Poem of the Week – Why are People Starving?


Why are people starving?
Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
Therefore the people are starving.
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The Buffalo Princess: Temperance and Contrition

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We have all been there. We all know what it is like to get pushed a little too far. Someone says the wrong thing, damages something dear to us, or simply runs afoul of us on the wrong day, and we lose it. Our blood pressure rises, our nostrils flare and we see nothing but red. We try to resolve the situation, but the only thing that emanates from between our tense lips is a string of some of the most profane insults we can think of, far beyond the tolerance of civil society. Then, when the dust settles and the argument is over, we take the time to cool our heads and reflect. Then we regret. When we are angry we tend to say or do things that cannot be taken back, and in so doing cause damage that cannot be undone. The aftermath of these outbursts is ruined relationships, damaged property, a tarnished image, or any other number of regrettable consequences. When we feel attacked, slighted, or belittled, our automatic response is to defend ourselves, sometimes aggressively to defend our need to feel safe. What we forget at times is that others have the need, and the way we react to others determines the kind of environment we create for ourselves and others. Continue reading

Poem of the Week -To Wallada


Patience has departed from the parting lover,
Who divulged the secret, confiding it to you;
He is embarrassed because of not having been able
To take more steps along with you when taking his leave:
Oh, brother of the full moon in high rank and splendour
May God protect the rime which caused thee to rise!
If your absence made my nights seem long,
I spent this night with you complaining of its shortness!

-Ibn Zaydun (1003-1071)


Source: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/to-walladah/#content

More about the Poet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Zayd%C3%BAn

Image Credit: http://twicsy.com/i/5v8g3i

Anansi and the Sky Kingdom: Socialism Before Marx

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In the sanguineous gladiatorial arena that is the world of politics, socialism is a dirty word. When Barack Obama ran for president of the United States, his detractors would often use the term ‘socialist’ as a slur to describe his politics and demean his character. For proponents of capitalism, socialism represents the theft of not only that which they have acquired, but also the potential for what they hope to be. To them, socialism steals from them the hopes they had for wild success and wealth in their future. To them, socialism means repression by powerful oligarchs who restrict personal freedom and take the country’s wealth for themselves while leaving the average citizen in poverty with little to no resources for their personal development. Socialism is not only the antithesis of personal freedom; it is an existential threat to human development…or is it? Continue reading

The 47 Ronin: A Lesson on Patience

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We live in a society that grants us almost immediate gratification for almost anything we desire at the press of a button. Things that we want or need are rarely out of our grasp. Our clothes are made for us, our entertainment is stored in an almost infinite online database, and we can reach out to and communicate with people all over the world instantaneously. Our paths in life are almost carved out for us as a default. We grow up, go to school if we can afford it, get an education, get married, buy a house, have children, and toil away in the same career until we retire. There is little room for developing not only the will to go off of the beaten path, but also the stamina to do so for a goal which is not achievable in the short term. For those of us that dare to be different, the path is fraught with obstacles, some of them environmental, the rest of them human. The much celebrated legend of the 47 Ronin tells a tale of a group of disgraced samurai that dared to be different. They chose to shirk not only tradition but also the law in the pursuit of something greater than themselves: revenge. Continue reading