The weeks have flown by for me. It is nearly October and still muggy and warm here. We are still harvesting from the garden, but the fall vegetables are in and summer plants are just about done.
I have been involved with the group that is dealing with race relations in the aftermath of the Emanuel 12 atrocity (although 9 people were murdered, there were 3 others who survived but were traumatized). We have regular discussions at lunch once a week, and I hosted another evening event at a restaurant. Next week, I invited the City Police officers to join us to discuss how to improve relations between the police and the community.
It has been an interesting and enlightening time. I have met men from the Nation of Islam and have heard about their views on how all white people are "devils". It is hard to deny our violent past when it comes to Native and African Americans. However, I am also becoming a student of world history in which I realize that so many atrocities have been and are being committed by asians and africans too. Looking at history, the worst mass killings have been done by Asians. Ghenkis Khan: 40,000,000 people in the 13th century, all over Asia and Europe; Mao Zedong: 40,000,000 as well between 1949 -1976. He had people worship him as a god. They thought he was immortal. What a surprise when he died. World War II was also 40,000,000 -- and Japanese people are a significant part of the reason for that number -- both as instigators and as victims.
Certainly, in Africa, tribal wars have been occurring since we became Homo sapiens. However, because they were relatively small and within a smaller area, these are not well known. We DO know that in modern day, post-colonial African, some of the most savage wars known to man have occurred: The Biafran War (1966-70) -- 1,000,000 dead. The nightmare that was the Rwandan War -- within 4 months, the Tutsis had killed 800,00 of their fellow citizens, the Hutus. The horror in Liberia, where tens of thousands of people now live with only one hand: punishment if they wouldn't join the rebel army. The hellish Boko Haran, currently operating in Nigeria. The terrors of South Sudan, now spilling over into Ethiopia (primarily the Muslims killing the Christians). And let's not forget the Middle Easterners: Saddam Hussein -- 1,000,000; Ghadaffi -- probably nearly the same number. And the amount of TORTURE beyond comprehension by the instigators of most of these mass murderers is, unfortunately, well-documented. There is NO single "good" race. So what I have learned is we ALL have the potential for good... and, unfortunately, for evil...
And then I have been involved in more Al-Anon service work at the area (state) level. That has been an eye opener. I know that we all have character defects, but let me tell you, getting involved in service work on committees at the state level has brought me to a whole new level of understanding. I keep telling myself: Principles above personalities. And I stay out of the fray when the emails go flying back and forth with unkind things being written. I took on a task and am focusing on that, rather than on getting into a pissing contest. But I can tell you that I have no further aspirations to do further service work higher up than the District.
And so when I feel my serenity slipping away, I take a short vacation on the boat. I returned a couple of days ago from a relaxing time on her. I go off the grid, read and reflect. And when I return, I feel ready to get back into this other life I lead in which I deal with people.
This time when I returned I listened to Pope Francis. And let me tell you, if I were inclined to be religious, I believe that this man could convert me. To me, he is a transformative person who is kind, compassionate, and, well--Holy. His humility is to be emulated. What a contrast between Papa and the political candidates we have thrust on us through the news media! I found myself in tears listening to Pope Francis. He is a genuine person of goodness to me.
In other goings on, I continue to ride and enjoy my horse. He is going to the dressage regional championships which will be a real treat. I am going as his groom and support team--LOL. Perhaps within the next six months, I will be showing him too. The main thing is that we have a great bond. Even my wife loves him. She has little experience with horses but her visits to see him, bearing gifts of carrots, are filled with joy. He licks her and she kisses him. What more can a horse want?
Hope that you are all doing well. I am way out of date with comments on your blogs. Living the life to the fullest here. And I will catch up soon with each of you. Until then....