“In every crisis the issue becomes whether we become a bigger soul or a smaller person. In the dark times, the awakened soul can become the unifying agent for a collective renewal,” wrote the mythologist Michael Meade. Awakening is a long journey, as is shown through the arduous day-to-day affairs in our families, our cities, our countries and the world.
Since 2001, most everyone has been aware of the tragic meaning behind the date of Sept. 11. Another September date, most likely less known but increasingly being observed around the world, is Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace as sanctioned by the United Nations since 1981, a day devoted to “strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.”
In this second pandemic year, the theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” People all over the world, in their unique ability, are invited to join the efforts of the United Nations and the awakened groups that are promoting it.
Vote your conscience
I watched last week’s debate among the candidates for Santa Fe mayor. I was impressed throughout with the connections both Joanne Vigil Coppler and Alexis Martinez Johnson had with the local population, whereas Alan Webber, the incumbent, is like other Anglos who have co-opted the environment and culture here for a hundred years.
What I fear is that the wrong person will be elected because of ethnicity, with Webber benefiting from a divided Hispanic vote. Of course, there are even those who would vote based on an identity with the candidate’s gender, and they would be adding fuel to the fire dividing the field — so say 25 percent for Vigil Coppler, 25 percent for Martinez Johnson and 50 percent for Webber.
Behind-the-scenes politics is best known from movies about presidential politics. One common theme is candidate A or B should drop out in the overall cause to defeat candidate C. A true example, before catastrophic events nullified the issue, was whether in 1967, either Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota or Sen. Robert Kennedy of New York, both well-meaning and articulate anti-Vietnam War candidates for the Democratic nomination, should accede so that hawk President Lyndon Johnson could not walk away with the nomination.
It would be better if, instead of someone having to drop out of this race, we would vote our consciences and our hearts.
Thank you city employees: As a Native American (Comanche) whose family has been in Santa Fe for generations, I have always been taught that people helping people is life’s true reward. With this as my calling, I am honored to be endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3999, which represents the city of Santa Fe union employees, as the choice for City Council District 1.
The people who provide our vital city services, who care for our elders and our children, and who put their lives on the line every day deserve fair pay for fair work, safe working conditions, quality training programs and real affordable housing. We have not had this for years.
I bring to the table a jobs program that will accomplish these goals and will restore respect and pride to the hundreds of employees who make our city special. Please join me and help bring back our sparkle. Vote on Nov. 2.
Peace Corps still needed
I write to echo Bob Kirmse in the recent My View (“The Peace Corps makes it to 60,” Sept. 19). I urge our New Mexico Congressional delegation to support the 2021 Peace Corps Reauthorization Act (HR 1456). The Peace Corps is needed now more than ever to meet our biggest challenges, climate change chief among them.
Yes, volunteers are valuable assets to host countries, and they do temporarily fill gaps in host-country expertise. But the Peace Corps’ greatest gift is the transformative power of being there: of walking miles in other peoples’ shoes, eating their food, speaking their languages, following their cultural rules, and seeing their problem-solving approaches and resourcefulness up close. These experiences require humility and open-mindedness, essential elements of peace-building and global understanding. Peace Corps volunteers help America live up to its ideals, for its own sake, and for the sake of the host communities we care deeply about.
‘Choked by Ash’
Our eyes cry ash
Darkness covers the sun
Silent despair our cry heard
Around the world
On the map we were virile
Rich with freedoms
Multi-colored a rainbow coalition
Now no stairs await us to to take us to
The promised land
Messages of grief
Pictures of the missing
This is our landscape now
Let the rains come
Plant seeds of Peace
Reap the fruits of resolve
Let future generations fly our flag
On the wings of victory
Remember those we love
Live on in our memories
In our deeds.