Tag Archives: We Are One

We Are One

Christmas_Hill_Park_in_Gilroy_California_USA,_March_2017

Another senseless tragedy, this time at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.  At the end of the day on the last day of the festival, a white male entered Christmas Hill Park and started shooting. In a flash 3 people were killed, including a 6 year old boy, and many more were wounded.

On the other side of the country, I learned about it within minutes on Facebook. Friends posted their shock and disbelief, their concern for the victims.

I was shocked too. Gilroy was my home in the 1980s, where I worked, raised children, and made good friends. My home was a block from Christmas Hill Park. I volunteered at the Festival for several years. My first assignment as a city planner in Gilroy was to document a massive flood that impacted much of the city, including Christmas Hill Park.

After hearing news of the tragedy, I posted my personal connection to Gilroy and the Garlic Festival on Facebook, and read many similar messages from people who have even a tenuous connection to Gilroy.

Then it hit me.

Although most people are saddened by a tragedy, we feel a visceral connection when the tragedy “hits home” and touches a place or person we actually know. That’s when we want to share our stories and humanity where there were inhumane acts committed.

WeAreOne-MedI think it must be human nature. When we feel a connection, we can reach across the time and distance that divides us and reconnect with the victims. We are one.

It’s not yet human nature to empathize with the “other” — those we don’t feel a connection with.  I know, because I’ve watched my own empathy quotient rise as I’ve connected with people.

Before 2016, I had no connection to Sudan and probably couldn’t even place it on the map accurately. Then I met a Sudanese woman who made my Subway sandwich in Baltimore every week. We talked, we got together for dinner at each other’s homes, we shared a Christmas Eve together, and we bonded. Today, I can’t hear news about Sudan without thinking of my friend. I hope to visit her in Baltimore in a couple of weeks.

Before 2004, I had no connection with Palestine. That’s when I made my first trip to Gaza with a friend. (I’ve written about that trip on this blog, and it’s included in the book I’m writing.) I knew the Zionist messaging about the Israel-Palestine “conflict” but nothing more. Then my eyes and heart were opened.

I wish all Americans could open their eyes and heart and be one with the Palestinians in Gaza. Maybe I can because I lived there, I worked there, I visited there and I know people there. 

Maybe that’s why the U.S. State Department prevents Americans from traveling to Gaza; it doesn’t want Americans establishing a visceral connection with the Palestinians. Israel doesn’t want the world connecting either, which is clear from its 12 years blockading the 2+ million people in the Gaza Strip. 

Will homo sapiens evolve? Can we connect with each other as one, and leave the “us versus them” paradigm back in the savanna? I hope so.

 

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Filed under Gaza, Peaceful, Spiritual - Religion, Uncategorized

The path not chosen after 9/11

This message popped up on my Facebook feed this morning, the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

This is a fight between good and evil….which side do you think Hillary is on? This Zionist Jesuit Luciferian Khazarian Bush/Clinton Cabal is responsible for 9/11 of which the people had no clue about. Not radical ideologies. America has been plundering the world and committing genocide blaming a made up boogie man for their resources. The veil is lifting and Americans are beginning to awaken.

Quickly, I absolutely disagree with this sentiment and have no clue who the person is, certainly not a “friend” of mine. But it makes the point that I was hoping to make better than I could.

Fifteen years since 9/11 and what have we (Americans) learned from that fateful day? I fear many of us have learned the wrong lessons.

Wrong Lesson #1: President George W. Bush epitomized the binary thinking with his infamous “fight between good and evil” rhetoric.  Remember, “you’re either with us or against us!”

Correct Lesson #1:  I wish we had learned a greater appreciation for compassion and loving our neighbor. Following 9/11, we should have been asking “how can we help those less fortunate than us in other parts of the world?”  “How can we show our strength and resolve through love and compassion, rather than by violence and fear?”

Wrong Lesson #2: Synthesizing complex issues and relationships into simple taglines and labels is so much easier than using our critical thinking skills.  “Zionist Jesuit Luciferian Khazarian Bush/Clinton Cabal” is the mother of all labels. LOL. Unfortunately, President Bush was masterful at putting complex ideas into simple boxes.  Or maybe he was just a simpleton.

Correct Lesson #2:  I wish we could have developed a new organ in our brain after 9/11.  An organ capable of holding conflicting ideas at the same time, of suspending disbelief and really listening to the other. The tragic events of 9/11, followed by the countless tragic events in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Paktika, Aleppo, and on and on, seem to have divided us into the home team vs. all those others. Instead, we should have learned that we’re all one.WeAreOne-Med

Wrong Lesson #3: “Radical ideologies” = them, not us. Terrorists are them, not us. Our drone kills are legitimate; their suicide bombers and beheadings are illegitimate.  Many Americans (including both major party candidates for President) blame radical ideologues abroad for the 9/11 attack and the war on terror we are fighting today. While others (as exemplified by the quote above) blame the U.S. or Israel or the Zionists.  

Correct Lesson #3: Truth be told, there are radical ideologues on both sides of the ocean, in every corner of the planet, including in Congress and the Executive Branch. “Radical ideologue = an adherent of an extreme or drastic ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic.” 

While we need to be cautious, especially with radical ideologues who wish to perpetrate violence, 9/11 should have taught us how to recognize the danger signs of radical ideologues within our midst. Instead, it appears that we’ve learned how to nurture them.  

I believe the U.S. government and many Americans have learned the wrong lessons from 9/11 and are following the wrong path fifteen years later as a result.  I wonder if we could choose another path.

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Filed under Peaceful, People, Uncategorized, US Policy, Video

Fundraising fatigue

There are many urgent needs in Gaza; and many people and organizations are soliciting funds for worthwhile projects.  I’m personally asked nearly every day to contribute to one campaign or another to help Gaza.

I can appreciate that the same universe of potential contributors receive multiple requests for assistance and a fundraising fatigue sets in — “Not again!” 

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Boat with Free Gaza flags at the beach.

In a fair and just world, the Palestinians in Gaza would have the opportunities and advantages that you and I have, without relying on donations from abroad. Without a doubt, I believe they would be very successful.

In a fair and just world, the one who breaks it should be the one who repairs it.

In a fair and just world, the government of Israel and the citizens of Israel would be required to pay for the damage they have wrecked upon the Palestinians in Gaza.

We don’t live in a fair and just world, and so the need for my GoFundMe account.

Please read my short message and contribute if you can.  I would be very grateful if you would share my GoFundMe link https://www.gofundme.com/b3kbdaf8 with your friends and networks.

Thank you for helping to build a fair and just world.

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Please forgive me

Veterans Day has its genesis in President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation nearly a century ago (1919). It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”[2]

Family members and good friends have served in the military. My Uncle refused to pick up arms but he wanted to serve in WWII and so he was assigned an ambulance to drive in the Sinai — the very same Sinai I’m trying to cross today. (I wish Uncle Jack was with me in Cairo.)

Every military in the world fights for peace and justice, as President Wilson proclaimed. They want their peace and their justice at the expense of the other’s death and destruction, no matter what the injustices they might inflict on the other.

It’s about time we recognize that we are one on this planet. God/Allah/Yahweh teaches us that we are one.

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I want to apologize to each and every veteran anywhere in the world — present, past and future — for the colossal failure of our government and every government on this planet to solve our differences peacefully.

War = diplomatic failure. War = traumas that no human should endure. War = a bonanza for the military industrial complex. Conventional war breeds unconventional terrorists. War = refugees.

I’m so sorry. Please forgive me and my generation for all of our failures.

Palestinian child's drawing in Gaza

Palestinian child’s drawing in Gaza

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