We Will Miss Mary Harris:Some Thoughts & Wisdom
It feels strange coming to the office in San Francisco today knowing that colleague Mary Harris will not join me from her beloved ocean home in Pacifica.
Mary passed away on May 11, 2018, in a hospice guest house in San Francisco after over a week in a Daly City hospital having suffered a stroke.
Mary was 49 days away from being 101 years old!
I am told she had four friends at her bedside, one of whom sang Mary a favorite song upon which time Mary calmly closed her eyes and peacefully passed on.
Mary was a dedicated peace and human rights activist to the day she died. She would join me at the office on Tuesdays and write thank you letters to DWF donors. She regularly attended DWF Board meetings providing a wisdom some of us “younger” Board members lacked. I described her as our “spiritual” leader. She hated racism and war in no uncertain terms. To her, no matter our skin color, we were all part of the human race, a point she was fond of repeating at every incident of racial bigotry. She was contemptuous of war, calling it simply another form of murder.
She was a determined world federalist who saw world federalism as the best and most hopeful path to world union and an end to war. She served as the DWF Executive Secretary for many years until age and poor eyesight made it impractical. But she stayed on as an active Board member. The San Francisco Chronicle did a story on Mary when she was 93, describing how Mary climbed “160 steps” up a steep hillside to get from her beachfront home “to civilization.”
“She hikes out, then walks half a mile to catch public transit to San Francisco,” wrote the Chronicle. “It’s all in the service of Democratic World Federalists, a peace organization where she has been the volunteer secretary for 20 years.”
In Toward Democratic World Federation (Winter, 1993) there was an article about Mary who was a Regional Representative on the national WFA Board of Directors. “She gives countless hours in the office and in meetings and activities outside the office in support of the WFA. She is one of those members who can be counted on to deliver selflessly for the Association.”
As a psychologist, I was impressed with Mary’s idea that what was missing, but sorely needed was “Global Conscience,” an advanced concept which would, I thought, improve Freud’s notion of the “superego.”
Roger Kotila, Ph.D.
President of Democratic World Federalists
“Global conscience.” Why? “It would make a good movement for a new morality”
“A movement for survival. A march to world peace. It’s a world without racism or war” “Homelessness or starvation would be a thing of the past”
“If those in power had a global conscience, there would no longer be poverty in the world. We would treat other peoples’ children like they were our own children”
NO-MORESBy Mary Harris
Some say “Some-mores” are a delicious treat, but I haven’t tried them yet. I present here a truly delectable idea: “No-mores.”
Listed below are suggestions for a United World Government to assimilate into its administrative, judicial, and social system. I assume of course that an eventual world government, probably or hopefully federal and democratic, will make “No-mores” an important part of the global good government system.
No-more invading countries for their resources
No-more making enemies
No-more killing for land
No-more crude oil pipelines
No-more “solving problems” by hating, killing, or revenge
No-more adult “trick or treat” (extortion)
No-more excuses for global violence
No-more mass incarcerations
No-more racism, sexism, or ageism
No-more nonjudicial killings
No-more “all options are on the table”
No-more police militarism
No-more hate education
No-more world anarchy
MARY HARRIS AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
1. Proclamation from the City of Pacifica
June 15, 2017, titled “A Colorful Life: Mary Harris at 100”
2. the Art Guild of Pacifica, a Lifetime member
“In appreciation of your invaluable service as Gallery Attendant Coordinator for years too numerous to count.”
3. dwfed, First Annual World Patriot Award
April 3, 2005. “For many years, artist and activist Mary Harris has provided an invaluable record of proceedings as secretary on the Board of Directors. Her care for all
of humanity shows in all that she does, no task too large or too small. Hers is an intangible influence not easily measured, but felt from the heart.”
Mary was an established artist and known in the Northern Bay Area. Here’s some of the art peices she made over her time.