Tag Archive: indifference


I Will Walk


I Will Walk

I will walk right beside you

Truth our only guide

Never allowing race to separate us

For hate is a bumpy ride

I will stand beside you forever

Hold your hand when needed

Until you feel safe and loved

When the flood waters have receded

I will wear a smile for you because

I know darkness can leave us wary

And the evils man does at times

Can often be dismal and scary

Yes I will walk beside you eternally

Never leading or being led

Using God as my compass

Where light and love are bred

My path may be filled with challenges

Something I simply cannot take away

But it is also filled with unwavering love

That grows more each passing day

I will walk right beside you

I will love you endlessly

I will gladly lend you my hope

My vision of humanity

No matter the circumstance

Or what occurs along the way

I will refuse to create borders

Based on bias, indifference and hate

You are welcome along my path

For it has been for you too

My path is paved with love and truth

And I will walk…right beside you

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Your Biggest Regret


Your Biggest Regret

  There have been times in my life when I have learned, the hard way; that these moments will never come again. I will never again be inclined to say these exact words to you, again. While it is true that I will still talk to you, and write my thought s and sometimes rhymes; they will not be about this very moment.

  This very second is unique; it has never been experienced before and it never will again. You may ask why this thought is important; it is a fair question, after all. If we fail to appreciate what we have now…the future will be nothing but memories of what we regret. We may regret not saying enough; or saying too much. There should be no room for regret; make the most of today, it is what we are supposed to do.

  Now having said that, I must include another thought; in this moment that we are making the most of, CHOOSE TO LOVE. This is an important statement, because I do not want to give you a false impression or idea; when I suggest making the most of your moments in life. This is not about the ego; the ego is false, we created it. Things and possessions are not going to make a difference in our lives; in the grand scheme of things. I am suggesting that monetary gains will not enrich your growth; and at the end of your path…what memory can money bring you?

  The warmest feeling I have ever experienced was with a homeless man on the beach. I was sitting on a bench overlooking the boardwalk; it was sunset and I was just enjoying the serenity of the moment. I guess, in after thought, I was sitting on the spot he laid on. He was dirty, seemingly having not bathed in a while, and carried his belongings in a bag, thrown over his shoulder.  But I didn’t walk away, as I was prompted by friends; instead I stayed on that bench and listened as this stranger talked to me. I suppose my friends were doing what most of us do; walk away from that which we do not understand. But on this day; I wanted to know more.

  I do not recall the entire conversation; only that at the end he told me that no one ever took the time to listen to him. This thought brought me to tears; he was thanking me for not ignoring him, for being human. I remember touching the top of his hand; while I thanked him for talking to me. I can not recall another moment when I felt so good. This man was thanking me; when I should have thanked him. He gave me a part of himself; all I had to do was turn off the outside interference and listen. In that one single slight conversation; He and I displayed how we should love one another.

  I will forever think that he was an angel sent to me; sometimes I am still brought to tears when I recall that day.

  How many lost opportunities have you experienced? The greatest lessons in our lives come from the most unexpected places; that is what love is. Love is just taking the time; the extra time needed to see things a little more clearly. Love is a smile, which we haven’t yet extended. Why do we need an excuse to be kind to another person? This man did not ask me for a single penny, he just wanted to talk. He had something to say.

  I am urging you to look past what the world is telling you and search your own heart. The world will tell you to turn your back on people; people of different races, religions or geographic locations. I am telling you; when we turn our backs on mankind, we are creating our own demise.

  There is no reason to hate anyone or anything…ever. Why should you love someone who has shown you the hate or indifference? Love people because that is what you are supposed to do. Why is it so hard? Because we have forgotten that we were supposed to do it. The more we show and express love, the more we remind others of their path, as well.

  I hope you do not live a single moment of regret; for regret is a terminal illness which will kill your soul. Be kind to one another as often as humanly possible; before your life becomes your biggest regret.

My Prayer


My Prayer

 

I pray that there

Will never come a day

When I will turn from you

 And walk away

 

I hope that we learn

From others mistakes

And keep striving forward

No matter how long it takes

 

I know that we can walk through life

Holding one another’s hands

Never judging or demeaning

Our fellow woman and man

 

I will open my heart

By closing all doubt

Sharing the love of God

Is what life is all about

 

Life is so fragile and

Sometimes far too brief

But we can rise above offenses

That are sometimes too steep

 

We can smile and create laughter

Among our family of God

Giving support and encouragement

With a smile and a nod

 

Love one another

Why is that too much to ask

When did kindness and peace

Become too much of a task

 

Cast aside the hate we have grown in our hearts

And realize our second nature is not war

Be kind to each other at any cost

Remember the reason we were brought here for

 

No executions or state sanctioned deaths

Are acceptable by His rules

Empathy, compassion, and understanding

Not guns …should be our only tools

 

Once we can embrace the essence of God

And His attributes so divine

There will be no question what we should do

In your heart or even in mine

 

So I wish you love and inner peace

That with which we were made

Love your fellow neighbor

As you love thy self…is the lesson for today

 

Pay close attention to the word of God

And not the will of man

Once you do this it will become clear

You will then understand

 

There is no deed too small

Or no person so meek

Who cannot make a change

To fix a world so bleak

 

Remember the depths of the largest ocean

Started with a small drop of water…until one day

The skies opened up and God started to shine

And He willed it to begin to rain

 

It only takes the will of one man

To create the change that we need

One foot in front of the other

Baby steps…begin to follow His heed

 

Much joy and kindness

May your blessings exceed your sweetest thought

Give thanks daily

And His will be done…not purchased and not bought

 

I leave you with my final note

My humblest prayer

When your neighbor reaches out for you

I pray that you are there

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Single Drop of Water


A Single Drop of Water

 

  During this time of year, there will be people who will be singing and celebrating; laughing and crying; shopping and worshipping; remembering and mourning. It is the season of many emotions and experiences, for most. Not unlike any other time of year, I have spent time reminding us to be kind and loving with one another.

  I realized long ago that we all are different, in one fashion or another. No matter how similar we appear to be, if we search deep enough…we will find our distinctive characteristics. By the same token, if we search deep within those that we find to be our polar opposites…we will find the very likeness of us.

  What is the point of this? It’s a point in which, I take great pride in shining light on. We were all created from the same source and created with the same foundation. Our Creator, our point of origin…the maker of all things great and small…started our lives with a single drop of water. And throughout time we can visit and re-visit how water restores, replenishes, revitalizes and revives all living things. That single drop of water, brushed with the love of our Creator…is where we all started and where we should remain focused.

  For all of our differences and unique qualities…one thing tangible keeps us connected…like it or not. Our Creator, no matter what you refer to Him/her as…built us with love. We know this is true because no matter where we look, in music, lyrics, movies, art, even in our most divine books…we are told to love each other. At this point, we should have realized that loving our fellow living beings is important…because we are constantly being reminded to do so.

  The one constant we will have in this life is that as much as we are dissimilar…we are exactly the same. Our foundation cares nothing about how we look differently, speak differently, behave differently, or even worship differently. In the eyes of the Creator, we are the same.

  When the time comes and we are asked how we made use of our time here on earth…I pray that we have something more to offer than we spent time separating people because we have convinced ourselves of the superiority myth. None of us, not one single human being…is better than, above, greater than or superior to …ANYTHING. Your hair color or texture, the pigment of your skin, the accent of your voice, the size or shape of your body, the location of your earthly home, nor the religion, faith, or the life philosophy that you adhere to…does not put you above anyone or anything else. And as long as we have that delusion in our minds…we are not doing the work of God/Allah.

  Our time here is brief…to prove that fact you only have to ask anyone who has ever loved someone who passed away. So knowing this information…why do we waste so much time on hate and indifference? We are supposed to build our fellow man and woman up…we are supposed to help and guide one another. But in order to do that we must stop trying to isolate one another.

  I hope that during this season of love and hope…that we water the seed which God/Allah planted within us. Love is instilled within our being, but we must cultivate it, water it, and share it with the world. Touch everyone you can…through your fingertips… your speech or your deeds…God’s message can be delivered through us; just as electricity travels through water.

  I implore you to stop wasting time on the negativity that darkness can breed. Remember that just like mold needs darkness to thrive…so does negativity and hate. The Creator’s light is all around us…we need only to seek it. We can see it in compassion, empathy, joy, kindness, thoughtfulness…and when you aren’t watching…you can feel, smell, touch and absorb it through the laughter of children.

  Love is a gift that we are supposed to give to others; and because we were born with it we are supposed to do it all the time. We can hardly hold love hostage, by attaching stipulations to it. The statement “I will love you if…” is a statement of darkness. So here is my message to you: I will love you because God loves me. I will stand by you and defend you against any being that is of the belief that you are not good enough. I answer to our Creator, He holds me accountable for my actions, thoughts and the intentions of my heart.

  Today I would ask you to stand up…become accountable…spread love and joy…for only then can peace prosper.

Forgive Us


Forgive Us

 Often, myself included, we will drop to our knees when we are in need of something which we feel would be unattainable without your assistance. We remember to reach toward heaven when we feel weak or desperate…with no place to rest our weary hearts. I want to thank you and acknowledge all of the bountiful gifts that you send our way, and apologize for those we don’t seem to be grateful for.

 But today, I want to ask your forgiveness…for all that we don’t say and for all the things we do or fail to do. Please forgive us for not falling to our knees, humbling ourselves, every given moment possible. Forgive us for not only creating wars, but for breeding hate…among our fellow man. We make excuses for the reasons we say war is necessary…but is the cost of a tank of gas really worth the innocent lives of men, women and children? Forgive us for being so self indulgent that we believe, that we are better than anyone or anything else…on your earth. How dare we belittle another person for not being exactly like we are…when did we become so arrogant? I humbly apologize for mankind believing that we have the right to take another life…for whatever reason. Our justifications for murder, on any level, are just created to absolve us for any feelings of guilt…and we should feel guilty…because how can we believe we have the right to destroy life when it was created by you? Forgive us for standing by and watching, as innocent children are abused and murdered everyday…by the very parents that were supposed to guard and protect them. How lazy we have gotten, when did parenting become a chore…and not the gift that you bestowed upon us? Forgive us for preaching about how much we love our fellow man…while selling poison to him on the very streets our children play on. Who are we to glorify, and make excuses for men and women who sell drugs to every man, woman or child who have their hand out? What kind of people create petitions to force a homeless person to vacate a bridge…because it bothers us to see some one in that state? I suppose it would be too much to try and help him/her find housing or a job…after all everyone just loves having no place to call their own. Forgive us for using televisions, computers and gaming systems as replacements for active parenting. When did we stop caring what happened in our children’s classes? Why do we no longer question what our children are taught? Forgive the absent fathers and mothers, who fool themselves into believing that their absence doesn’t matter. If for one moment the absent parent had to listen to a child cry themselves to sleep because they hold themselves responsible for the abandonment…maybe they would see things differently. Forgive us for not taking the time to spread love and joy to our neighbors…regardless of race, creed, and religion. I’m not sure why we are of the belief that we are superior to anyone or anything.

 I ask that you forgive us for destroying the very forests that took hundreds of years to grow…and for destroying the communities of living organisms that depended on that growth for survival….and shame on us for believing that replanting a tree would make up for that act. Forgive us for being so thoughtless that we throw trash into a body of water…where marine life is trying to survive. I guess if some one threw trash into a glass of water we were trying to drink…we might feel differently. Forgive us for all the people we have enslaved, killed, raped, tortured, and demeaned…for our own greedy purposes. And please help us learn from this huge error in judgment…so that we can stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

 I ask that you forgive us…so that with your guidance we can learn to appreciate all that you have given us. And with this knowledge we can teach, by example, our children to love all that you created for us. Help us to stop making excuses and start making amends. Please allow us the opportunity to learn how to love without bias, and show us how important it is to not only reach out…but lift up.

And God Cried


And God Cried

 

     I have been thinking a lot about what happened, in the United States, on September 11, 2001. I actually listened to a song that had been re-mixed with a speech given by, then, President Bush. There were also cut INS where reporters were reporting the traumatic event…the shock in their voices spoke in volumes. The song also showcased onlookers screaming and trying to explain what was happening. I heard jets flying low and then a crash into the building…emergency vehicles…and panic in the air. I spent a lot of time recollecting what happened that day. Yes…our World Trade Center was destroyed when Flights 11 and 175 crashed into the towers, killing over 2700 people…another commercial flight, Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon killing 189 people and Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing 40 people. That day seemed to go on forever, probably the first time we, as a country, had felt vulnerable since the attack on Pearl Harbor. It felt like my heart was breaking every time I heard it…and yet every time…I couldn’t stop listening. How could this have happened in our own backyard? I listened to our nations President giving a speech, to try and make us, as citizens, feel comforted. Never, in my life, had I ever experienced 102 minutes of terror, until that day.

 I had never experienced anything, in 102 minutes, which would cause so many people…basically good people…to hate. In the Presidents speech he said that the attack was meant to “frighten our nation into chaos and retreat”, and he added “but they have failed”. But, did they fail? Of course, on that day…we tried to comfort each other, but how long did that last? Did they fail to make us start looking at each other differently? Did they fail to cause us to take a closer look at what a REAL AMERICAN looked like, or decide how they should sound? Did they fail to cause us to forget that we were supposed to love each other, even amidst chaos and confusion? Did they fail to cause us to isolate people based on race or religion? Did they fail to bring out the very worst in our nature? I don’t think they failed at all. I think they accomplished what they set out to do. I suppose, it is fair to say that fear was a natural response.  But it did not bring out the “very best in all Americans”, as Mr. Bush stated. It did, however bring out our very lowest in human nature. It was devastating…the loss of almost 3000 lives…friends, neighbors, family…in only 102 minutes. I heard some one say once…God cried on that day. And we all seemed to rally around that thought. It gave us hope, I guess, to think that God was displeased with this despicable act of violence against the United States.

  But it got me to thinking about something else…is God just as displeased with all of the lost lives in Afghanistan and Iraq? Does God shed tears for them also? It can’t be disputed or even denied that given the statistics that are printed in English in those areas that hundreds of thousands of those countries citizens have died in the war in Afghanistan.  I guess it is hard for us to have compassion for those individuals, even though the majorities are civilians, since it is a war that the United States is involved in.

  It saddens me to know that under pressure…we turn our back on people…from all walks of life. I have seen people be extremely caring and loving to people in crisis situations, under many dire circumstances. So it makes me sad to sit and watch those same people place judgment on others. But I have watched it…news reporters, YouTube videos, blogs, music, movies, basically coming from all forms of communication…telling us why we should hate. So, as I often do, I looked into MY reference books…the Bible, Quran and the Torah…looking for information telling me how to hate. I came up with nothing.

  The events on that fateful day in September were awful indications of the state our world is in. But please understand it was a statement; there are people all over this earth…whose daily lives, are exactly like that. It was 102 minutes for the United States, but it can be, and is a lot of the time, all day for other people. Just think about it for a moment…close your eyes, and remember the panic that day…for most Americans, it’s a day we won’t forget. And then imagine that every day is like that. It can be hard to imagine, because we don’t have to see it. Even if we are aware of the situation, a lot of the time if we don’t experience it, we can disconnect from it. After all who really wants to think about starving children in Africa? Who wants to think about millions of people dying as a result of war? To be honest, I don’t even want to think about it; however NOT thinking about it…does not make it go away.

  What if the day the World Trade Center fell…was a way of waking us up to the condition of our world? It isn’t like famine and violence is a new concept. But instead of us becoming aware of the condition of our world…we just started hating…the very citizens of this country. We decided that we could no longer trust any Americans that looked a little different. We began eyeing people that looked Middle Eastern…suspiciously. We no longer felt comfortable around women who covered there heads, out of religious practice. We stopped feeling safe in grocery stores, at ball games, or in places of business…if people spoke with an accent. Instead of being understanding and loving to Gods creatures…we hated them. We made them feel uncomfortable, unwanted. We forgot that these people were our friends, neighbors…our fellow countrymen. Perhaps we should try and define a REAL AMERICAN…because this country is nothing but a melting pot of immigrants. There are millions of people who are considered citizens of this country, and we do not look alike…we all do not have the same faith…we do not dress the same or sound the same. We do not all have the same educational background, or social status. But we are still considered Americans.

  More importantly than any of this…we are supposed to love EVERYONE. I understand that, at times, it is hard to love every single person…but the thing is…THAT is our purpose. We are supposed to reflect God’s love on everyone…there is no amendment to that statement. If we were to constantly treat everyone the way they treat us…chances are we would never stop being at war. But it only takes one person to stand up and say…NO MORE. I know it is not easy to go against the grain, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. If you go to someone with God’s pure love…no matter how they respond…you did what God expected of you. But if we shake fists instead of shaking hands…we are failing God, no question about it.

 Now is the hard part, because you have to choose between love and hate. You have to decide whether you are going to bask in the light of God…or in the ignorance of negativity. If it makes it easier think about it in third person…how would you want someone to treat your children? Remember the children are watching our actions…what do you want them to emulate?

 

 As a small footnote, I am compelled to add a few comments. I love my country. I am not anti-American…however, like it or not…I AM PRO-WORLD. We only have one world…and we are in the unique position to make smart decisions. I know it seems like it is difficult to make a difference in lands so far away, but it really isn’t. We just have to start being loving to everyone we come into contact with. Remember…race, religion, nor geographic locales cause wars…PEOPLE DO.

 You can start today…don’t believe things people say …just because they seem knowledgeable…ask questions. Do research…from many sources, I’m not even asking you to believe me…look it up. Take charge of your minds…and open your hearts. It doesn’t have to be US against THEM…because, guess what? WE are THEM.

 

 

The Art of Delightful Debate


 

The Art of Delightful Debate

 

The one person I would go to, no matter what was going on in my life, was my sister…who just passed away this January. No matter what the problem was she would listen intently…and then remind me to laugh at myself. She would tell me to give myself 15 minutes to freak out…cry, scream, yell, stomp…do whatever I wanted in that 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes was over, we would look at options and solutions.

  That was a very important lesson, because often times we will be upset about a situation or circumstance and we will internalize it; not giving ourselves the opportunity to let it out. This frustration that we would carry around with us becomes something dark, and can prohibit us from being loving towards others. Anger doesn’t want to be bottled up…it wants to be released; unfortunately what tends to happen is that we will turn our frustration, angst and disgust onto unsuspecting bystanders. We will answer people sharply, or snap at our children or spouse, and they will never have seen it coming. And this is all because we didn’t know how to or chose not to release this negativity.

  When I feel this way…I love to write, because in my writing I can see the anger, and by the end of the blog or letter…I can find a loving peaceful way to resolve the issue within myself. If only we could always proof read what we say to others, prior to engaging in the battle of tongues. If we had a transcript of what we said and what others said to us, we would, perhaps, be able to see where one or the other crossed the line. And we could make note of what was really meant and what was a defensive mechanism kicking in.

  Often we don’t realize that our mouths can be more brutal than our fists. We can heal from a bump or bruise, but the words and tones that we leave others with, can be emotionally scarring. I know that I have gotten into a heated discussion or debate with some one I loved before, and the words they said to me would still linger. In my mind, I could not reconcile what was said out of hurt and anger…and what was truth. This becomes a problem because often when discussions become heated, we lash out at the people we are speaking to, without realizing that we are being malicious. I wonder if we could preview the conversation before actually saying it, what would we change?

  I am now calling this the “Art of Delightful Debate”. Why delightful? Well that is fairly simple, we can disagree and not be rude or angry. If we listen carefully to what is being relayed to us, we can see another’s point more readily. However if we are so busy thinking of a rebuttal that could match them…or put them in their appropriate place…we miss the communication. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to be patient, because we often make assumptions about what is going to be said; but impatience can often be detrimental to the message. And even worse than interrupting the speaker is to, pretend to pay attention, or roll your eyes or cross your arms across your chest. All of these actions send very clear messages to the speaker…what you are saying is not important to me, so could you just be quiet? Often it isn’t quite so nicely put, either.

  When I was a young girl I can remember being talked to by an older family member, after they got done speaking they said, do you understand what I just said? Of course, I said yes, not expecting the earth shattering response that would follow. “So if you understood what I said…tell me what I said”. All I could offer was a deer in the head light look, and I can assure you that had I really listened…it would have been a much better day for me. Lol.

  Communication is very important, everything communicates. Animals communicate, even trees and plants communicate, and you only have to pay attention to what they are saying. For instance when a leaf of a plant or tree is turned upside down, it means that is going to rain. If a plants leaves or blooms are sagging…it means they need water. Animals have very heightened senses. An animal senses danger or threat of danger, right away; and unlike humans, an animal does not talk themselves out of being cautious. A wolf doesn’t sense that something is coming and then say….it’s probably just the wind. No, a wolf will leave, or prepare to fight…we, as human beings have the same senses…but we do not listen to ourselves.

  We are highly evolved beings with various means of communication at our disposal, yet we rarely listen to our inner voice. It is often that inner voice that will tell us what to do…even though we may not listen. It is that very voice…that seems to come from nowhere…that is watching out for us. I have always believed that my inner voice is the voice of our creator, guiding me down my path. Showing me the way to whatever destination which is meant for me; all I ever had to do was listen.

  What is the message in all of this? Be respectful in conversations; give to others what you want in return.

 We all want our voices to be heard…it just isn’t always necessary to yell. Sometimes it is those who speak the softest that have the more attentive audience. Often snappy responses are intended to offend the other person, and they just make us appear to be immature or irrational.

  Just listen to what is being communicated and your Art of Delightful Debate…will always be productive.

And A Tear Fell


And A Tear Fell

 

 

 The other night, quite by accident, I stumbled across a movie called ‘The Laramie Project’. Once I read a brief description of the movie/docu-drama, I was instantly set on watching this. I must say this was one of the saddest dramas that I had seen in a while, not because its contents were a shock…but because it actually happened to a real person…and some how it struck a chord in me.

 The Laramie Project is about an incident that occurred Oct. 6, 1998; definitely not a current event…but still very much an important issue. On the sixth day of October 1998, two 21 year old young men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, kidnapped, and beat Matthew Shepard (21); such a beating in fact that he, as an end result, passed away. All three of these young men were citizens of Laramie, Wyoming.

 According to the taped and verbal confessions, at the time of the arrest of the two assailants, I learned some very frank facts. One night, at a bar, Matthew Sheppard (a self proclaimed homosexual), was offered a ride home by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. During this ride, Aaron McKinney brutally beat Matthew, with his hands and the butt of his hand gun. When asked, Aaron said that Matthew asked him to stop one time…but after that he was too busy getting beat. Russell Henderson drove his truck to a spot high above the city…where the two tied Matthew to a fence post. While Russell pleaded for Aaron to stop, Aaron McKinney continually beat Matthew Shepard half to death. The college freshman was left there for 18 hours before authorities found him. Matthew stayed in a coma for 6 days, and on October 12, 1998, Matthew Shepard passed away.

 The entire drama was about reactions from the townspeople, since all three were local residents. The reactions were varied, which I found rather disturbing. Some people, of course, were sympathetic and empathetic with the Shepard family; but not all were.

 This was a heinous crime, filled with hate, and bigotry. But the terrible truth is, just like it happened in Laramie, it could and in fact, does happen every day. All Matthew did was be different than other people. Matthew was a gay man, period; that was his crime. The fact that everyone in that town was not appalled by this crime was total lunacy. He was beaten, until they got tired and bored with it…and then he was left to die.

 The sad thing about this incident, which is actually an issue, is that even 13 years later, it still happens. People look away while people are harassed about their sexuality, race, religion, socio-economic background, and social affiliations. How long should we look away? How bad does it have to get? How many teenagers have to die; by their own hand or the hand of others…because they are different? How many times do we laugh it off when we hear people we care about use racial slurs, sexist comments, demeaning words, or phrases? Why is ignorance acceptable?

 Life is so short, to even take one minute to degrade another person…is one precious minute of life…..wasted. Why is walking away so difficult? Isn’t the true strength found in the one who walks away rather than in the one who engages in the fight? We have become a society where we need to tear another person down in order to feel good about ourselves.

 The truly frightening reality is that we, as adults, are training our children to hate. We are helping to raise future bigots; who may be capable of hate crimes. Is this what we want? Would you feel comfortable with this…if Matthew had been your son? As statistics can readily show, Matthew is the rule not the exception. He could have been killed because he was a different race, handicapped, poor, or a variety of reasons…he just happened to be gay. If Matthew had been a heterosexual female with blonde hair and blue eyes…would this crime have been more socially unacceptable?

 We need to take a stand. Stand up and fight for the voices that never get heard…because society is busy judging them. Do what is right…hold your head high and stretch your arms to Heaven…before we let another tear fall.

 

 

A Lesson Before Dying


A Lesson Before Dying

 

Perry Cobb, Darby Williams Tillis, Joseph Burrows, Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez, Verneal Jimerson, Dennis Williams, Gary Gauger, Carl Lawson, Anthony Porter, Steven Smith, Ronald Jones, Steve Manning, Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange, Stanley Howard, Gordon Steidl, Walter McMillan, Randall Padgett, James Bo Cochran, Gary Drinkard, Wesley Quick, Larry Osborne, Johnny Ross, Curtis Kyles, Shareef Cousin, Michael Graham, Albert Burell, John Thompson, Dan L. Bright, Ryan Matthews, Kirk Bloodsworth, Lawyer Johnson, Peter Limone, Laurence Adams, Sabrina Butler, Clarence Dexter  Jr., Eric Clemmons, Joseph Amrine, Jeremy Sheets, Roberto Miranda, Thomas Gladish, Richard Greer, Ronald Keine, Clarence Smith, Samuel A. Poole, Christopher Spicer, Timothy Hennis, Alfred Rivera, Alan Gell, Gary Beeman, Dale Johnson, Charles Ray Gidden, Clifford Henry Bowen, Richard, Neal Jones, Gregory R. Wilhoit, Adolph Munson, Robert Lee Miller Jr., Ronald Williamson, Neil Faber, Jay C. Smith, William Nieves, Thomas Kimbell Jr., Nicholas Yarris, Harold Wilson, Michal Linder, Warren Douglas Manning, Vernon McManus, Randall Dale Adams, Clarence Bradley, John C. Skelton, Frederico M. Macias, Muneer Deeb, Ricardo Aldape Guerral, Ernest Ray Willis, Earl Washington, Benjamin Harris Jerry Bigelow, Patrick Croy, Troy Lee Jones, Jonathon Treadway, John Henry Knapp, Jimmy Lee Mathers, James Robison, Robert Charles, Ray Krone, David Keaton, Wlbert Lee, Freddie Pitts, Delbert Tibbs, Annibal Jaramillo, Anthony Brown, Joseph Green Brown, Anthony Ray Peek, Juan Ramos, Willie Brown, Larry Troy, Robert Cox, James Richardson, Bradley P. Scott, Andrew Golden, Robert Hayes, Joseph Nahume Green, Frank Lee Smith, Joaquin Jose Martinez, Juan Roberto Melendez, Rudolph Holton, John Ballard, Herman Lindsey, James Creamer, and Earl Charles.

  These are my reasons for being against the Death Penalty…all of these names are real people. And these real people have/had real families…that stood by the them while they were on death row. Collectively these individuals served 964 Years, before being proven to be innocent. And one of these individuals served 33 years before being released; while another died before he could be exonerated…so it was done post mortem. But to take even 1 day away from some one, who was not guilty, is tragic. Life is full of one time experiences…you only take your first step one time, lose your first tooth, say mama or dada, you can only buy your first car…one time. And many of these individuals missed so much more than that, and it can never be given back to them. Even if the state compensates some one monetarily for the lost time…you can not purchase a memory.

  Why am I against the death penalty? I am against anything that includes taking another life. I am against any system that has proven time and time again to be broken and unreliable. I am against anything that takes away years upon years of a person’s life for no reason. Killing is wrong…it says that in many different places, even in religious books. And to kill some one to show society that killing is wrong…just seems to be completely ridiculous to me.

  If the Death Penalty is such an effective means of punishment, why don’t all states use it? If the Death Penalty is such a deterrent for crime…why are we still executing?

  If we were able to catch this many people before their respective states were able to execute them…how many slipped through the cracks? How many innocent people have we killed…for the sake of punishing some one…anyone? How do we sleep at night?

  I can completely understand the grief that losing a loved one can cause. I can understand wanting to punish some one for the crime…but will just ANYONE do? The problem being quite simple…the statistics do not lie…race and money are contributing factors when the death penalty is imposed. I researched in several places…and basically all of them verify what the others says…minorities and the underprivileged make up the majority of inmates on death row.

  We are human, we make mistakes…I simply think that with that knowledge…we risk executing people who are innocent. And no matter what anyone says…one life wasted is too many. Not only for the people who are actually executed…but look at the people who have spent countless years away from their loved ones for a crime that they did not commit.

  It is my expressed opinion that anytime some one finds reason to applaud about a state that has killed 234 more inmates than any other state…there may be a deeper problem there. And any politician that finds applause about this humorous…is a dangerous individual; it is never a victory when some one dies…we all lose.

  Killing some one will not make the victim come back to us…they are in peace. So the execution is for us…and what peace is there when we are taking another life? Why would we desire that another family to go through the same pain and anguish that we have?

  There was an inmate in Texas that was executed this past Summer, Mark Anthony Stroman, who was convicted of killing individuals out of grief for the life of his sister who was killed on 9/11. One of the survivors, a muslim man who Stroman shot in the face Rais Bhuiyan, causing him to be blind in one eye, pleaded for Stroman’s life. Mr. Bhuiyan even started a website to try and spare Mr. Stroman’s life, www.worldwithouthate.org.  This was a remarkable exhibit of forgiveness and compassion…only furthering my belief that we can seek revenge or seek a higher power. And even though Mr. Stroman’s life was not spared, the spirit of what Mr. Bhuiyan did spoke in volumes.

  I realize there will be many people that will disagree with my stand on the death penalty, but I stand firm on this issue…killing is wrong no matter who does it.

 

 

 

 

Imagine


 Imagine what it would be like if we could love without borders. We weren’t separated by boundaries, or titles. All of our countries were nameless…our eyes oblivious to colors and hues of one another’s skin tones. The color and textures…styles and length of our hair was just thought of as a way to further beautify ourselves…and not used to identify our differences. Our accents could change depending on who we were speaking to…and every one thought that it was cool to be able to look and sound differently at a moments notice. Wouldn’t it be nice if religions had no control over how we treat each other? Or if we did not use our religions as reasons not to be kind or loving towards one another? Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world that taught its children to love EVERYONE, no matter who they were or what they looked like? Imagine that we never had to live in fear…that we could just love each other openly…without judgment. We could just concentrate on being kind and peaceful towards one another…without any ulterior motives.

 I know this may seem like a crazy fantasy to you…unrealistic. It’s okay for you to say it…often I have been told that my ideas of what mankind is supposed to be is a childish fantasy…something to be laughed at.

  But I have seen children, of different race, creeds and religion…just playing together. Not asking who or what they are…not shying from one or the other out of some unfounded fear. I watched them for hours before…listened to them giggling and swinging, climbing on playground equipment and going down slides, playing jump rope or four-square…doing nothing but being children. It made me think …how can they can do something that their adult counterparts have not learned how to do.

  And at that time a young girl , about 5 years old wearing a blue t-shirt and a pair of blue jean shorts with straight blonde hair pulled back in pony tails tied with blue ribbons came up to me and asked if I could help untangle the jump rope for her and her friend. I, of course, said I would be glad to…and asked which one was her friend. The little bright eyed beauty said the little girl with her hair in braids…the one wearing the red shirt. I told her that I still couldn’t see her…as there were a few children with that description. And she laughed and said…she’s the one wearing the leather sandals and is jumping up and down. It was at that moment I realized everything that I needed to know. The reason these children were able to live in harmony was because they didn’t realize their differences. That little blonde hair girl never once said to me that her friend was the little African-American girl with the braids, or the little Asian girl with the red shirt on…she was just a little girl with her hair in braids with a red shirt and sandals that was so excited about me fixing the jump rope that she kept jumping up and down. And how you might ask were these children able to play in harmony without racial discord, or religious indifference? They were able to do so, not because they were different than many of us were, at that tender age…but because they hadn’t yet realized that society doesn’t want them to love each other. The young minds hadn’t yet experienced hate due to race, religious views or geographic location. They didn’t think anything was wrong with playing with children who spoke with accents unlike their own…and there was even a child there who was unable to speak at all. And yet they still managed to communicate with one another…without frustration or biased views. They didn’t hold one another responsible for their parents not working…or for some terrorist attack…or because they had to go to bed at a certain time. They simply enjoyed each others company. They played and held hands…they chased each other, and if one accidentally fell, the others rushed to help them get up. It was simply not just the most perfect day I had experienced in a while…but it was enlightening. Enlightening because they showed me that the people who tell me that my vision for mankind…was  an unrealistic fantasy; these people had simply not experienced these young highly evolved beings…whose greatest fear was to be called away from play…to go home.

  The beautiful things that we need to know are all around us…we just need to remember to open our eyes…and my hope is that we do it before it is too late.

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