Granny D Turns 93

The following is a speech that Doris "Granny D" Haddock gave to a crowd of 400 in Keene, New Hampshire on Jan. 25, 2003.

My family belongs to a group of families who, together, provide for the annual income of a local farmer, in exchange for the food he produces. It is an organic operation, which not only means that dangerous chemicals are kept out of the foods, but also out of the soil and the water that flows eventually into the rivers and seas.

How we live shapes the entire world. I am no angel. I buy clothing that is a bargain and I look at the tag with guilt if it is from some faraway place where the workers may be abused. My part of New England used to be a great textile center, so I also care about the fact that my purchasing may take jobs from my neighbors.

What we drive, what we buy, the entertainment we choose, the way we use electricity and water -- all of these things matter. Our little decisions work for or against our dream of a fair world that spins along with nature in balance and with people living well in their local economies. Poverty happens, war happens, imperialism happens, when all the little bad decisions of a nation's people accumulate and find political expression.

Just as an unbalanced mind can accumulate mental stresses that can grow and take on a life of their own, so the little decisions of our modern life can accumulate to the point where our society finds itself bombing other people for their oil, or supporting dictators who torture whole populations -- all so that our unbalanced interests might be served.

When we look at Mr. Bush and his war machine, and his rising campaign against our own freedoms and civil rights, we must think of it all as a mental illness that has come over the American mind. It is our illness.

Yes, we must stop this war. We must stop this attack on our Bill of Rights. But we are bailing out our flooding boat with our straw hats if we do not look to the cause of this insanity.

Sanity is in finding alternative energy rather than blowing up our Appalachian Mountains for their coal. Sanity is in buying bicycles or at least hybrid cars rather than bombing other people for their oil. It is in supporting our family farmers, especially the organic farmers, rather than suburbanizing all our land and turning to factory foods that are more health hazard than nutrition.

We cannot have world peace without peace in our own lives. We cannot attack our planet by the way we live, and then go off to a peace rally and hope to set right all the imbalance we have caused. Peace is first a private matter. It cannot grow except from there.

I know I will be in jail before Mr. Bush is out of the White House. I know some of you will, too. I know I will give my all to stop this unwarranted invasion of the world by this disturbed man and his disturbed friends. I urge you to fight as well. I urge you to go to the peace march in New York City on Feb. 15 and be a part of the largest American uprising in modern history.

But I ask you to do it not in anger, but in joy. Not in frustration, but in peace. Aren't we privileged to live in a time when everything is at stake, and when our efforts make a difference in the eternal contest between the forces of light and shadow, between togetherness and division? Between justice and exploitation? Oh, be joyful that you are a warrior in this great time!

And be joyful because your house is in order. Your friends have your friendship. Your lover has your love. Your community has your support. Be peace itself at war with war itself. Take time for yourself and for your peace of mind. Look at your lifestyle and begin to make the adjustments you think wise and appropriate.

Will we rise to this battle? If so, we cannot lose, for rising up to it is our victory. Will we rise up? Will we represent love in the world? If we represent love in the world, you see, we have already won.

To read more of Doris Haddock's writings, visit GrannyD.com.

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