SeptemberBy admin | May 29th, 2011 | Category: 2007, Columns, Fall 2007, Talking Chic | No Comments »
September has always marked the beginning of a new year for me, not only because my birthday falls on the last day of the month, but also because it marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Having raised three children into adulthood, I’ve been conditioned by long practice to be sensitive to the changes in the rhythms and routine that this time of year sparks.
I hope that this is a new beginning, not only for me, but for the world. Will there ever be an end to war and warmongering? Will we ever as civilized beings face that we’ve wrecked and depleted our resources and are continuing to do so? What of the world Karma? What debt are we incurring against the future generations? How can we continue to deface our world and put the least of us in the way of famine, disease, and treacherous warfare (as if warfare could be anything else but treacherous)? How is it that my comfort is at the expense of another’s welfare?
I’m a small splinter in the machine. How do I stop the machine? How do I make my voice heard and declare that I want no more part in a country that goes around killing, killing, and killing with total disregard to the sanctity of life? I want to make a change. I want to change the world. Mahatma Ghandi once stated, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
I have to be the change I seek, so I started making a change. I stopped eating meat. I like animals, and even though I like the taste of meat, I don’t like causing suffering to my fellow creatures. I walk more. The more I walk the less gas I use. I’ve taken yoga. The more I practice yoga, the more I can walk, and the less gas I use. I’ve taken to meditating, chanting, and doing everything I can to be at peace with my family and others I exist with. It’s not enough, but I have distanced myself from the machine.
I believe that if I learn to make peace instead of war, that like the 100th monkey, my habits will rub off on others. What is the story of the 100th monkey? That one monkey on one distant island that learns how to wash his food in some way causes another monkey on a distant far away island to wash his food, no way influenced by the first island.
It really happened in 1952, on the island of Koshima (http://www.dead.net/forum/ what-would-be-answer?page=2). Scientists provided monkeys with sweet potatoes that had been dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the sweet potatoes, but not the dirt.
One day an adolescent female named Imo discovered that by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream, she could rid herself of the sand. She taught her mother to wash the sweet potatoes. She also taught her playmates, who then taught their mothers this new method.
Gradually, other monkeys on the island learned to wash their sweet potatoes, and all the young monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes to make them more edible. But for the adults, only those who imitated their children learned how to do this. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then one day, 99 monkeys began washing their sweet potatoes. Later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. By that evening almost everyone in the tribe had begun washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The hundredth monkey created a momentum that produced an ideological breakthrough!
Written by Lisa Trimarchi