Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Some random, Idle thoughts - From Madeline Albright to a "modest" proposal for peace in our time

Sorry!  You'll have to wait until next week for my peace plan.  This old man has trouble keeping up with all the publicity from Reddit and now having my picture and story on page 150 of the May issue of Oprah's magazine.

I continue to marvel at the readiness of my mind about 4 AM virtually every morning to consider a broad array of fascinating topics. Recently it was to ponder what books would be written about the current election by future historians. Certainly within two years there will be a book to take advantage of a "hot market". But how different it will be 10, 20 or more important 50 years from now when others will have the opportunity to look back and objectively see what is gong on RIGHT NOW!  And that is called history - a topic most often judged by school students as to be booooooooring.  And what a shame, because if we don't learn from the mistakes of the past, adage too often forgotten.,

Perhaps a look at history is what impelled me to go to Georgetown University to hear Madeleine Albright discuss the topic, Religion, Peace and World Affairs: The Challenges Ahead.  Unfortunately too many young people only know of Secretary Albright's recent actions and the publicity that has focused on her exuberance in backing her preferred presidential candidate in a statement that she later apologized for and her fetish for jewelry. Too bad more publicity hasn't been given to her insightful, prescient book, The Mighty and the Almighty:  Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs,  published in 2006.

She stressed the importance of seeing religion as a unique and integral part of the culture of each society and that we in the United States have not paid enough attention to understanding its importance in dealing with other countries.  Rather than seeing suicide bombers as warriors or fighters, all should see them as murderers.

And so a host of questions came to mind:
  • In what way does religion impair peace?
  • How do we invite hostility by acquiescing to hearing jokes at the expense of other faith groups?
  • As a melting pot country, how can we be so audacious as to be defined by one religion?
  • What are the factors that distort the quest for a religious/spiritual life.
  • And a number of other related ones that came to me in attempting to answer the hundreds of questions I received from youth throughout the world on Reddit.
And so I return to a constant theme of mine - the universality of ALL true religions as a means of examining the meaning, purpose and source of life and seeking a loving relationship with all humans.

But this has gotten far too long for me to add my peace plan.  I'll have to put that off until next week. I know, all the world is eagerly awaiting all I have to say, but time and strength has caught up with me.  In the meantime I'll spend more time with the book I mentioned in my other blog, Corinna Nicolaou's A None's  Story:Searching for Meaning Inside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, & Islam.  At Kramer's Book Store she wove an interesting tale of how she as one totally ignorant of any religious tradition spent four years trying to learn what religion was all about and if there was anything she was missing in life.  While she told us how she was able to convince the "minds" at Columbia University Press to publish her book, she refused to tell us what she found out. I can't wait to see what she says.

How lucky I feel to have all these opportunities - I feel the need to share my good fortune with others,


    I'd also like to recommend that readers take a look at this bit of Slam Poetry that has a lot to say about Race and immigration. It deserves a great deal of publicity.

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