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Organizing a Journey for Justice Event: Writing a News Release

Organizing Journey Events
Journey Event Introduction
Organizing a Public Event
Find a Journey Leader

Register as a Journey XActivist
Types of Meetings
XSpeaker's Forum
XDiscussion Group
XPrivate Meeting
XMedia Appearance

Technical Assistance
Choosing a Meeting Location
Order Supplies

Publicity - You Want It!
XGetting an Audience
XYou and the Media
XNewspaper Listing
XRadio/TV Bulletin (PSA)
XNews Releases & Samples
XDesigning Flyers/Posters
XUsing Mail and Phone
XUsing the Internet!
XPublicizing a Journey Event XXon our Website

Sign-up Sheets/Petitions
Phone Tree
Volunteer Questionnaire

Grassroots Organizing
Getting Started
Starting a Local Group
Expanding Your Network
The First Meeting
Forming a Family Group

Making a Display

Vigil, Rally, Demonstrate
Presenting a Video Series

Reading Room
Intro & Contents
Media Resources
10 Tips to End the Drug War
Becoming an Activist

Communication Skills
Closing Your Letters/Memos
Tax Credits for Volunteers
Working with Legislators
Honest Hope and
XThe Hundredth Monkey
Overcoming Masculine

Adapted from; used with permission
Bottoms Up Version 1.0
©2001, 2003


From CoEvolution Magazine, No. 35, Fall 1982

Honest Hope

by Anne Herbert

I've been thinking about honest hope.

When we start to hope often we promise ourselves too much. If this one thing changes, we say, then it will all change - injustice disappear and no more lonely days, lonely nights, for anyone, for me.

The war ends, we/they get the vote, waking up each day stays too much the same, people find new ways to steal joy from each other.

Give up, hide, lost dreams turn to headaches because we refuse to cry.

If we started with honest hope, could we go farther do you think? What would honest hope be like? What can we honestly hope for?

Time. The lie often has to do with too soon. The hopeless (lazy) say, "It'll never happen," and the hopeful say, "Yes, it will, and soon" - turning to the angry "NOW!" Some of it does happen now, some never, but mostly it happens some odd kin of not soon enough. Not soon enough for the hoping workers to notice that it happened. They've given up or want so much more it doesn't matter.

Percentages of a single lifetime may be too short for honest hope to live in.

I don't know, words keep trying to fit together, honesty, hope, seeds, garden, forest. Who'd have guessed a seed would do that, get so large? To be alive you have to have the quick seeds, tomatoes to plant and eat, and corn. Easy to remember, if you remember to remember, that it was you that started this good thing happening not long ago. But also we need to plant the forests, and tend them, and leave space for them to tend themselves.

Assembly line time, we're trapped in making things fast that break fast and thinking that something has happened. That magic moment, ablaze in television lights, praised in jingle and slogan, when you stand in the store and buy the new doohickus, when you believe it's going to make the difference, that moment is short. Other moments, less famous, are longer. Kachunk, kachunk, I can't wait to leave, where's oblivion -- moments of making the shiny object go on a while, and there are many of them.

Then there's Christmas afternoon and it breaks. Even if it doesn't break, or not as soon as Christmas afternoon, it doesn't come close to touching your store hope. It doesn't change things. That short hope breaks in the many moments of the thing bored people made aging, but sometimes I don't notice because I'm on to other hopes, the next great purchase.

Tree time. Tree time takes longer. Trees, when they grow up, you don't think if you still like them. Your opinion is not the point. Tree time takes learning in a group of people like us where the rhythm of life has been determined (baba - boom, baba - boom) by tightening ten lugs a minute and on to the next car. If we're lucky we don't work there, but we measure our luck by how many things we can buy that were made there, and how fast we can buy them.

Pea pod time could teach you tree time. Fresh vegetables from the garden take longer than "this factory turns out twenty seven hundred gadgies an hour" and are part of a species long love affair with your mouth, take a while to happen and don't let you down. It's hard to remember how good they taste and then they wake up green pleasure cells you didn't know you had, the opposite of the third dent on the car and watching the dust settle on the electric knife sharpener.

Growing stuff with curves might match time more than building stuff with angles.

Honest hope and true time.

Real, slow-growing, long-lasting, hard-standing changes, like trees, never come up and pat you on the head and say, "You did it, kid, you made me possible, and you're terrific and I'm grateful as hell."

Because: 1) you might be dead by the time they're big and tall and you'll surely be different than when first hope caught you; 2) something that substantial you weren't the only variable that varied to make room for it; 3) trees and big changes aren't interested in personalities, even yours.

Honest hope. Plan to get your warm fuzzies someplace else. (What are friends for?) Hope that melts things and makes them new is as huggable as a flame. But warm at the right distance. The right uses of hope and the right distance. Get too close to the campfire, you get blisters, you get wounds. Stare at the flicker too long, you get crazy. Warm your butt and move it. Get to work.

The Hundredth Monkey

From the book The Hundredth Monkey, by Ken Keyes, Jr.

There is a phenomenon I'd like to tell you about. In it may lie our only hope of a future for our species! Here is the story of the Hundredth Monkey:

The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, has been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers, too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958, all the young monkeys learned to wash sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social mprovement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes - the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. THEN IT HAPPENED!

By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice. The most surprising thing observed by these scientists was the habit of washing sweet potatoes then spontaneously jumped over the sea. Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes! Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

Although the exact number may vary, the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the consciousness property of these people.

But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness reaches almost everyone!

Whatever that critical number is, you are needed to save our civilization.

That quote is from an easy to read, profound, cheap book about making the difference that stops the wars. The Hundredth Monkey, by Ken Keyes, Jr. (1981; from Vision Books, St, Mary, KY 40063 or the Whole Earth Household Store). - Anne Herbert


  End the Drug War!