In politics it is said, that when not fueled by hope there is a vacuum for fear to fill. Since artists turn to the muses, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope we are exploring what they can offer us for inspiration to have the hope fueling politics. Last week we were in the wake of Paris; this week we follow two violent events on American soil (covered in other threads) in Minneapolis and in Colorado Springs yet do not hear near the cacophony of voices loudly urging actions to keep Americans safe. We also follow the holiday most associated with gratitude in the U.S.: Thanksgiving. One Thanksgiving email I received began with this quote: “I saw…that there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love…flowed over the ocean of darkness.” — Journal of George Fox (1647)
Then continued with: ”It can be hard to look into the darkness we find all too easily today: in the suffering and fear of so many, in the cycles of violence. Yet, when we come together with compassion, understanding, and openness, we find the Light in dark places.” It was from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
Calliope is considered the strongest of the nine and imposes serenity. Researchers have been exploring this area and one finding that goes with post-Thanksgiving is:
Gratitude can be transformative:
“The Thanksgiving holiday began, as the name implies, when the colonists gave thanks for their survival and for a good harvest. So perhaps November is a good time to review the mental health benefits of gratitude — and to consider some advice about how to cultivate this state of mind.”
“Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
- Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
- Higher levels of positive emotions;
- More joy, optimism, and happiness;
- Acting with more generosity and compassion;
- Feeling less lonely and isolated.”
Anyone want to join me in giving thanks (just in case)? Has it become harder to connect with gratitude when people have a lower standard of living than their parents did or they themselves did 10 years ago (e.g., stagnant wages, retirement accounts wiped out, foreclosure and/or the hidden housing bubble: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/11/09/1447788/-The-massive-real-estate-bubble-that-no-one-is-talking-about )?
Sometimes children see things more clearly:
Staying with science, let us hear from Ourania (astronomy) via :“In a 2-minute elevator speech, a NASA scientist shares his greatest hope for the future of earth.”
Didn’t he make it crystal clear and easy to understand—did he also communicate hope?*
One thing events in Paris affected was people’s plans with COP 21 Nov. 30th-Dec. 11th…I’ve seen one group that is collecting photos of people holding empty shoes to represent people who would’ve been marching in Paris to address climate change. Greenpeace is matching individuals who would’ve marched in France with someone marching in another country…the resilience to this purpose in this one (check out the video) is it an example of what Dr. Rignot said was our hope? Is it a love Erato might claim?
Does it inspire faith and hope as people persist despite changed circumstances?
Clio (guitar) helps us think out of the box with this one and expand our vision of possibility (video):
And Thalia (architecture) might help us get creative (picture gallery):
Erato might claim this kind of love, too:
Can’t the world always use more love? Is it always the answer?
And thank you dear reader for joining me on this journey of discovery!
*Note: Physics is the one field where research questions with answers using statistics often have no error rate so results are not a probability of truth/fact on the subject but are actually the truth or fact of the matter.
If you missed the first installment of this series and would like more information about the muses by reading it: