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Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.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

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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"


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




October, 2007
Vol. 6, Number

This Month's Article

How Much Pain Can We Stand?

Is it possible that the more pain that exists in the world the more we tolerate it? Perhaps as a natural protection against emotional stress and collapse we anesthetize ourselves against feeling too much.

Then, what is pain — physical pain, emotional pain, mental anguish, frustration, feelings of powerlessness in face of the enormity of world problems and human suffering? We witnessed a tremendous outpouring of charity after great, consciousness bending tragedies like 9/11, the tsunami in south Asia, and hurricane Katrina. Shortly, however, we became saturated and we experienced donor fatigue – that point when one tunes out tragedies because there are so many. This makes us ignore the many on-going, persistent ones — the AIDS pandemic, the genocide and hunger in Darfur, the daily death toll in Iraq, civil war in the Congo, the plight of children throughout the world….

After an accident this past summer I was asked by the paramedics treating me to rank my pain on a scale of 0-10. I found this an absurd request. The following poem, “A Matter of Scale” expresses my feelings about pain.

A Matter of Scale

The paramedic asked me to rate my pain
on a scale of zero to ten
stabbing, throbbing, the numb of shock —
pain is pain, but then
I saw the face of the beautiful child,
her shoulders, arms, her lifeless frame,
skin stretched tight, transparent thin
over death soon to come from hunger
in her mother’s arms,
flies in the corners of tearless eyes.

My bones out of place, shivering with cold
on a hot summer’s day
my pain perhaps an eight, but then
I heard screams from war zones on the news
and saw a man, panic on his face,
running from the horror, seeking escape —
a boy of maybe nine or ten,
legs that once kicked a soccer ball in fun,
in his father’s arms,
a bloody bundle, twisted and torn.

White, air-conditioned nausea, each move
a cold jab that evaporates
with the drip, drip of the I-V, but then
the hot dust of the camp blew in my eyes,
not enough guns to push away the fear,
no past, no present, no future,
youth raped with the lust of empty cries,
no name, no home, no pride,
no comforting arms for the refugee —
just a hollow bowl, a forgotten life.

The paramedic asked me to rate my pain
on a scale of zero to ten.


© 2007 Richard V. Sidy

Read Related Poems and Articles

Poem: The Wake of Disaster

Poem: Passing By

Poem: Mama's Tears

Standing up for Humanity

Malice or Neglect—Lessons of Katrina

Protecting Children


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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

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