Twentieth Century Events Influenced by Transcendentalism


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Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill was born in Mount Vernon, Missouri on February 18, 1974. She lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania until she was ten. Her parents started a church here called Freedom Chapel. Her family later settled in Jonesboro where she would graduate from high school. When she was 18, Hill and her father founded and operated Relics. Relics was a restaurant in Jonesboro, it had a stage with live music, poetry, and plays. Hill moved to Fayetteville when she was 20. Two years later she was in a terrible car accident that caused serious injuries and required ten months of physical and cognitive therapy. Hill claims that the accident helped her discover her calling in life. julia_butterfly_hill_1.jpg

About a year later she left with some friends to go to the Pacific Coast to see the rain forests. While visiting the redwood forest, she was so moved that she decided she was going to fight to save these trees. In November 1997, she joined environmental activists in California to hold a tree sit. A tree sit is a non-violent method of civil disobedience in which people sit in a tree to protect it and the surrounding trees from logging. These tree sitters worked in shifts of several days. For Hill’s first time she sat for six days on the 1000-year-old redwood known as Luna. In December 1997, the logging operation was about to cut down Luna. After Hill found out she began to sit in the tree, which ended up lasting for 738 days to prevent it from getting cut down. During this time she entailed illness and bad weather. Also, the Pacific Lumber Company tried to bring her down by using flashlights, air horns, blockading of supplies, and even sent a professional climber to get her down.

juliahill.jpgEventually an agreement was reached that saved Luna and all the trees within the three acres surrounding it. In return, Pacific Lumber would receive $50,000 provided by Hill that would be donated to Humboldt State University, a local college. Hill came down on December 18, 1999 and she was recognized by the world as a heroine and a powerful voice for the environment. By doing this, her love and respect for all life has inspired millions of people around the world. She founded an organization called Circle of Life that is devoted to environmental education and activism. She wrote a book about her tree sitting experience called The Legacy of Luna. She is the youngest person ever to be elected to the Ecology Hall of Fame. She was also named as one of the twenty most influential women in politics by John F. Kennedy Jr.


Julia Butterfly Hill is an example of respect for and emphasis on the importance of nature. She clearly respected nature considering she lived in a tree for 738 to prevent the tree and surrounding trees from getting cut down. Most people wouldn't care enough about nature to give up their life to sit in a tree for over two years, but Hill did because she sees the importance of nature. Hill also reflects another characteristic of transcendentalism, which is nonviolent . She sat in this tree to protect it, she was basically protesting against the Lumber company that wanted to cut it down. She was sticking up for what she believed in, but doing so in a non-violent way. She gained the respect of many people worldwide for her courage of doing this. If she would of protested in a violent way I don't think it would of captured so much attention and she definitely wouldn't of got the respect from so many people.Thoreau once said, "Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around." This quote applies to Hill because she stood up for what she believed in, which was saving these trees. She got the attention and respect of people worldwide which would likely cause them to act more friendly toward the environment.

Egyptian Revolution

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The Egyptian Revolution took place to change things in Egypt. Egypt wanted to overthrow their president, Hosni Mubarak, who had been president for 30 years. People wanted Mubarak out of office, the end of emergency law, freedom, justice, a say in the management of Egypt’s resources, and a responsive non-military government. The protests started on January 25, 2011. Protests by the citizens were non-violent, the police are the ones who got violent. During these protests thousands of people packed the streets on labor strikes, holding signs,etc. The citizens faced against the police who armed with shields, batons, and endless supplies of tear gas. The citizens, however, did not back down. On February 10, 2011 Mubarak finally decided to step down.

The Egyptian Revolution is an example of nonviolent resistance. The people of Egypt had a problem with how things were being ran, they didn't agree with Mubarak and weren't happy with where they were at as a country. Instead of causing a big war, the Egyptians just protested against Mubarak. They were very successful, and were not willing to back down to anything. Emerson once said, "Peace can not be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." This quote means that if the people would of been violent and started shooting at officials and everyone, then nothing would of been achieved. Since the citizens were civil and pretty mature about the situation, they got what they wanted to achieve. The Egyptian Revolution is a perfect example of nonviolent resistance and goes perfectly with Emerson and Thoreau's thoughts.

For more information:

"http://www.youtube.com/embed/50X3G47-Pdo"


Transcendentalism in Popular Culture

"My Wish"

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I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big



These lyrics, wrote by Rascal Flatts, reflect transcendentalism. One of the characteristics of transcendentalism is optimism, and this whole song is optimistic. He is clearly hoping someone has the best life they possibly can. He comes straight out with it when he says, "This life becomes all that you want it to." He is wishing the best for someone else. One could argue there is some nonconformity when he says, "And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you." This is nonconformity because he wants you to choose the choice that means the most to you, which may not be the popular choice, just like Emerson would want. One of Emerson's main ideas is nonconformity, he wants everyone to be their own individual, have their own opinions, and choose things for themselves. A perfect example of how Emerson feels that relates to this song is his quote, "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail." By this quote he means don't follow what someone else has done, do what you want to do and make your own choices.

"Where's the Love?"






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What's wrong with the world, mama?
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world's addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring the trauma

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the U.S.A., the big C.I.A.
The bloods and the crips and the K.K.K.

But, if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah

Badness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and hear them cryin'?
Can you practice what you preach?
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?
(Love)

Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
The love, the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace are so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong?
Nations droppin' bombs

Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With the ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So, ask yourself is the lovin' really gone?
So, I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong

In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin'
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love

Where's the love, y'all, come on
(I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on
(I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?
(Love)

Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
(Love)

Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
(The love)
Where is the love?
The love, the love

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' the wrong direction

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity

That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
And ask yourself

Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?

Sing wit my ya'll
(One world, one world)
We only got
(One world, one world)
That's all we got
(One world, one world)

And somethin's wrong wit it
(Yeah)
Somethin's wrong wit it
(Yeah)
Somethin's wrong wit world world world yeah
We only got
(One world, one world)
That's all we got
(One world, one world)


These lyrics, wrote by the Black Eyed Peas, also reflect transcendentalism. A characteristic of transcendentalism is support for non-violence, and that is what this song is about. They are talking about all of the bad things going on in the world and wondering where the love is. They think we should love each other instead of hate each other. This idea goes along with Thoreau's ideas about nonviolence and even loving each other. He says, "There is no remedy for love but to love more," meaning that there is no cure for love you should just keep on loving.They say people are addicted to the drama and things that will bring trauma, basically saying people like the violence. The Black Eyed Peas clearly think that people need to be loving and not hate and fight each other, which is a perfect example of transcendentalism.

Works Cited


"A Season for Non-Violence-Oakland - Famous Quotes from Thoreau." Index. LaVie En Rose Productions, 2004. Web. 7 Mar. 2011 <http://www.snvoakland.org/thoreau/thoreauquotes.html>.

"About Julia." You, Yes YOU, Make the the Difference. Web. 14 Mar. 2011. <http://www.juliabutterfly.com/en/about-julia>.

"Biography of Julia Butterfly Hill, Environmental Activist." Peaceheroes Home Page. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://www.peaceheroes.com/JuliaButterflyHill/juliabutterflyhillbio.htm>.

"Black Eyed Peas Wallpapers." Free Wallpapers - WallpaperBase.com. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. <http://www.wallpaperbase.com/music-blackeyedpeas.shtml>.

Kanalley, Craig. "Egypt Revolution 2011: A Complete Guide To The Unrest." Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/30/egypt-revolution-2011_n_816026.html>.

Kouddous, Sharif. "Live From the Egyptian Revolution." The Nation. The Nation, 29 Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://www.thenation.com/article/158145/live-egyptian-revolution>.

Lamm, Robert. "Julia Lorraine "Butterfly" Hill (1974–) - Encyclopedia of Arkansas." The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. The Central Arkansas Library System, 17 Nov. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2947>.

"Peace Cannot Be Achieved through Violence, It Can Only Be Attained through Understanding. by Ralph Waldo Emerson." Quotations, Famous Quotes at Quote World. Quote World, 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://quoteworld.org/quotes/4452>.

"RASCAL FLATTS LYRICS - My Wish." A-Z Lyrics Universe. 2011. Web. 6 Mar. 201l. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rascalflatts/mywish.html>.

Robertson, Geoff. "Optimistic Quotes to Brighten Your Day." Self Improvement Way Beyond Your Expectations. SiteBuildlt, 2008. Web. 8 Mar. 2011 <http://www.totalselfimprovement.com/optimistic-quotes.html>.

"WHERE IS THE LOVE Lyrics - BLACK EYED PEAS." Song Lyrics. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. <http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/black-eyed-peas-lyrics/where-is-the-love-lyrics.html>.

"YouTube - My Wish." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 30 Nov. 2006. Web. 6 Mar. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz32I_GbpeU>.

"YouTube - The Black Eyed Peas - Where Is The Love?" YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 16 June 2009. Web. 7 Mar. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc>.