Archive for September, 2010
It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then ,as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, -
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand pains that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
‘Strange friend,’ I said, ‘here is no cause to mourn.’
‘None,’ said that other, ‘save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress.
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels,
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now…’
– Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, British poet and soldier, was killed just one week before World War I ended. He was 25 years old. In his War Requium, Benjamin Britten put some of Owen’s most famous poems to music.
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
Sadly this is what the World Bank does the world over. It convinces self-sufficient subsistence farmers to grow cash crops not food. Only problem is they do not control either the market for their crops or the price of inputs and they descend into abject poverty.
A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.
“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.
“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?
“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.
“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.
“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”
The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. I work long, hard hours everyday and don’t have time for such childish games.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.
“Are you asleep son?” he asked.
“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.
“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills.
The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.
“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.
“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.
“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”
Here at Lush we dont think flying is all its cracked up to be, so LUSH has been supporting Climate Rush in an act to raise awareness of how flying can effect our climate.
We filmed at our Liverpool Street Station store, London.
Serengeti National Park’s locally and globally significant ecosystem is driven by migration of wildebeest, elephant and zebra; and will be utterly devastated by the plan, as will be local livelihoods and well-being. There is a growing local and international support network protesting the project, and together we should be able to ensure it never commences.
The government of Tanzania has approved a major commercial highway across Serengeti National Park. The northern Serengeti – located near the Kenya border – is the most remote and pristine area in the Park’s entire ecosystem. “The road will cause an environmental disaster,” said 27 biodiversity experts this week in the science journal Nature. The planned road slashes across Serengeti’s most important annual migratory route taken by 1.3 million wildebeest – as well as important elephant and zebra migration areas – threatening the last great mass movements of animals on Earth.
The road’s expected 416 large trucks a day would physically block the migration, introduce invasive species, and lead to greater poaching – ultimately killing the migration altogether. Further there will be fragmentation of habitat, alteration of water and soil systems, and increased introduction of animal disease. When the wildebeest migration is blocked, more grass fires are expected, further diminishing the quality of grazing, and likely to make the ecosystem a source of atmospheric CO2.
The northern part of the Serengeti is untouched and should remain so. A safer alternative route proposed by local conservationist can bypass Serengeti altogether to the South and provide more economic benefit for the people of Tanzania. This route can preserve Tanzania’s greatest tourism asset and spare the devastation of Serengeti – a priceless World Heritage Site. With the help of the world community in support of local demands, Tanzania can find a way to preserve its inheritance, protect for all posterity a healthy and intact Serengeti ecosystem, while bringing advancement to its people.
A man was travelling through the desert, hungry, thirsty, and tired, when he came upon a tree bearing luscious fruit and affording plenty of shade, underneath which ran a spring of water. He ate of the fruit, drank of the water, and rested beneath the shade.
When he was about to leave he turned to the tree and said: ‘Tree, oh, tree, with what should I bless you?
“Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet.
“Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That a spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you.”
“There is one thing with which I can bless you: May it be G-d’s will that all the trees planted from your seed should be like you…”