Sunday, February 01, 2015

Reading, Writing, And Revolution With My Son

I'm once again grateful this morning for the opportunity to sit down at the kitchen table with my teenage son and read to each other Derrick Jensen's "Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution." Given that he's working on writing a novel and generally likes to write I couldn't think of a better book to read at the moment. I would recommend this book be required reading for all 16 year olds. It would also be a part of my adult bookstore and my class on revolution that ...I fantasize about nearly everyday. Hey, a guy could be having much worse fantasies. Anyway, it was a pleasure to read these lines to him:

"Someone asked me once at a talk why I so stress the positive with my students yet am such an unstinting critic of those who run our culture and who are killing the planet. I answered immediately, 'Power. If I've got power or authority over someone, it's my responsibility to use that only to help them. It's my job to accept and praise them into becoming who they are. But if I see someone misusing power to harm someone else, it's just as much my responsibility to stop them, using whatever means necessary.'"--Derrick Jensen, Pg. 17

A lot of people over the years have criticized Derrick Jensen for advocating violence in his writing. After all he has made the claim that we have to take down civilization if we want a planet for our children to live on. But I consider him to be an "everything on the table" type of guy. He advocates talking openly and honestly about the dire situation we are in (political, economic, ecological, spiritual, psychological) and all of the strategies we can use to improve the situation. I have no problem with that. And if the difficult subjects of sabotage and violence and such come up I have no problem with that either. You don't get anywhere, I think, burying your head in the sand. The things that you're burying your head about come back and bite you, like violence and war. We are born with violence and war in our souls. That's part of our inheritance as human beings when we come into this world. It's archetypal and given to us in the womb. It's part of the cosmos.

That's the truth as I see it right now. I'm glad my son and I can talk openly and honestly about it.

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