10 years ago my girl Aaliyah told us “we need a revolution.” In the 1980’s my homie Tracy Chapman sang, “Don’t you know talking ’bout a revolution sounds like a whisper. Poor people gonna rise up and get their share. Poor people gonna rise up and take what’s theirs.” And in the 1970’s my boys The Beatles sang Revolution a song with lyrics so poignant and clear. And decade after decade these songs come out, and the movies about standing up for our writes and changing the world. But yet here we are still.
Still suffering from wars.
Still killing our beautiful planet.
Still detonating bombs.
Still watching people starve to death.
Still beating down the poor and marginalized.
Still consumed by greed.
Yesterday Rob and I were deliberating on the state of the arts in the 21st century. Could movies, TV shows, music really be that bad now? Rob says the stories have been told, we have done so much, the notes have been played. Now we are just in this rehashing stage for the arts. Just doing the same things all over again but trying to claim them as our own. I disagree, I believe there is always a new note, a new story to tell. But where the discussion got most interesting to me was when it turned to the idea of “revolution” of “change.”
He said to me, “Suki, we’ve told enough stories about revoltion, written enough books. We’ve made enough movies about change, and songs about change. We need to actually start CHANGING and stop just talking about it. We need a revolution.”
It really struck me when he said that. Could we? Are we the generation to stop these horrible things? Are we the generation to step up to the plate? Or will we turn a blind eye? Will we let the damage continue and leave the wound unhealed?
I replied as a cynic.
“But what can we really do? How can we really change all the horrible things that happen on this planet?”
“Well we can at least start,” said Rob. “There are small simple things we can do to get the change started.”
Oh my little Aquarian leader. He is such a revolutionary sometimes, he makes me have a little glint in my eye.
He was right. We CAN change. And we should.
The other thing Rob said that really struck me was. “They have billions of dollars to make Avatar, but not billions of dollars to help the homeless, or save the planet, or feed a hungry nation.”
It’s sickening when you think about it.
This oil spill in the Gulf Coast is just one of many things Rob and I have sat and cried about. We have witnessed how news channels will deliberately try to avoid the topics that are too hard for us to handle.
Can we handle how many of our own have died in Iraq?
Can we handle the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Or 9/11?
Can we handle the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf Coast? Killing millions of fish and birds and vegetation?
Oh yes I think we can handle it. Tell us the truth oh mighty Cooper. We want the real news Dr. Sanjay.
We have to SEE what we are doing so we can start making some changes.
And what changes should we make?
Well for one we should find alternate fuels and stop killing our environment so that we can run our diesel trucks (holding one passenger by the way. Who needs a Hummer when its just you driving in it? Unless you have a family of 16 its really not worth it). We need to show these oil companies that we won’t continue to allow them to rape our planet and rape our wallets. We have had enough.
Secondly, we should go to our local legislators and demand changes. Healthcare is on its way but what about programs for the youth? What about mandatory programs for veterans suffering PTSD? What about building more recreational centers in Urban neighborhoods? And saving the parks and natural habitats?
What about honoring the Native Americans? Encouraging cultural programs for them to be recognized?
What about sending food to underdeveloped nations so that they can live? What about programs to encourage safe sex in poor African nations?
What about supporting our local farmers? What ever happened to fresh, local produce?
What about boycotting McDonald’s for A. the excuse for food they serve that continues to perpetrate an obese America. B. Their destruction of the Amazon Rain-forest. C. Their cruelty to animals.
There are so many things we can do and they won’t need a revolution. They will need a whisper. They will need a community standing together.
I truly believe that real changes can be made in our lifetime.
And I hope you will join me.
And the world will be as one.
Ways to help:
- DONATE: Action Against Hunger
- VOLUNTEER: YWCA – Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women
- READ: The Real News And find out what is really going on around the world.
- DONATE: American Indian Education Fund
- SAVE: Oil spill birds through The International Bird Research Center
- EAT LOCAL: Become a Locavore
- HELP: The survivors of the earthquake in Haiti
- ENCOURAGE: Veterans to Seek Help They Are Not Alone
- FEED: Starving Children in Africa Through Eat So They Can