One-Liner Wednesday – Nelson Mandela quote

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
– Nelson Mandela

For Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday – http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/one-liner-wednesday-in-the-end/
( I know this is technically not a one-liner, but I didn’t want to alter the original quote by using a semicolon instead of a period and I felt the second sentence needed the context of the first.)

 

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What makes for great writing?

A very wise post. I don’t know that I would characterize my own writing as great, but I certainly relate to needing to generate my own sense of satisfaction and accomplishment with my writing – and with most of the rest of my activities, given that I am not paid for any of them.

gentleness

As often happens, Sunday Mass renews my perspective. Over the last week, I’ve been struggling with how things are going, especially here in the US.

Today’s readings and homily reminded me of what my response should be in the face of upset and violence:  gentleness.

The now-retired long-time pastor of my former parish was filling in at church this morning. Along with Scripture passages, the homily referenced the Aesop fable of the wind and the sun competing to get a man to take off his coat. No matter how violently the wind blew, it could not remove the man’s coat, but the gentle rays of the sun soon warmed the man to the point that he removed his coat.

It was a reminder to me that however upset I am with the disrespect and violence in our culture, my response must be gentleness and understanding. I am not generally one to fight fire with fire, but the reminder was welcome. Don’t despair or fear, but keep on gently speaking and abiding in truth and peace.

watch your language

I continue to watch in horror the coverage of the situation with so many children from Central America coming into the US. I am distressed by those who have no sympathy for their plight and refuse to welcome them, even for a short time, in their communities.

It pains me to hear these children – and the adults who are in the same situation – termed “illegal immigrants,” “illegal migrants,” or just plain “illegals.”

All of the children and many of the adults are actually refugees, fleeing from failed states, violence, hunger, drug gangs, crime, and a level of poverty that most from the US cannot even imagine.

The United States, Canada, European countries, and any country that borders another where there is war or famine know what it is like to offer help to refugees. The US routinely urges other countries to accept refugees fleeing war, persecution, violence, failed states, starvation, and other dire situations.  The US continues to accept and re-settle refugees in the US, sometimes temporarily, but often permanently.

Many US citizens, myself included, are descended from those who came to the United States fleeing war and famine. That the war was World War I and the famine was the potato blight in Ireland – itself set in motion by British politics – does not change the basic fact that my forebearers arrived here because they were fleeing threats in their countries.

I know that my Irish and Italian ancestors faced discrimination when they arrived here. Many did not want to welcome these newcomers, despite Emma Lazarus’s words of hope enshrined on the Statue of Liberty. (My Irish ancestors would not have seen them, but my Italian ones who arrived after the completion of the Statue of Liberty may have.)

It’s true that the US immigration system was different in those days. It’s also true that our current system has not been functional for decades, but Congress has not been able to muster the will to reform it, despite many plans and bills and speeches and the urging from a range of people from the last several presidents on down to advocates ministering to those living and working in the shadows across the country.

I believe it is our duty as human beings and as a democracy to offer refuge to those in need in our own hemisphere, especially those who have survived a perilous journey to seek safety and often family members already here in the US. Refugees should be welcomed, fed, and kept safe, while family members or sponsors are located and refugee status documents are completed.

We should also do what we can through the State Department to help failed states transform to functional ones, enabling refugees to return to a safe home and community, if they choose.

Meanwhile, it is our moral obligation to care for these refugees. I am ashamed that some want to block entrance to the United States to others in such desperate circumstances.

Postscript:  While I am not near the Southern border where the current crisis is occurring, I do live in an area that has been an official re-settlement area for refugees for decades.

checking stats at 3:30 AM

Because I was up and posting, I checked my stats and found out that the only person to visit my blog so far today was in Australia and reached this post because they searched for “raining on volcano.”

This is slightly mind-boggling to me. Someone on the other hemisphere from me – times two – visited my blog due to the power of a search engine.

I don’t know if s/he read my post. They may have been looking for science, rather than travelogue/musings. Just the concept of global connection is enough to make me ponder.

Little me and mystery person half a world away brought together for at least a moment.

*****

Pingback: http://misslouella.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/just-jot-it-july/

SoCS – “Body”

This post is part of SoCS:http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-514/ . If you visit the link, there are rules for joining in. Please do – and share!

There are “extra points” for linking this post with Independence Day yesterday, so the first thing that comes to mind is the body politic.

Ours in the US is very messed up right now. I wrote a post about it yesterday – (Happy) Independence Day! 

There is also body of work, of which this post is a very small sample.

Small, and rambling, but that is how the conscious streams!

At the moment, my body is settled into my maroon recliner and feeling a bit tired, as it is 3:24 AM. I did sleep some and hope to sleep a bit more before other people start to get up.

Hope every”body” else has a good day!

(Happy) Independence Day!

In the United States of America, July fourth is commemorated as the anniversary of our nation. We are supposed to celebrate our country and the freedoms it affords with parades and picnics and fireworks.

I don’t feel like celebrating.

Our national government is mired in long-standing dysfunction. Poverty rates are high. Infrastructure is crumbling. Social mobility is nearly impossible. Income inequality is at an extreme level, similar to the 1920’s, right before the Great Depression.

I think what distresses me the most is the inability of people to even listen to those with a different viewpoint, much less reach a consensus that moves us toward resolving any of these issues.

Many in the country seem to have forgotten the Preamble to our Constitution, which sets out what our nation and its government, chosen by the people, is supposed to be and do.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It’s time – past time – for all of us to take this obligation seriously. If we don’t take action soon to truly “promote the general welfare,” there will not be blessings to bestow on future generations.

Let’s all get to work.

Now.