Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Big Issue

In Glasgow there is this Magazine called the Big Issue that is sold all over town (here is a link to read about its great cause: --it's concept is really a revolutionary approach to poverty aid) . I bought it the other night and was just reading a tribute to the founder of The Body Shop, Dame Anita Roddick (1942-2007). She is an amazing woman and example to the world. I want to be like her.

Some of her great words from the October issue include. . .

Activism is being a voice for the voiceless, standing up for the weak and the frail, engaging the human spirit. It's putting your head above the parapet. Being heard. Being seen. Being counted.

I wake up every morning thinking-- this is my last day. And I jam everything into it. There's no time for mediocrity. There is no . . . dress rehearsal. You've got one life, so just lead it. And try to be remarkable.

Being an activist is sexy. Being a voice of dissent, getting informed, finding something inside yourself that gets you outraged so you expose truth and get active is far 'cooler' that worrying about split ends and spots.

She supported and admired many organizations. The Forgiveness Project is a good example of this as it calls for peace and conflict resolution. Here is a summary of their purpose from the magazine:

. . .The Forgiveness Project is a powerful conflict-resolution concept that aims to prevent cyclical violence by facilitation reconciliation and the healing of past wounds between victims and perpetrators. It uses stories, and in particular its powerful traveling exhibition "The F Word", to open up a dialogue and promote understanding. The project works in prisons, schools, faith communities, and with any group that wants to explore the nature of forgiveness whether in the wider political context or within their own lives.

There is a great play on words. . . and why not. Let's give new meaning to the F word.

The list of organizations is wonderfully long from Human Rights to Fair Trade. . .from Poverty to Health to the Environment.

With the words of Anita: Do something. Do anything. Just do something.

During the tribute there is a beautiful photo of her with (what appears to be) an indigenous tribe and underneath are the words of Ken Saro-Wiwa

Dance your anger and your joys,
Dance the military guns to silence,
Dance oppression and injustice to death,
Dance my people.

The phrase reminded me of a documentary I watched in college about the holocaust. In the film were stories of the atrocities and I remember one well where a Jewish man in a concentration camp responded to the German military by dance. His dancing and singing outraged the Germans but he continued. Others joined in. They had everything taken from them but their dances and songs of praise could not be taken.

Sometimes I get downhearted and feel hopeless for the horrible things in the world but when I see and hear about people like Anita I feel hopeful and grateful for the good in the world. There is good.

Isn't Anita fantastic!!


Stephanie said...

Wow, that was a lot to take in. Sometimes I don't want to do anything. And sometimes it is hard to forgive. I just try to take it one day at a time. Life can just be hard somedays. Somedays I do just go go go.

Elizabeth said...

"There's no time for mediocrity. There is no . . . dress rehearsal. You've got one life, so just lead it. And try to be remarkable."

I love that advice.

charles said...

don't keep the "stunning tribal men" all to yourself, cam. Share the wealth!

Cammie said...

Charla--you stinker. I love you. If I could post the photo I would!

charles said...

stretch and pose
dance and prose

cammie is neat
with her little "ski" feet

Melody said...

I wish I were such a woman too! But it's so much easier to stay stuck in my own little world! Thanks for the inspiration. There is always more to do .

jaredandmatisse said...

Cammie, I love your blog and I want to dance with you again (and Soren). You should do something for the Edinburgh, Festival for the Arts. It is just around the corner. -Matisse

Michelle said...

Finally I got a chance to sit and read this post! What a wonderful post and reminder. I love what she says about being an activist,informed,angry about social issues are far more interesting- cooler than worrying about your hair. And I love the connection with Dance- such a natural response to so many things.