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Life Arts

Empowering Ourselves and Future Generations: Saying 'YES!' to the Work of Judy Wicks

By       Message Burl Hall     Permalink
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Of course there were also other "Mothers" of her day, such as Grand-Ma-Ma Ellen Brown, who was an advocate of what used to be called Public Banking. Despite the best efforts of the early 21 st century status-quo to silence them and the corporate owned major media to drown them out, their voice on behalf of the grassroots was popping up all over, rather like dandelions (then cosidered weeds in wastelands called "lawns" rather than tonic herbs).

Today, we ask, what other kind of banking is there than public banking? Yes, we have seed banks, food banks, and energy banks, libraries, and community storm shelters. Banking has sure evolved as a concept. All that is stored for future emergencies is, of course, part of the commons, to be used when needed by all of life. After all, who claims the air as one's own? Or the waters? All are public domain. This Earth is operated and owned by all creatures--not just a handful of human beings. (Oops, sorry Gaia, of course nobody can "own" a self-sustaining, living being!)

Grand-Ma-Ma Judy Wicks taught us the importance of building local economies where goods are produced close to home which then build more material wealth. This has been a win-win for our communities, the Earth, and our families and individuals. Nobody starves today, and all their food is produced anywhere from between 0 -- 25 miles. The distorted notion that anyone could be left to starve has become grotesque.

In today's world, we don't see community, Earth and family as being separate as our ancestors did. We are all cells in one living being. We are Nature and Nature is us. This is why these ancients had such a problem with a sense of belonging. They were alienated from Nature, their Self. They ate in "fast-food" restaurants where the food was standardized, shipped in from who-knows-where, and served to them by faceless peons of the corporate system. Thus they treated the people and creatures of the Earth as nothing more nor less than resources to be exploited, just as they saw the gold, gas and oil as resources to be exploited.

To get a gist of how the corporate ancients worked, consider a fetus who takes a knife to his mother's womb. How sane is that? Yes, this is exactly how the ancients worked in relation to the Earth. (Of course, we understand that theirs was just an abberant era; those that they considered "the ancients" and "uncivilized" knew the truth as we understand it. "Civilized" was interpreted as a good thing in the 19 th through early 21st centuries, not as "enslaved" as we now define the word.) Yet, they named themselves Homo Sapiens, meaning Wise Men? This was purely from a stance of arrogance. Afterall, wisdom was not mimicked in behavior. How can one see destroying the world that gives one air to breathe, naturally healthy food to eat, and fresh water to drink as wise? Today we realize that Nature, being Natural, is what is wise. Thus, being sapien today means being natural. This makes it inclusive of all beings on Earth.

Grand-Ma-Ma Judy Wicks' common-sense teachings stood in stark contrast to the ancients who thought of gain in terms of the acheivement of personal wealth. What they didn't realize was that there is no personal wealth upon a dead planet. I'm sure glad a subset of our ancestors like Judy Wicks knew that wealth was expressed through love for each other and the Earth.

Whew, we fortunate descendents of Grand-Ma-Ma Judy are sure glad there was a subset like her that spoke to a sane economy based on locality and service to the local communities. Imagine businesses that were not responsive to the local community needs, run by folks from afar whom you would never know and would never stoop to know you. These people supplied the population with raw materials and goods across great distances, destroyed the environment, and did not encourage community spirit and fun! Imagine never dancing, singing, and laughing with your neighboring shop-keepers, farmers, and craftspeople. Imagine having your education, employment, and income at the mercy of the very people that were growing rich at your expense! It's practically unthinkable today, but that's how it was then, in the Kali Yuga or Dark Age, as Hindu wise ones called the Great Ecocide.

Judy taught us to rekindle the connection and balance between head and heart, or what she referred to as yin and yang. As we all know today, the head is the surface layer consciousness of reason and logic whereas the heart is the deeper layers of consciousness that includes compassion, intution, creative impulses and the language of dream. The former is more divisive and uses concrete language where as the latter is more integrative and uses metaphor, which is a language that connects.

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Judy and her fellow visionaries also taught us to think past ourselves, to open our hearts to future generations as well as how we affect others in our immediate time frame. Thus we readapted the old Native American traditions of thinking through a decision's effects for seven generations. Thank Nature that the ancients slowly began to do this. Otherwise, I wouldn't be telling this story! I'd just be a starring twinkle in Mother Nature's eye. Oh, perhaps that's what I am anyway?

It truly was a tough journey that our ancestors made. They had to confront their own self-doubts and fears in the face of a tyrannical system. They had to reject much of what they'd been carefully taught. Not only were they afraid of the "powers that be;" but they didn't realize their own power! They gazed to the top of their pyramidical structure and saw no hope, for they did not realize that if they, the base of the pyramid, pulled out, the top would come crashing down. Who truly has the power? See, the ancients at the bottom had no sense of this. They just looked to the top and surrendered to them.

The ancients oftentimes had horrible self-esteem. Judy taught them that they need to overcome the barriers saying they were not good enough. Much of this was planned for through education, television, etc which used specific techniques such as ridicule at worse to just saying "oh you can't do that because you are a girl, a black, or otherwise an underling." Or, they put on television sports "jocks" who were so highly proficient at their sport that the majority of people could not hope to match them. Thus, they developed a sense of "can't". But, the "can't" mentality wasn't just in sports, it was in education and other avenues of culture.

What was important to Judy was that people could have the freedom to express who they were through their work. For her, that was her business, a cafe on Philadelphia's old Samson Street, which was a collection of "quaint" row homes. Business for her was about relationship and what was called money in those days was for her simply a tool. What she taught us was that the authentic relationships of the business owners to the customers, workers, community, and the Earth were what's important. What she ultimately decided to do was change the failed economic system from one dominated by transnational corporations to ones based on local self-reliance. This was the foundational teaching for what we have today. This is bottom up rule.

Thus, I sit here in this small cafe upon land that was historically the Maiden Choice Shopping Center. I gaze at the greenery and realize the Maiden as being Earth Herself. I write out my talk with you on this table, made of local stones and carved to perfection by the masons living close by. The rocks do their story telling as do the masons. Thus, I tell the story through my breath which enters your ears.

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It's the stories of the past, our heros and heroines, that have created the world we have today. I breathe in the fresh, crisp fall air and I whisper a deep "thanks" to people like Grand-Ma-Ma Judy Wicks. Will you do the same? Or shall we devolve again into pawns of the great god Greed, under whatever name, disguise, and propaganda he should emerge?

To listen in present day to Judy Hicks being interviewed by Envision This! Radio, visit:

Judy's website is at:

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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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