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My local coffee shop, Caribou at City Centre, Woodbury, has recently partially re-opened tables, to what seems 25% capacity. During Covid-19 Caribou suffered much like the rest of us. I visited two or three times a week for to-go. It was support for the local business, where I’d been an almost daily early-morning customer for 20 years before the pandemic changed its life. Yesterday one of the indoor tables was open. It was good to have an interlude at ‘my’ place. I wrote my sister! Someone had left a small piece of art in the chalkboard of the community blackboard next to me, which speaks for itself.
Every moment is an opportunity to choose. I remember an excellent definition from a long ago workshop: the difference between “choose” and “decide” is immense. The root of decide, we were told, is the same as for suicide, homicide, etc., etc. To choose tends to be more affirmative; more positive.
The Pandemic leaves us all with lots of moments, which among all of the other emotions and apprehensions, have offered opportunities as well. Earlier in the week, on Monday, another opportunity unexpectedly presented itself. You can read “The Eagle” here. Like the small sign, the Eagle just appeared at the right place and the right time for me. Our paths intersected.
The Pandemic has opened other learning opportunities largely through the internet. An organization I’ve been part of for many years offers two this next week. All details are here (scroll down to Third Thursday Global Films Discussion Group, “The Mauritanian“, and the program following it, “Ending Childhood Malnutrition in India“.
The program on Wednesday, April 14, features Dr. Bharat Parekh, whose work began on this project probably 15 years ago, and has evolved into a now very successful project. It was and continues to be based on the Development Goals of the United Nations, MDG #1 and SDG #2, specifically the goal of zero hunger. Dr. Parekh is a long-time friend and colleague.
The Mauritanian, to be viewed ‘on your own’, on-line discussion group Thursday, April 15, will include, live, Mohamadou (the Mauritanian) and Nancy Hollander, the lawyer who represented the imprisoned man. You need to RSVP to participate in the Zoom program. (For many years our group had an in-person Third Thursday with an in-person speaker. A new leader suggested the Third Thursday film, which continues the tradition – and broadens its reach beyond a room.)
Sometimes, good actually flows from adversity. Yes, we’re still getting accustomed to the new thing, but….
The premier event for me, personally, is one week from Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. The local public television, St. Paul TPT Life, Channel 17, will feature the documentary, “The World Is My Country“, a film I very highly recommend, especially for young idealists who care about the future. The film is about Garry Davis, and begins in the WWII years, and I was privileged to learn about the project in 2011, and I’ve been involved in its evolution ever since.
I’ve seen the film often, most memorably in November, 2012, when I showed a first draft of it to a group of high school students in St. Paul. I found them very engaged, and I think this is where its long term potential lies – something kids can discuss. Ask some kids you know to check it out.
TPT is one of at least 65 U.S. public tv channels which will air the film during the month of April. All details, including preview and stations showing the film, are here. If your station is not on the list, ask them to check this out – the film is highly recommended by the public television network in the U.S., NETA.
We only have a finite number of moments. Let’s make the best of as many as we can.