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The past couple of weeks have enacted, endep in canada what one of my friends would define, endep in canada an 'earthquake'  of events which have increasingly created more of a world's global awakening. Endep in canada The series of events, endep in canada namely the voyages of the seven boats carrying activists, endep in canada aid and supplies to Gaza has forced the reality of the situation in the Middle East out of the media black out and into the light of recognition, endep in canada especially here in the United States. With any 'shift' of awareness or understanding that comes from violent, endep in canada inexplicable acts , endep in canada there still remain opportunities for growth and change. Endep in canada   I don't think there are many, endep in canada if any, endep in canada who better express such pivotal moments of opportunity and awareness better than Alice Walker. Endep in canada   I was incredibly moved by an interview Ms. Endep in canada Walker did while walking through the rubble and destruction inflicted on the Gaza community in 2009, endep in canada which I posted not long ago. Like the quote I posted from her impactful piece she wrote after the attacks on the Freegaza fleet, endep in canada I have found great comfort in picking up her book, endep in canada "We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For".  What a gift we have in Alice Walker. Endep in canada I read the introduction and immediately it spoke to the weariness I, endep in canada and so many of us, endep in canada are experiencing in watching what is happening on our planet. Endep in canada As luck and perhaps serendipity would have, endep in canada I found her introduction on line and hope in light of all taking place today, endep in canada it will be considered appropriate to post here, endep in canada so that others may find some comfort in her words as well as feel compelled to buy such a wonderful book. I hope you appreciate as much as I have. We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker Excerpted from Alice Walker’s We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness, endep in canada first published by The New Press, endep in canada November 1, endep in canada 2006. Endep in canada Reprinted by permission of The Wendy Weil Agency, endep in canada Inc. Endep in canada &copy2006 by Alice Walker.  http://www.feminist.com/resources/artspeech/genwom/wearetheones.html INTRODUCTION It is the worst of times. Endep in canada It is the best of times. Endep in canada Try as I might I cannot find a more appropriate opening for this volume: it helps tremendously that these words have been spoken before and, endep in canada thanks to Charles Dickens, endep in canada written at the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities. Endep in canada Perhaps they have been spoken, endep in canada written, endep in canada thought, endep in canada an endless number of times throughout human history. Endep in canada It is the worst of times because it feels as though the very Earth is being stolen from us, endep in canada by us: the land and air poisoned, endep in canada the water polluted, endep in canada the animals disappeared, endep in canada humans degraded and misguided. Endep in canada War is everywhere. Endep in canada It is the best of times because we have entered a period, endep in canada if we can bring ourselves to pay attention, endep in canada of great clarity as to cause and effect. Endep in canada A blessing when we consider how much suffering human beings have endured, endep in canada in previous millennia, endep in canada without a clue to its cause. Endep in canada Gods and Goddesses were no doubt created to fill this gap. Endep in canada Because we can now see into every crevice of the globe and because we are free to explore previously unexplored crevices in our own hearts and minds, endep in canada it is inevitable that everything we have needed to comprehend in order to survive, endep in canada everything we have needed to understand in the most basic of ways, endep in canada will be illuminated now. Endep in canada We have only to open our eyes, endep in canada and awaken to our predicament. Endep in canada We see that we are, endep in canada alas, endep in canada a huge part of our problem. Endep in canada However: We live in a time of global enlightenment. Endep in canada This alone should make us shout for joy. It is as if ancient graves, endep in canada hidden deep in the shadows of the psyche and the earth, endep in canada are breaking open of their own accord. Endep in canada Unwilling to be silent any longer. Endep in canada Incapable of silence. Endep in canada No leader or people of any country will be safe from these upheavals that lead to exposure, endep in canada no matter how much the news is managed or how long people’s grievances have been kept quiet. Endep in canada Human beings may well be unable to break free of the dictatorship of greed that spreads like a miasma over the world, endep in canada but no longer will we be an inarticulate and ignorant humanity, endep in canada confused by our enslavement to superior cruelty and weaponry. Endep in canada We will know at least a bit of the truth about what is going on, endep in canada and that will set us free. Endep in canada Perhaps not free in the old way of thinking about freedom, endep in canada as literal escape from enslavement in its various forms, endep in canada but free in our understanding that our domination is not a comment on our worth. Endep in canada It is an awesome era in which to live. It was the poet June Jordan who wrote "We are the ones we have been waiting for." Sweet Honey in the Rock turned those words into a song. Endep in canada Hearing this song, endep in canada I have witnessed thousands of people rise to their feet in joyful recognition and affirmation. Endep in canada We are the ones we’ve been waiting for because we are able to see what is happening with a much greater awareness than our parents or grandparents, endep in canada our ancestors, endep in canada could see. Endep in canada This does not mean we believe, endep in canada having seen the greater truth of how all oppression is connected, endep in canada how pervasive and unrelenting, endep in canada that we can "fix" things. Endep in canada But some of us are not content to have a gap in opportunity and income that drives a wedge between rich and poor, endep in canada causing the rich to become ever more callous and complacent and the poor to become ever more wretched and humiliated. Endep in canada Not willing to ignore starving and brutalized children. Endep in canada Not willing to let women be stoned or mutilated without protest. Endep in canada Not willing to stand quietly by as farmers are destroyed by people who have never farmed, endep in canada and plants are engineered to self-destruct. Endep in canada Not willing to disappear into our flower gardens, endep in canada Mercedes Benzes or sylvan lawns. Endep in canada We have wanted all our lives to know that Earth, endep in canada who has somehow obtained human beings as her custodians, endep in canada was also capable of creating humans who could minister to her needs, endep in canada and the needs of her creation. Endep in canada We are the ones. June Jordan, endep in canada who died of cancer in 2002, endep in canada was a brilliant, endep in canada fierce, endep in canada radical, endep in canada and frequently furious poet. Endep in canada We were friends for thirty years. Endep in canada Not once in that time did she step back from what was transpiring politically and morally in the world. Endep in canada She spoke up, endep in canada and led her students, endep in canada whom she adored, endep in canada to do the same. We were not friends who saw each other often; not the kind of friends who discussed unpublished work. Endep in canada In fact, endep in canada we sometimes disagreed profoundly with each other. Endep in canada We were the kind of friends, endep in canada instead, endep in canada who understood that we were forever on the same side: the side of the poor, endep in canada the economically, endep in canada spiritually and politically oppressed, endep in canada “the wretched of the earth.” And on the side, endep in canada too, endep in canada of the revolutionaries, endep in canada teachers and spiritual leaders who seek transformation of the world. Endep in canada That any argument arising between us would be silenced as we turned our combined energy to scrutinize an oncoming foe. Endep in canada I took great comfort in this reality. Endep in canada It seems a model of what can help us rebalance the world. Endep in canada Friendship with others: populations, endep in canada peoples, endep in canada countries, endep in canada that is, endep in canada in a sense, endep in canada impersonal. Many people are already working on this model. Endep in canada They are the ones who go to places like Afghanistan and Iraq and place their bodies between the bombs of the United States and the infrastructure of the local water supply. Endep in canada They are the ones who collect food and medicine for those deprived. Endep in canada The ones who monitor the war(s) and report news that would not otherwise be heard. Endep in canada They are the ones who feel no joy at another’s defeat. Endep in canada No satisfaction at another’s pain. In fact, endep in canada the happiness that imbues this kind of friendship, endep in canada whether for an individual or a country, endep in canada or an act, endep in canada is like an inner light, endep in canada a compass we might steer by as we set out across the lengthening darkness. Endep in canada It comes from the simple belief and understanding that what one is feeling and doing is right. Endep in canada That it is right to protect rather than terrorize others; right to feed people rather than withhold food and medicine; right to want the freedom and joyful existence of all humankind. Endep in canada Right to want this freedom and joy for all creatures that exist already, endep in canada or that might come into existence. Endep in canada Existence, endep in canada we are now learning, endep in canada is not finished! It is a happiness that comes from honoring the peace or the possibility of peace that lives within one’s own heart. Endep in canada A deep knowing that we are the Earth—our separation from Earth perhaps our greatest illusion—and that we stand, endep in canada with gratitude and love, endep in canada by our planetary Self. * * * Excerpted from Alice Walker’s We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness, endep in canada first published by The New Press, endep in canada November 1, endep in canada 2006. Endep in canada Reprinted by permission of The Wendy Weil Agency, endep in canada Inc. Endep in canada &copy2006 by Alice Walker.   Alice Walker's website can be found at: http://www.alicewalkersgarden.com/alice_walker_welcom.html