Derek's Dharma Blog

A blog about meditation, Dharma and activism

Occupy… WTDD? –What Would Tommy Douglas Do?

Last month, Oct. 15th, my friend Gelek and I joined the Occupy Toronto march; and we hung around St. James Park to watch the encampment get set up and we got to watch how some of the group process works.  It’s inspiring.
A week later, I read something activist Sujata Dey wrote (http://roverarts.com/2011/10/wwtdd-what-would-tommy-douglas-do/) in a review of Vincent Lam’s book about Tommy Douglas–she asked: WWTDD? –What Would Tommy Douglas Do?

And she answered her own question with four principles I’d like to share here:
“It’s tempting to ask, given today’s extreme financial, social and political inequalities, WWTDD? As unrest foments around the world, including on Bay street, it’s worthwhile to remember a few basic tenets of Tommy Douglas’s political ideology. It’s simple stuff, really.

1) Politics is rooted in spirituality and the desire for a better world. Always remember that.

2) Politics is about service, not ideology. While there are values, a road map taken from a manifesto serves little purpose. Instead, improve people’s lives.

3) Go slowly. Don’t neglect the economy.

4) Work hard. And speak well.”

In keeping with her (and TD’s) advice, here are three links to folks speaking well about the Occupy movement. First is activist Michael Albert, 2nd is scientist David Suzuki at Occupy Montreal, and third is Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman at Occupy Wall Street.

It’s also worth checking out Michael Albert’s insightful commentary “Occupy to Self Manage” http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33609, as well as the “Open Letter from Buddhist and Yoga Teachers and Leaders in Support of the Occupy Movement.”http://occupysamsara.org/

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November 9, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Thank you Derek!! It is soooo uplifting and inspiring, and full of hope and love..It feels wonderful to have you around!
    I love that citation..and that man too.!..

    “Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
    — Howard Zinn

    If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.
    If you want to eliminate suffering in the world,
    then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
    Truly, the greatest gift you have to give
    is that of your own self-transformation…

    …Lao Tzu
    So well written and said…but not so easy to do!!!
    Mucho metta, Chantal

    Comment by chantal poulin | November 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Chantal.
      And thanks so much for including the Howard Zinn quote. I’ve just been listening to youtube videos about Zinn and came across this one (link below), an interview with Noam Chomsky about Zinn’s contribution to compassion and peace.
      Chomsky was close friends with Zinn and says what he liked most about Howard was “his emphasis on the countless small actions of unknown people that lead to those great moments that enter the historical record.”
      Hallelujah.

      Take good care,
      Mucho metta,
      Derek

      Comment by Derek | November 12, 2011 | Reply


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