Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
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Salon #14 - June 5, 2021

June 5, 2021 - 4:00PM-6:00PM GMT / 11:00AM-1:00PM US CT

Patricia Mukhim and Marta Benavides

Patricia Mukhim

Presentation title: Speaking My Mind

When I was asked to speak on the above theme, I asked myself what is not the truth that I am saying or have been saying all along? Is it not my moral duty first of all to speak up when all around me choose to be silent? And if what I speak comes from the depths of my being after having submitted by soul to due scrutiny then is that not the truth? Over the years I have realised that it is only in speaking the truth, no matter what the costs - and those costs are often life-exacting – that there is a moral force in what one says.

As a newspaper editor, one strives to tell people what they need to know by daily sifting fact from lies and obfuscation. The truth cannot be compromised and one cannot suppress the truth through the use of semantics to please anyone, not even your own community – not even when you are threatened to be excommunicated by that community.

The journey of speaking truth to power is challenging and involves personal pain but it’s the only journey I will choose. In this short conversation I will speak of the many hurdles one faces in a country like the India of today if one sets about critiquing the national Government. The law of sedition that is let loose on journalists and civil society activists. It’s a long road ahead and the only hope is the judiciary.

Patricia Mukhim - edits The Shillong Times - an English language daily from the Indian State of Meghalaya in the remote North Eastern Region of India. She has served as a member of the National Security Advisory Board and has contributed her learnings to an agency that looks at military security while often forgetting human security, water and food security. She has also brought in gender perspectives to the Board. Patricia has been a gender activist and also helped the world understand the matrilineal society she comes from in her book, "Waiting For an Equal World."

Marta Benavides

Presentation title: Speaking truth with power

I will use the experiences that have brought me to see that life is calling us to be GlobalPlanetaryCitizens, this understanding is about being mindful in each step we take on the impact that our actions and ways have in present and future generations up to the seventh one, and the world order we create as we make choices. There is only oneness in the universe and we must be solidarious -Be one with each other, and with the planet, now and always in all ways, knowing that the individual rights are conditioned by the rights of the collective and viceverse, we must be educated to be about these ways, that is how we can understand how we came to the COVID19 situation and what can be and must be the ways to live in ways that prevent this and upcoming pandemics, -- this includes the economic, political, cultural, social, environmental, moral, spiritual pandemics-- besides those more related to health. Then we can see also our role in the present environmental and climate emergency and crisis, and how we can heal ourselves personally and collectively, and at same time, we must work on how to heal planet, nature -- this is the gift we must come to know and affirm that oneness, that we are one with each other, with the present and future generations, and with this loving planet, our MotherEarth, and with the universe itself.

I will share how I and my sisters were raised by what could be considered now a feminist person, our mom who taught these ways of mindful living, no aspect was too small not to be mindful of it.. and how our dad honored these ways .. to live simply but not to simply live.


In this life time- I will turn 78 next november- I have been through colonialism in all its forms, coup d'etats in all forms, in wars, and quakes, floodings, jails and exiles... yet i can rest in the knowledge that there is this love that the whole universe and Mother Earth exhibit, and is there for us all to unite to enjoy.. thus, I have been about making sure to create a world at peace in a healthy planet/environment, and this i have been about as a volunteer, never as a staff, but as one who will be in accompaniment to people to live in that way, this is how I accompanied Mgr Romero as he carried his ministry of accompaniment, and how I have continued since his martyrdom, transforming and creating possibilities as we come together to be the difference, that is how i have been in UN processes and in civil society processes, making a contribution living simply to be able to b about the purpose, rather than dictated by a salary, or submitting to a political party or religion... and it is in this ways that I came to know and work with many of you, and many others with whom to partner around the world.

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