Voting for Life and Peace, Sing the Voice of Your Heroes

January 20, 2012
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There are always heroes, and they walk among us.  Great figures from the past live in our hearts and minds for generations to come.  Images stirring recollections of old, and we breathe their spirit back into us as we need wisdom, guidance, and courage.

For the past year, I spent time in the desert, the Negev, just north of Eliat in the heart of the first lands the Hebrews walked, guided by their leaders Moses, Joshua, and Miriam.  Reading tales of their ways in the Torah, it was clear that the Jewish people walk in the grace of these great lives, today, now, in their actions, deeds, songs, and celebrations.

I saw them live, in the communities of kibbutz, I heard them breathe, in the songs and fires in the sand, I walked the desert, I felt the tales in my feet.  And these great voices, among them Solomon and Heschel, whose words touch us from not so long ago, were there as well.

But then there is today, now we have choices to make, and… we are lucky.  We select our leaders by election, we have democracy, we have votes, we can choose.  We also have a lot to consider.

Today, be it in the United States or Israel, we have many values that reach beyond Israel and beyond the Jewish people.  There are great challenges facing us all collectively.  Consider potential environmental collapse, difficult economic times, war, the suffering of fellow human beings.  Yes, we as a people must consider survival, we must consider Israel in the grand scheme.  But then, when pulling all of this together, I hear the voices from the past calling, as though passed to me through my heart.

“Stay to your teachings,” they might say.  “Love the Earth, love each other, share in what you have.”  This is my inspiration to choose wisely this coming election year.  Consider the long term, consider the next 1000 years of our shared existence; our ancestors did.  As a writer, a Jew, a friend of Peace, I would not presume to make choices for others in their democracy.

What I pray for is broad consideration, in all elections, for all candidates, regardless of your personal philosophy.  Be it for Prime Minister of Israel, your local school board, or President of the United States, open to possibility, to peace, to tolerance and understanding.  Consider the hearts of your heroes as they have been passed to you, as they speak through you, and when you hear the voice of a candidate on the pulpit calling for a greater, more peaceful future, please, act on it.

Let heroes sing through your decisions this coming year, let their spirits live again.

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Lee Frankel-Goldwater is a professional environmental educator, writer, and social good project developer as well as a recent graduate of NYU's Environmental Conservation Education masters program. Lee has also studied at the Center for Creative Ecology on Kibbutz Lotan, Israel and at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Currently he has been leading development of the Global Action Classroom, an Earth Child Institute initiative focused on global youth environmental cooperation and helping to create the Global Sustainability Fellows, a program of The Sustainability Laboratory seeking to design a new and innovative, international sustainability masters program. Other projects include: developing mobile applications for encouraging social action, mixed media video design, leading peace and environmental education workshops, and doing his best to live a life in connection with the Earth while helping others to do the same. At heart Lee is a poet, traveler, musician, and philosopher with a deep curiosity for new experiences, unfamiliar cultures, learning languages, and often dancing to the beat of a different drummer. As student of yoga, meditation, and spiritual arts, Lee aims to connect the inner journey with the outer one, hoping, as he can, to share what is learned along the way, enjoying the journey.

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