Category Archives: activist

The Dissenter’s Hope

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 2020

“Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow.”

“When I graduated from law school in 1959, there wasn’t a single woman on any federal bench. It wouldn’t be a realistic ambition for a woman to want to become a federal judge. It wasn’t realistic until Jimmy Carter became our president.”

“When I was growing up, there were no women in orchestras. Auditioners thought they could tell the difference between a woman playing and a man. Some intelligent person devised a simple solution: Drop a curtain between the auditioners and the people trying out. And, lo and behold, women began to get jobs in symphony orchestras.”

“Feminism… I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, ‘Free to be You and Me.'”

“It’s a facet of the gay rights movement that people don’t think about enough. Why suddenly marriage equality? Because it wasn’t until 1981 that the court struck down Louisiana’s ‘head and master rule,’ that the husband was head and master of the house.”

“The entering class I joined in 1956 included just nine women, up from five in the then second-year class, and only one African American. All professors, in those now-ancient days, were of the same race and sex.”

“People who think you could wave a magic wand and the legacy of the past will be over are blind.”

“People who have been hardworking, tax paying, those people ought to be given an opportunity to be on a track that leads towards citizenship, and if that happened, then they wouldn’t be prey to the employers who say, ‘We want you because we know that you work for a salary we could not lawfully pay anyone else.'”

“I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

“I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imagine what the country would be – with Donald Trump as our president.”

“I think members of the legislature, people who have to run for office, know the connection between money and influence on what laws get passed.”

“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution.”

“It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation.”

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

“I do hope that some of my dissents will one day be the law.”

All quotes by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Thank you for your dedication and life. Rest in Power.

Artwork credit: original oil painting by Simmie Knox

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Step Inside The Circle

noshame

Could it be that the U.S. is in turmoil because too many of us have been living in a myopic bubble?

Is it possible that we haven’t been listening or seeing the way we could have? And haven’t been present to our own humanity, our humaneness and benevolence?

Have millions of us not only lost connection with each other, but have lost the connection to our own heart?

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” ― Cornel West

“The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” ― Mother Teresa

There is a way to come together and expand our circles. The possibility to rebuild and reconnect is always there.

It just takes heart, and the courage to step forward.

In order for the collective consciousness to change, we must be different. We must think and live differently.

As we open up our eyes, and ears, and hands — our hearts open too. And the healing begins. Not just of the world around us, but the inner healing we all desire.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” ― Henry David Thoreau

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ― Rabindranath Tagore

We can do it in our own way. We can choose how we can best serve. But let’s not do it from a comfort zone.

Just like anything else you want to transform and change, (your body, your home, your finances, your relationships, etc..), you have to give something up. You have to work through the discomfort and be daring enough to risk.

The commitment to love and transformation must exceed the primal desire to live with what’s familiar and comfortable.

It has to be so strong that you will be willing to push past the fear and challenges. We must poke at the imagined boundaries and doubts, in order to see what’s on the other side.

“Do some selfless service for people who are in need. Consider the whole picture, not just our little selves.” – Nina Hagen

“It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference.” ― Helen Keller

Powerful questions to ask ourselves: Who can I help? How could I stretch outside my comfort zone? How can I educate myself, develop more empathy and be powerfully accountable for my part in the world? How can I help heal others and myself in the process?

“You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.” ― Audrey Hepburn

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

I came across the work of Fritzi Horstman this week. Have you heard of her? She’s amazing! I found out about her through this video:

And this interview too:

This is the book Fritzi Horstman mentioned in the second video:

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

And this is Fritzi Horstman’s organization:

Compassion Prison Project
www.compassionprisonproject.org

There are also other great organizations to explore:

Essie Justice Group
www.essiejusticegroup.org/mission/

Defy Ventures
http://www.defyventures.org

National Bail Out
www.nationalbailout.org

Young Women Free
www.youngwomenfree.org

TGI Justice Project
www.tgijp.org/about.html

And can you imagine if these (list below) voices were not heard or helped? Their great works would have never been known. They were written while in prison. As I think of that, I can imagine all of the great works that will NEVER be known. Because people were ruthlessly marginalized and written off by society. We can break that cycle, and other cycles that hurt people. We always have the power to help someone. We can be there (in many ways), to let them know they are seen, loved, heard, and valued.

Examples of those works:

De Profundis, by Oscar Wilde

Soul on Ice, by Eldridge Cleaver

Civil Disobedience and Other Writings, by Henry David Thoreau

Conversations with Myself, by Nelson Mandela

Letters from Birmingham Jail, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sleeping With the Enemy, by Wahida Clark

The Enormous Room, E.E. Cummings

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

On the Yard, by Malcolm Braly

In the Belly of the Beast, by Jack Abbott

Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison, by Piper Kerman

and more.

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Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’ Wake Up Call

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

So many of us are asleep. We work, we set our goals, we entertain ourselves, and for the most part, our lives revolve around money. We love to make it and love to spend it. But little thought goes to how that money is made and what it fuels. Little thought goes to the game we are all sold, the game we seem to be addicted to. Our homes and our lives are filled with stuff, yet most of us are dreaming of a more fulfilling life. There are two things most people say: I’m always running out of time, and I would like to be making more money. There is nothing wrong with needing more time or desiring more money, but I think the scarcity of time & money stems from where we are placing our priorities. We are prioritizing things that suck up time & money like a vacuum. It’s no wonder we never seem to have enough.

There is a person I discovered today that seems to have his priorities in order. He is a compelling person that draws people in. His name is Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. (First name pronounced ‘Shu-TEZ-caht’, and his full last name is Roske-Martinez). Xiuhtezcatl is currently 14 years old and lives in Boulder, Colorado with his father (Siri Martinez, activist of Aztec decent), mother (Tamara Roske, also an activist), younger brother (Itzcuauhtli, 11 year old activist) and little sister (Tonantzin, 5 year old activist). I am impressed with the leadership in this family, and it shows in Xiuhtezcatl (as well as the younger children). You can see that consistent parenting and standing by one’s ideals have paid off. Without ever meeting his parents, I am proud of them.

I am going to share a few of Xiuhtezcatl’s videos with you. The first video is of him at 6 years of age, and the other videos are of various ages. In the last eight years he has come a long way, yet he has stayed true.

Before I share the videos, I want to thank him and his family: May we all be the light for others that Xiuhtezcatl is for us. May we help him and share his message. May we look at ourselves and ask what we can do to take responsibility. May we do what it takes to make a difference and inspire others.

Big thanks to the whole Roske-Martinez family! Thank you!

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