indigenism

You Can't Be 'Neutral' on a Moving Train

Sometimes I think of the enormity of darkness which our world contains, and find the tragedies involved simply too crushing. How small we are! How seemingly powerless! So many people spend their time preparing for 'the revolution', even agitating for it... and without some historical perspective they have no firm grasp of what it is they are actually agitating for. They seem to feel the urgent need to move, but don't know where to go or how to proceed. And I find myself in need of hopeful words -- words that succinctly explain how the revolution is NOW. Not something that we have to wait for, or organize for, or agitate for... it's something that can begin in the ways which we live our lives; the foods we choose to eat, the ways we bring our children into this world and raise them to adulthood, and the stories that we tell about our histories and our day-to-day existence.

I found such a succinct explanation, today, in the conclusion to Howard Zinn’s 1994 book You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times. Actually, the words were a truncated version of what follows and (believe it or not) they came from the mouth of Matt Damon, in his narration of a documentary about the life of Howard Zinn with the same title as Zinn's book. If you feel you’re invested in bringing good to your world, by whatever means, perhaps you’ll find these words encouraging. (continued...)

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