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Compass Roses: From the Seeds of Antiwar to the Flowering of Global Democracy
By Sam Husseini, 15 February 2003
As Bush plunges us into war, he forces our hands.
He forces our hands to reach out to our neighbors to talk to them about war, to share information not polluted with propaganda. He forces our hands to join with others around this world and the vast majority who do not want war.
He forces our hands to act, to organize, to draw lines of our own in the sand.
As an unprecedented day of protest takes place globally today, we have the opportunity to go from the seeds of antiwar to the flowering of Global Democracy. We are not just against Bush. People attuned to conscience and vision must be for something and must show it.
The world should be one. For that not to be means continued needless suffering on a massive scale. From war, from exploitation. Nation and civilizations pitted against each other for the illusionary benefit of a few.
We must make our mark. We must claim the Earth for peace and justice. We must make it visible. We must make our conscience and our consciousness of one world visible. While we protest today and thereafter.
One world. Everwhere is Holy. No place should rule over any other. In New York this day, friends and I will draw compass roses on the sidewalks and the streets.
Compass roses -- www.compassroses.com -- like on old maps. East, West, South, North. Get a compass out. Look to the East -- think of what is there, what people, places things. To the West and all that lies there. To the South, all that has been and might be. To the North, think. Think of the reality of all that is around you. Of the people around this globe that sustains us.
Compass roses -- drawn on the sidewalk in front of the White House and in front of a storefront mosque in DC; on Wall Street near where the World Trade Center stood and on 125th Street in Harlem; by the Grand Canyon and by the river Jordan; in front of the US mission to the UN and in front of the Iraqi mission. Each compass rose is different, yet they all point in the same directions. They will fade away, but they will still be true. Compass roses -- in subways and elevators -- where people are not cognizant that they are on "land" or part of the "Earth." All places are holy. We are inter-connected. The compass rose is an immediate symbol of the fact that we are all on the same planet; simultaneously global and local.
Draw your own compass roses copy designs you have seen -- of compass roses, or patterns that are like compass roses. Or could be. Or make up your own. Draw them outside. Draw them where people can see them. Draw them where no one can see them. Draw them here, draw them there. Think of the East, the West, the South the North. Think of what is in each direction. Think of where you are and what you can do to connect with people around our globe. Draw compass roses. Note the web page -- www.compassroses.com -- on the side if you like, so people who see it can find more. Draw compass roses with chalk, with pastels, with paint, with lined-up stones, with sand, in the sand, in the snow -- anyway, anyhow, draw them. Open your heart to the World, make a mark alone or with a friend and claim the Earth.
Compass roses in front of embassies and missions. All diplomats must begin to understand that we are all one. Compass roses in front of schools, teaching the next generation better than we have been taught. Compass roses where rich dwell and where poor struggle. Compass roses as a constant reminder of what we all know:
As Studs Terkel has written: "Four hundred years ago, Galileo challenged the doctrine of the announced idea. On seeing the heavens through his telescope, he discovered that Copernicus was right. The earth was not the center of the universe, but merely one part of a greater whole. A respected part, but no more than a part. And what is the great discovery of our age? It is that no one race, no one people, no one land ... is the center of the earth. Rather, all races, all lands, all societies are individual centers, all respected parts of a greater whole -- the Earth."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "In Christ there is no East nor West. In Him there's no North and South, but one great Fellowship of Love throughout the whole wide world."
Joseph Campbell: "The only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet ... and everybody on it."
But the reality of one world is no myth. It's the clear reality. Nations are hallucinations. People are real. Nature is real. Peace is real. Justice is real. One World is real. It must be One -- and it must be won.
Sam Husseini has helped launch the web page www.compassroses.com which goes up today.
World Protests War, by Ruth Rosen, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 February 2003.
©2003 Sam Husseini, E-mail: sam [at] compassroses.com