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