Where From Here?

I am wondering this. I am sure we all are. The answers won’t be in this blog post. But sometimes, to make sense of the present, we must look backward from the future…:

“You’ve asked me to tell you of The Great Turning, of how we saved the
world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.

“For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from
the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in
Africa.

“We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the
drunken father or the friend betrayed.

“Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn
away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too
quickly, too mindlessly towards its own demise.

“Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place,
inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and
loss, anger and grief.

“Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

“Turned to face the pain. Turned to face the stranger. Tuned to look
at the smoldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.

“And then another turned. And another. And another. And as they wept,
they took each other’s hands.

“Until whole groups of peole were turning. Young and old, gay and
straight. People of all colors, all nations, all religions. Turning
not only to the pain and hurt but to beauty, gratitude and love,
Turning to one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in
their hearts…”

– Christine Fry, “The Great Turning” (October 19, 2004) | Found at: http://www.joannamacy.net

2 Responses to “Where From Here?”


  1. 1 Ruby Solution Dec 19th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Moving poem. It brought a lump to my throat. The only way to get past pain is to face it–then move through it, to come out the other side and once again feel good about oneself. This requires courage, focus, and the ability to withstand some pain. This will elevate our threshhold for pain and so the next bout will be that much easier. Shouldering pain together, as a human race, nurtures and bonds us. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt prose.

  2. 2 Nate Dec 31st, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    On a different note, I found this article http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=3225220 listing the greenest cities in the US. This shows that municipalities care about climate change. I guess the general population cares about the environment and global warming. My score on their calculator was 400 but at least I am trying. Here is the link to the website that published the list of cites and where the carbon calculator can be found: http://www.earthlab.com. The test took me like 5 minutes tops, and then maybe another 2 minutes to find the pledges I wanted. Pretty cool application.

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About Zo


A rare combination of songwriter, coach, and social movement organizer, Zo Tobi offers socially conscious rock music and life & leadership coaching to inspire, empower, and refuel changemakers. With the epic soundscapes of the Dave Matthews Band, positive message of Michael Franti, and soulful intensity of Ben Harper, Zo’s soul-stirring, crowd-rousing brand of socially conscious rock is a transformative journey into the heart of social change and spiritual revival. Through life & leadership coaching, training, and facilitation, Zo helps changemakers, teams, and organizations make the difference they’re here to make, with more joy and less struggle. Inspired by a reverence for life, a hunger for justice, and a belief in human potential, Zo has logged over 100 live performances as a songwriter; empowered thousands of young leaders as a former organizer with the Sierra Student Coalition and as former Co-Director of Generation Waking Up; and supported over 100 changemakers as a professional life and leadership coach. Zo holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development & Social Change with a Minor in Economics from Clark University. He is a certified professional coach and licensed trainer through the Academy for Coaching Excellence, and also formerly Community Fellow in the influential “Organizing: People, Power, Change” course with prominent organizer and Harvard Professor, Marshall Ganz. Zo lives in Berkeley, CA with his fiancee and adventure friend, Kelly Shannon.

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