Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature


Ed. note: after I said to the Pittsburgh environmental activist Mel Packer that I was learning a great deal from his powerful writing and speaking, he responded:

A nice compliment, Michael, but you’re really learning from what’s happening in the world. We can only learn when we finally begin to see past what we were always told was the only truth, when we begin to think we have the right to question, when we actually start doing that as a result of our confusion given the circumstances and conditions that we cannot blind ourselves to without feeling guilty and soiled.

I only talk about what is obviously present in our world and is known to most folks who just don’t bother saying it, but who can, believe me. I’ve found more political wisdom talking to “the average people” than I’ve ever heard from the “wise men” of the world. And it’s those working people who helped me find my own political and ethical bearings and compass.

I may have shared this quote (really a gender corrected paraphrase) from Camus before, if so, my apologies, but it helps to guide my thinking and makes me realize that none of us are special, none of us hold the truth, none of us should ever think of ourselves as the leaders, just one of the many trying to make it better for all of us.

“If absolute truth belongs to anyone in this world, it certainly does not belong to the person or party that claims to possess it.”


  1. Briget Shields
    July 3, 2014

    It’s great to be energized by others working to make the world a better place for the generations that will follow long after we are gone. This is what keeps me doing what I do to try and make sure we are not compromised or blinded by the notion that everything revolves around the almighty dollar. Yes we need money to exists but it is not the only means to a fulfilling, happy life. We have people in our government who believe that money is the answer to all our problems when it is in many circumstances the reason why we have the problems do.

    When we have leaders that think they must rule us instead of represent us then it’s up to us to make sure our civil rights are protected by asserting the constitutional rights that belong to us such as free speech. When we have politicians that promote corporations that harm us instead of protecting the citizens that put them in office it is up to us to make sure they are voted out of the offices they hold. Mel Packer is a great example of an American who exercises his constitutional rights and helps to educate others on how to do the same. His knowledge, energy and generosity are all qualities I respect and admire him for. I wish we could have more people like Mel who are willing to give of themselves for a better world for all the way he does. I’m glad he is on our side since he is definitely an asset to any movement working for change!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on April 15, 2014 by in Opinion Leaders and tagged , , , .

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 11,330 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 3,952,886 hits


%d bloggers like this: