Fact or Fantasy?
This title came to me because of a beautiful, moving experience I had with my international adult students studying English. We had a holiday party before school closes. No matter what country they are from, China, Venezuela, Ukraine, Thailand, Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, Hungary, etc. each country has its own rendition and beautiful Christmas songs in their own language. The same melodies and songs we sing in English are sung all over the world in every language.
It filled my heart with tears and joy because right here in Sarasota at the Technical College in the ESOL program, we have a United Nations that works. We all respect each other and get along. We talk about issues and have intelligent discussions. I once heard it said that an argument is an exchange of ignorance and a discussion is an exchange of knowledge!
Ah, that the world could follow this example. And yet, the truth is there are many pockets of peace to coin a “Rotary International” phrase for their Goodwill Ambassador programs with both students and teachers serving in those capacities while they teach or study abroad. In fact, there are many goodwill programs all over the world both through mission and educational programs including the Peace Corps and teaching overseas.
I recall when I was doing my Doctoral studies that I read about the former U.S. President, Dwight Eisenhower having said that the governments had better get out of the way and give the people what they want. I have never encountered a person in all of my travels that didn’t want to live in peace, harmony and prosperity.
Humble or naïve as it may sound, I recall my beloved Dad before he died in 1995 saying to me that he still cannot understand why people are killing each other. One wonders of the age-old stories thousands of years ago still being played out. Although now it is with chemical and nuclear warfare compared to spears and knives. What is it in humans that seeks to conquer and destroy? We are supposedly the highest order of animal on the scale of mammals. And yet, we still have gangs, domestic violence and international terror.
I have been chagrined by the observation that the world we inhabit today seems much more violent than the world I grew up in when we didn’t have metal detectors in public schools. I am honest enough to say I don’t have anyone else’s answers. It is not for me to tell others how to live their lives. There is another age old saying; by their acts shall you know them. Gandhi said we should be the change we wish to see in the world and many other wise messengers whose words still speak to us even though have passed out of the threshold of human existence.
In closing, as the holidays and end of the year are upon us, I for one can be included in saying that I believe in a world that can work for all and I will do what I can where I am in my small part. I invite you to do the same and share your good news stories. Those are the ones that need to be broadcast all across the news!
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