Quiet and Change

Quiet and Change

On the TV, I watched a man
Get the shit kicked out of his head
Over there in Syria just the other day.
No one should cause
Another person pain like that

Right now, humans are a pretty scrappy species
Fighting sometimes when talk is better
Sometimes picking on each other for no reason
A lot of terrible things go on every day
But you know, much to like goes on too

Now, I’m one who hopes
For a wiser, kinder mankind, as many do
I know humans always improve
From the bottom up
And the inside out
One person at a time
Sometimes improving mean you change
Sometimes improving means
Finding a good use for what is already there
Sometimes improving means you gather
Sometime improving means you throw away
Sometimes improving means
Finding out what’s there ain’t too shabby

Cats are pretty good at being cats
If you don’t think a lot of humans
Are very good at being humans
Look at yourself
Do you like yourself?
Ain’t that funny
How the only two decent people on the planet—
Me and you
Happen to be talking to each other?
Lotta good people on this planet, if you ask me
Lotta foolish people too, it’s true

If you are going to be a kind person
You gotta act kind
If nations are going to be kind
They gotta act kind
Humans are intelligent enough
To make our future
Into what we want it to be
If you don’t like our life the way it is
Or if you don’t the way you are
Then get busy changing
And if you’re the kinda person
Who likes themselves a little too much
Believe me, life will be happy
To teach you a few lessons

Learn from what is around you
Learn from what is inside
Look for the quiet and change
Already in nature
Look for the quiet and change
Already inside

Remember the only person
You’re sure to improve if you’re so inclined
Is you
What do you want to try?
What are you gonna do?

Dewey Dirks

Dancer

Dancer

Las Vegas is a brightly shining city
that never has any time to sleep.
You never really know
who you might be talking to
or who you might happen to meet.
There is a little place called Palladium Station.
out in the suburbs of that big old town.
If you go down there on a Wednesday night
you’ll find Jessie tending bar.
I used to drop in to see her
have a drink and chat from time to time.

One night when it was kind of slow
Jessie said to me,
“’Years past I was a dancer
in a brightly lit chorus line.
I learned from one of the best there was.
She had high hopes for me.
We had a lot of mutual respect.
I used to really sparkle up there on the stage.
I used to really shine.
I had a hope or two of going even farther.
‘Had a hope or two of having even more
of that diamond time.
But, you know, life is what happens
while you’re busy making plans.
I got a husband and two children.
and had to leave that chorus line behind.
Now I only dance to teach a few kids
over at the dancing school.”
Jessie stopped to draw a guy a miller.
When she came back she smiled and quietly said,
“There’s times in the dark of night as I fall to sleep
I wonder what might have been
if my life had turned out differently
and a little more like I’d planned.”

I said, “I am a writer.
I make my art with a pen.
Jessie, you’re an artist too
and you make art with your body
like an antelope running across the savanna
or a tree moving gently in the wind.
They say that art is its own point for happening
and improves upon the beauty of the world
like the stars in the sky at night
or a sunrise in the morning
painting the day ahead.
They say life has a strange way of happening.
It takes you down roads you never expected
and paths that sometimes turn out better
than you ever could have planned.

If your art becomes famous
you get to shine brightly for a few years
until your limelight begins to fade
then you spend your time reminiscing
about the glory days behind you.
instead of paying attention to
the time you’ve got left.
Show off your art
and you brighten the world for day or two.
But if you teach your art
to the young ones who come after you
you can see your sun rising
a thousand times over
in the long years ahead.”

Dewey Dirks

Decent Behavior

Rules for Decent Human Behavior

1) There is something right and something wrong in virtually everything you encounter. Find both. Look for the truth in things, and remember that it almost always lies somewhere in between.

2) Live well-balanced on three legs. Do this by everyday spending as much time as you can at each at the following tasks:

a. Working or creating something.
b. Relaxing by doing something enjoyable.
c. Talking to someone you love.

3) Keep your life as simple as you can.

4) Always remember that hidden within almost every problem is an opportunity.

5) Always be kind, considerate, and fair. Bring no harm. Do not hold on to resentment. Never let go of hope. Remember to share. When you have to compromise, maximize everyone’s benefit, minimize everyone’s harm. Do not do anything you cannot respect others doing. This is called acting with honor.

6) Be aware of people’s weaknesses, but concentrate on their strengths. Keep your own affairs tidy, let others tend to theirs. If you cannot find something to respect about someone, it is your shortcoming, not theirs. This is called seeking what is reasonable in yourself and others.

7) When you are in charge, run things with as much kindness as you can muster, and keep your rules as few and simple as possible.

8) Always value people over institutions or items.

9) Prefer letting be to meddling.

10) Be true to your word.

11) Do not ask for a favor you cannot return in kind.

—- From “The Questioning Way” by Dewey Dirks

  • Connected

    Connected

    Connected, connected
    we all are connected!
    Like God has a net
    like the earth has a web
    we all are connected in the vast fabric
    of the biosphere of our planet

    In Africa, thousands of years ago,
    a tribe exhibiting the human adaptation
    for cutting down rainforests
    moved into an area of rainforest
    inhabited by malaria carrying mosquitoes.

    The tribe cut down the rainforest.
    The change in the environment
    allowed previously less successful
    malaria parasites
    and malaria carrying mosquitoes
    to vastly increase in number.

    Since many animals that inhabited the rainforest
    had to leave when it was cut down,
    and since more humans
    now lived in the area
    due to their greater food production
    more humans were both reproduced
    and killed by malaria.

    Humans in the area were then put under selective pressure
    by natural selection to select for the sickle-cell genes.
    because sickle-cell genes carry a strong resistance
    to malaria
    In a few generations,
    a significant portion of the human population
    in the area
    carried the sickle-cell gene.

    The reasons for the malaria
    and the sickle-cell gene remained unknown
    for many generations
    until another human culture
    from across the Atlantic ocean
    holding other culturally evolved points of view
    noticed that the incidence
    of both a resistance to malaria
    and the sickle-cell gene coincided
    in a certain area of Africa.

    All humans are naturally curious beings
    because our habit of using cultural adaptation ensures
    that natural, sexual and kin selection all likely to select
    for curiosity in humans.
    So, the sickle-cell data represented a mystery
    for naturally curious humans to solve.

    Investigating the mystery
    caused humans to increase our knowledge base
    thereby increasing our ability to adapt.
    So, the complex interactions between several features
    of the world including rainforest trees,
    mosquitoes, parasites, and humans across many generations
    all combined by means of phenotypical adaptation,
    natural selection, sexual selection, and kin selection
    to result in (among many other things)
    an increase in human adaptability
    and this poem….

    And that, my friends
    is a good example of how interconnected
    our biosphere actually is.
    God has a net
    The earth has a web

    Dewey Dirks

    Three For The Times

    Painted Into A Corner

    In times like these
    When all the world
    is starting to change
    Lotta people are very worried
    Lotta people don’t know
    what might happen next
    I’m here to tell you the changes
    that are coming are because
    of a very good thing

    Big countries, my friends
    over sixty years ago
    all grew so powerful
    with weapons of war so destructive
    that they could no longer fight each other
    so, they fought against each other
    by using smaller countries
    like Vietnam and Korea

    Now, here in the early 21st century
    even smaller countries have grown
    so skilled at making war
    that big countries can no longer
    fight them and expect
    to hold onto them for very long

    Here we are with our huge societies
    and economies
    that are used to making weapons
    no one can use much anymore
    So the changes that are coming our way
    All involve changing our economies
    in ways to reward
    much more than just greed
    and making war on each other

    My friends the real reason
    why things need to change
    is because technologically
    Humanity has painted
    ourselves into a corner
    when it comes to making war.

    Our leaders
    are very worried only because
    they know the old ways
    of doing everything
    from business to diplomacy
    needs to change
    and no one has figured out how
    to do that just yet

    Dewey Dirks

    Simple As That

    A human is as complex
    as creativity
    and as simple as two hands
    a mouth
    and two feet

    Breath deeply
    Hold your lover close
    under soft sheets tonight
    Rest as best you can

    Tomorrow
    for some of us, yesterdays mistakes
    will mire us in the mud
    yet one more day
    and do nothing but hold us back
    While others will craft those same mistakes
    with love and care
    into stepping stones…

    Touch the future
    with your hopes and dreams tonight
    My friends, I promise you this—
    Love runs very, very deep
    in the human heart
    We all have souls
    brilliant and strong
    made of stardust, hopes,
    and hard lessons learned
    from lost loved ones pain

    Seven billion eyes close tonight
    each person with their own set
    of worries, aspirations, and plans
    Each person with ideas swimming
    around in their head
    wishing for a better world
    one way or another

    Seven billion eyes will open
    In the morning
    as we each awake
    What used to be tomorrow
    will become today
    The truth
    lost on most of us
    in plain sight
    is that the distance between
    where we are
    and where we want to be
    is one day closer
    one day more hopeful
    one day wiser
    one day more resolute

    Humans
    are a very resourceful species
    We all know we cannot live long
    living as we have in the past
    and so, we’ll change
    simple as that.

    Dewey Dirks

    Changes

    Don’t worry about whether or not
    things are going to change.
    The change has already happened.
    It is the best kind of change.
    One that is based on hope and love.
    It’s just going to take some time
    for the cultures of our planet
    to do the work
    and for everyone to realize
    the extent of what has happened.
    Like most people who are
    isolated from life, our leaders
    are likely to be among the last
    to find out.

    Dewey Dirks

    Men of Peace

    Men of Peace

    There have been many men of war
    They come and they go.
    Do you remember all their names?
    That is because it is easier to fight
    Than it is to be intelligent.
    In the fullness of time
    the men whom
    everyone everywhere remembers
    The men whom we teach our children
    to aspire to
    The men on whose words
    our science, entire religions, cultures
    and systems of morality
    are all built around.
    Jesus, Mohammad, Socrates
    Aristotle, Plato,
    Confucius, Lao Tzu,
    Gandhi, and Buddha
    These, my friends,
    were men of peace.

    Dewey Dirks