I BELIEVE DR. KING WOULD SAY
Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Tomorrow, Monday, January 16, America celebrates perhaps one of the greatest individuals this troubled, controversial and often seemingly neurotic nation has ever produced. Given the tidal wave of bigotry riding the skirts of a new and radically different presidential administration, this Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Day has, to me, particular irony.
I do not wonder what he would say if he was here now because to me, he has never been gone. He would certainly warn ethnic communities to prepare to defend themselves but he would certainly not propose a pre-emptive strike. He would remind all of us that we are the government, we, the people, and that if we permit one voice to go unheard, we turn a deaf ear to all the voices. And one day, all those voices will turn a deaf ear to our voice.
I hope he would remind us of the contributions all those born here and who come here to live have made to making this nation the largest democratic republic in the world.
I believe he would find the rhetoric of 21st Century haters to be preposterous but that it does little, if no, good to attempt to reason with a bigot or to attempt to change their mind. Bigotry is based on a totally erroneous set of perceptions by which the person of prejudice (POP) experiences and interacts with at least human society.
Anything which contradicts what a POP experiences is ~ in their minds ~ clever deception and sometimes even entertaining. But it is never convincing because it is untrue and that which is untrue should not be believed, regardless of what is used to support this false perception most of the rest of us call “reality”. You cannot make him see a rainbow when the only two colors he acknowledges are black and white.
I believe Dr. King would remind us ~ as outgoing American president Barack Obama did ~ that what we do is change the world in which persons of prejudice live. We do this in America by enacting legislation with teeth in it. We do it by reflecting the best in our culture and the rest for what it is. We do it by creating a user-friendly government and a neighbor-friendly society.
From the Declaration of Independence forward, we have been doing this. In contrast to other nations during the same 241 years, our social evolution ~ as bloody as it has been ~ has nonetheless been far less violent and has ultimately influenced the planet a great deal more.
It is simply, I believe Dr. King would say, a matter of continuing to build on that progress as citizens of the greatest democratic republic in the world. That’s what I intend to do and that’s what this magazine intends to do.
Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear.
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FROM OUR EUROPEAN DESK
It’s been a magical week in Ukraine starting with Orthodox Christmas, always white, as in this popular song “I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas“.
Also this weekend, we are having celebrations of a New Old Year. It sounds like an oxymoron but even after adopting the Gregorian calendar, the Julian calendar is still traditionally used for unofficial celebrations. That fairytale around inspired me to write a little story.
It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar no different from thousands that were born everyday in the mechanized stainless steel world. After birth it was efficiently dressed in a colourful package and sent with her sisters to a warehouse in a big box. Embracing each other in the darkness, feeling secure.
Suddenly bright light entered the box and everyone was lifted out and carefully placed on the top shelf of a supermarket. Christmas music played in the background and the chocolate bars chatting excitedly.
A few moments later a group of them were grabbed and dropped with a shopping basket before entering a plastic bag. A bump ride and coming to rest in a cool dark environment.
Our chocolate did not know exactly what she was waiting for, but knew something exciting could happen.
At last a clatter of heels and joyful voices. Lifted back into the warmth and light by a small woman’s hand, the chocolate noticed the glisten of a shiny bracelet.
“A gift from me”.
“Thank you. It looks delicious,” said a kind voice.
This time the chocolate bar was bathed in orange light from another plastic bag.
In the background music and conversation started getting louder.
Outside of a restaurant, an old man wearing shabby clothes was asking passersby for help. People hurried walked by, taking no notice of his plight, but he did not take offense. It was awkward for him to beg but circumstances were such he had no choice. Surviving day by day, hoping for better times ahead.
The small woman hand entered into orange bag again this time carefully taking chocolate bar and handed it to the old man who was say grateful. She also gave him packaged restaurant food.
They, the chocolate and old man, were on the “move again” this time a long slow going by feet. Lots to see though, in the dim lantern light. Snow started falling in big flakes coating the world in white.
Chocolate felt happy watching all the people and beauty around.
She felt her mission in life was approaching.
The old man turned into courtyard. It became very dark only the stars above were brighter.
“Grandpa,” cried an excited little girl’s voice.
The apartment was cold and damp but despite the obvious poverty, there was love. On a table sat a few pine tree branches wrapped in shiny ribbons. It was the only indication that it was Christmas.
The old man hugged his granddaughter. He then handed her the chocolate bar which caused a cry of surprise and laughter. The wrapping was immediately removed, foil gleamed in the lamp light.
It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar, which became a great joy to a little girl.
Happy New Year, Mishka. Stay warm, my cousin. See you next week.
Olya Bereza – European Editor ` Пятница, 30 декабря 2016, 14:53 +03:00 от Minstrel312@aol.com:
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Rusty Miller and Olya Bereza, editors. We now reach 22 nations. Our readers cross all demographics but have in common a sincere and extremely proactive desire to help make our world a better place. We are both proud and honored to be a resource for them in that regard. If you like what you read and would like to contribute to the next edition, please go here. Your donation is also a subscription to the magazine delivered to your email. For more information, we are at firstname.lastname@example.org