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As one of the 7.5 million who recently put their bodies where their mouth are to visibly say “NO” to an out-of-control global climate crisis, this writer continues to reflect upon what lies behind the futility of so many climate crises, anti-war, pro-human protests of the past, and the even more aggressive protests that will be needed in the future to tackle the forces that continue to crush the planet.
In 2019, however, there still are as many if not more politicians in the world hopelessly out-of-touch about the climate crisis and the expressed will of millions of their young and old constituents today, as there were back in 2003 when this writer, and millions more like him, also protested, to no avail, the then threatened war in Iraq.
Nations like Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and the United States, as well as many others, still ruthlessly rule, to varying degrees, with an iron fist like rulers and countries of other centuries past. They still rigidly adhere to the same philosophy and way of life driven by global consumer capitalism and fairytale beliefs in a world predicated upon perpetual economic growth.
In the long run, will the minions who continue to march and protest at whatever G8, G20, G40 meeting to “Save The World” from itself also have so little avail upon today’s politicians as those humans of other times and places who protested so vociferiously with all the passion, strength and might they could muster, against yet some other senseless war or, wow, guess what, against the same things, like oil pipelines, human greed and savage male aggression? It’s like that old saying, “What goes around forever comes around ‘til things finally change!”
Reflecting upon the similarities of 2003 & 2019 one image in particular, like a flashback to some long ago distant time, reminds this one of what motivated him back then to become both an activist and lifelong teacher of youth that, to this day, still posesses the same intensity and poignancy that ever since has been his raison d’etre.
The flashback image is a poster that depicts a wandering, itinerant, philosopher-king: with a weather-beaten kindly beaming, wrinkled face; his tossled white hair supporting a tarnished gold crown; his once luxurious raiments now threadbare, holely and patched like his also, once regal, now time-worn bejeweled slippers. Slung over his shoulder, he carries his bedding and all his worldly possessions in a bundle, tied to the end of a stick, like some old Aussie swagman. Standing innocently before the old king on the rough, untrodden road that lies before him, there stands one tiny girl, around age two, with curly blond hair, wearing a delicate white lace dress, wonderously looking up at him with an angelic face, full of so much hope and expectancy. The king is stooped over, their faces almost touching, as he stares intently at her so his failing eyes and ears can see and hear her with greater clarity. The caption of the image reads “The Philosopher-King is Beholden to Ask the Child Which Way Next to Go!”
So when one compares which road the world has taken since 2003, or seemingly since forever, and what choice of roads still remain in 2019, one wonders if there exists, in the real world, anything like what that philosopher-king, in the end, will intuitively know which road to take from the youth standing before him? Will it be “the high road, or the low road”, as in the lyrics of that old Scottish song The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomand? Will the road chosen again be the high road of the rich and mighty or the low road of the common peoplethat can be traced all the way back to the fairies and little people of ancient legend? Only time will tell!