Blessings of the Equinox! If you’ve had a long dark winter, you can take a breath now and smell the first fragrance of Spring. For a short time, the nights and days are equal, and at last, the light will begin to overtake the dark. Balance is the key to this Equinox holiday and indeed to the renewal of Spring. Imbalance is simply unsustainable, whether it’s the imbalances between rich and poor, humans and the environment, or between men and women. Imbalances always seek to right themselves and come back into balance once again.
We often speak of checks in the same breath as balance, as in “checks and balances.” To become sustainable, the inimitable human urge toward maximizing everything has to have some checks, and I don’t mean the kind we deposit in our bank account. In truth, I have never been crazy about the word “sustainable.” While I wholeheartedly agree with it in principle, the word speaks more about maintaining than thriving, holding back rather than moving forward with a good balance of joy and common sense.
I prefer the word optimization, asking the question: What is optimal for our future? Optimizing is not maximizing – it’s not going as far as we can whenever we can, but invokes the ideal conditions for evolving and thriving. Below you will see a new series of free telecalls from Shift Network, called THE SPRING OF SUSTAINABILITY. Check it out, it features some of the best minds on the subject of renewable energy, green technologies, and sustainable practices.
Meanwhile, in honor of the balance of the season, what is optimal between men and women? And may I begin where I left off on my last post. . . .
For those who read my tirade on Rush Limbaugh in my last blog, please know that we were not alone. There was enough protest that even the U.S. Army pulled its advertising from Limbaugh’s show, along with at least 140 others. When such an uber male institution as the Army joins forces with the causes of women, we know we’re getting somewhere. Thanks, Guys, we really appreciate having your support!
However, not all the news is so good. Mitt Romney declares he wants to do away with Planned Parenthood, denying women low cost health care, breast exams, pap smears, and birth control.
Meanwhile Senate Republicans are looking to repeal the 18-year-old, formerly bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, which has been highly successful in reducing domestic violence. Apparently the bill has been amended to now include Gays and Native Americans, and I guess that’s just going too far, so let’s can the whole thing, and turn our backs on roughly 12 million women per year who were victims of domestic violence (according to CDC’s calculations) and ignore the fact that 45% of women murdered are killed by their male partner. But hey, that’s one way to keep population down while making it harder to get birth control.But really, I don’t get it. We’re told that single mothers – women who stick by their children when the fathers run off – are the downfall of the American family. But we’re not supposed to use birth control, and we’re not supposed to have an abortion either. And now some factions want to deny us any protection when we try to fight off those who would force the aspirin out from between our knees. Maybe we should all just put on Burkas and hide out until this insanity is over.
For those who might have skipped out on studying Greek literature, Lysistrata is a comedy by Aristophanes, performed during the time of the Peloponnesian War (4th century B.C.). In this play the women of Greece start a powerful peace movement by withholding all sexual activity from their heterosexual relationships until a peace treaty is negotiated and signed between Athens and Sparta. It works! And the celebration afterward was spectacular, to say the least.
Let’s instead imagine what is optimal – safety and protection for all. Women safe in their home and on the streets; men safe from gangs and going to war. Women able to earn an equal salary for the same work; men not having to carry the financial load by themselves. Children who are planned, wanted, and cared for through adulthood. A way that men and women can thrive together, working in partnership, mutual respect, protecting what is sacred to each.
Let’s become sustainable in our relationships to each other, to the earth, to a glorious future that awaits us all.
Let’s celebrate this Equinox as a love affair between heaven and earth, light and dark, masculine and feminine. And let’s fall back in love with our world once again.