Archive for October, 2011

What is your choice?

I always try to be an informed voter. As such, I was researching the people running for the Denver Public School Director positions. I don’t have children, so some would say that I don’t have a dog in this race, but the subject of education is something that has always concerned me.

After some Googling I found an interview on La Voz’ website (www.lavozcolorado.com) by Bertha Velasquez (Bvelasquez@lavozcolorado.com) in which she asked each of the candidates the same two questions: Why are you the At-Large candidate of choice? & How will your qualifications best serve the school board?

I’ve excerpted the first sentences of the answers by 2 of the candidates below, in question order:

Candidate 1
“I am the candidate of choice because I am the only candidate who is talking about reducing the Administration Budget.”
“As a Software Engineer I am used to working on contentious projects with large budgets.”

Candidate 2
“I owe the opportunities and success in my life to my great public education.”
“I have a lifetime of interest and involvement in public education and supporting children and families.”

How would you judge the two candidates by these answers? I believe the answer to this indicates the kind of voter you are but, more than that, it indicates the kind of person you are. Consider it carefully. Think of what your priorities are.

These candidates do not have party affiliations on the mail-in ballot I received. At one time I may have said that one was a Democrat and the other was a Republican (guess which one is which) but I am no longer affiliated with either of the two major parties.

The difference between the two parties has become almost inconsequential. Both seem to have been bought and paid for by rich interests. And both seem to ignore the plight of people in need, not to mention the needs of our Mother Earth.

Those who know me would be able to tell you instantly who I would vote for based on the above. Some would say that I am naïve because of that. But I still believe in good intentions and positivity. And I am sad that so many do not. They would say it is reality and I should live with it. I would say to them that you make your own reality, and if you make it with negativity, you end up with negativity.

To quote Kant: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end

So, what is your choice?

Page intro

My web person asked me to write a short intro to my personal page. Apparently I have trouble with the concept of short… Here is what I cane up with:

Greetings!

I would welcome you to the world of the Elements, but you already exist in it. You breathe in Air and fill yourself with the oxygen that allows your thoughts to process. You exist through the spark of the Fire of life and the passions that move you. Your body, mostly made of Water, sways to the rhythm of the tides. You stand on the Earth and She allows you to abide with Her. And your will through Spirit is what makes you the individual you are.

It is not my place to tell you what to believe in, or how to live your life. I will not tell you to change your life, because change comes only from within. No one can give you a spiritual path because it is a road that you choose to walk. I can only share with you what I have done and experienced.

In teaching spiritual metaphysics through the years I believe that I have learned more from my students than they have learned from me. The richness of their experiences, and the insights they have gleaned from their own explorations and introspections always fascinates and enlightens me.

If you learn something from my book, please let me know. If you want to tell me your own personal insights, please feel free to do so. If I help you along on your own path, that is a reward to me in and of itself.

Know that you have the strength within yourself to achieve what you want to, but also that the balancing force is always present. Accept what happens, learn from it, and continue to move onward and upward. That is how the progressions of your lives work. And when this one draws to an end, feel confident that you have made it the best one that you can for yourself and those whose lives you touch.

Brightest Blessings,
Marc Sylvir

Against Complacency

I’m in the latter part of a generation which, in its youth, rallied in protest of a seemingly endless war in Vietnam, joined enthusiastically in the civil rights movement, and who pioneered the concept of eco-friendly products and politics.

Now I am wondering how this same generation can sit back and watch what’s happening with a seeming indifference to it. We settle down in front of the television, and we’re consumed by “reality” shows which have very little to do with reality. We watch Fox news and believe everything they say and vote for politicians whose only allegiance is to the wealthy people who fund their campaigns.

Or we watch the mis-identified “liberal news media” and say “Don’t blame me. I voted for Democrats.” And the Democratic leaders are really not much better than their Republican counterparts. Those same channels didn’t start covering the “Occupy” movement until three weeks or more after it began. Thousands of people gathering in the streets of New York City are apparently irrelevant to them.

We buy our groceries from Whole Foods, re-use our bags, and think that is all that we need to do to be considered ecologically minded individuals. We give lip service to it, and think the compost bin in our back yards means we are doing our part. I’m not saying that re-using your bags and using that compost bin are bad; of course they are not. But it is a small piece of what needs to be done.

In the meantime the pollution levels keep rising because the regulations against the polluters have been gutted. The gap between the rich and everyone else continues to widen. The forests and the wilderness areas are being decimated. Our civil rights are eroded daily by laws created to aid politicians who want to be seen as “patriotic.” And the rights of corporations to intrude in the election process, and to milk as much money as they can from people who can ill-afford it, is solidified by congressional decree and ratified by the Supreme Court.

Who is responsible for this? We are. We sat back and watched it happen. We weren’t vociferous enough. We didn’t pass the values we had when we were younger on to our children. In short, we were complacent.

Now the youth of the country are once again rising up and speaking their mind. And they are drawing fire from both sides of the political spectrum.

The media that airs every insipid utterance by Sarah Palin, and will cover a Tea Party rally which numbers only in the hundreds, either ignores, or rails against them.

They are considered anti-American because they are exercising their First Amendment rights (apparently only corporations are allowed to do that.) They are anti-commerce because they want jobs that pay a living wage. They are anti-free market because they want to develop green technology.

I’ve said before that prayers are a form of spells. I pray for these kids to succeed. But I also pray that they don’t give up before they do succeed, and that they don’t become as complacent in their later years as we have. And if they do, I pray that a future generation will arise to act on the behalf of the Earth and her people. And for the rights of those who are set aside in the name of greed.