YES! A Journal of Positive Futures. Quarterly magazine, pub. by Positive Futures Network in Bainbridge Island, WA. $6.50 per issue, $24 and $38 for subscriptions. 1-800-937-4451. www.yesmagazine.org. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Maya del Mar
The underground movement of forming a new world is growing very rapidly. In fact, its becoming overground. Point of fact: In Oakland, California, the Police Department, schools, and teen centers are finding joy and success in training for and using nonviolent principles. They are learning that there ARE other ways! The Berkeley City Schools are serving organic food, eliminating vending machines, and growing vegetable gardens. Their students are learning that food IS important.
We may feel powerless in this age of corporate takeover, but in fact we DO make choices in everything we do. Very often our choices are limited not only by ignorance, but by lack of vision, and we find it easier to follow the cultural standards than to think about making a choice, or even that there might be a choice.
Recently I discovered this fascinating, helpful source of inspiration and new envisioning, YES! The magazine is five years old, but only a month or two ago did I see my first copy at my health foods store, and Im excited to share it as an antidote for the mostly negative media out there.
YES! encourages positive choices, shows how we CAN make a difference, and tells about people, ideas, inventions, and programs which ARE making a difference for the better in the lives of ordinary people.
Each issue of YES! has a theme, and contains perhaps a dozen major, very well-written articles around that theme. Usually a new age magazine will have one outstanding article. In YES!, each article is solid gold, with enough really good material to be worth reviewing in itself. Although it is printed in black and white, the layout and design, too, is superb. Its fun and inspiring just to thumb through.
The theme of the Fall Quarter issue is "technology: who chooses?"
The masthead page has a stunnning design which is based on the stars, but looks like a spider web. Under it is a quote, "Only a people serving an apprenticeship to nature can be trusted with machines." Herbert Read.
The articles are all exciting. Among them is a sustainable, practical energy plan by Guy Dauncey which is doable, climate-friendly, creates jobs, and sustains life. Supporting it is an article describing "the coming hydrogen economy," and an article about the Hopi elders rejecting power lines, but choosing and using solar power.
Seattle has created a Cities for Climate Protection program which centers around its public utility, City Light. They are committed to zero-climate impact, and the process is already cutting way down on pollution as well as cutting consumers bills. Seattle citizens are now beginning to tackle transportation.
Preliminary results of Seattles program show that Seattle is on track to reduce greenhouse gases by two to three times the amount called for in the Kyoto Protocol. At the same time the quality of life is improved. With success under their belt, the group has a long list of challenges yet to tackle.
An article on "Mother Natures school of design" tells how designers in many fields are using nature as a school. For instance, the leaf of the lotus is self-cleaning because of its rough surface which enables rainwater to wash particles away. ISPO manufactures Lotusan, a building facade paint which mimics this surface, allowing buildings to be cleaned by the free kinetic energy in rain. (Perfect for Seattle!)
The Winter Quarter issue, published after 9-11, has the theme "can love save the world?"
Its masthead page quote is one to ponder, "I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love." David Whyte
The writers express themselves beautifully, inspirationally, and with practical application in regard to loving. In "heart of a muslim," we read "Allah says, I cannot be contained in the space of the earth. I cannot be contained in the space of the heavens. But I can be contained in the space of the pure, loving heart."
In the same article, "If theres one lesson driven home by the Sept. 11 events, it s that we are all truly interconnected. This is not a new lesson. What is new is that we are experiencing this interwovenness in our hearts. Victim and victimizer, liberal and fundamentalist, rich and poor, empowered and disempowered, distant and nearall are unimaginably connected. The gentle Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh expressed this eloquently in a poem:
I am the twelve year old girl
Refugee on a small boat
Who throws herself into the ocean
After having been raped by a sea pirate,
My heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
Please call me by my true name
So I can wake up
And the door of my heart
Could be left open,
The door of compassion.
These are tiny samples of the richness of YES! I say "yes" to YES!
David and Frances Korten, who developed and run Positive Futures Network, have lived and worked all over the world. David has published two books, When Corporations Rule the World and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism.