Great Day!!

** the entire post-Darlington refurbishment hearing series of posts is explained, listed & linked here, at ‘Darlington Daze.’ ** Note: the posting here provides links for transcripts of the 4 day hearing & some recommendations of great "interventions" to read.

Had to spend another day (day # 3 of 4) at a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearing on the (proposed) refurbishment of the existing 4 reactors at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, east of Toronto, Ontario (Canada’s largest city & too darn close to not just one but two, count ‘em 2, nuclear plants).

A refurbishment plan that I totally oppose    

But guess what??

It turned out to be a GREAT day! 

A rambunctious bunch of feisty activists (many of whom had not met one another before, which made it even MORE fun!!) “spoke truth to power.” I always figure I myself am pretty feisty, but today by comparison I came off like a pussycat…

Holy moley there were some feisty, ballsy presenters!!   

I had helped persuade a couple of people to come & take part, & wound up feeling positively surrounded by the friendly, positive energy of good friends.

Howard Zinn said it so well. He said: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't “win,” there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” -- from Common Dreams <quoted by Rob Brezsny in his Oct. 31/12 message>

We may lose on this refurbishment (although I don’t think we will).

We may lose & experience a nasty nuclear accident (see Vandana Shiva quote below).

We may “lose” in any # of possible ways.

But even if we lose, we win.

We win when we act like members of a tribe – a tribe of like-minded people who care about each other & who all care deeply about this world we share.

I think we are acting like active, engaged, essential members of a humongous puzzle with the exact # of pieces as the # of people we are.

We’re all a part of this. We’re all needed. We’re all equal. We’re all welcome at this party.

& you know what else?

We’re having fun!

So even if we “lose,” we win.

Woo-hoo!!!!! How cool is that??

Janet   

p.s. hearing all those activists bravely telling the truth all day was like getting a huge breath of fresh air after being cooped up inside a stale, airless room. Thank you, thank you, thank you, all!!  & btw, a p.s. to this p.s., as it were: the 'Darlington Daze' section has a bunch more postings about this hearing. 

p.p.s. Vandana Shiva quote I had in mind: “Fukushima happened in a country which is probably the most rigorous, in terms of technology, in terms of scientific care, in terms of an accountability system. And if it can happen in Japan, Fukushima’s can happen anywhere. The point about nuclear is that accidents don’t happen in any nuclear power plant because of the calculation about your fission material. They happen because a generator stops. They happen because a cooling tower stops. They happen because of small mechanical failures which you can’t predict. But in the case of nuclear, which is a stupid technology because all you’re doing is creating fissionable material, creating radioactive material, using radioactive material, to boil water. The power doesn’t come from nuclear, the power comes from the water. Now, there are safer ways to boil water.” – Vandana Shiva, Ph. D., philosopher, world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, physicist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer & science policy advocate. Source of quote

p.p.p.s. as I said to some folks I e-mailed after the hearing was over, activism rocks!!  

p.s. # 4: please check out this posting for a list of other Darlington-refurbishment hearing-related postings on this blog. If you haven't already had quite enough, that is!?

<lots more great nuke-related quotes here & here>

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.” –  Joanna Macy & Molly Young Brown in Coming Back to Life – Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World

Runners-up for Q of the day

“Speak your mind, even when your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Grey Panthers, quoted on a bumper sticker 

“Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you will not succeed. You have already succeeded if you’re out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love.” – Doris Haddock (Granny D), who walked across America at the age of 89, to highlight the need for campaign finance reform

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein [more great Einstein quotes]

** Quotes on courage here