Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cultivating leaps of faith

Just read this piece, America's Youth Uprising, in the March 5 / 12 issue of The Nation, which reminds me that it does matter that people stand up.

It has made a difference to me: I am willing to stand up, too.

Also, the piece reminded me that anthropology matters in all this:

I could not help recalling on that remarkable night the response of Claude Lévi-Strauss to requests that he identify the “golden age” of human civilization. The father of modern anthropology rejected the question as absurd on its face, and absurdly disempowering in its implications. In Tristes Tropiques, Lévi-Strauss explained that “if men have always been concerned with only one task—how to create a society fit to live in—the forces which inspired our distant ancestors are also present in us. Nothing is settled; everything can still be altered. What was done but turned out wrong, can be done again. ‘The Golden Age,’ which blind superstition had placed behind [or ahead of] us, is in us.” Those are not blandly optimistic words. They are demanding. They suggest that we have fewer excuses than we thought, that this is the place, that now is the time and that there is truth in the maxim that we are the people we’ve been waiting for.

That Levi-Strauss. He is good to think (and act!) with.

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