Am I Aryan?

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Just like the original Nazi’s, most of the people who call themselves “aryan” don’t look it.  Like Hitler, they are not what an “aryan” is “supposed” to look like.  How do I know?  The dictionary says of Nordic (mostly Scandinavian) descent.  So, does that mean that I, who am mostly Swedish (I’m a “mutt”, since I am also German, English and most likely everything in between).  Now, as far as looks go I’m the poster child for the “aryan race” – blond hair (not dyed); blue-eyed, and excessively fair-skinned.

Now, I’m sure your next question would be, do I think I’m “superior”, since I’ve got the physical aspects of being so – according to some people?  NO!  Let me say this, there is no superior race!  There is only the human race.  Get that through your heads.

As far as my German heritage is concerned, the tiny village my grandfather was born in no longer exists.  My grandfather came to New York sometime in the early 1930’s, while two of his older brothers went to Canada, leaving three other brothers and his younger sister along with his mother and father in their village.  When the Nazis discovered that someone in the village was hiding Jews, all the men and boys were lined up and shot and the women and girls were sent to Auschwitz.  The village was then destroyed.  I don’t even know the name of it, and my great aunt, who did survive, always wore long sleeves to cover her numbers.  I only saw them a few times, and that was definitely by mistake, as she was embarrassed by them.  I wish I could have talked to her about what had happened to her and my great-grandmother, but she hardly ever talked.  She was a sweet woman, and I loved her, but I never really knew her.

How can people find pride in claiming to be the Alt-right, KKK, or “Aryan”, I’ll never understand.  We had a war (World War II) over this and they lost.  So, are these people, by extension, losers? I know what I think, but what do you think?  How can anyone claim superiority over someone else?  Let me know how you feel about this in the comments below.  Do you agree that we are all one, and there is only the human race?

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I Just Don’t Get It

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It seems like this country is simply going crazy.  There is more hatred being verbalized (and people being brutalized) all over.  I’m sure we’ve all seen the rants posted on social media of people verbally abusing others.  Where in the world is this hate coming from?  I simply cannot imagine anyone having the time in their lives to worry about the following:  where another person is from; what religion they choose to follow; what color someone else is; what gender they are; or what sexuality they practice.

Really, I’d like to know what is going on (or not going on) in the lives of these haters.  Seriously, how can they find the time to get involved in other people’s lives like this?  Don’t they have their own lives to worry about?  Don’t they also have to go to work, raise their children, worry about their loved ones?  How in the world do they have the time to worry about what other people are doing in their own private lives?

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And, the most important question of all – what the he** business is it of theirs anyway?  Really, is a medical doctor from India taking their job away?  Is a migrant worker who earns a living picking produce taking their job away?  Is the very fact that someone worships another “god” making their “god” smaller?  Does a different skin tone change their skin tone?  Does the love that someone has for another person change the love they have for their loved ones?  What difference does it make?  I just don’t get it.

I’ve heard all the “arguments” that people try to use to defend their hatred, and seriously they are simply and completely flawed.  Not to mention illogical.  I simply cannot imagine ever having the time or the inclination to stick my nose into something that is just not my business.  If you understand this, please explain it to me.

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Compassion is a Verb

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Compassion is important to me.  It should be important to all of us.  Compassion is what religion is supposed to be about.  “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  Is one of the most quoted statements from the Bible.  Somehow, we have lost whatever compassion we had as a country.  The reason I’m saying this is specifically related to the new TrumpCare Bill that is in Congress.  This bill will take insurance away from the very people who need it.  Anyone who is older, or has pre-existing conditions will lose their health care.  Well, if they don’t want to eat, or have a place to live, they might be able to pay their premiums.  Otherwise, those premiums will be too big to pay.

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Where is the compassion?  I look around me and I don’t see any.  Disabled people are blithely told to “just get a job”.  When was the last time you saw a blind or deaf person in your office?  How about the elderly?  Have you seen many 95-year-old delivery people, or an 85-year-old working at Walmart?  No, neither have I.  Even though this bill has “died”, they are still looking to simply get rid of the ACA, leaving millions of people without healthcare.

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It’s called compassion.  Find some, use some.  Be the person you were meant to be.  Compassion.  One day you will need it.  When you do, will it  be there?

Unity

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The only way to fight injustice in the world is make sure that we fight for all who are in need of it.  That means that we need to stand up not only for ourselves and our own concerns, but we must stand up for all the others who are marginalized.  We must stand and resist together.  It’s the only way change will occur.

 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Hero for All

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Today is the day that we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’m ancient enough to remember Dr. King from the news, and the one thing about him that I’ll never forget is his “I’ve got a dream” speech.  At some point around the same time, I watched the movie Don Quixote de la Mancha”, with Peter O’Toole in the main role. The song “The Impossible Dream” also lives in my head, and I often think about it.  The two are inextricably linked in my mind, and whenever I think of Dr. King, I also picture Don Quixote tilting at his windmills.  Is not the search for equality, justice, compassion and understanding also tilting at windmills in our society?

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So, it’s been forty-eight long years since this great man was assassinated.  I remember when it happened, and I can recall thinking, as only a very young child can, what was wrong with the person who killed him, and what was wrong with the people who celebrated it.  To me, he was a hero.  A person who wanted only equality, justice, compassion and understanding.  I still wonder how some people can be against that.  What is wrong with equality, justice, compassion and understanding.  Does equality take away?  Of course not, it makes life better for all.  What is done to one, can be done to all.  I’ll take equality, justice, compassion and understanding over anything else that is out there.  Wouldn’t you?

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Diversity

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I love diversity.  There is nothing more boring than only seeing what you’ve already seen.  Or heard, read or experienced.  I’ve spent some time in those “retirement communities” which are almost never diversified, and can attest that they are the most boring places as far as I’m concerned.  Usually everyone is exactly the same, with much of the same life experiences and world-view.  It’s also interesting to note that to me, they seem like high school all over again, with the “popular kids” and then everyone else.  So, when I see and hear random people talking about how much diversity hurts the America that they want to make great again, I just don’t understand it.

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One of the best things about Netflix (and I admit that I’ve definitely been a binge watcher), is that I can watch movies from all over the world.  Some of the best movies I’ve seen have been made by Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi directors, writers and/or producers.  I also read novels that have been written by people of many different cultures, with a completely different world-view from myself.  I’ve learned more things by reading novels written about different countries and cultures than I ever learned in school.  I’ve learned about the ancient traditions of Chinese cooking, and the symbolism of different dishes from Chinese writers.  Even though, as a Vegan, some of the cooking descriptions were uncomfortable to read, I gained a respect and understanding of Chinese cooking that I didn’t have before, and it made me look at the dishes that I prepare in a new way.  That’s just one example.  When you read a novel, or watch a movie told from another point of view, you often sympathize with the characters and gain a new way of thinking, and looking at the world.  Your world-view becomes more diversified, and you grow as a person.

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Diversity is wonderful just for those reasons.  But, most importantly, it helps people to see that even though there may be differences in culture, religion and life-experience, we are all the same. These differences should be celebrated.  We should enjoy learning new things, eating new foods, watching different movies, listening to other kinds of music, and reading different novels. No matter where you live, who you worship (or don’t worship), what you believe, in the end different peoples are all alike in the basics.  We all want love, family and understanding.  That, I believe is the reason some people claim that diversity is evil.  If we gain understanding of the “other”, there will be no reason to keep ourselves separate.  How can you “hate” the other if you understand them?  In keeping citizens divided, individuals can regain (or maintain) control.  A house divided cannot stand, nor can a nation divided.