Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

A Blue Voice

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

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In the moments after the Sea-Space Summit at Google ended in 2012, and some fantastic work had initiated, Charlotte Vick, who heads up the Sylvia Earle Alliance (and so much more) approached me and posed a very direct question.

‚ÄúDavid, what exactly is it that you do?‚ÄĚ Ever meet one of those people, who as soon as you connect, the recognition that you are of the same tribe becomes apparent in an innate manner?¬† That was how Charlotte struck me. What she really wanted to know however, is who I was.

Hers was a very direct question. In fact, I doubt that you could find out the real answer if you Google that, and me. (funny video eh?)

Google will not tell you everything, btw. You still must know a person. Knowing is a spirit soul and body process, and will never be digital. Knowing is important.

In the past few years I have found myself immersed in project after project where incredibly gifted, educated people come to the table, and on their own dime, explore large issues concerning the Earth and Humanity. They come for various reasons. Some of these people come due to a self interested, job related reason, some are steeped in crystal clear altruism, others just want to help: anyone. They have high skill levels, each one.

I seem to be getting asked back or otherwise am invited to join the conversation in yet another think tank type event, as soon as the work is completed from the prior one. People want to hear, what I have to say. So I go, listen a lot, and contribute a bit.

Today I am just home from a meeting of what would appear to be far lesser consequence. It was an Advisory Council Meeting for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, where Dr Andrea Neal, Blue Wolf, a Chumash Indian, proponent and advocate of Chumash Culture, and myself, went to observe, as a part of a commitment to be stewards over our local waters.

 

oceanwonder

In the course of the meeting, two young ladies, high school students, got up and gave a rather lengthy presentation on Marine Protected Areas. A subject which has been in front of me in several elite Science and Engineering based groups these past few years. The information communicated was basically a regurgitation of all that these children had been taught about MPA’s and the Ocean.

When they had finished, and the busy and time pressed chair of the Council asked if we had questions for the girls, I asked a few. Here they are.

  1. In a year, what sort of things do you do in the Ocean?
  2. What is your first memory of the Ocean?
  3. How does the Ocean make you feel?

These very self motivated and well meaning young ladies, who could be doing anything that would be more fun than hanging out with the likes of us, communicated something telling.   It was not based on info regarding the MPAs. It was that they did not know the Ocean personally, or intimately. They only knew what they were led to believe, about the Sea. Big difference between those two things: Believing and Knowing.

At their age, I would not have been caught dead in a meeting with the likes of us this day, talking about Marine Protected Areas. I was out in the Ocean engaging as a native, the very waters they were talking about. They simply did not have the same upbringing, opportunity and choices I had been given. (I wish that they did.)

So their talk  saddened me a bit. It said a lot about what this culture programs into children, and how we inadvertently indoctrinate them, and in process, separate them from Nature, thereby making them proselytes rather than active members of a vital ecosystem.

This is a great tragedy.

However, the idea of the Ocean inspired the girls, and gave them a sense of scale, and of their significance in the grand scheme of things. Sadly though, they really could not nail down a specific memory of their first introduction to the Sea. That last part said a lot. It is what motivated me to write this piece- accounting.

 

kealakekua.b

 

 So, this is who I am.

 

davidpuu.wb1

 

My name is David Franklin Pu‚Äôu.¬† I am the son of David Wahinealoha Puu, a Native Hawaiian waterman, who served this country in the Military,¬† Defense and Aerospace industries, who was the son of¬†Kalani Pu’u, a Hawaiian singer and entertainer.¬† I am Kanaka Maoli, by virtue of my genetics, and relationship with the Sea. (That video reminds me of my Grandfather, especially the voice)

The family history sort of meanders a bit at times, but most accounts trace it back to the Big Isle, where my ancestor,  Chief Kalani O Puu, who appears to have been the Uncle of future king, Kamehameha, played a pivotal role in the slaying of Captain James Cooke, at Kealakekua Bay.

When my Father got out of Engineering school at Marquette University in Milwaukee (where I was birthed)  the family pediatrician explained that due to genetics, my two brothers and I would likely never be healthy unless we were raised in a warmer climate.  So my parents moved to California

I am 53 ocean years old. I was born to the Sea, on a warm Southern California afternoon when I was four. On that day, the water had become my home.

Imagine that,  53 years in the water.

I remember the moment I met the Ocean with crystal clarity. As I stood on the sand and watched a surfer glide to shore, I knew with no doubt that this was where my life would be spent.

And at the chronological age of 57, I am here to tell you, that my life has been and still is, wedded to the water. The Sea has taught me much. But more than that, she makes me happy, and gives me peace, and a sense of well being.

For 50 years I have engaged on a daily basis, my home waters, which range from  the Malibu Coast up to Point Conception, and out to the Channel Islands, much as any Hawaiian would.

MG_7201

My colleague and friend, Hawaiian Historian Tom Pohaku Stone, once told me something that resonated. It did not create any bright flash of enlightenment for me. But it will help you understand who and what I am. This is what he said.

‚ÄúThe Sea is our home. The land is where we go to rest‚ÄĚ

That is a key element if you really need to know what I am about or anyone is, who possesses an Ocean heritage, for that matter.

I have swum, paddled, sailed, surfed, dove, fished and worked a plethora of jobs and careers in, on, around and about the Ocean. I have traveled and experienced many seas, as was the way of my ancestors, who were explorers, and have learned a lot about Island people and the various globally scattered water tribes.

dph.1625

 

To this day I spend every possible moment in the water, and as a Film Maker and Photographer see it as routine, the 240-300 days a year I get to be engaging the Ocean globally. It is my home.

I have swum with all manner of marine life, and am currently on swim-encounter number 38 with Great White sharks. I began to keep track of them much as a WW2 flying ace would of his victories, about 18 years ago.

I swim with Dolphins and Seals a lot. Sometimes with enough frequency, that they get to know me, and we create a tenuous, yet wonderful, human-wild creature relationship.

I once spent 10 days in the Maldives, without touching land, swimming morning to dusk with a mermaid, content to rise each morning and meander with light, and  current, in a life attached only to fluid passivity, and my mermaid subject’s wonderful, illusionary embrace.

Water is  life to our planet, but I know beyond any doubt that the Ocean has been the source of  education, development and sustenance, spirit soul and body for me. God Himself touches me when I am in the Sea and through it I feel His pleasure, and have learned His ways.

AzureRose.034

 

The legendary Hawaiian waterman and cultural emissary from Hawaii , Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, was quoted as once saying: ‚ÄúOutside of the Ocean, I am nothing‚ÄĚ.

I admire the man’s life and leadership style of aqueous precept and example.

He was a pinnacle of human endeavor and life in the Sea. It is what Hawaii is all about.

But I disagree with Duke in a manner of speaking.

Outside of the Ocean I am something greater that I could otherwise ever be, were it not for my 53 years in the Sea. Because when I disengage from my daily environment, I can share with those who will never ever be able to experience what I have. You see, the people who need to know the Ocean, are those not IN the Ocean.

davidpuuphotography

 

When I stand up in a meeting,  before those who may not really know the Ocean intimately,  there really is no doubt in me about who or what I am, or what to say.

 

I am a Blue Voice.

 

The Wisdom of that voice can help create the brotherhood, and change which Humanity needs.

We all need to aspire to become a great, educated, connected, Blue Voice. For ourselves first, but for our children and future generation’s health, happiness and well being, after that.

Think Blue, become Blue, speak Blue and be the change.

We ought to not only learn of Nature. (That does not help so much)  We must become a part of it, and the human segment of the solution to the equations addressing our Blue Marble’s evolutionary progress.

This link is to an Ocean brother’s TedX talk at San Diego recently. His work is far more significant than many may guess. Dr Wallace J Nichols, a Blue Voice.

If, as you get to the end of this, you are more interested, or just want to otherwise question who and what I am, here is a small cross section of my stills work, cut together to the Blue Voice of Hawaiian, Justin Young.¬† “Walking On Our Waters”

If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, this piece is a novel, albeit a hastily thrown together one. We got to see Justin perform last week here in Santa Barbara with Anuhea. The thought of it still makes me smile. Happiness comes from the Sea and Islanders love to share that.

 

Aloha Oe.

 

puuhi00051

 

 

 

 

For God and Ocean: A National Prerogative.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
A Natural Perspective

A Natural Perspective

In watching the Platform Horizon Wellhead Blowout event, and our Organizational response to it, I was at once impressed and appalled by the dual scopes illustrated. At the time, and to this day, I see the event as a diatribe against an innate inefficiency and possibly abject failure of our Philosophy of Regulatory Control, where we politicize and adversarilize items of great National and Environmental interest, and thereby ask and answer the wrong questions.

In effect, we are endeavoring to solve problems using the same line of reasoning and thought, which created those problems. I could illustrate it in great detail in the following paragraphs, but most people’s eyes would glaze over. So I won’t. Suffice it to say, we need to change how we look at things.

In the past year I have gotten to attend some fairly high level, think tank  type events, where people who care more about the world, and the Oceans than themselves, have come together to examine our systems, which regulate the direction of man and his involvement in the natural order of our existence here, on this blue ball.

Blue Marble

Blue Marble

It has been informative, educational, inspiring. But all that being said, I have to posit something. “So what? Will that make us better?”

It might. That depends.

Clear Reasoning

Clear Reasoning

Lately, I have been involved a bit in helping on a project to resolve the radiation issues evolving from the ongoing Fukushima Nuclear disaster. A group of Scientists on their own, have actually innovated a solution that removes radiation from sea water. One of them was at my home the other night, and brought a paper written when they were 15 years old and a Parochial school student. They read it to me, and at the end, this well know research Scientist, one of the foremost in their field in the World, said this:

“I should have stopped right here. At the age of 15, I got it. I had the answer.” I have to agree.

What the paper, which was entitled “The Environmental Obligation” said in essence, was this. That we ought to approach our involvement in the natural world as stewards, and do it as unto God. That we were given a sacred trust, and have a larger moral obligation to ourselves, to approach all involvement as if we were answering directly to the grand Architect personally, because we really do, eventually.

She absolutely understood the value of higher accountability at 15 years of age.

But we do not engage in that fashion today. It is about money, it is about National Security, it is all done as a short term psycho-socio fix (as in drug fix) designed to make us feel better. But that does not creating a healthy economic nor environmental future. In fact, it is killing us all.

Those think tank events? Well they make me feel better. They give me hope. There are solutions. But we will NEVER see them implemented with any great positive effect anywhere, with current lines of reasoning and regulatory control firmly in place, because those control systems are out of step with both Natural Order and God. They serve money. They need to serve efficiency, not entropy,  if there is to be any real level of  public safety and sustainable progress implemented.  That is a common sense. No huge mystery or complex formula is needed.

Here is a newsy fluff piece from the Huffington Post. Many have probably missed it. But it is a teensy telltale regarding what we did on the Gulf Coast and which was both facilitated and exacerbated by the EPA, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, formerly known as the Minerals Management service. (Yea, the acronym really does sound sorta like “bummer”)

Read it carefully. This little story many will miss, is a grain of sand type telltale, an understatement possibly akin to the tip of an iceberg regarding what we did in the Planning, Mining, Regulation, and Disaster Reparation process.

The disaster reparation process was the largest endeavor of it’s kind in the History of the Oil industry. It was massive in scope, bigger than I can explain here in a few paragraphs. But here is the deal, really. What we did was akin to holding a beach cleanup party. In reality those are pretty stupid in the grand scheme of things, because the waste should never be there in the first place. And for every piece of waste you see? Well, there is a grand effect that you do not see.

Then there was the Corexit. Now, today, there is broad spreading death. There is a lot of money to be made in all of this for some entities. But not much efficiency. So the net large investment is really just massive capital loss for the Nation and the World. Corps just tack expense onto the cost of goods sold, increase the price (easy to do on an inflexible type commodity) and maintain their ROI levels. In effect, YOU pay for what they, and Regulatory control¬† do, or in this case DON’T do: Protect the Environment and National Interests. Because in reality, that is not what they are designed to do.

We really need to change this, if we want our Nation’s interest to be served. If we really give a rat’s ass about our children, our heritage and above all, our service to God. There is something very pertinent and important in the concept of “duty”.¬† This must begin with us.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts on point essay on the importance of Biodiversity is one of the best reads I have encountered in awhile. “Biodiversity and the Environment: Silent Spring for Us?” It describes the regulatory process’ role in our Socio-Economic system quite well.

About a¬† year ago, my friend George Orbelian, sat me down in his home at Ocean Beach in SF. “David, what are we going to do about Fukushima?” I laughed. I mean all things considered, it was a ridiculous question. Until we all began to really look at things in a different fashion.

A little over a¬† month ago an editor of mine got a hold of me. He was deeply concerned about Fukushima. He had actually been up there, and had seen people surfing near the disaster location and was appalled. “What can we do? What is really going on? This is being down played.”

What I had to tell him was this.

“You are fucked. You have killed the land, you have killed the Sea, and now your people are in deep trouble and this problem? It is a matter of National Security.” Then I put him in touch with all of the informational sources on the disaster and told him to seriously consider what he writes and reports on, as it would possibly not help things. I mean, where do you put a country full of people when a City like Tokyo has Rad levels in it’s soil, roughly akin to being classified as nuclear waste?

We can fix this. But what we have in place is not working. We should kill it off and start over with a  system that is collaborative rather than adversarial. You can get mad at a donkey for being one, but really that never gets anything done. Either shoot it, or give it carrot.

If we do not change what is in place, we have failed our children, we have disgraced ourselves, we have not honored what God has given us, and we helped destroy our Nation in process.

That is why I always produce and post so much beauty from the Ocean and Nature in my work. To make people fall in love. If we do that, really love and cherish what we have, then we will protect it. Really protect it, and not be mislead by the morally corrupt and bankrupt entities of the world.

Take a good look at this wave image below. In it is every color of the rainbow. That is important to recognize. Here is why. Colors represent energy signatures, frequencies of sound. So what this image is saying is that all creation is contained within the signature of the sea. If we fail to recognize that, then we lose much. But the sea? It will do what it always has, just without humanity as it exists, as we know it.

House of Mirrors

House of Mirrors

That is how we make a difference.

That is how we will matter.

We can do this.

Let’s start over while we can.

Seth Godin (again) says something very smart about Fear. “I don’t even know what I am afraid of”

Below are some incredibly beautiful images of a pretty darned healthy Ocean, shot off the California Coast near my home in Ventura California, and in San Francisco. Could it be better? Of course. Will it ever? Only if we change what we serve.

Everything to gain if we do. Everything to lose if we do not.

You can take THAT to the bank.

 

Going Deeper

Monday, April 9th, 2012

My colleague and friend, Dr Andrea Neal, of Blue Ocean Sciences, sent me this very cool piece on Tom’s Shoes (who I really admire) today.

It is very in theme for this blog series. Many of us are looking at ethics and architecture these days. It is essential if one really wants to make an accurate difference.

In surfing, being accurate is 90 percent of the battle in being competent and thriving. (I frequently relate everything back to the oceans)

To be there and successful in surfing you need to know the Architecture of the Earth and have skill. If you do that, your experience is challenging, rewarding and allows one to move forward without a serious hold down or wipe out. The best way to survive in challenging surf? Choose a wave that you know you can make. Don’t wipe out. Simple eh?

But you would be amazed at the number of people who refuse to apply these basic principles to things which they choose to support or believe in.

Flow

Flow

Here is how I see it:

Architecture, and really great design,  begins with the Philosophy of the designer.

In Nature (which was designed by God) you see this, the brilliance of great Architecture, as well as the heart of the philosophy being espoused.

Herein is contained both the problem and it’s solution.

It is not easy.

But it is simple.

God is Love.

Use Love as your benefit quantifier.

Watch what happens.

Seth Godin absolutely nails the validity of an accurate voice in his Blog today “Is Everyone Entitled to Their Opinion?”

Here is a fantastic piece on Man and Nature, by Frances Moore Lappe entitled “How to Think Like an Ecosystem”.

Drew Kampion states: “Life IS a wave”¬† So choose wisely. Or you may find yourself on one of these, below.

Beautiful Closeout

Beautiful Closeout

Pursuing Happy

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Happiness Is

Happiness Is

One of the things that always strikes me about Bali and the Balinese is the degree of happiness which exists.

Some may say that being happy is a choice. Well it is, sort of. But not the type of selection one may suspect. Happiness is in the choices open to you as an individual and member of a Community, and in the case of a Citizen of the US, the pursuit of it, is a National Guarantee.

Here is a fantastic read on Happiness, by Dr William B Stewart. Take close note of what he says about the US Bill of Rights and Constitution.

Peace

Peace

I very recently returned from Bali, a supposed “Third World” nation, to Ventura California. A place that by all rights and history, should be a bastion of freedom and happiness, seeing it was founded on the backs of settlers who became ranchers, farmers and¬† oil field workers. One would call those, “salt of the earth” types. People whose families and existence were based on the pursuit of happiness.

However, (and I write this with great reluctance) a cancer moved into my Community in the past decade. Lubricated by money and the pursuit and love of it, a Socio-Political faction obtained control of the town through the City Council and hiring of a dis-re located City Manager to run the town, which proved to be at the expense of the freedom and happiness of the township, which is a Corporation.

Repressive Disconnect

Repressive Disconnect

As the US economy spiraled into a new abyss, those people engaged in a philosophy of  City Governance one would at best call repressive, and at worst Totalitarian. The irony of course, being that most of the empowered are rather well paid at Taxpayer and Community expense.

Red Light Traffic cameras were installed, as a means of obtaining a new source of income. Parking pay stations were installed in the Downtown as a means of controlling traffic and the populace, under the guise of progress, killing it, at the expense of 1.8 million dollars. Only two City Council members resisted fairly consistently, Jim Monahan and Neil Andrews.¬† City¬† Mayor Bill Fulton, City Manager Rick Cole and the other Council members,¬† pushed for all of it,¬† on occasion, shouting down and conspiring against any who disagreed with the repressive and money losing attempts to create a “Sustainable Urban development” out of what is really a sprawling village.

Home

Home

I have long been involved in Ecological Study and Rules development and the more foot to the ground aspects of Environmentalism and Progressive development. I have never seen such an obvious attempt at Greenwashing and false flag flying under the guise of Sustainability, as I have seen by the leadership at large in Ventura Ca. Look into the backgrounds of the various members of City Governance and their allegiances, and you will find development companies and interests. You will find six figure salaries. You will find  a potential for corruption that makes Indonesian Govt look like a school for choir boys.

In Sustainable Systems, architecture demands that needs be met with available assets, thereby perpetuating the system itself. What Ventura has gotten shoved down it’s throat by these well compensated individuals is the opposite of that. It is the definition of Parasitism, where eventually the foreign entity kills or severely damages the host.

For this Community to thrive, the drain on it  must be removed.

Ever hear of the term “Proactive Zoning and Code Enforcement”? That is where the City Zoning and Code enforcement people show up at the door, flash a badge (They are actually NOT Law Enforcement) and ask to enter your home under the guise of A) Having a complaint lodged by some mystery person or B) Just wanting to make sure that your property is “safe”.

Then, IF the homeowner is gullible enough to let the inspector in, that CITY EMPLOYEE cites the occupant of the home (citizen) for anything that they can find and fine them for. Cannot pay it? No problem. The City of Ventura leins the home and it goes on the list for collection by the County Tax Assessor and sale later, by the County of Ventura if you still cannot pay. No kidding. Approx 148 homes are currently on that list and the Institute for Justice in Washington DC sent a letter to the City (watch their video on the 14th Amendment!), saying it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Not one of these homeowners was offered time payment plans or a hardship application.

A once proud heritage

A once proud heritage


So there is a City Council Election next week in Ventura, and three seats are being contested. The incumbents have made clear choices about their and the City’s future happiness. The challengers, (With the exception of candidate Cheryl Heitman, who moved to Ventura from Thousand Oaks this year) are long term members of the Community. Some have at great personal expense, fought against what has been done to their town. One of them, Ken Cozzens, is a retired Sheriff and local business owner (both highly qualifying vocations to have represented in office). Another, Carla Bonney, even went so far as to acquire nearly 12k Citizen signatures that would place the parking pay stations on the ballot, only to have her community building efforts be halted by City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who had been informed of the efforts all along. What he did looked very bad. It may have been what it looked like. It may not. But in any event, the people who all thought they should get the opportunity to VOTE on the changes rammed down their throats by the Mayor, City Council, Rick Cole and the Downtown Ventura Organization, were denied that opportunity.¬† Get the picture?

There is more. Much more.¬† I HATE dirty laundry, and my town like many, has skeletons which maybe ought not be exhumed. Or maybe they should? Ever read about our town Cemetery that was turned into a dog park illegally? Today, dogs walk where bodies still lie interred, the area scraped of grave markers, which were dumped in Hall Canyon. The City uses the issue to distract the public from the real issue: this large Midtown section of the city is the only section that has no real parks, so people continue to fight over the use of a cemetery. Legally, that is exactly what it still is. People’s families and the History of Ventura are buried there! No park for you, but here, have this cemetery. The dead won’t mind. After all, they are dead. The act violates all manner of State and Federal codes as well as the basic conventions of humanity in every culture of the earth. To make matters even more onerous, one James Sumner, a Medal of Honor holder, is also interred there. Ventura just wanted a park. Parks are happy places. Cemeteries are about something else. The bodies lie there still. Understand?

Goal of Governance

Goal of Governance

Now don’t get me wrong. Politics are dirty business and politicians seldom are leaders of any real sort. They typically only follow the money trail. So why expect Ventura to be different?

Because Venturans live there. And for that reason this tract of Coastal Land could possibly be one of the most vital assets in California. But only if Venturans determine the direction and application of Law, Civil Liberty, and Development. We must pursue Happiness. We must seek it out, architect it, and make it work for our future generations. There is smart growth in that. Anything less is just demise.

As the Occupy Movement and¬† crime in high places, struggle together for control, the only real chance for happiness, is for the community to assume control of it’s destiny, and in doing so, be allowed the opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. It is why I will not expatriate, much as I love the peace that exists elsewhere in the world. It is why I am and remain, an American. That is my choice. I am not paid to be here. I want to be here.

Want to see a happy future for your children? Occupy your town. Take it back from those who are there to milk it for personal gain. You and I must do this. There is no one else with that responsibility, who will do it for us.

I hope things change, yes. But regardless of who is in a City Govt position, we all have an investment in our Communities, and must believe it to be worth all of the struggle to restore, and must understand, that eventually, the townships of America will be occupied by the Citizens, and not prurient interests hiding behind false flags.

Icon of  Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Icon of Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Seems like a prudent thing to me: the pursuit of happiness. For everyone. It is why our founders wrote it into the Law.

My son Josh produced this. A young man who is an idealist rooted in the realism of our National Socio-Political condition.  A Venturan.  No Substitute.  He gets it. So should we.

Love your family. Cherish your Community. Occupy. Take your town back. Make it YOUR homeland. You restore our Country by doing so.

That is an honorable thing.

Light Fantastic: Happiness

Light Fantastic: Happiness

Beauty

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Beauty

Beauty

 

One of the linchpins in the success of my imaging career, has been the ability to recognize and communicate beauty. Sounds simple. The reality is far from that. The reason being, is that beauty is a complex subject, and really has little to do with obvious and apparent physical attributes.

Take the image above. Pretty girl. I made her prettier with my skills as a photographer. But what makes this beautiful, is understanding. Me taking the time to understand who and what she is, made me want to pursue working with her.¬† Jentry is the daughter of two¬† remarkable parents. She is a dancer with discipline, talent and creative vision, and has what I like to call: “purity of motivation”.

In other words, she “gets it”. That makes her inspiring. This translates to real beauty. You cannot forge beauty. It may be counterfeited to those who only see in the superficial tones¬† communicated in today’s highly compromised value systems. But true beauty will always be above corruption.

That is probably why I attach myself to the Ocean so willingly. It is difficult to corrupt that. It goes on. Powerful and Beautiful in it’s intricate workings and purpose. Water is life and carries within it the energy signature of the universe.¬† When we experience beauty, it resonates in the human heart in much the same manner as a string plucked or stroked on a musical instrument which vibrates and exudes sound.¬† Beauty is like that: pure in tone and motivation.

Blue Pulse

Blue Pulse

My phone rang early yesterday morning. I was online and engaged in a written conversation with Dr. Ed Brenegar about corruption in our culture. Ed is a very educated member of a global leadership community. He always seems to be on point and is generally writing what I am thinking .

The voice on the other end was my friend George Orbelian, who was ringing to speak with me regarding an event being put on by Tre Packard of the Japanese based Environmental action group, Pangea Seed.

Pangea is putting on an Art event in SF, and had sought some help in promoting it. I had suggested Tre speak with George, who is a loved and connected member of the SF Community, and heads a plethora of Organizations.

George is a busy man. He always gets right to the point. “David, what can you tell me about Pangea?” I went straight to the heart of it. I knew what George was asking. “They endeavor to change the perception of Japanese culture through Art and Inspiration, George. Being Japan based, they understand cultural tenets and know that in order to implement real change, the head on approach to Environmental Activism that we use in American Culture is ineffective. Pangea has what I would call a very pure approach. They communicate the beauty and importance of preserving sharks and other marine life, in building a healthy ocean and country. They get it.”

Eternal

Eternal

“That is perfect. Okay I know what to do”. George is like that. We all should be. One needs to check behind the facade these days. For often, what appears to be beautiful and pure, may be something else by the time you see it, than what it was when it was born.

I asked my friend a question. “George, are all Environmental Govt agencies and NGO’s corrupt? I mean, is that just the way things are today? ” (George heads up Project Kaisei, an NGO Environmental entity).

I gave him a brief account of a locally based NGO that was founded on the premise of serving the poor, and what I had recently learned about the leadership, one of which is paid a 200K annual salary.

Majesty

Majesty

“Let me tell you a story” George quietly launched into an account of some close friends of his, who had gone to India to do some humanitarian work. In process they found themselves in the facility of a world famous organization headed up by a global religious figurehead. What they saw there perplexed and alarmed them.

In the facility was a large  room being used as a nursery. Against one wall of the dirty room was a huge pile of toys apparently discarded and untouched. In cribs throughout the room where infants. Grimy, marginally cared for. George began to choke up and explained that this was difficult to talk of. He went on.

“As my friends began to pick up and meet each child, they realized that the children were being left in there. They were never taken outside. They tried to make a difference in caring for them. But it was obvious what was going on. (George describes in intimate detail what those aide workers saw. Chokes up more)

“Thanksgiving was a few days away. They figured that maybe they could help by easing the lot of the women in the religious order, who were a part of the operation. So each member of the party picked something to cook and on Thanksgiving, they brought the people at the orphanage a beautiful traditional American Thanksgiving meal.

As they brought it in, one of the workers there, realizing that the group was trying to do a good thing, took them aside and explained something. The people of the Religious order ate like that every day. A prestigious Hotel chain catered all of their meals. They also told them this: “And you see some of those unkempt babies? Those neglected, discarded children? Some of them were born to the members of the order.”

In tears, George explained “Everything goes this way, they are all bad. But they generally do not start out that way. It is just the process that organizations go through.”

In tears as well, I got it.

Beauty is an honorable state of being. The pretty face of the warm fuzzy thing you thing you feel compelled to “save”? Well, you may have just fed something corrupt. In not looking, and not endeavoring to see, you may have contributed to something evil.

No one wants to abuse babies.

People are what matter.

Be the solution.

Seek beauty.

Whisper

Whisper

 

When we do this, if we do this, we take the lead, and engage the creative process, rather than becoming a part of the destructive process, also known as entropy. That should matter greatly. It cedes to accountability and responsibility. Our organizations need this.

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© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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