Archive for October, 2011

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Quotes

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Quotes
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The future opens up before you like a new book, waiting for you to commit to it’s pages the story only you can write.

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Quotes
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Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary

– Cecil Beaton

Full Text of Severn Suzuki’s speech at the U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992

Hello, I’m Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O. – The Environmental Children’s Organization.

We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.

Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come.

I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard.

I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard.

I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.

I used to go fishing in Vancouver with my dad, until just a few years ago, we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants going extinct every day – vanishing forever.

In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rain forests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age?

All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realise, neither do you!

  • You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.
  • You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream.
  • You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct.
  • And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert.

If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!

Here, you may be delegates of your governments, business people, organisers, reporters or politicians – but really you are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles – and all of you are somebody’s child.

I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil – borders and governments will never change that.

I’m only a child yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal.

In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I feel.

In my country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share, afraid to let go some of our wealth.

In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter – we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets.

Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some children living on the streets. And this is what one child told us: “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter and love and affection.”

If a child on the street who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?

I can’t stop thinking that these children are my own age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in the favellas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India.

I’m only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!

At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:

  • not to fight with others,
  • to work things out,
  • to respect others,
  • to clean up our mess,
  • not to hurt other creatures
  • to share – not be greedy.

Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?

Do not forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for – we are your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “everything’s going to be alright”, “it’s not the end of the world”, and “we’re doing the best we can”.

But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.”

Well, what you do makes me cry at night. You grown ups say you love us. But I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you.

More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Quotes
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The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Quotes

There is something in a child’s laughter that momentarily mutes the distracting sound of our needless wants. The squeal of delight clears our mind and reveals the shrouded paths of contentment. It brings us back to a place of innocence and boundless joy where once we dwelt.

– Dodinsky

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Quotes

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Quotes
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[Link to book]

Excerpts from Chapter 10: Reformer and Politician

If I should rob you of all you have and then persuade you that what I did is good for you and that you should guard my booty against. others, it would be a very clever trick on my part, wouldn’t it? It would secure me in my stolen possessions. Suppose further that I should also manage to convince you that we must make a rule that no one may touch my stolen wealth and that I may continue to accumulate more in the same manner, and that the arrangement is just and to your own best interests. If such a crazy scheme should be actually carried out, then we’d have the ‘law and order’ of government and capitalism which we have to-day.

It is clear, of course, that laws would have no force if the people did not believe in them and did not obey them. So the first thing to do is to make them believe that laws are ‘necessary and that they are good for them. And it is still better if you can lead them to think that it is they themselves who make the laws. Then they will be willing and anxious to obey them. That’s what is called democracy: to get the people to believe that they are their own rulers and that they themselves pass the laws of their country. That’s the great advantage that a democracy or a republic has over a monarchy. In olden times the business of ruling and robbing the people was much harder and more dangerous. The king or feudal lord had to compel people by force to serve him. He would hire armed bands to make his subjects submit and pay tribute to him. But that was expensive and troublesome. A better way was found by ‘educating’ the populace to believe that they ‘owe’ the king loyalty and faithful service. Governing then became much easier, but still the people knew that the king was their lord and commander. A republic, however, is much safer and more comfortable for the rulers, for there the people imagine that they themselves are the masters. And no matter how exploited and oppressed they are, in a ‘democracy’ they think themselves free and independent.

That is why the average workingman in the United States, for instance, considers himself a sovereign citizen, though he has no more to say about the running of his country than the starved peasant in Russia had under the Tsar. He thinks he is free, while in fact he is only a wage slave. He believes he enjoys ‘liberty for the pursuit of happiness’, while his days, weeks and years, and his whole life, are mortgaged to the boss in the mine or factory.

The people under a tyranny know they are enslaved and sometimes they revolt. The people of America are in bondage and don’t know it. That is why there are no revolutions in America.

Modern capitalism is wise. It knows that it prospers best under ‘democratic’ institutions, with the people electing their own representatives to the lawmaking bodies, and indirectly casting a vote even for the president. The capitalist masters do not care how or for whom you vote, whether it be the Republican or the Democratic ticket. What difference is it to them? Whoever you elect, he will legislate in favor of ‘law and order,’ to protect things as they are. The main concern of the powers that be is that the people should continue to believe in and uphold the existing system. That is why they spend millions for the schools, colleges, and universities which ‘educate’ you to believe in capitalism and government. Politics and politicians, governors and law-makers are only their puppets. They will see to it that no legislation is passed against their interests. Now and then they will make a show of fighting certain laws and favoring others, else the game would lose its interest for you. But whatever laws there be, the masters will take care that they shouldn’t hurt their business, and their well-paid lawyers know how to turn every law to the benefit of the Big Interests, as daily experience proves.