First Thoughts

‘WHEN A POLITICIAN tells you ‘there is no alternative,’ you know
something bad is about to happen. . . . It is never, ever true.
There is always an alternative, only you may not like it, and
denying this suggests that your own views have hardened into
dogmas, at which point it’s much easier to override qualms and
close down coal mines or bomb Iraqis.’
VISHVAPANI, Buddhist author/editor,
Dharma Life (Winter/Spring 2005)

‘THE DEMANDS — heard from pole to pole, for freedom, justice,
security, equality, education, a safe environment, and a better
life for the world’s children — are all grounded in, and reach
downward to, this elemental human need: silence, solitude, and the
right to rule one’s own thoughts: the sanity of the inner
NOEL PEATTIE, poet/librarian, Inner Life
(Regent Press)

‘YOU COULD BE listening to John Lee Hooker or you could be
listening to Berber musicians in the Sahara — the forms mingle.
You could send the Malians and the Moroccans and the guys from
Mississippi on a vacation together and they’d all recognize what
they were doing as the same thing.’
ROBERT PLANT, musician, Songlines
(May/June 2005)

‘NEWS ITEMS OF global importance such as the rapid shrinking of
the polar ice terrain or developments in the supply of oil are apt
to be buried in obscure paragraphs on inner pages whilst the front
page banner headlines are devoted to the personal foibles of some
prominent person who happens to be prominent because he or she is
JOHN PAPWORTH, Anglican minister/political
, Fourth World Review #132

‘I LIKE CONSERVATIVES. They’re opposed to all questionable
adventures abroad and for fiscal prudence and responsibility. It’s
right-wing nuts I can’t stand.’
MOLLY IVINS, columnist, Funny Times
(June 2005)

‘TO HELP IS to think that we have actually learned about
someone’s story of pain by merely gazing. To be responsible is to
realize how little we know.’
MEGHANA V. NAYAK, political science
, ColorLines (Summer 2005)

‘IF YOU ARE not grateful for what you receive, you will lose
SWAMI RADHA, yoga author, Ascent
(Winter 2004)

‘THE MOST HIGHLY developed parts of the human frontal cortex
that deal with decisions and social interactions are right next to
the parts that control taste and smell and movements of the mouth,
tongue, and gut. There is a reason we kiss potential mates — it’s
the most primitive way we know to check something out.’
HELEN PHILLIPS, science writer, New
Scientist (April 9, 2005)

‘HOW CAN THIS little two-syllable word, vulva, be surrounded by
such fear and confusion?’
, Lilith (Spring 2005)

‘One step in the right direction, if continued, leads away from
the path of destruction.’
JOSEPH BRUCHAC, naturalist
, At the End of Ridge Road (Milkweed

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