By now most of us have become aware that conditions in our world are rapidly changing. Not only in politics and economics but in the Earth herself. We have seen an increase in severe weather patterns, earthquakes, and other phenomenon. The events are most likely due to our ongoing abuse and manipulation of the planet and her resources. Politically there are uprisings around the globe, in response to the abuse and manipulation of human beings as resources. Here in the US there have been rallies, demonstrations, recall efforts and occupations of government buildings by citizens who demand fair and proper representation.The nation is now more than ever at the mercy of the abusers and manipulators, many who appear to be blind to the needs of the rest of us. Even in the face of public outcry, many of those who wield the power and control appear unfazed by objections to their myopic policies.
Sometimes it feels like it’s all too much to take in. While I follow events closely on a daily basis mostly via non commercial sources like blogs, twitter, independent news sources and the WisEye* legislative coverage I find myself needing, and deserving, an information holiday from time to time. As much as I advocate for an informed community I also realize that keeping track of events is hard work and I encourage others to take occasional breaks as well. As with any other job our productivity is increased when we are given the opportunity to rest, play and manage self care. And like any vacation, sometimes it can be difficult to return to the real world of work. But we do because we know our work is essential, meaningful and necessary.
We do not check in. punch a time clock or report to a supervisor. We do not accrue benefits or bring home a paycheck or gain promotions; we work for a greater goal than money or security we work for the survival of humanity, for Justice and for Freedom. There are two kinds of freedom, freedom to and freedom from, this is an important distinction. Many are content to say that we here in America are granted certain freedoms based on our constitution and cultural precedent. We must remain aware of the freedom from. Freedom from censorship, freedom from an oppressive government, freedom from invasions of our privacy and civil rights. The Patriot act, heralded by its creators as policy that would provide freedom from the evil forces of other nations is in reality an open door allowing our own government to restrict our own freedoms, both to and from. Now as the hearings addressing whistle blowing, namely Bradley Manning, are beginning we are at a dangerous juncture where all our freedoms of expression are at risk. If it is decided that speaking the truth about wrongdoings and immoral behavior is a form of treason, what is the next step? I know there is a difference between military information and other forms of public information, but I also know that we are headed down a slippery slope on the path to censorship.
If you need more relevant here and now examples I can tell you that two reporters were arrested at the capitol in Madison during the budget hearings this week (see link for story). This is only one of hundreds of similar cases where attempts to document the reality of the injustices that are taking place have been repressed. These people, the documenters, the messengers, are essential to public awareness of the wrongs that are being committed by our government. As writers and bloggers we also take on the role of messengers, keepers of the history, educators and mobilizers. We have an unprecedented access to collect, document and disseminate information and we need to ensure that we maintain the right to do so.
I don’t care what it is that people chose to blog about, any real life story is an important strand in the fabric of humanity; and it is by maintaining a shared consciousness of humanity that we will remain strong, educated and compassionate as we stand together against oppression and tyranny.
© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard