Saturday, 21 April 2012

Some Saturday soul food: Howard Zinn

                                                   Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Hello, Gorgeous Ones. I'm writing this in *my room of my own*, my poor hand sheathed in *Sabrina the splint*, the heater's turned on to ward off the autumnal chill and Mr PB is working at his night job, bless him. So I have some precious solitude and an opportunity to corral my rambling thoughts into some semblance of order. 

Reading this quotation by Howard Zinn, the American historian, academic, author, playwright and social activist, is helping me. I'd never heard of him before but he sounds an intriguing and incredible intellect. See what Mr Wikipedia has to say about him here, if you're interested.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.  
It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness.
What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will determine our lives.  
If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. 
If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. 
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.
It's a goodie, don't you think? It resonates me with me strongly, given my wish to view positively the challenges life is currently throwing us on Planet Baby. 

I have to believe in the power of hope. 

Dwelling on my ongoing recovery from post-natal depression, my darling Dad's death, Mr PB's job loss, my painful hand, the financial pressures we face on a single income as well as Planet Baby's usual affairs of state only drags me down. And that, sweet Planetarians, is the wrong direction I need to follow.

The surveyor's daughter in me has to pick up my compass and regain my bearings. Life has thrown me off course for a while now. 

It's time to reorientate and move onwards and upwards.

Maybe my new motto should be 'per ardua ad astra'. It's the Latin for 'Through adversity to the stars'. Do you like it? Feel free to adopt it if it strikes a chord in your heart.

I've created a version of the quotation for you here to print out. 

So, what do you all think about Mr Zinn's thoughts? Wise or naive? Come on - share your thoughts. This is the best part for me - starting the conversation and seeing where you take it. So, over to you!
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