Monthly Archives: February 2009

one breed of cat; dead as a banana

Found an op-ed piece in the NYT by Nicholas Kristof on diversity in which he struggles to explain that Wall Street is one of the last greatest male bastions in society and that level of testasterone may be relevant to the high risk behavior that was Wall St’s contribution to our economic mess. His tentativeness stems from fear of attacks on the validity of the scientific studies he mentions. 

This is me laughing.  me laughing

I’m sorry about science being behind on this. I really don’t give a Darwinian flip whether they’re on board. How about a little native intelligence:

1. Why waste talent. We have a gene pool of XX and XY. If we are excluding half of humanity based on gender we are depriving ourselves of our true creative genius — diversity. ALL of us able to apply ourselves where we can contribute. Duh. But the imperative for diversity goes way beyond the social. Check these out:

2. Genetic make-up. We are genetically destined for diversity. We are omnivores after all, and require a diverse food supply. Our immune system functions by staying diverse — to combat all the little diverse microbes that want us for breakfast. 

3. Disease protection. If we only had one breed of cat and it got hit by the DCF — Deadly Cat Flu, barring our finding a cure,  the chances of survival for that breed are zip. Same reason mutts are hardier than purebreds. Genetic diversity. Celebrate it. Did we need another reason the KKK and Nazis are dead wrong?  Eventually, in any monocrop as in any non-diverse genetic pool disease will kill it off.  If you think that gives you anxiety,  just ask any banana trying to stare down Panama Disease. 

4.  Survival of the species  Compare our own diverse-prone digestion to the panda. Poor guys. Double trouble through lack of diversity. A limited digestive system that can only digest one food, and a reliance on only one crop (bamboo). Contrast that with your local thieving raccoons. We move into their turf, they eat our garbage. Guess which species has a better chance for survival. 

5. It’s not all about sex, either. The argument goes vastly beyond Wall St. and gender. Truth be told, we should be in a BIG hurry to connect our very survival directly to natural diversity in all things, flora, fauna, religion, dirt, and food supply included.

Or perhaps we’d rather figure out how to live only on lots of love and sunshine.

 

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Once were citizens

Once we Americans were citizens first. Now we’re consumers. Some economists are petrified we might start saving just when they want us to spend so we can heal the economy. Like we’ve been doing for the last few decades. Even if they’re right it justs sounds ridiculous. Let’s keep doing what hasn’t worked? 

If a spending spree is not the way out of this mess, what else do we have? How’s about change. 

I’m amazed that on prime time some of the talking heads are asking us to live more consciously. Now that’s headline news! I heard a panelist actually ask the media to stop referring to us as consumers. We’re citizens first, she said. I like it. I prefer the word steward or Earth citizen, but I think we understand each other.  

We elected a president of change, now what about us? Are we willing to take it on?  I mean what if we weren’t the toughest kid on the block, or the richest anymore.  Then who are we, as individuals and as a nation? Are we willing to reconsider how we as individuals and as a nation tread on this earth and do different? 

We and other nations know how to use religion, land, oil, water, and culture as justifications for war. Can we regroup and breathe out life force instead of fire power? Can we turn technology, science and construction green?  Can we listen to the rhythms of the Earth and learn its dance?

We’re in a time of Big questions, and even if we don’t come up with the Big answers, we have a moral imperative to keep asking. There has been a sleepiness in our collective soul and our national conscience that is struggling into awareness.  If we cut our hand, our bodies leap into healing mode the moment we are wounded. Life seeks healing. Our national invincibility cloak is in tatters. Let that be a good thing, and let the healing begin.  

As we heal ourselves we will also heal our planet. That is how we create the collective moment that transforms ‘yes we can’ into a universal yes! so strong and so broad it rebuilds ghettoes and shanty towns and favelas, it draws lines around our rainforests and coral reefs and holds them safe, it criss-crosses borders with ideas and support, with cures and care.  And you?  “You may say I’m a dreamer, but…”  Let me cut you off right there. Yes I am a dreamer. What else has ever changed the world?

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