SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

January, 2011
Vol. 10, Number 1


Home Page About SNS Press Author Richard Sidy Contact Us Buy Publications


A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds





This Month's Article

Planting Healing Trees

I threw out my original article for January when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot and critically wounded, and other innocent people were injured and killed in Tucson on Saturday, January 8th.

A few days after the shooting, I spoke to Annie Loyd, a long-time friend of Gabrielle Giffords. She told me, "Gabby is a magnet for love." We must ask ourselves, "how can a 'magnet for love' attract hate?" Is it possible to transform our culture of violence into one that turns hate and fear into love and trust? Can we be peacemakers?

As a life-long teacher I view this as yet another "teachable moment." It is evident that people of all walks of life are processing this senseless act in their own way and trying to comprehend what it tells us about our culture. We are all victims and we are all responsible when such tragedies strike. Even the shooter was a desperate victim of a society that has devolved into "survival of the fittest." Once again the victims take victims and the bullied become bullies. Why were his needs not met and tragedy averted?

Annie Loyd's organization, The Fusion Foundation is responding to this tragedy as an opportunity to heal our state, and to inspire future generations, "creating a society that supports all our children."

They will be coordinating a collective tree planting to create tangible, visible acts of supporting what will be a generational, transformative healing process. They are responding to the call for positive social change, for living in love and kindness. As President Obama said, "We may not be able to stop all the evil in the world; however, we can certainly choose how to treat one another."

The tree planting will take place as Arizona celebrates its Statehood Day on February 14th. (Ironically, Arizona is often referred to as the "Valentine State" because it was admitted to the union on February 14th, 1912!) Initially the plan was to plant trees throughout our state. Now the Fusion Foundation is overwhelmed by a national response from organizatioons such as the National Peace Academy and National Peace Alliance who want to be partners in this initiative.

I have many opportunities to speak to adults and children about gardening as president of Gardens for Humanity. I always stress that when we garden we internalize certain values that make us more caring and responsible. Inherent in the act of planting and nurturing a seed to fruition is a sense of optimism. If one is not optimistic one would never plant a seed and care for it.

The values of gardening are also the values that create a caring and civil society, and they are life-giving. Each individual is a seed to be nourished to his or her potential, whatever that may be. The way we care for the least of us is the measure of our own value. Truisms like these become REAL when we are shocked by senseless and destructive acts caused by our negligence in caring for those who suffer.

What we do now as a culture will impact the future of our collective life and how we think about ourselves. As a culture we progress or fail together depending on how we respond to our lessons. We all suffer or thrive as a result of the environment which we create and in which we live. This applies to our social and natural environments. So as a collective society this tragedy is both our current test and our current opportunity. As President Obama asked in the memorial service last Wednesday for the victims of the shooting, can our society "live up to the expectations of our children?"

For more information about how you or your organization can participate in this healing effort contact:

Annie Loyd
The Fusion Foundation
"building bridges in communities through arts and culture"

© 2011 Richard V. Sidy

Read Related Articles on SNS Press — Politics & Society

A Living Canvas

Can Idealism Solve Problems?

World Peace in Less Than a Month?

Read Related Poems on SNS Press


Matter of Scale

Mother of the World

The Wake of Disaster

Sounds of an Empty Promise




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Archives Column Menu
archives archives archives
Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity
Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"
Archives 2007:
Vol. 6, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
State of Fear
Criminal Justice
Culture Shock
Personal Ecology
Exploring the Mind - Parts 1 and 2
How Much Pain Can We Stand?
Archives 2008:
Vol. 7, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Beyond Ideology
The Imaginary Economy
Tribalism and the 2008 Election
Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice
Have We Been Willing Slaves?
Are We Ready for the Future?
Archives 2009:
Vol. 8, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Good New Days
The Time is Right
The New Anarchy
The Art of Living
Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?
From Cowboys to Cowed
Who are the Real Game Changers?
Archives 2010:
Vol. 9, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Music of Place
Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
The Sense of Place
Why do People Serve?
Ecological Literacy
Organization or Organism?
Are we afraid of our Better Angels?
Choosing our Battles

Meeting the Need
Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
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