Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yesterday's message inspired a number of good, literate, and thoughtful responses from you folks. I want to share parts of them with you.
"I am frustrated that I have only questions , and no answers. Well, I now believe we all know the answer . It is a matter of whether or not we have the strength, courage, and convicton to follow through and do what needs to be done. I am tired of feeling helpless, I am tired of complaining . And though I am certainly no leader of people, I am feeling a call to do something ."

And here is my reply:

Ask yourself this: What will be the outcome of events following any action I take?
I have marched and protested and it gave me personal satisfaction but I don't think it changed much. I was very afraid of getting my head busted or gassed or something. I have come around to thinking that change takes a long time. I don't have the answer as to what makes people change their minds, but I'm working on it. I think I have decided to do my part by incremental step.

Point out the truth...Every single time! Never support a significant falsehood through misplaced politeness.

Laugh at the liars.

Personally challenge people to come into the light.

Give no concession to those who support the lies, but do this kindly! Most of these people will be our friends and loved ones. They did not come up with these lies; they have caught the contagion and are acting as agents for their propogation.

Ruthlessly examine your own beliefs for falseness. (Nothing is true just because you want it to be true)
Have the courage to change your mind.
Fortify those who believe as you do.
Learn to convince people who are ready to change.
Challenge and negate those who lead in the wrong direction.

Make your own decisions, Friend. Cover your back, though. Maintain your credibility and accept that you will be attacked on the most visceral of levels. If you can't take that easily, back up and find a level of activism that supports your sensibilities. It is very difficult to change peoples minds by honest methods. The world does not function by critical thought. More people read the National Enquirer than Science News.

Think about it and be sure that what you want to do will get you the result you want. I am absolutely not suggesting you not act, just that you act with wisdom.

Now this:

It seems inappropriate to combine Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was a Christian preacher and had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, with Gandhi, who rejected Christianity and Jesus Christ. Although both are great men, your email implies Dr. King is a follower of Gandhi, which is not true."

My message is very clear on the fact that Gandhi was a major influence on Martin Luther King. They faced very similar, seemingly overwhelming situations and managed to keep their doctrine of nonviolence. I admire both men tremendously. I did not combine Martin Luther King with Gandhi, Martin Luther King did that himself. I have a picture of King standing at his desk. There behind him on the wall of his office is a picture of Gandhi. If George Bush looked around MLK park in Atlanta he would have seen the statue of Gandhi that resides there. Here is something said by someone who may have personal knowlege of MLK's relationship with Gandhi:
Mrs. Coretta Scott King stated that, "It is gratifying and appropriate that this statue is installed in this historic site because my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr., was deeply and profoundly influenced by the life and teachings of Gandhi. As Martin wrote in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, "As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the arena of social reform...." Her message adds that, "It not only commemorates the life and contributions of one of history's greatest leaders, but also the eternal bond between Gandhi and his foremost American disciple, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the spirit of goodwill between the people of India and the United States."

I see nothing inappropriate here except the attempt to separate men's worthiness by their religions. Silly in another way, since there is quite a body of work touting the amazing similarities between Jesus and Vishnu. It is sad for me to see the Darwiniam increase in tensions between these two religious systems since the core moralities are so similar in the acceptance of the power of love!
So with that: Peace, Love, and courage! I'm having deja vu all over again.


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