Sunday, June 30, 2013

To sum up sociology

“The principle of co-operation, spontaneous or concerted, is the basis of society, and the object of society must ever be to find the right place for its individual members in its great co-operative scheme. There is, however, a danger of exaggerated specialism; it concentrates the attention of individuals on small parts of the social machine, and thus narrows their sense of the social community, and produces an indifference to the larger interests of humanity. It is lamentable to find an artisan spending his life making pin-heads, and it is equally lamentable to find a man with mind employing his mind only in the solution of equations.”

~ Auguste Comte

Friday, December 14, 2012

A year without Groceries...Why not?

Check out this video to see a new challenge we are setting for ourselves next year.

The revolution begins with what we eat!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Happiness is more about subtraction than addition."

I am sure someone noted this before but a cursory google search did not come up with anything.  Others have said that "the soul grows more through subtraction rather than addition" which I would also agree with.  Fr. Richard Rohr, on a similar theme, explained that "We have nothing to learn from success after 30.  Failure is the real teacher."

I wish you happy subtracting this holiday season!

"Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system."

Dorothy Day again.  Brilliant.  I have come to believe that there is no way of ending hunger, homelessness, infant mortality, the HIV epidemic, child exploitation, etc. without a fundamental shift in the economic system that perpetuates it.  Capitalism has created enormous privilege, wealth, and power for some.  It has also created an unimaginable misery for many many more.  According to the UN, in 2005 more than half of the world's population lived on less than $2.50 a day.

We cannot have privilege without exploitation.  If we want to consume what we do in the U.S., someone has to pay.

I wish everyone had the opportunity to visit a place like La Chureca, the largest dump in Nicaragua where children clean used (think blood soaked and filled with bile and chemicals) plastic bags for 15 cents a pound.  Only then can we have a conversation about whether the system is salvageable for the majority of humanity.

"There was plenty of charity but too little justice"

 Encountering this quote from Dorothy Day gave me pause.  How true it is that we are really good at giving of our excess but not questioning the underlying system that perpetuates poverty.  Earning wealth to give away still maintains they system that created poverty in the first place.  We must act for justices and not just pat ourselves on the back with our charity.

Below is a great video that critiques ethical consumerism

and another with information about Dorthy Day

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Contemporary Education

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” 
Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Unfortunately, much of our educational system is set up to reproduce the status quo (social stratification, power, and hierarchy).  We must do better.  Freirian pedagogy provides a way of looking at education as a means of empowerment, not a passive acceptance of information during lecture and regurgitation of information for a test.  If the world is to be better, we must re-imagine education with a goal of creating change, not blindly accepting what we are told to believe.

Another great resource is "Rethinking Schools"