goingplaceslivinglife

Travel, Food, and Slices of Life


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I Hate You I Want You Dead

This morning, as I scan my Facebook feed I see so much hate.

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Watching the news videos of the situation in Ferguson, Missouri reminded me of the riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Not much has seemed to change for people who feel powerless. And now the police are armed with military surplus, the better to control this kind of protest. Has there been unlawful behavior? Yes. Has there been inappropriate response by the police for peaceful activity? Yes. Is there something very fishy about the the issue that caused all this protest? Oh yes. And until the police come forward with the truth, there will be continued anger that will be displayed in a way that will cause additional turmoil.

Posted_Japanese_American_Exclusion_OrderThen I read an essay declaring that all Islam is evil and the writer will be boycotting all businesses owned by any Muslim and will be encouraging all others to do the same. While I am horrified by the ISIS activity and am angry about the way Islamic street protests in Europe and the US have targeted synagogues and churches, I am also deeply concerned by this kind of one-size-fits-all declaration of hate. It is the same emotion that hated all Native Americans and worked to kill them and then drive them to reservations, the same emotion that rounded up American-born citizens of Japanese heritage and put them in detention centers during WWII, it is the same emotion that restricted Jews from admission to universities and country clubs, it is the same emotion that holds Latinos and African Americans and all poor people as undeserving of equal opportunity.

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While Robin Williams’ death caused most people to realize we just can’t really understand the depth of despair that drives someone to suicide and we need to help people with emotional illness more, some people have attacked his daughter’s Twitter account with hateful words. While I personally, even in very stressful times, seem to be able to believe in my pathway through it all into a calmer place, I understand not everyone has that level of certainty. Why add to the turmoil?  What gives you the right to make someone who is already in pain feel worse? 

So much hate. So much “mine is the only right way” attitude. That is not be a way to healing. That is the way to more divisiveness.

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I have a COEXIST bumper sticker….have had it for years. While not all people are deserving of a hand in friendship, most people respond well to an attitude of acceptance and tolerance. I welcome hearing your views, but can really only listen best if the strong emotions you may feel are explained calmly. If you feel strongly that your way of thinking about something is correct and want to convince others, present it in logical steps so others can understand your rationale. You may not get any more believers but you will have communicated, not just ranted.

And stop choosing to hate…..we all have much more in common than the minor differences that seem to be more apparent. Look for those commonalities to rediscover your own humanity. And, really, in a world where so much is beyond our individual control, the ONLY thing you have 100% control over is your attitude.  And realize, if you choose the path of hate and support restricting civil rights to others here in the US, you are on the pathway to a kind of right wing totalitarian society, similar to what allowed Hitler to grow in power. Is that what you truly want? your ACTIONS show YOUR choice.attitude wordle


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Dead Before I Was Born, He Shaped Events in My Life

When we think of people throughout history who have influenced human events the numbers narrow. When we place a moral judgement that that person had an overall GOOD influence, the list reduces even more.  It was with humble pleasure that we got to visit two sites affiliated with Mohandas Ghandi while in Delhi.

source: Wikipedia

source: Wikipedia

Ghandi was born in 1869 to educated parents (his father was a government minister, his mother influenced him with her Hindu religious practices that included self-discipline and non-violence).  At that time India had been part of the British Empire for over 100 years.  Ghandi went to London to study law.  He took a position in South Africa and bore the brunt of considerable discrimination both in the courts as well as general life. It was during this time he began to develop his practice of satyagraha (“truth and firmness”), or passive resistance, as a way of non-cooperation with authorities.

DSCF5954Ghandi returned to India in 1914 and supported Great Britain during World War I but soon after he began to build the movement for independence.  As part of the political independence he strongly advocated, he realized that economic independence was necessary and helped develop an inexpensive spinning machine that helped cottage industry turn cotton into thread, the first step to weaving fabric and making clothes.DSCF5952

At a Delhi model of the Calcutta ashram we saw the simple way Ghandi lived and worked. The docent there also showed us how the spinning machine works and Lisa discovered it was not an immediately achievable skill.DSCF5959

Through boycotts of British businesses, hunger strikes and other nonviolent methods, Ghandi went on to build the political movement to independence, which occurred in 1947. At that time, Great Britain decided to partition the Indian subcontinent into Muslim (Pakistan) and Hindu (India) areas.   Ghandi was against partition, believing that all the people of the land could learn to work together. He was advocating having the various political leaders that practiced the major religions alternate as Prime Minister and had urged that the first Prime Minister should be Muhammed Al Jinnah instead of Jawaharlal Nehru.  Ghandi was assassinated by a fellow Hindu in January 1948 who believed strongly in partition, Jinnah became Pakistan’s first Prime Minister and Nehru went on to lead India.ghandi

Although Ghandi never held public office, his influence on the modern development of India’s political and social system was profound.  Additionally he influenced others. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela followed the principles to break apartheid and here in the United States, Martin Luther King used Ghandi’s nonviolent methods to force the evolution of civil rights of African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s.DSCF5921

Ghandi’s memorial site is both beautiful and simple. Crowded with school children on the say we visited, it was a moment of peace and calm and thoughtful contemplation in a very busy week.DSCF5927