A Nation of Weavers

An excellent article on the importance of building “radical mutuality”, by David Brooks:

The social renaissance is happening from the ground up.

David Brooks

By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

Photo by Gabriela Bhaskar for The New York TimesGabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times

I start with the pain. A couple times a week I give a speech somewhere in the country about social isolation and social fragmentation. Very often a parent comes up to me afterward and says, “My daughter took her life when she was 14.” Or, “My son died of an overdose when he was 20.”

Their eyes flood with tears. I don’t know what to say. I squeeze a shoulder just to try to be present with them, but the crying does not stop. As it turns to weeping they rush out of the auditorium and I am left with my own futility. What can I say to these parents? What can I say to the parents still around who don’t yet know they may soon become those parents?

This kind of pain is an epidemic in our society. When you cover the sociology beat as I do, you see other kinds of pain. The African-American woman in Greenville who is indignant because young black kids in her neighborhood face injustice just as gross as she did in 1953. The college student in the Midwest who is convinced that she is the only one haunted by compulsive thoughts about her own worthlessness. The Trump-supporting small-business man in Louisiana who silently clenches his fists in rage as guests at a dinner party disparage his whole way of life.

These different kinds of pain share a common thread: our lack of healthy connection to each other, our inability to see the full dignity of each other, and the resulting culture of fear, distrust, tribalism, shaming and strife.

On Dec. 7, 1941, countless Americans saw that their nation was in peril and walked into recruiting stations. We don’t have anything as dramatic as Pearl Harbor, but when 47,000 Americans kill themselves every year and 72,000 more die from drug addiction, isn’t that a silent Pearl Harbor? When the basic norms of decency, civility and truthfulness are under threat, isn’t that a silent Pearl Harbor? Aren’t we all called at moments like these to do something extra?

My something extra was starting something nine months ago at the Aspen Institute called Weave: The Social Fabric Project. The first core idea was that social isolation is the problem underlying a lot of our other problems. The second idea was that this problem is being solved by people around the country, at the local level, who are building community and weaving the social fabric. How can we learn from their example and nationalize their effect?

We traveled around the country and found them everywhere. We’d plop into big cities like Houston and small towns like Wilkesboro, N.C., and we’d find 25 to 100 community “Weavers” almost immediately. This is a movement that doesn’t know it’s a movement.

Some of them work at organizations: a vet who helps other mentally ill vets in New Orleans; a guy who runs a boxing gym in Appalachian Ohio where he nominally teaches young men boxing, but really teaches them life; a woman who was in the process of leaving the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago when she saw two little girls playing with broken bottles in the empty lot across the street. She turned to her husband and said: We’re not moving away from that. We’re not going to be just another family that abandoned this place.

Many others do their weaving in the course of everyday life — because that’s what neighbors do. One lady in Florida said she doesn’t have time to volunteer, but that’s because she spends 40 hours a week looking out for local kids and visiting sick folks in the hospital. We go into neighborhoods and ask, “Who is trusted here?” In one neighborhood it was the guy who collects the fees at the parking garage.

We’re living with the excesses of 60 years of hyperindividualism. There’s a lot of emphasis in our culture on personal freedom, self-interest, self-expression, the idea that life is an individual journey toward personal fulfillment. You do you. But Weavers share an ethos that puts relationship over self. We are born into relationships, and the measure of our life is in the quality of our relationships. We precedes me.

Whether they live in red or blue America, they often use the same terms and embody the same values — deep hospitality, showing up for people and keep showing up. They are somewheres, not anywheres — firmly planted in their local community. I met one guy in Ohio who began his work by standing in the town square with a sign: “Defend Youngstown.”

The phrase we heard most was “the whole person.” Whether you are a teacher, a nurse or a neighbor, you have to see and touch the whole person — the trauma, the insecurities and the dreams as much as the body and the brain.

But the trait that leaps out above all others is “radical mutuality”: We are all completely equal, regardless of where society ranks us. “I am broken; I need others to survive,” an afterschool program leader in Houston told us. “We don’t do things for people. We don’t do things to people. We do things with people,” said a woman who builds community for teenagers in New Orleans.

Being around these people has been one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. Obviously, it’s made me want to be more neighborly, to be more active and intentional in how I extend care.

But it has also changed my moral lens. I’ve become so impatient with the politicians I cover! They are so self-absorbed! Social scientists tell us that selfishness is natural, people are motivated by money, power and status. But Weavers are not motivated by any of these things. They want to live in right relation with others and to serve the community good.

Their example has shown me that we don’t just have a sociological problem; we have a moral problem. We all create a shared moral ecology through the daily decisions of our lives. When we stereotype, abuse, impugn motives and lie about each other, we’ve ripped the social fabric and encouraged more ugliness. When we love across boundaries, listen patiently, see deeply and make someone feel known, we’ve woven it and reinforced generosity. As Charles Péguy said, “The revolution is moral or not at all.”
Get a more personal, less conventional take on political developments, newsmakers, cultural milestones and more with Frank Bruni’s exclusive commentary every week.

So the big question is: How do we take the success the Weavers are having on the local level and make it national? The Weavers are building relationships one by one, which takes time. Relationships do not scale.

But norms scale. If you can change the culture, you can change behavior on a large scale. If you can change the lens through which people see the world, as these Weavers have changed mine, then you can change the way people want to be in the world and act in the world. So that’s our job. To shift the culture so that it emphasizes individualism less and relationalism more.

Culture changes when a small group of people, often on the margins of society, find a better way to live, and other people begin to copy them. These Weavers have found a better way to live. We at Weave — and all of us — need to illuminate their example, synthesize their values so we understand what it means to be a relationalist and not an individualist. We need to create hubs where these decentralized networks can come together for solidarity and support. We need to create a shared Weaver identity. In 1960, few people called themselves feminists. By 1980, millions did. Just creating that social identity and that sense of mutual purpose is an act of great power.

I guess my ask is that you declare your own personal declaration of interdependence and decide to become a Weaver instead of a ripper. This is partly about communication. Every time you assault and stereotype a person, you’ve ripped the social fabric. Every time you see that person deeply and make him or her feel known, you’ve woven it.

We also need to have faith in each other. Right now, millions of people all over are responding to the crisis we all feel. We in the news media focus on Donald Trump and don’t cover them, but they are the most important social force in America right now. Renewal is building, relationship by relationship, community by community. It will spread and spread as the sparks fly upward.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

David Brooks has been a columnist with The Times since 2003. He is the author of “The Road to Character” and the forthcoming book, “The Second Mountain.”

Learn about 5G technology

5G Technology

Since you are no doubt already seeing information about the wonders of the new 5G technology, and will be more and more in the upcoming weeks, it seems only right that you should also be offered the other side of the picture as well, so that you might make a more informed decision as to whether you want to support this new technology.

Neither Smart meters/phones/cars/homes nor 5G have been proven safe so far. There have been, however, many scientific studies that have shown that the effects of these technologies can bring harm to all forms of life. The massive die-off of the insect population across the globe may well be caused by the already ubiquitous electromagnetic disturbances at the levels we now have. 5G technology will be 100 to 1000 times stronger and much more pervasive.

If you think that all those who oppose the world wide roll out of this new technology are simply Luddites or conspiracy theorists, take a few minutes to read some of the material on the websites listed below. These are created by groups of concerned scientists and medical doctors who have seen evidence of harm in their research and in their medical practices and decided to take a stand.

If you believe that our governments and institutions would not allow something harmful, please recall the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry, and the many chemicals that – after years of use by the general public – have been found to be harmful and taken off the market.  Round-Up (glyphosate) is in the midst of this process right now, after some 40 yrs.

And so we offer you the following information to get you started.  Below are links to several websites where you will find information to help you make a more informed decision.




From the 5G Appeal website:

“Over 230 scientists from more than 40 countries have expressed their “serious concerns” regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices already before the additional 5G roll-out. They refer to the fact that ”numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines”. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals.


From the Physicians for Safe Technology website:


“The researchers state, “The results also show that the peak-to-average ratio of 1,000 tolerated by the International Council on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines may lead to permanent tissue damage after even short exposures, highlighting the importance of revisiting existing exposure guidelines.”


International Society of Doctors for the Environment Support 5G Moratorium


In April, 2018, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) and its member organizations in 27 countries, adopted a declaration calling for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G (fifth generation cellular technology) in the European Union.

The declaration is entitled,5G networks in European Countries: appeal for a standstill in the respect of the precautionary principle.”

“We believe it should be unethical to ignore the available evidence waiting a possible “a posteriori” demonstration of health damages in the presence of a present and potentially manageable risk for public health.

Thus, in the respect of the precautionary principle and of the WHO principle “health in all policies”, we believe suitable the request of a standstill for the “5G experimentations” throughout Europe until an adequate and active involvement of public institutions operating in the field of environmental health (health ministry, environmental ministry, national environmental and health agencies) will be effectively planned.”


Stop 5G on Earth and in Space


“If the telecommunications industry’s plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of RF radiation that are tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today, without any possibility of escape anywhere on the planet. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the Earth’s ecosystems.

Immediate measures must be taken to protect humanity and the environment, in accordance with ethical imperatives and international agreements.”




Scientists and doctors warn of potential serious health effects of 5G

The appeal

“We the undersigned scientists and doctors recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.  5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.”



Image result for children in nature

5G – From Blankets To Bullets

by Arthur Firstenberg

The single most important fact about 5G that nobody is talking about is called “phased array.” It will totally change the way cell towers and cell phones are constructed and will transform the blanket of radiation which has enveloped our world for two decades into a million powerful beams whizzing by us at all times. ……






Families For Safe Meters

5G ACTION ALERT _DEADLINE_ FEB. 20, 2019-get info to staff

Sent by Catherine Kleiber (www.electricalpollution.com
<notice her Brief Solutions page for dirty electricity et al – http://www.electricalpollution.com/solutions.html >)

Send information to Senate Committee about health hazards of 5G

** Ask for public hearings with independent researchers, medical providers included. **

“I want to start by thanking those of you who contacted the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and members of the Sub-Committee on Communication, Technology and the Internet to ask that they place a moratorium on implementation of 5G and hold a hearing to receive testimony from scientists about the very real health and environmental hazard 5G and the IoT pose. If you have not already contacted them, please take the time to do so.

Please submit references and information about 5G to:


Deadline is TUESDAY, February 20, 2019 (Please do not contact Sen. Blumenthal’s office separately unless you are a constituent.)

There is no deadline for contacting the committee to request that they hold a hearing on the health and environmental consequences of 5G.

The more people they hear from until they hold hearings the better, so please ask others to call also.

In addition to the committee phone numbers below:

At Senate Commerce Hearing, Blumenthal Raises Concerns on 5G Wireless Technology’s Potential Health Risks 2.7.19


Sen. Blumenthal needs our support, so be sure to call the Committee to ask for the hearings.

Others on the committee need to feel pressure to act. The calls will help provide that.

Recommend that the Committee contact Environmental Health Trust (www.EHTrust.org) for a list of scientists who should testify.

Phone information is below for the Senate Committee.

If your own lawmaker is on the committee, also contact them directly and ask that they push for hearings on health and environmental effects of 5G.

Talking points for when you make the call to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

1) Experts are calling for wireless (radiofrequency/microwave) radiation to be classified as carcinogenic, a designation supported by epidemiological and double-blind studies.

2) Congress should not support universal exposure to a carcinogen that also causes adverse biological effects that are detrimental to human health and the environment.

3) 5G technology will dramatically increase exposure to wireless radiation due to the dramatic increase in connectivity and the need for numerous so called “small” cell towers.

4) 5G technology incorporates the addition of wireless radiation in a frequency range that the military uses as a weapon due to its detrimental effects.

5) 5G will vastly increase energy consumption.

Refer them to www.EHTrust.org and www.Whatis5G.info for more information.

Ask that they contact the Environmental Health Trust to connect them to experts they should ask to testify on this issue.

Protecting our health and the environment by using a hardwired computer in a low RF environment. For more information, see:

Contact Us

Before contacting the Committee, please check our list of frequently asked questions FAQ for answer to your question.�

Contact Information for the Committee �Full Committee Office �Majority: 202-224-1251

Majority Address: 512 Dirksen Senate Building; Washington DC, 20510�Minority: 202-224-0411

Press Office �Majority: 202-224-1251�Minority: 202-224-7824


Subcommittee Members

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. – Chairman�Sen. Brian Schatz D-HI – Ranking Member


Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.�Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.�Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.�Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas�Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.�Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.�Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.�Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah�Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.�Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.�Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska�Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.


Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.�Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.�Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.�Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.�Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.�Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.�Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.�Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.�Sen. John Tester, D-Mont.�Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Information about the hearing, including written testimony can be found at Permalink:


Basic information about reducing exposure to radiofrequency radiation…

Non Toxic Grants Pass Open House Meeting

Hey community members,

For everyone who loves and uses public spaces in Grants Pass, join us for this event! You don’t have to live in town, you just have to love these parks!

We’re in conversation with the city to transition away from using synthetic pesticides in the parks where our kids and pets come into contact with them.

Come to our Open House, February 25th, 6-7:30PM at Interplay Community Space to learn more! The address is on the flyer below.

Thanks for saying Yes to a Non Toxic Grants Pass! Together we can make a difference.

Spread the word to your friends!

For all our health,
Bianca, Murphy resident & organizer for Beyond Toxics

NTGP Meeting flyer


Awakening the Dreamer Symposium


Mark your calendar~

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium

A transformative journey and a profound inquiry

Saturday, April 13, 2019  1:00 – 4:30 pm

at the UUGP Fellowship, 129 NW E Street, Grants Pass, OR

Suggested donation $5-10
Reserve your spot by emailing: larkswain@jeffnet.org

The Awakening the Dreamer Symposium is an interactive transformational workshop that inspires participants to play a role in creating a new future: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet.

The half-day workshops have been delivered by skilled Facilitators to hundreds of thousands of participants in over 80 countries since 2005.

Co-sponsored by Sustainable Rogue Valley and Southern Oregon Pachamama Alliance

Reserve a space…