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Friday, December 17, 2010


I watched "The People Speak" yesterday. Now I feel a need to foment rebellion and civil unrest. The movie is collage of famous people reading or singing from Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, a book written from the point of view of real people instead of the politicians.

Never mind that I don't actually know which cause to foment rebellion about. I'm having trouble just convincing people to buy toilet paper made from recycled paper to save old growth forests. Bigger issues like fixing the economy and stopping domestic violence or wars are all important, but I don't know how to make a difference. I was a child when hippies were marching against the Viet Nam war and burning bras and flags, but nobody seems like marching any more.

Maybe an old-fashioned mail campaign is the way to go? My Aunt Hazel used to write lots of letters against pig farms, cutting down pine trees, or whatever else she was irate about at the time. I admired her energy. Too bad she isn't around to harass politicians any more.

I think most of us want to make a difference. We want to be good, and right, and courageous. We want to believe that right wins in the end, the bad are punished, and some day everything will be right in the world. Maybe what we want most is to feel empowered?

So, in the spirit of whatever holiday you choose to celebrate at this time of year, here are some inspirational quotes for us to consider...

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~ William James

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other form a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~ Robert F. Kennedy

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Ghandi

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~ Betty Reese


  1. Here ! Here Linda!! There is real passion in this post and I have certainly been in bed with a mosquito (or actually the room was full of the wretched things...not such good memories of one holiday!) Working for the health service here in the UK one thing I endorse with passion is how we treat ALL our patients the same from the very poorest to the richest, it's a fair system and long may it survive. I wish this happened in other aspects of our society too...perhaps I need to morph as a mosquito??!! Jane x

  2. Wonderful piece Linda!
    have a nice weekend!

  3. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing” Edmund Burke..... Great post Linda! Makes me want to get out the posterboard, make up a sign and march around the neighborhood! ........maybe tomorrow :o) Love your flowery peace sign! Merry Christmas!!

  4. @Jane, I've been in bed with mosquitoes too. I guess they can remind us we're still alive? Maybe you should tell more Americans that you like your health care system. There's a lot of misinformation about it here.

    @Jack, Good quote! Maybe we should all make posters and march around our neighborhoods?

    Thanks for the comment Juan. Happy holidays and a happy weekend to everyone!

  5. Happy Solstice, Linda...and don't forget to go out and look at the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on the evening of December 20th too!

    Wonderful musing and quotes here on how to make positive change in the world. I noticed a long time ago that whatever is happening on the macrocosmic level shown in/on The News... is also happening in the microcosm of my own life, where I can actually interact positively with it and actually change something here and now, just as Anne Frank was thinking, I suspect.

  6. Thanks for the positive comments!

    @Susan, good reminder about the lunar eclipse! I hope the skies are clear and everyone gets out and sees it. To repeat something I heard on the radio yesterday, it's okay to look directly at the moon's eclipse (unlike solar eclipses).

  7. Hi Linda, thank you for posting a little bit of inspiration here! I love the peace sign in its warm, cheerful and fresh colors. Perfect for the holidays and a little something to look forward to as the new year approaches! :o)

  8. Thanks Michelle! I painted it because I wanted some happy colors in my life because Ohio is overcast and snowy in winter. I was cheering myself up. Artists have so much power over our environments! :)

  9. Heisann, julsann!

    I join you, I sign up, I try to act! Thank you for this remarkable post, Linda.

    Onsker deg et fredfylt og fornybart nytt år

    Christmasgreetings to all of you in an "old fashioned digital way": http://viltogvakkert.blogspot.com/2010/12/if-mail.html


  10. The Gandhi and Reese quotes are my favorites, and so true.

  11. Maybe if we're all mosquitoes, the world will be a better place? Thanks for the comments!

  12. Beautiful illustration! Terrific detail!

    I'd like to add a quote from National Lampoon's classic "Deteriorata" -
    You are a fluke of the universe.
    You have no right to be here.
    Whether you can hear it or not,
    The universe is laughing behind your back.

    I don't feel any great need to "make a difference". :)

  13. @Josh, thanks for the kind words. You don't have to march with a poster, but even little things can make a difference like when you hold a door open for someone who is having a bad day. There's nothing wrong with optimism!

  14. Beautiful work and great reminder that sometimes little things we do can have an effect on the world around us.
    It's like we're all part of the same organism... whoa.

  15. Now I want to listen to Seals and Crofts, Peter Paul and Mary and such. Merry Christmas Linda!!

  16. @Heidi, Yep, whoa :)

    @Deb, funny thing is that I was talking about Peter from PPM just tonight. There's something about life's little synchronicities.

    Thanks for stopping by and for the happy words. Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Hannukah, solstice, etc.!

  17. Haha you caught me with the mosquito quote! I've been in bed with several mossies at once, hmm, I wonder what that makes me?

    The peace sign is such an icon, so emotive isn't it, even for people who wear just innocent bystanders because we were too young or two old. I think I missed out on Vietnam by two years. When I look at pictures of myself at the correct age I realise that i was a baby.

    People are greedy, we only see things from our own perspective in the end. If you can change that, then you have a chance I think.

    have a wonderful joyous Christmas ! see you! from Oz, the land of plenty (most of it desert)

  18. Good point Andrew -- I'll try discussing empathy with people and see if that can result in more sales for toilet paper made with recycled paper or more art classes in school or donations to good causes.

    You always make me laugh. I had no idea the land of plenty is mostly desert :D Merry Christmas!

  19. Wonderful post, Linda! Merry Christmas and a happy 2011!

  20. Awesome post! I love when you say "some day everything will be right in the world" I think that´s my biggest dream, it would be great!

    Beautiful words and quotes for this time of the year, thank you! and thank you for your comment on my blog! :)

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

  21. Beautiful illustration, and I love the mosquito quote....

  22. Thanks everybody! Merry Christmas to all and wishing us all a great 2011!

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