Tag Archives: Outside the Margins

Crumbling Silos

We are living in silos. Each hardened and impervious, it seems.

Ralls_Texas_Grain_Silos_2010

As long as we stay put in our comfort zones and don’t venture out, life is good.  We can ignore the other silos as full of irrelevant, idiotic, foolish “deplorables” — or maybe they speak another language and our attention span is short — or maybe they just don’t interest us.

OTHER (Verb)
1. To view or act towards another group as though they are intrinsically different, alien and separate from oneself.
2. To MARGINALIZE                           

Life in my silo is just fine, thank-you-very-much!  My silo has treated me very well all these 64 years. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Western, educated white woman
  • Middle-class, white picket fence and safe, bicycle-friendly neighborhood
  • Good schools (elementary, high school, universities)
  • Extensive travel at home and abroad
  • Loving nuclear and extended family
  • Freedom to pursue nearly any idea or dream
  • No fears for my personal or my family’s safety

Why would I ever want to leave? But my silo is crumbling, along with all of the others, and it’s clear to me that I have no choice in the matter.

I saw the cracks starting years ago but it was easy enough back then to ignore and pretend it wasn’t happening. Like watching a loved one die in front of my eyes and not registering the reality of her death until she was gone.

Now, there’s simply no denying that all of the silos are crumbling, crumbling at a faster pace than ever before. Some people may pick up torches or assault rifles to protect against the “other” and some may bury their heads to avoid the messiness of “politics.”

But everyone’s silo is crumbling and the undeniable truth is that we’re all facing the same challenges of a silo-free world together.

What’s responsible for these crumbling silos?

  • The relentless onslaught of a changing climate which so many people still deny.
  • The epic failure of capitalism that is currently destroying people and environments.
  • The war machine (aka military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about) and the destruction it has wrought in so many countries, including my own.
  • The blessing and curse of the Internet. It allows people to hide and listen only to Fox News (or NPR) in their silos if they choose, but it also allows people to reach across oceans and connect with people in other silos they wouldn’t have otherwise.

I’m nervous because the unknown is always scary. No one can predict what a post-silo world will look like. But I’m also excited because I catch glimmers of a much better world emerging.

This pilgrim is very thankful to be alive at this time.

lora

“BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS”

 

 

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Outside the Margins – Beyond War

WeAreOne-Med

Students from the University of New Mexico have collaborated for the past two years on a project about the refugee crisis that has culminated in a new book — Outside the Margins.

Although you can purchase the book to support the good work of local groups working with refugees, the students are very clear that they want the contents and ideas of the book to get out into the world as far as possible, and so there’s no copyright restrictions. The book can be downloaded for free from the website http://unmibsg.com/otm/

Outside the Margins

I attended the book’s launch at UNM on February 22, 2018.  This is a book unlike any other I’ve seen, on this topic or any other topic. Why?

Every page is a new way of communicating about the complexity of the refugee crisis in a way that attempts to be accessible to everyone, anyone.

Other define

As the students described their project and what they had learned, I thought about the lessons I first learned in Beyond War so many years ago in California.

Beyond War

The concepts in the book are difficult and simple — difficult because the world today is only beginning to understand or acknowledge these truths, and simple because these concepts are the foundation of the truth that future generations will take for granted. This book is a bridge between today and tomorrow, just as Beyond War was a bridge in the 1980s in California.

 

 

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