Marcus Kar on Transformation (Reconciliation, Healing, Growth)
Marcus Kar is Director of Programs at Youth Farm in North Minneapolis, a mentor / healer, a musician, teacher, and community-builder. In this interview he shares time-honed insights about his transformative works and vision for a better future.
Achieving Transformation: Marcus Kar is a native of “North” Minneapolis, a predominantly African-descent (African-American) community struggling to overcome racism, poverty, and other forms of American-institutional abuse. Marcus is program director for Youth Farm, “a multi-faceted youth development organization growing food and young leaders, healthy bodies and minds, positive identity, neighborhood connections, community opportunities, and healthy relationships.” In this interview he shares garden-grown wisdoms on how and where to find healing and healthy-self. His insights are extensive (see Quotes, below). He is interviewed by friend, Rev. Louis Tillman and AllCreation exec. editor, Chris Searles, as part of our collection, Envisioning Transformation.
2:45 Who are you?
> about Youth Farm
> 4:00 about Marcus
> 5:20 about working w kids
> 6:00 about redirecting energy and cultural identity
> 7:30 about his homegrown Minneapolis Food Council
> 8:40 about his nature healing / nature wealth movement
> 10:00 on success & his vision
> 15:50 “Nature is medicine... No one knows how to put the pieces back together... That’s what nature does“
> 18:40 “I’ve been guided by powerful women“
> 19:40 America’s worldview = Duality (duality is a divider)
> 19:40 America’s worldview = Duality (duality is a divider)
> 22:20 We have to find social balance.
> 24:00 Comments on Bio-intelligence
> 28:35 “I want people to know…“
32:00 What is your message to the world?
> 38:45 Coming together nonverbally, redirecting trauma, angst , pain and alienation
44:45 Wrap up
I’m an indigenous person. I’m a product of so many people.
What I try to tell people now is: I wish they would spend a little time with me when it comes to what they wanna see as far as change in their immediate environment, because I redirect energy...
No one is helping young people understand how to feel their feelings.
I’m trying to create a movement around growing and I want people to use it as medicine. I wanna share what I gained from nature with my entire environment.
One of the elders told me, “If you don’t move your physical, you lose your spiritual.”
Nature is medicine.
There’s a very thin line between a plant and a human being.
Everything we want for ourselves and we want to know about bettering this world, bettering our environment, you can find in the bio-ecosystem. We need to be a part of it, not necessarily be in control of it. You can’t control her.
I tend to never be married to any one idea or approach. I’m not trying to sustain any of these (institutional) systems. I’m really trying to figure a way for us to be able to listen to each other and self-correct, in order to provide the kind of environment we need to thrive.
This idea of “intergenerational processes”: it keeps the Old young, and the Young wise.
It’s very hard for people who’ve never dealt with any kind of adversity or any issues with the police to understand, but a kid who got his arm broke by a cop will live his whole life feeling that phantom pain. We need to recognize how we can extract it: by holding him; telling him he’s ok; telling him how to avoid those things; and telling him where his power is or her power is…
Instead of listening to people, you wanna write policy...
The new revolution has nothing to do with control or division. It has a lot to do with addition and it has a lot to do with balance.
Seeing this stuff is traumatizing. . . Man, if you could only redirect that. I don’t want us to react. I don’t want us to live in the poison of guilt, anger, and sadness.
Don’t ever keep this stuff to yourself. If you’re going through any depression or trauma, just do me a favor -- try to talk to someone.
I want to try and eliminate the number of shootings we have and green spaces have that impact on communities. The more we are outside together, eating together, living together, the less the shooters are there.
I’m not special, I’m present. I know them, their grandmas, their aunties, their fathers, their mothers, and I get down to their level. They wanna call me in the middle of the night and talk to me about what’s happenin in the crib, I got you… I’m present.
How do you keep the balance? This is something we don’t teach. We teach everyone they’re special and they all get prizes. No. Listen: In order to keep balance you need to learn how to follow… The idea of reacting isn’t a positive thing.
If you’re not a kind man, you’re not my kind of man. (“Man” = human)
Everything that’s happening has an impact on everything else here. Be aware of that. Know that you’re important in the grand scheme of everything.
We want to be one with [the seasons] so we can actually produce the thing that is our God-given right, what Nature provides us.
Every time we get an opportunity to rest and take our time, it seems like Capitalism is taking that away... I love being exhausted for a reason, like, if I get done shoveling 10 cubic yards of soil in a wheel barrow and running up and down a hill — yea, I’m tired, but for a reason. If you just wake up in the morning tired, there’s something wrong with that.
We should be in control of the technology… And I really hope we start using technology to Rest, first of all…
If you rest your mind, you’re capable of processing things -- not based on a forced system or process, you’ll be able to see many different processes and as long as there are shared values you’ll be able to take any approach to that end result… But, in order to choose one you have to rest; you gotta be in sync; you gotta be on time.
People think I’m growing all this, I’m not. This is a bio-ecosystem. I’m a part of it and I know every crevice and I tend to use it, and it consists not just of the weeds and the food and the flowers, but it also consist of the birds, the bees, some pests and things…
We have so many definitions about what we’re capable of being, so, spiritually, we’re not really tapping into a huge amount of our potential.
This thing that makes up our bio-ecosystem we need to start sharing… We all have our super powers and when were on the same frequency and rhythm and harmony there are endless possibilities. That’s what I love about Music. That’s what I love about Nature. That what I love about Food; try using different spices.
You don’t have a choice but to live. Your body, this engine that God has created, is here to thrive and live as full circle and graduate to new lives. There’s nothing to fear. .