Message From Annie

Several years ago I came to the conclusion that "life" on this planet is more or less insane, as far as human activity is concerned.

It gets to be profoundly disconcerting when you realise that we seem to be hurtling towards oblivion in terms of sustainability.

Personally..I don’t have the solution. All I can do is try to meet the challenges of the days in the best way I can.

Here’s a tiny selection of some of the issues, and a few comments from the top of my head.

This is one of the reasons why I find the prevailing obsession with vacuous reality TV and celebrity culture somewhat depressing.

There are so many more important things we could be/should be focused on. I’m no paragon of virtue. I’m just as confused and distracted as the next person, so please bear in mind that I’m not "preaching"  here… I’m just sounding off.

CHRONIC AND ENDEMIC GLOBAL POVERTY. Will we ever make poverty history? I doubt it…but that doesn’t mean that you give up on the aspiration for change. Will we ever have the kind of collective voice demanding that world leaders address the problem? Not if we stay silent and impartial. It takes more than charity  to transform the status quo. It needs political, economical  and social reform. Institutionalised greed and corruption is the underlying factor in so much of this.

JOIN THE ONE CAMPAIGN.

EDUCATION. One of the most impacting outcomes of poverty is the continuance of ignorance. Education is absolutely essential for mankind’s development. Without it, future generations will be lost. We need to support the educators, give them value, and help the "education process" to evolve. Education is not only intellectual ..it’s involves ethics, morals, emotions, behaviour towards ourselves and others etc..

WOMEN’S RIGHTS. equal employment rights and opportunities – exploitation -domestic violence – rape – sexual and reproductive health care – contraception. Women are  still being treated abysmally in every corner of the world. This is where education for BOTH genders needs to come in. Check out V DAY.

CRIME. How can it be effectively tackled? Can individuals ever be reformed after years of incarceration? How should society respond in order to reduce crime, and create  positive lasting changes? What about the victims of crime…how can they be supported and healed?

DRUG ABUSE AND ADDICTION. A massive curse of the modern world. We seek to numb ourselves from our pain, and end up "consumed" by our chosen means of escape. It’s a massive industry, and it wants your children. Neff said.

HUMAN RIGHTS. Torture didn’t stop with the 14th Century. It’s right here and now and everywhere. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL will inform you and show you how to make a difference. My Tibetan friend, the musician Gnawing Copal was released from Chinese prison because of all the  campaigning that we did on his behalf, and I’ve personally met several former prisoners who’s freedom was granted because of Amnesty. Trust me..It works.

WARFARE. Was there ever a time when there wasn’t a war going on? Are there any alternative solutions, rather than the barbaric slaughter of  men women and children? Are we going back to the ever escalating nuclear arms race of the Cold War days? Are nuclear arms a safe and effective deterrent? Check out the images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see what kind of future we’d have in store if they’re put to use. As for Iraq…what an appalling tragedy in every sense.

CHILD SOLDIERS. Read "A Long Way Gone"…Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah.

CORRUPTION. Corruption is like a cancer at the top and throughout politics, businesses and corporations, the police and military organisations etc..It spreads out and influences the population throughout the entire structure. I doubt that there’s ever been a system that wasn’t affected. It takes exceptionally brave individuals to stand up and speak out against it. If it’s not tackled in some way however, then positive change is unlikely to ever take place.  

HEALTH CARE.. In Africa, Aids is fourth down on the list of life threatening diseases wiping people out in millions. Malaria is actually at the top of the list…along with tuberculosis, cholera, dysentery etc…preventable diseases that can be treated and cured. These problems go back to the root of chronic poverty. In America thousand’s of children’s parents cannot afford to pay for health care. Where you have poverty you have poor nutrition and lack of treatment. It’s a vicious cycle. One that most people can’t get out of.

NUTRITION VERSUS MALNUTRION..How insane that half the world starves while we throw tons of food away. Inform yourselves on issues of trade. Shop for fair trade items. Consumers have a lot of power. Be selective.

THE ENVIRONMENT  We have taken and not given back. We have abused the earth unwisely. Deforestation of the great forests around the world – global warming- extinction of plant insect animal species -pollution of the air, land and seas Our systems are not sustainable. We need to create alternatives, and they really need to be enforced through legislation if we’re going to make any real impact.. World leaders have been ignoring this for decades at our peril, but time’s running out…if we have any time left at all. JOIN GREENPEACE..or any activist group. Lend your action and contribution towards making a change. If the politicians won’t do it, then it’s up to us.

CARE OF THE ELDERLY..In Western society, it would seem that old people have become more and more marginalized. With the breakdown of traditional family structures, they are very often left alone to fend from themselves, or farmed out to institutions. Focused on a culture of youth and beauty we are intolerant of the elderly. They have become redundant. What could be a more dreadful prospect than being isolated and infirm in your later years? We have turned our backs upon them.

CARE OF CHILDREN.. Children are  totally reliant upon the adult world. They are vulnerable and exposed to whoever runs their lives. Millions of kids are brought up in cruel and abusive situations. Usually the parents have been abused themselves. It’s an inherited chain of violence and neglect, yet children often have no escape…no one or no place to turn to. They are powerless in most situations. Poverty, ignorance, unplanned or unwanted pregnancies, breakdown of relationships all contribute to future dysfunction. Every child is sacred. We should protect, nurture and value them.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. Something about mankind seems to have the need for domination and expansion. I think that "Colonial" could be put on parallel with "Corporate" in many ways. All but few indigenous peoples have been raped and pillaged for centuries. They struggle for existence on their own terms on "bequeathed" patches of land, as modernity erodes their integral ways of life. Watch "The Canary Effect" ( a film by Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman) about the Native American Indian and the white man. It’s heartbreaking.

RELIGION – If God is love, then why are there so many religious organizations preaching and practicing the dogma of bigotry and hatred? Where is tolerance and respect for each other’s differences?