Wednesday, 18 December 2013 08:49
In the aftermath of his death, much has been made of Nelson Mandela's forgiving heart. The fact that he emerged from 27 years of brutal imprisonment with a commitment to reconciliation rather than revenge is the basis for much of the global admiration directed toward the antiapartheid icon who became South Africa's first black president. Forgiveness, which is about moving forward from the pain of the past, is what enabled South Africa to move toward becoming an inclusive, democratic nation rather than another Balkanized society locked in ethnic violence and civil war.
Forgiveness, is a timeless and beautiful -- albeit very challenging -- message. This is especially so during the Christmas season when millions around the world remember the miraculous birth of a divine prophet who taught that we should love our neighbors (including our enemies) as we love ourselves. That same prophet also taught the necessity of making amends with people that one may have harmed. "First be reconciled to thy brother" Jesus commands in the fifth chapter of Matthew's gospel.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 20:31
For many couples and families there comes a time every Christmas and holiday season, including birthdays and anniversaries, that the joyous spirit of giving flips to the burdensome side. Consumers are bombarded with commercials from every conceivable source. Many of these sale pitches are blatantly commercial but to many in their target market, such as wives and lovers, the commercials are sweet and tempting. Jewelry commercials come to mind for instance.
These commercials are targeted for women to woo over the pearls and for the man to show his love by pulling out his credit card. Sometimes a new car must be parked in the driveway with a red bow tied about it as the elated woman is led to the bonus gift in a blindfold . . . oh what love. Unfortunately, many of the gift givers are misled to believe this is how you show your love. And the gift receiver is an unwitting yet willing accomplice to the merchant. Pride plays a major role in making the plot come together.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 20:17
As we come again to that time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, I'm looking back at last year's column and find that some things need to be repeated and some things are new. Last year at this time, we as a nation were grieving the death of 20 children and 6 adults at a school shooting in Connecticut. This was followed in Pasadena by the shooting death of our friend Victor McClinton, on Christmas day 2012, by local gang members.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 11:15
In my memory is the disinvestment movement which encouraged the world to take their investments out of South Africa as long as Apartheid was their primary political activity. We all discovered that the University of California and other national American organizations had invested in the South African economy. I remember attending rallies where we promoted the disinvestment programs, while our politicians like Maxine Waters from Los Angeles and Ronald Dellums from Oakland pushed, more or less, from within. My recollection is that this push to divest was done over the objections of then Governor Ronald Reagan. However, for many investors, it was the anti-Apartheid struggle that revealed our ability to effect change through the power of our money.
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 20:37
Bill Di Blasio, the newly elected mayor of New York, is married to Chirlane McCray. They have two children. Thomas Jefferson had children by Sally Hemming. Strom Thurmond had children by his family's maid. Bill Cohen, former senator from Maine and Secretary of Defense, married news reporter Janet Langhart. In case you didn't know, each of the above mentioned women are Black and the men are White. So what's the point? This should be of little concern as the world continues to move on.
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