#1000 – Dick Bernard: Some Empty Chairs. Thoughts at 1000

Related posts: March 6, 7, 8 and 9 .
(click to enlarge photos)

Was this an empty room about to become full; or a full room which had just become empty?  Answer at the end of this post.

Was this an empty room about to become full; or a full room which had just become empty? Answer at the end of this post.

This blog began March 25, 2009. You can read it here.
Expressing an opinion on-line wasn’t new to me: that went back to the time immediately after Sep 11, 2001. Perhaps the first was two letters to family and friends in September, 2001: Post 9-11-01001
A few friends now and again suggested that I blog, and here I am, 6 years and 1000 posts later.
Does this every other day exercise matter? (There have been about 2175 days between posts #1 and #1000.)
I can only speak for myself.
Doing this near-daily exercise causes me to think about why I’m saying what I’m saying on any particular topic to a largely unknown audience, talking to more than just myself.
Even the simple act of finding a link to something describing the country of Central African Republic (as I did, yesterday) helps me to broaden my own knowledge.
I feel a bit more alive than I felt 15 years ago.
Before 9-11-01 the world I inhabited seemed more simple than it was the day after. Fear and hatred have overtaken too many of us, with predictable consequences. But many more of us are pushing back, worldwide, albeit too quietly, to change the conversation to one of peace and hope. We may not notice this: the media on which we rely makes its money on bad news; good news is boring….
Shortly before I wrote my first blog 3-25-09 our nation’s first non-white President had been inaugurated. That singular election has changed the complexion of our country forever, and is perhaps the reason for the sometimes bizarre pushback that we are experiencing, including today: the pendulum has moved. Equilibrium will take time. The past some long for is, indeed, past. Thankfully.
All in all, I feel a bit more hopeful than I did after we as a nation freely chose war over reconciliation in the fall of 2001.
Since 2001 the mood of the body politic world-wide has changed in many ways, and our individual capability to make waves – positive waves for positive change – has increased in ways we couldn’t imagine even 14 years ago.
On Woman’s Day, Sunday, I think it was Samran Anderlini, Iranian, peacemaker, who said that for 2500 years the global conversation was dominated by the few who dominated political and military leadership. The conversation, always, was power through dominance in war.
It might well be said that the war “side” still dominates, but they’re running scared.
And people like ourselves, once we get over our timidity and stand for a better peaceful world, will make the difference.
In the caption at the beginning I ask was the room waiting to be filled, or had it just emptied?
It doesn’t make any difference, really.
What makes the difference is that the room, about the time I took the photo, contained one speaker and 75 listeners. The speaker reflected on her life; it was then up to the listeners to define her reflections in a way they could use to impact our world going forward.
A useful speech is always much more than just a speech.
It is we who fill those empty chairs, the listeners, who must make the difference when we leave the room.
During this years Peace Prize Forum the background for every single session was photographs like the one below, of men and women about the task of clearing away deadly weapons of war somewhere, sometime, in our world.
Their task is, we were told, both dangerous, and more and more successful. There is an opportunity to rid the world of chemical weapons.
Now to deal with the nuclear and other insane weapons of destruction.
Clearing chemical weapons from a battlefield.

Clearing chemical weapons from a battlefield.

Positive change is happening. Let’s be part of making it.
A Suggestion: Those who glance regularly at my meanderings on this page know that I frequently link to an Los Angeles blogger, a retired guy like myself, who publishes Just Above Sunset six days a week. Just Above Sunset works at distilling national and international politics through the thoughts of assorted writers. I always find it a useful, albeit lengthy, collection of opinions. Here and here are the offerings from the last two days. Subscribing is free, and the post comes into my inbox about 2 a.m. each day. Consider joining.
from Peter in New Hampshire:
Funny thing: when you started to blog, the Obama election, was when I stopped. Personally, I could not see myself making a difference that way, just being one of millions of bloggers in a blogosphere. That’s not to say blogging is the problem… But I applaud your insights about what the writing process is. It’s the same for me; I want another venue, though. I think it’s books, but books are different now, so “timely” with a colon and a subtitle, out of date in a week or so. Maybe books are becoming blogs. I know a lot of blogs become books. Anyway I hadn’t written you in a long time, and wanted to respond, stand in awe, be proud to know you.
from Norm in Boston: My sentiments also, what Peter said, “…and wanted to respond, stand in awe, be proud to know you.”
I attend a poetry workshop where everything I write has to be in rhyme and humorous.
eg: Obama advocates breathing,
Dems behind him ally,
Republicans, silently seething,
Each of asphyxia die.
Most everything read at the workshop seems to have abandoned rhyme. Your blog, today, sounded like wonderful free verse.
Thanks for encouraging subscription to Just Above Sunset. Something Alan said awhile back was the idea for the rhyme above.

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