The PV List: Ben Taylor's 10 Initiatives That Will Most Benefit Change On the Global Community

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Ben Taylor has been busy with the release of his latest album, Listening, which dropped August 14 via Sun Pedal Recordings, but that doesn't mean he's abandoned his efforts towards supporting green initiatives. Interested in learning more about the ideals and reforms that inspire him, we asked him to create his own take on our PV List, and we received back a detailed list of the ten initiatives he believes will most benefit change on the global community. From education overhauls and environmental protection laws, to the promotion of local food and practicing Kung Fu, his list is thoughtful, thorough, and moving. Check it out, and then spin several selections off Listening, which you can also grab in full via iTunes or Amazon.

1. Educated Woman: When civilization collapses and groups of humans revert back to tribal warlord mentality (ie, survival of the fittest), the general rules tend to be no birth control and no educated woman. On the other side of the coin, when a high enough percentage of the women in a culture become educated, that civilization usually achieves population stabilization. That's sexy!

2. Local Food:  People need to be connected to their nutrition. People need to be given incentive to be agriculturalists. If we source our foods locally, there will be more money for the farmers because the bulk of the money we spend on food won’t have to be determined by the cost of it’s transportation. Also, if the farms were in our back yards, and the farmers were our friends and families, we’d have a harder time watching them being raped by big Agro-business.

3. Dancing:  Everyone. Not just the free ones, or the fun ones, or the hot ones or the cool ones. Everyone needs to dance. Together. It’s so simple.

4. Making Something Beautiful: We shouldn’t be training people to be so very good at jobs which require no creativity, without also giving them tools to express themselves. The human condition can be frustrating any way you slice it, but getting to make something beautiful is an undeniable fringe benefit. I have no doubt that some day, sooner or later, we will all go back to the one-ness from whence we came, abandoning the shinning shells which have been our interests, our differences, our sufferings, our triumphs, our characters. Our souls may live forever, but our artistic potentials are here and now. Do not waist the chance.

5. Kung Fu: In order to enjoy this human experience fully, we at least need understanding and moderate discipline of our subsequent systems. Here are a list of some of them: Energetic, Respiratory, Circulatory, Skeletal, Nervous, Glandular, Hormonal, Emotional, Psychological, Social, Spiritual, etc. Honing one of these tools at a time is a decent way to get by, but we can use the very phenomenon of our existence to exercise harmony between our systems. There are many practices which attempt to yolk these systems and make them one. When that happens, that one will be you. Are you not tired of being a fraction?

6. Slow Music: Something has to be done to make the music we adore seem as valuable as it is. Recording our songs digitally, reducing them to zeroes and ones (so that we can use them to participate in an exhausted, shallow, popularity contest) is kind of cool, but I have to imagine there is a more dignified ways of being musical. One of my teachers used to say that we had to practice slow and steady, long and patiently if we wanted the old spirits to take notice. "Some of the old spirit's are blind," he would say. "If you would invite them, then you must respect that they may take a while to arrive."

7. Education Overhaul: It is no secret that humans have a hard time trying to organize and administer all of the data they keep collecting. I don't pretend to know what the answer to this problem is, but again, something needs to be done about it. I think there are good examples all over the world. For example, in most of the good kung fu schools I've ever seen, the students spend a good deal of their class-time training with other students of varied age, skill, and experience (rather than being segregated into like groups). This is particularly helpful because, as they say,"The learning process is three-fold: See one, practice one, teach one."

A school curriculum is, at the beginning and end of the day, just information that needs to be learned and taught. I say, let the students learn it by teaching it to each other. That way we can have fewer, more highly valued teachers, whose jobs it can be to grow their classes of intelligent, sensitive youngsters — as if they we're the most experienced and subtle Biodynamic Gardeners.

8. Campaign Finance Reform: Elected officials can't do their jobs when their terms are interrupted by massive, costly, nasty, dishonest, re-election campaigns. Something needs to be done to regulate the fundraising so that our leaders don't have to be beholden to powerful and particular interest groups, as they fight to accomplish their promises and uphold their commitments.

9. Set Terms for Elected Officials: Uncle Liv says you can't have campaign finance reform without first having set terms for elected officials, and I reckon he's probably right.

10. Environmental Protection Law: That's right, I said it. We should have laws in place to protect nature against our developmental progress. Including our often over-ambitious nurture.

*Photo Credit Pete Gurnz

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