My Leap List

Monday, January 21, 2013

Racism is Alive and Well

     Racism is alive and well in America.  I don't care what political party you belong to or how you feel about who is in office.  I don't care where you stand on abortion or gun control.  But at least have the dignity to call it what it is.  Fox News can choose to shut down for routine maintenance for twelve hours.  It is unbelievably rude to stop showing your channel because you disagree with the president, but you do have a right to free speech that I will defend.  But when you spend those twelve hours showing a montage of white faces, you have gone beyond a differing viewpoint.  You have shown racism to be alive and well in America.
     My family were immigrants.  Most of us were.  I only have a few friends who count native American heritage in their genes.  My family was fortunate that they could come to America for a fresh start away from the political and religious persecution that existed for them.  America was proud to be a country that welcomed all of us with open arms.  When did we become the persecution instead of the ones helping the oppressed?

     I cannot speak for how Martin Luther King, Jr. would feel today.  I wish I could say I knew the man and marched with him arm in arm.  I can only say what his life, his words, and his sacrifice, as well as countless others have done for me.  Because of him, students of all colors and nationalities can learn together in my school.  My children can grow up in a world where even a poor boy with a mixed background can be president.  He taught me to be human.
     Why is there so much hatred for a color?  Why is being different so threatening?  Are we really that insecure in ourselves that we can see no value in anyone else?
      It is easy to become angry at the way the world is.  That is how violence begins, isn't it?  Violence never heals.  It merely breaks us further apart from one another.  
     Today, although the world is full of hatred and bitterness and racism, I am choosing love.  I shall follow in my idol's footsteps and bring about peaceful revolution in my part of the world.  I will bring everyone I meet love.  I hope you will join me in continuing his dream.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Falling Into Place

     Mandy has overcome more challenges than you should have to face at 17.  High school graduation is the newest challenge.  With the other challenges, this one seemed out of her reach.  For over a year she has been resigned to earning her GED and not graduating with everyone else.
     Last week she changed her mind and decided to take on the multiple requirements needed and finish in a semester.  I knew she was serious when she asked for help, something she hates to do.  The universe tested her resolve when the school lost her schedule for the new semester and she faced hundreds more hours of requirements.  This would have been enough to spiral her back down into the depression.  Instead she looked at me and said, "I don't care what happens, I'm graduating.  They can throw whatever they want at me, but I will do this."
     After being told that my instructor, who has been one of the biggest inspirations in my life, was disappointed in me, and a mix-up that put me on academic probation even though I had gotten straight A's, made me rethink getting my doctorate degree.  That night I realized that Mandy was right.  They could throw whatever they wanted at me, but it wouldn't stop me.  I went to school today and while I was sitting there, pieces began to fall together, and I knew with certainty what I wanted to write my dissertation on for the first time.
     Sometimes the universe tests our resolve.  If we give up, we fall just inches from the finish line.  Once we let go and trust the universe to lead us to where we need to go, everything falls into place.