Posts tagged The Seed of a Nation
The Seed of a Nation Gala Recap and Testimonies

What a night!  The Seed of a Nation Gala was a success on multiple levels.  Besides raising a nice bit of funds for upcoming projects, it was just plain fun! Inspirational too!  We also made clear the one-thing our non-profit exists to promote:  Love.

The fact that attending guests represented a diverse crowd demonstrated how the “seed” reaches beyond imposed and unnecessary boundaries.  Folks were there from Washington State, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Ireland, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and South Africa.   Many colors, ages, and different political persuasions too.   Exactly, they represented the beauty of the “seed,” for it reaches beyond imposed and unnecessary boundaries.

As for the message that night, Darrell powerfully narrowed William Penn’s accomplishments to one un-legislate-able act, which allowed us to end our portion of the evening on the strategic power of love.  One guest from Africa said of this, “My country needs this example desperately.”   We all do!  America equally.  It is an enormous task to accept the responsibility of the “seed” – requiring us all to reimagine the world we know.   To make compassion an operating principle immediately shines light on the interest-driven gains that have been legitimized for centuries and dominate politics today.  No longer could one’s calling, position, wealth, military might, or claim of “providence,” legitimize the consolidation of power, the marginalization of people, extreme nationalism, and more.  It places a mirror up to society, making the effect of real love potentially disruptive and risky.  Of course, we spoke to this at the gala.  This topic will be spelled out more in the future and in one of our next books (and maybe in a public meeting or two). 

It was great to hear from entertainment attorney and executive producer, Vinca Jarrett, on the journey to bring Penn to life to screens around the world.  The Seed of a Nation, Inc. and The Seed of a Nation Production Co. has progressed steadily toward this goal.  It was great to share it with friends at the gala! 

Below are a few additional testimonies from that night.

 

“For me, this was the first time I heard the Penn story, I need to read the book.  I was touched by Lorrie’s LOVE message.”  Lancaster PA guest

“Thanks for a life impacting event.” – Southern PA guest

“You changed my mind about fundraisers.” – Harrisburg PA guest

“I felt a gentle rebuke for my ‘opinions’ about people.” – Philly guest

“The Fields are leading a way forward.” – Northern PA guest

“Wow, wow… wow.”  -  Mount Joy, PA guest

“I need to get this book into my nation.” – Ethiopian guest. 

 “We love you. Thanks for your tenacity.” - Florida guest

 

 

 

The Vulgarity of our Political Space & Acts of Suppression - Part One
 
Photo by  Mikael Kristenson  

"Contests naturally draw Company, and the Vulgar are justified in their Curiosity, if not Pity, when they see so many Wiser Men busie themselves to suppress a People."   William Penn - 1675

Conflict and fear excite interest; in fact, these excite many more neurons in a person's brain than peaceful conversations and peaceful events do.  It's only "natural", Penn thought.  And he was right.  Conflict is necessary for a good story (or we wouldn't waste our time watching a movie or reading a book).  The news wouldn't keep our interest long if reports were all tip-toeing-through-the-tulips.  (Though I wouldn't mind a day in the media of nothing but tulip sniffing.)  So what is the downside to the "contests" to which William Penn referred?  

Penn was saying that the use of conflict in the hands of these "wiser men" was designed to suppress opposition.  The ruckus drew a crowd.   He said it brought out the vulgarity of the "company," a potential mob.  They were the people who may have started with curiosity but end up vulgarized by their active participation.  This was what "wise men" needed to validate their acts and build support to suppress.   

In Penn's society people felt threatened by differences.  It was literally considered a security risk to disagree, to not conform to the party's point-of-view, never mind these dissenters were peaceful citizens.  Nonetheless, suppression and violence were legitimized to bring solidarity to the nation and its leaders.  The strategy involved devaluing "disagreeable" persons.  It was a necessary, else suppression and coercion would be noticeably improper.  I mean, how does one get away with destroying people’s lives, if they are, in fact, their loved neighbors and friends.  No!  They had to be "traitors, fanatics, and pigs" sent from the Pope in a secret conspiracy to destroy England.  Argh!  

Today, in America, our differences are hardened battle lines, just like in William Penn's day.  To dissent, even from your own group, is traitorous, just like it was then.  Questioning authority brings a discrediting campaign, just like it did then.  We'd rather skin people alive, one personal attack after another, instead of listen, just like... you get it. No one is curious about another's point of view, and yet, everyone has harsh opinions.  Otherwise good people can be turned into militant, sneering crowds, just by the mention of their "enemies's names."  

Unfortunately, this current "contest" in which America and the world are engaged, isn't for story telling sake.  There is no satisfying payoff to end this tale.  This is real American life in which we are unashamed to betray ourselves and each other.    

Somehow, it starts with the need to suppress; somehow it's "justified."  Just as Penn said it would be. 

We'll talk more about why next.  

 - Lorrie