“Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.” As a reader, what does this convey to you? As for me, a once normal human being, now living in the rain forest of Costa Rica for the past six years. It speaks to the very fiber of my being. At times, I find myself in luxury accommodations and at times, not so. During this period I have spent more of that invaluable time with nature, untamed animals, the most bio-diverse eco system, and insects. I have come up with countless observations on the behavior of members of the human species.
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A curious creature, one can never get too far away, until they do and are gone from this club forever. I made a decision at a particular crossroads. A decision to maintain music, the arts, education, and all things societal and cultural in my life. There are those, like the president of the United States, who make one feel like I made the wrong decision. And then there are those who rise from the ashes, like a Pheonix, to let me know that there is hope.
After getting up to date on political affairs and the fallout of a failed democracy, last week. There was one clear message that came to me. It rang out like the quatrain of an ancient prophet,
Soon, you will get comfortable and feel normal again living in a non-republic. You will maintain a slave… I mean, a working class. The ruling class will get wealthier but they needed to in order to pay for the cost of packaging new forms of food in new forms of plastic.
Animals will not exist as you know them today.
Water will be respected more.
It was at the very end of the statement, the last two lines, that impacted me profoundly. In the last five years, my relationship with animals has reached a level that became inexplicable to anyone else. When I realized that the audience of “anyone else” only included one species, I decided to broaden my internal understanding of what I was feeling. One person with a message can have that message transmitted in ways other than normal human speech with the right intention and beliefs.
I do not have a boob-tube and did not stream last night’s Oscar 2020 awards. But I did get the chance to read the news the following day. What Joaquin Pheonix mentions in his speech made an impact around the world and across species. When this conversation comes from the very fabric of your being, you will be heard around the world by all living beings. The following is the transcription of Pheonix’s speech. My hope is that it reaches you as well.
[We have to] continue to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel, or were made to feel, that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity.
I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world, and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric worldview — the belief that we’re the center of the universe. We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then, we take her milk, that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, and I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up. But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.
Now, I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of community.
When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. It said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.