August 28, 2013 is the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington. The website of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) tells us: The 1963 March on Washington attracted an estimated 250,000 people for a peaceful demonstration to promote Civil Rights and economic equality for African Americans. Participants walked down Constitution and Independence avenues, then — 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed — gathered before the Lincoln Monument for speeches, songs, and prayer. Televised live to an audience of millions, the march provided dramatic moments, most memorably the Rev Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Read more »
"The old light burns low; but, ere it sinks and fails, we kindle from it the crescent flame of a new light. And so, once more, we renew the sacred light of life from year to year, from generation to generation and from age to age."
– Percival Chubb, Leader, the Ethical Society of St. Louis (1912-1933) from the Winter Festival Candle-Lighting Ceremony
The Winter Solstice is on Dec.21 this year; we will hold our ESWoW Winter Solstice Celebration on Dec. 23. The call will be at 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern. The number to join the call is 866-740-1260, access code 5766842#.
In preparation for the winter solstice celebration we will share; I invite you to consider if there is poetry or some other reading you would like to share with the group.
One advantage of doing this in our own homes is that we can each do some things, or not do some things that feel appropriate to us. Some possibilities that come to mind - lighting a candle, or not, spreading some pine branches in your living space, or some other greenery, decorating in a way that feels appropriate to you.
If you plan on participating, it would be helpful to me to know that in advance. I welcome your ideas on how we celebrate the solstice together.
I'm looking forward to welcoming the winter with you,
I don't think war or killing people is a good way to solve problems. Yet many people have been in the US military with the good intentions of serving their country. Even though I wish they had chosen other options, and that more good options were available to those who chose entering the military as a last resort, I strongly believe if someone has served in the military, they should be supported and helped to adjust to life outside the military. Those who are or have been in the military, particularly those who have been separated from their families in any way, and those who have been on active duty need and deserve a variety of support and the country who asked them to serve should provide that support as they have done for previous generations of veterans.
My dad was a bombardier in World War II. It had serious negative repercussions for his life. But he got good support from the Veterans Administration, with his medical care covered, and receiving a substantial stipend when he was no longer able to work due to what now would be called PTSD.
Having been in the military, having dropped bombs that he knew killed people, also brought my father to being a peace activist. The junior high school I attended in Brooklyn was named after Meyer Levin who was the first American bomber to drop a bomb during World War II. Meyer Levin died in the war when he was 25. The school literary magazine was named the Bombardier It was the 1969/70 school year, the height of the Viet Nam War and protests against it. My father went and spoke to the school principal, Milton Forest, using his experience to urge him to change the name of the magazine to something that didn't celebrate killing. The name of the magazine was not changed then, and I doubt it was ever changed, but I was very proud of my dad. Read more »
On Labor Day, I attended the Bread and Roses Heritage Festival. This year was the 100th anniversary of the great textile strike which set so much in motion - which made it possible for workers to organize, for citizens to organize, for women to organize. One of the groups performing was Besere Velt (Better World) who gave a show about the history of the strike. What struck me the most was their presentation of the beginning of the strike - especially how they were able to mobilize people without having a common language, and not having twitter. Sadly, the video does not capture the people planted in the audience shouting out strike in a multiple of languages, almost reflecting the 20 or so languages spoken by mill workers in Lawrence, MA.
I also appreciated the understanding that all workers and their families were in this cause together, especially that women were also interested in the welfare of men. My favorite line from the Bread and Roses song is "The rising of the women means the rising of the race." The lyrics to this song were originally written as a poem by James Oppenheim, who worked at Hudson Guild, started by Ethical Culture Leader John Lovejoy Elliott. Read more »
Opening Words Occupy lives on all across America and all across the world. Occupy lives in every American city and in every national capitol on the planet. Occupy continues to fight against the greed and violence of the powerful. Occupy continues to fight against those who are murdering our world with pollution and the profit motive. Occupy continues to fight unfair foreclosures and evictions, to stand with Labor and the rights of workers, to push back against the perpetual wars that suck the life out of everything and everyone.
William Rivers Pitt, Truth-Out
September 17 was the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. People in New York and around the country marked the anniversary with celebrations and demonstartions. I was in NY for the weekend, and visited the S16 festivities, a celebration, gearing up for S17, on September 17, with direct actions on Wall Street and demonstrating in Zuccotti Park. Read more »
A Year of Living Ethically continues. On July 15, 2012 I spoke at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. People there seemed very interested in exploring what a year of living ethically would be for the NY Society and I'm interested to see how their year goes.
As requested, I'm posting the text of the Platform. If you register and login, you can access the document as a pdf attachment, and the full text is below.
As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and questions.
A Year of Living Ethically
Susan Rose, NY Society for Ethical Culture July 15, 2012
Opening Words Read more »
Memorial Day is day which celebrates militarism and justifications are made for all the deaths wars cause. Or there arelots of holiday sales. Neither of those work too well for me, they are not consistent with my values. Read more »
Most of us have a mother or had a mother. Some of us are mothers, want to be mothers, can't be mothers or choose not to be mothers.
It's not all as simple as Hallmark would have you believe. Sometimes there is a warm and loving relationship, but from the ones I know about, I wouldn't say they are simple. This perhaps most profound relationship of our lives is usually rich, complex, and sometimes even mucky. And sadly, sometimes there is no real relationship there.
We have such high expectations for mothers; for who our mothers should be, for what they should be able to do for us, for how they should prepare us for the world. And if we are mothers, we have such high expectations for ourselves. We think, or at least I think, "I'll only do the good things my mother did, not the bad. I'll do all the things I wished my mom had done, but didn't."
What a mixed bag. I wish my mother had lived long enough to be a grandmother to both of my children instead of dying when my son was 2 1/2. She loved those years as a grandmother, she had great joy and would have had total delight with her granddaughter who has so many of the same interests as my mother did.
I wish I could have asked my mom for advice, asked her what I was like when I was young, but mostly, I wish I could tell her that while it was easy to think that I'd only do good things for my kids, and none of the bad, that I now know how much it easier it is to think that as a teenager than to actually do it once you have kids. Read more »