Friday, November 7, 2008

Changing the World

No doubt that a small group of
thoughtful committed citizens
can change the world.
it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

>Of Note: Ever heard of William Wilberforce? Nay, didn't think so. Neither had I until I read about this mover and shaker who lived in late 18th century, early 19th century England. His claim to fame was leading the efforts to end slave trade across the British Empire, which at that point spanned the globe. Actually, few thought it was possible but this stalwart Parlimentarian thought otherwise. After 20 years of fomenting change through a persistant campaign to shift public opinion and success in ultimately building a political coalition, the deciding vote was cast in July 1833. Wilberforce died that same month. Author William Hague said that a religious conversion in 1785 brought this man to the foot of the cross. Wilberforce likened his conversion "to waking from a dream and recovering the use of my reason after a delirium." That is not an unusual description for awakening. What is more unusual is how the man went on to change the world. Had England not abolished slavery when it did, America might have taken even longer to do so. Consequently, we might not be in the place we are now with a black President-elect. To read more about this visionary forerunner, consider picking up Hague's book, William Wilberforce, from your library or local bookstore. Marie contributed this unique swirling cloud photo shot recently from her home in Texas. My, they make inspirational clouds in that state!

>Today's Weather Report: Cooler by far and in the forties. Tonight it will get down to freezing. Now, this is more like the November to which I'm accustomed. Even the cloud cover seems more familiar. There's a bird making a ruccus out the window, must be a crow because they seem to be around no matter what.

Watch For Change Snippit: Since we are on unusual movers and shakers, let's not forget Mr. Gene Sharp, an 80-year old hermit-like Boston scholar. Oh, never heard of him either? Well, many dictators around the world have and rale at the very mention of his name. Mr. Sharp's claim to fame is a life spent writing books and pamphlets on non-violent resistance, very powerful books and pamphlets that have led many freedom fighters to foment political change using brains rather than braun. He was recently the star featured in an Iranian documentary on foreign plots against the state. Hugo Chavez considers him a national threat. Opposition activists consider him a global hero and have found his tactics quite powerful in Burma, Georgia, Iran, Kyrgystan, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, to name a few. To read more about this Server, you might check out the Albert Einstein Institute, his brainchild.

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