This last week, Amma the “hugging saint” came to Albuquerque. I was one of those privileged to receive a hug from her. Her visit and simple message of love made me think about the rest of us, so busy building barriers to separate us—barriers of religion, age, race and ethnicity.
I was impressed by the diversity of people that came to get a hug. You could see men and women, young and old, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, children, people wearing scarves, people with braids dancing like crazy, businesspeople in suits, hotel employees, etc. On these days when love was the main message, all the barriers that separate us were left with our shoes: outside. We all have to take our shoes off before entering the main hall where Amma sits and hugs. This letter is to remind us that we are all just human beings hungry for a gesture of unconditional love, a reminder that once in a while we should all lay down our weapons of hate—racial, ethnic, religious and political—and allow ourselves to be human.
Amma is a reminder to all of us that when we take off our shoes, we become a little bit more accepting of difference so that we do not even need to utilize the word tolerance, because if we accept our fellow human beings as they are, there is no need to be tolerant. Amma has left to another state and I hope all the hundreds of people I saw will imitate her example of loving.
Let's take our shoes off.
As a response to the "Give Peace a Chance" letter by Lesley Goddin [June 12-18], it seems to me that we may have surrendered the peace as a society.
Her comments about a Federal Department of Peace and Nonviolence are eye-opening. As a product of a parochial school education (grade school), it seems to me that we may have simply forgotten to teach good manners.
For an example, funding "peace patrols" in elementary schools in the U.S. and abroad seems silly. To me, why can't we just teach individual responsibity and basic good behavior in the schools?
Have we lost the ability to pass on the wisdom of our parents and teachers to our unruly offspring and their brethren? I think not. I feel that if we want to, try to and act accordingly, we can accomplish basic parental responsibility (including the “en locus parentis”), passed on to the educational institutions our children attend.
I hope our "epidemic of fear and anger that punctuate today's society" is not our surrender to the dark forces, giving up our claim on good citizenship, and that the schoolchildren do not really need to be trained in "compassionate communication" in order to deal with conflict. I hope these children can see in the examples of their parents and teachers the behavior to act out.
Funding a federal Department of Peace (and Nonviolence)? Gawd, I hope this is just another silly City Council resolution and not some deeply needed organization to execute federal authority on "good manners."
What our safety patrol did on our elementary school campus was just emulate good manners and respect, not quell fifth-grade brawls or confiscate firearms from fellow students.
We did not need a Department of Peace then, and we do not need a Department of Peace now. We, Us, Our Children, all of us just need to step up to the plate and be responsible for our own selves. Be it in our role as a child, teacher or parent. Our own responsibility has to come from within, not as a result of the federales peace patrol officers' presence.
Are we so “out of it" in our recognition of our own responsibility to ourselves that such an authority is needed? I sure hope not!
Perhaps we should all march down to APD, obtain a boot and affix it to our own cars until we can behave ourselves.
Nothing for any amount of money would have pleased them more.
BrokenArrow comment on alibi.com
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