage that actions speak louder than words is true, always. My experience over the years has been that involvement leads to commitment. Sometimes, a protest is a gateway. But often its a sign of frustration because other methods don’t seem to be working. And it certainly wasn’t beyond me to use a protest as a means of obtaining media coverage and building political pressure. 🙂

        Like

  9. The Hook / Jan 23 2020 4:29 pm

    Your comments, your truth, is brilliance encapsulated.
    Exceedingly well done.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2020 6:30 pm

      Keep it simple. Small is bigger than anyone can ever predict. Do. Laugh. Maybe that’s all the guide anyone needs.
      Appreciate you sledding in with a comment. Stay warm as your heart, Hook

      Like

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