Sunday, September 23, 2012

Southern Cross

Today I worked for a few hours labeling bottles of olive oil at the Rebuilding Alliance office with Megan, the Fair Trade Coordinator. It was great hanging out with Megan, but it was unfortunate that the people who signed up to volunteer didn't we got done what we could.

Megan, who's a few years younger than me, got interested in Palestine years before I'd even heard of it, because she grew up in a community where it was a central issue. Her town in Connecticut was very well-to-do, and very Jewish, so Jewish traditions, holidays, mitzvah's, and trips to Israel were the norm for her. In middle school she became best friends with an Egyptian Muslim girl, and she would go over to her house and watch their satellite TV, with stations we don't normally get. After 9/11, when every channel seemed to be fixed on the man in the cave, she was seeing bombs hitting Palestinian villages and refugee camps. So she had been interested in Palestine for a long time, but she didn't think there was anything she could about it. That her college friend from Palo Alto recommended a job with her mother's organization, which builds homes in Palestine, was just right. And the weather was better :)

How do you get high schoolers and college kids interested in social justice? The shop next-door sells peace-related things, like this book called "The World Needs Your Kid," on how to raise your kids with a social justice mindset.

"It brings the family together too," said the shop-owner. The book next to it was "Go the F%&k to Sleep" (which I didn't know was also a YouTube sensation).

We talked about sororities. I think there's a lot of unused potential there. I was going to say untapped, but that just sounds wrong. Well, there I said it. Anyways, we did a lot of philanthropy, and leadership trainings, and that was great, but it still felt a little insulated. Then again, at that age I didn't know what my cause would be, did many of us? Maybe if that book mentioned above had been out when we were born, we would've figured it out sooner.

(I remember running from my house to the Kappa section lounge on election night 2008, and it was such an emotional moment. Really a blue and blue moment, in the middle of Walla Walla County, no less :)

Anyways, I would love to go to high schools and colleges and talk about doing national service like AmeriCorps, or running off to Palestine to live in a village. What kinds of connections would kids make to their own lives? At least it makes for a good story, and maybe some expanded paths?

John Halcyon made a short film about our Burning Man camp, and the part that stuck with me was when he first really looked at the people around him and how many different places they came from, and how many different lifestyles they'd embraced, and how many times they'd changed direction. Where he had always seen life as a bunch of paths you have to choose from, he realized that hey, there's no path, it's a whole lake! People discover this so late in life, and some never discover it at all. I've realized how important it is to tell our stories to younger generations. I'd love to go around and share this lake idea.

Song of the Day:

I was sitting on the Caltrain platform, playing this out of my phone, just grinning. If there's music like this, how can life not be good?

Think about how many times I have fallen,
Spirits are usin me, larger voices callin,
What heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten

I have been around the world,
Looking for that woman/girl,
Who knows love can endure,
And you know it will...