Letters To The Editor: Musings, Dolphins and Praise

An Uncluttered Peace
Bravo on the “Musings” in this latest issue (Sep/Oct 02). I am reminded of my late husband Larkin’s comments just after September 11 last year: he was aghast at the way so many — the majority — of our fellow Americans did not have any idea how our over-consumption and materialistic ways had played a huge part in the creation of the hatred that destroyed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and killed so many of our people. He spent much of the last few months of his life on this Earth writing an essay which he courageously sent to as many leaders as he could, including the President.

I applaud your courage printing your strong words. I pray that as many of us as possible continue to nurture the silence within, slowing us down enough to hear the Earth and the love she has for us. In clearing out much of the clutter left behind by Larkin’s illness and my own stuff as well, I am reaching a new level of simplicity and respect for our blessed land. I hope others who come here can feel the opened spaces and find their own way toward renewed respect and love for themselves and the people they touch.

Keep doing the great work you are doing. Many blessings to you.

Lyndsey Watson
On-line submission

Two Faces of Beauty

(September / October 2002 issue)

Dear Carol,
I am responding to Nora Traviss’ letter to you (Sept/Oct ‘02) regarding the benefits of natural skin care. As with most issues, there are two sides. I’d like to offer to the other side. As a proponent for natural healing remedies, Reiki practitioner and also a chemical engineer I feel the responsibility to respond to her letter.

If the FDA, OSHA, EPA or NTP has never linked SLS [sodium lauryl sulfate] to cancer, it does not mean that this compound (or any other they endorse) is safe for topical application or ingestion. If one looks into the issue a little further, they will see that the majority of studies are not based on repeated exposure over time. Repeated exposure over time is the most important factor in a viable study of this sort. Please keep in mind that the government did not step in two decades ago after the first Surgeon General’s report regarding the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes, and the government also did not admit to the harmful effects of olean to the digestive tract until after the product had been approved and marketed to the public as “safe” and people were experiencing illness. These are only two examples of where the studies fall short.

SLS is a caustic compound that breaks down the surface tension of water. Water is the most abundant constituent comprising 60% of the body’s total weight. PG [propylene glycol] is a petroleum derivative with many applications. Again, the question to ask is, with repeated exposure over time, what might PG do to our blood, proteins, cellular structure, skin cell growth or cell respiration? What might SLS do to the moisture retaining ability of our skin cells with long term application? Both compounds are used because they are cheap, available and allowed. Manufacturers see the other manufacturers using it and think, “it must be okay.” Besides, it meets their bottom line and as long as the government endorses it, they are not doing anything illegal.

I don’t agree in calling this or any other issue where there are two sides, and either side believes they are exposing misinformation, as “fear based marketing.” We shouldn’t live in fear but instead in strength. There is strength in bringing to light awareness of all aspects of an issue so individuals can make educated decisions. I have found that where there is termed “fear based marketing,” there is truth that is being suppressed. Or else why would there be a need to attach such a negative label?

Studies will always be ongoing in this area and there will always be a study in favor and a study in opposition. The manufacturers market to the “consumer.” We are not consumers; we are living, breathing, thinking, intelligent human beings with a life force. As educated souls, we need to honor ourselves, educate ourselves and make decisions based on what our thoughts, our intuition and our bodies are telling us and not based on what the latest study reports.

Nina Capobianco
Online submission

Dolphin Rescue by Mail

(November / December 2002 issue)

I was thinking of writing a letter since I thought most people write email letters and my way of simplifying my life is not to have a computer. I wanted to compliment you on giving the addresses of two groups to contribute to (Nov/Dec ‘02): Julia Butterfly Hill’s group [Circle of Life Foundation] and also the group of Mayan women who are supporting the Midwives and their education [International Maya League]. I think that’s really terrific and I really appreciate the fact that you give phone numbers and addresses and not just web sites, because for people like me, that makes all the difference. I wanted to ask for two groups mentioned in “Collateral Damage” article that were not given any addresses. They are Ocean Mammal Institute and the National Resources Defense Council. Thanks so much.

Address withheld

Dear Mary,
Here’s the information you requested, plus the websites for those who are interested. Your interest and activism on behalf of these important issues is greatly appreciated! Ocean Mammal Institute , PO Box 14422, Reading, PA 19612. 800-226-8216. http://www.oceanmammalinst.orgNatural Resources Defense Council , 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011. 212-727-2700.http://www.nrdc.org — Editor

Musings, Hippies and Praise

(September / October 2002 issue)

Dear Carol,
Once again you have provided a thoughtful, insightful editorial for Spirit of Change readers in the Sept/Oct issue. Your personal musings are often my favorite part of the publication. I am grateful that you spoke of the Mexican grandmother’s intense grief and on the same page mentioned the work of Derrick Jensen, a writer who draws powerful connections. His most recent book, The Culture of Make Believe, brings forth many of the issues you mention in this column. I encourage everyone to read it! We must be able to look at difficult realities without flinching before we can build a new culture of peace and sustainability.

With gratitude,
Carol Harley
Online submission

Hello there, friend,
I just finished reading through this issue of Spirit of Change, and was quite inspired by the Musings and poetry of its making. I really enjoyed Ken Pratt’s piece which was interesting. I also enjoyed Robert Alter’s very introspective and wise piece, and was inspired by Sandy Raynor as well. I think those of us who were not physically a part of “the 60’s,” yet can identify with the spirit and compelling drive for change of that time, have felt somewhat lost as to how to tap into that revolution of the heart again. Especially these days, as we are “perched on this point between destruction and ascension,” there is this hunger, this need for deeper, life-altering change in each of our lives, and thus across our entire Earth. It’s so scary how easy it is for so many of us in this society to really segregate ourselves and thus become blinded with all the materialistic comfort of toys and things — “stuff.” We’re so addicted to this way of living, we must be weaned from this addiction of great evil!!

Jen Clayton
Online submission

Dear Carol Bedrosian,
Nice article — Musings. It does seem that as long as we continue to draw and recognize and adjust and honor and violate lines which aren’t really there, that is, those lines between countries and religions and schools of thought and belief and stubbornness, etc., that we will also continue to defend them. “Imagine there’s no country…” from the same song you quote from. Is it irony that so much fuss is made, so much blood is spilled, over those very lines, boundaries, which are imagined? Perhaps, some day, they will dissolve.

Ed Conaty
Online submission

Please send Letters to the Editor to: info@spiritofchange.org. Letters may be edited for clarity or length.