Counting on Me, Counting on You.

A couple of weeks ago we went to a benefit concert for the Carry it On Fund which was established in 2015 to celebrate the lives of Pete & Toshi Seeger by supporting those who carry on their work.  It was fabulous.  A beautiful old Church, great song leaders including Sally Rogers, Bill Harley, Peter Blood, Annie Patterson and, a big crowd singing their hearts out.  We did lots of favorites, This Land is Your Land, If I Had A Hammer, Well May The World Go, Guantanamera – but the song that took me by surprise and has become a bug in my ear ever since, was one I didn’t know. God’s Counting on Me, God’s Counting on You, was written by Pete and his friend Lorre Wyatt (terrific songwriter himself who penned Somos El Barco/We Are the Boat among other great songs.) Happily, there’s a very sweet video of the song – recorded in part on Pete’s beloved Clearwater.

Did you watch it?  Did you find yourself singing along…hoping we’ll all pull through? The song really speaks for itself so I won’t go through ALL the lyrics that are perfect for us now – but – I’m especially moved by the verses about eternity and children.

What we do now, you and me
Will affect eternity
God’s counting on me
God’s counting on you

Hoping we’ll all pull through
Hoping we’ll all pull through
Hoping we’ll all pull through
Me and you

When we work with younger folks
We can never give up hope
God’s counting on me
God’s counting on you

 It brings to mind the wonderful quote from Corita – on a print designed for the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod “We live in one world and each act of ours affects the whole.” Corita Kent – nun, activist, educator, artist (the one who painted a 150-foot rainbow on the Boston Gas Co.’s natural gas tank) whose message, like Pete Seeger’s was one of hope and love.  She worked with words (hers and others) and color – on billboards, a postage stamp (the first LOVE stamp was hers) and posters.
corita-kent-be-of-love
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 She also did a series of serigraphs to support the causes she believed in.  Created over 30 years ago – they still ring true, every single word.

 

“‘It is still a fine choice: One world or none.’ Roger Baldwin.” For the American Civil Liberties Union.

“So far the crocuses have always come up.” For Physicians for Social Responsibility.

“To be fully alive is to work for the common good.” For Lois Pines, who ran for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and lost.

“It’s only fair that each child be cherished.” For the Massachusetts Committee on Children and Youth.

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This week’s shared story is from six year old Georgia and her moms.  Like Pete and Corita before her, Georgia knows that each child needs to feel cherished and she decided to do something in her community to make that happen.

Sharing Our Stories

At age 6, Georgia Marton has an intensely personal sense of just how important a stuffed animal can be. So when her moms, Racheal and Alyssa Marton, told her that refugee children were arriving in the Providence area without a cuddly friend to hug, Georgia knew she wanted to help.

“My moms said that I could do it by myself and buy one stuffed animal,” explained Georgia in a letter she wrote to thank those who helped her efforts, “or I could join my whole community in doing this.”  Embracing the community solution, Georgia (with a little help from her moms) reached out.

Dorcas International Institute, the agency serving over 450 refugees each year from troubled regions all over the world, gladly agreed to give any stuffed animals collected to newly arrived refugee and immigrant children.  Georgia approached her school, The Grace School at Meeting Street, and the students, parents, and teachers responded quickly and enthusiastically. Georgia also asked her temple to help, and Temple Habonim, was happy to agree.  To date, over 150 stuffed animals have been collected.

“Now lots of kids will have stuffed animals,” wrote Georgia in her letter to her fellow activists.  “Thank you!”

Ideas and Information

There’s still time to write to TonyTheDemocrat@gmail.com and request some addresses to encourage Democrats in Georgia to get out and vote in the Special Election on April 18th. He’ll even send you a PDF of the Flip the 6th logo pre-formatted to print your own postcards! For Tony’s full story see last week’s post. And, here’s an article in the NYTimes about the possibility of flipping the district.

I just learned about the Action Alliance – a collaboration of call to action websites and apps.  There were many I’d not heard of – check it out!  But, don’t be overwhelmed – just be delighted by the number of activists and issues this list represents.  And, if you find just one that’s useful to you, terrific!

#NoProbeNoRobe – call your Senators (888-877-2040) to oppose Gorsuch.  No lifetime appointment while the president is under investigation. CNN’s report on which Senators plan to vote for Gorsuch. For a straightforward script whether you are calling Democrats or Republicans and easy access to your Senators visit TheSixtyfive. The script covers both opposition to Gorsuch and use of the Nuclear Option.  Both are important calls to make.

Join me in thanking Senator Jon Tester by calling or writing to his Montana offices or his DC office for his decision to vote NO to Gorsuch.

Congressional recess, April 7-23 Check for events near you or organize one. Amazing the number of issues to talk about. Here’s a visual reminder of the budget proposal for some starting points.

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Hope is Evident

Facebook announced that it was initiating election day reminders nationwide for all elections/primaries where the population is greater than 10,000.

After Trump issued an executive order undercutting Barack Obama’s 2015 clean power plan on Wednesday, major companies including Mars Inc, Staples, Levis Strauss and Gap Inc came forward to criticize Donald Trump’s climate agenda.

Wallace Global Fund, which promotes sustainable investments and until very recently, received legal counsel from the same firm that helped Donald Trump “separate” from his business interests before assuming the presidency – fired that firm in a letter filled with moral clarity.

Laughter

This is awful and so so so so funny – but also, after last week a bit outdated!

And finally,

From E.B. White – “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”  I hope you do both – today, tomorrow, everyday.

Here’s to you, here’s to us – all in it together.