bit of an update

Phewza (Bit of a new word, a phew mixed with wowza, making it a high energy sigh.)
The exams are over, 5 of the bad boys, and I am pretty stoked with how they went.
I had a day off yesterday and then got stuck into my dissertation today, a huge meaty topic which I question choosing but am really interested in, it goes something like: Does the concept of global citizenship hold potential to impact on global inequality?
Yeah. I know.
Anyway, Some cool stuff has been happening.
  • We (the flatmates and I) did a thing at the church next door for International Childrens Day, it was an interactive look and pray at children in the world. It went really well.
  • We are having a house warming on Saturday, if anyone's around? There's a circus theme going on. That'll be fun.
  • We are trying to go to France next week, for a break. We really, really want to go swimming.
  • We have an amazing group of friends who come over every couple of weeks for discussion, we are using Ched Myers Sabbath Economics stuff. It is heavy lifestyle/social justice stuff. Tuesday was environmental and was very cool.
  • We prayer walk around the neighbourhood on a Friday at 6:30 and then normally come back here for beans on toast if anyone fancies coming? It is a cool time to just reflect on the happenings of the area, which you don't normally tend to do when just going to the market for vege's for tea.
  • Shelley and Tim did a photo shoot around Soho to show at church the other week, its pretty nice. Here it is:


I guess it makes me a realist

"Be realistic - demand the impossible!”
Anonymous graffiti, Paris, 1968

I just don't know how else life can be change for the 26,000 children dying everyday from poverty, if we refuse to think big.


A way to wile away the hours (that isn't facebook)

This little gadget allows you to select countries and compare progress on Gross Domestic Product (purely financial) with how it fares on the Human Development Index (a much more accurate picture of well being, health, education etc etc). It throws in another country for you to check out too.
(It is actually really interesting, not geeky.) (I hope.) (Otherwise I am way too obsessed with my studies and am far to easily enthralled with things that aren't actually fun, just more fun than my books. Wah.)


For a little laugh. . .

A fantastic piece of political satire in the Guide this week discussing the disconnect between the publics interest in some serious global issues and their apathy. It concludes...

"For all these reasons, people have become disillusioned with parliamentary politics (which probably suits parliament very nicely), and have found better ways to express their political views than through the imprecise oversimplification of voting; they go on protest marches, write blogs, or buy slightly more expensive bananas. So we comedians may try to hold up a mirror to society, but in doing so, we risk society grabbing the mirror, smearing cosmetics all over its own head, and telling itself it looks lovely. And then smashing the mirror on its bonce."


Off to get beheaded

Well, I have got my first exam in a couple of hours. ooh the trepidation. I feel like Anne Boleyn.

I've got 4 more in the next 10 days. On the 17th of June, when they are all over, regardless of whether I feel like I whizzed through or flunked, I will be one seriously free and happy soul.

Anyway, Saw this quote today courtesy of the Sojourners crew. Tis beauty.

Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.

- Robert F. Kennedy, in a speech in Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966. (Today is the 40th anniversary of his assassination.)


A canon for each moment

Apparently Tolstoy once said:
"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.
It strikes me that this is like us every day! We join a march for climate change and and talk for all the world about the poor state of those in poverty, but we are not willing to do some of the most obvious things that could bring real reprieve. There was an article in the Guardian on the weekend about Plane Stupid. I admire them so much because they are willing to put their life on the line for justice. Where as many of us just can't seem to do the most simple things, that require sacrifice only of pleasure.

Loathe to use up two of my favorite quotes... Gandhi once said: "I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj (freedom) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away."

For those serious about poverty... oppression.. injustice... we do need some kind of mechanism like this, don't we. Sad as it is. (Particularly for people of faith- we have such a strong Biblical mandate for encapsulating local and global love in each moment, yet it doesn't seem to be having much impact.) It seems just impossible for people to connect their strong leanings of head and heart towards radical action for social justice with simple, everyday activity. We need this talisman, a reminder, a measure for when we are faced with decisions.

Shall we fly to Switzerland for 2 weeks by the lake?