That's from an important column by Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan. It's worth reading in full.
I'll use it as a jumping off point. She recently had Yoko Ono on her radio program. I like Yoko and I know her. C.I. mentioned the Yoko interview in an entry and maybe even in a snapshot but didn't quote from it.
In came the e-mails. Why wouldn't Yoko rate a quote?
Because we (C.I. and I) happen to disagree with everything she was saying.
Yoko's a mature woman. We understand that and understand that she's always been more introspective than John Lennon. She started out as an isolated artist and that's how she's comfortable.
What Yoko believes in, and it's her right to believe in it, is that how we make change is doing one thing every day -- she told Cindy Sheehan something like 'being nice to your mother.' That, Yoko insists, will change the world.
That's not political activism, that's the Golden Rule mixed in with a bunch of EST.
That's a withdrawal from the public sphere and it's the reason for the withdrawal John Lennon did for so many years before re-emerging. If Yoko believes in it today, chances are John still would as well. They were a team. I'm not, in any way, trying to state or suggest that John would disagree with Yoko.
But I'm not John. I'm not Yoko.
Nor am I a silly little fool who believes if I go around smiling at everyone US troops will leave Iraq.
This is the eternal naval gazing that became so popular among the New Left as the seventies took hold. It is not political activism, it is political retreat.
I am far from the first person to note that and will not be the last one.
I love Yoko, she's a great person and the one thing most people don't know about her is her sense of humor (and sweet laugh). But it's a retreat.
This goes back to the whole argument John and Tariq Ali were having regarding the song "Revolution" and its meanings. At that point, John did come around to seeing Tariq's point of view. But he clearly lived his later life in harmony with the same beliefs Yoko has today.
You may find harmony within by following what Yoko's espousing; but don't for a minute think it's going to change the world. It will not do that. It will not end a war, it will not stop drones from being sent to kill innocent people.
Yoko's belief, to me, has always been Kent State. There were those students and they thought they could smile and pass out the flowers and they were being peaceful and radiating love for others so they were doing that whole harmonic thing Yoko's into. What was the result?
That was always my gut reaction to Kent State and I've never waivered in that belief.
If you need an English garden to sip tea in, great, do what you need to in order to maintain your sanity. But please don't push naval gazing off as political action.
(I am not accusing Cindy Sheehan of naval gazing. I love her column and it's an important column. But if you were to ask her, I believe she would tell you it was inspired in part by the interview with Yoko. During the interview, Cindy made similar statements.)
I love Yoko and will always defend her but I will not allow that 'inner work' is political activism. Nor have I ever seen anyone self-help a nation out of a war.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):