Sharing the harvest

What a small world.

Small but complicated, interwoven, connected, global and local all at the same time. Fragile, crowded, resilient, exhausted, wealthy, impoverished, blessed and stricken.

Some six billion souls careening through space on a watery rock with as many different perspectives as we have people.

Really, think about it. Could any one perspective actually be "right"?

A leading scholar in multicultural studies, Ronald Takaki, recently died and was featured in the New York Times obits. A leading scholar of multicultural studies at U.C. Berkeley, he promoted the idea that the history of America could use a serious tune-up.

From his perspective, we could start by the re-telling the story of the United States to include all of the voices, not just the ones of the conquerors. The link to his book "A Different Mirror; A History of Multicultural America",  http://bit.ly/4EGMIM

In an early passage of the book he discusses the social construction of racial discrimination and offers a wonderful quote that it is "not the nature of men, but the education of men" that made them "barbarous and uncivil."  Applied to justify the horrific behavior of settlers in "New England" towards the native population, it occurred to me that it's valid in lots of applications.

We have been taught to be hateful towards other races, countries, religions and cultures. We're steeped so deeply in our own cultural stew that it's easy to forget how our humanity is not unique. Much less we are somehow convincing ourselves we're right?

And how often do we invoke divine justice?

Conversely then, my hope is that we can be taught to love.

And learn to love our differences most of all, since this is always harder than loving what is the same.

President Obama took a step in the right direction this week by celebrating the Hindu festival of lights. He basically used the microphone to give a big shout out to the over one billion Hindus in the world. The recently elected African-American President, raised by Islamic parents (now professing Christianity) leading a 74% Caucasian country, is celebrating the biggest Hindu festival of the year.

What's not to love?

If you missed this bit of history, here's a YouTube clip of the President celebrating Diwali in the White House.  http://bit.ly/GzSon

The current statistics on the changing demographics of the United States. http://bit.ly/74GQi

Coming to a neighborhood near you, the world's top religious orders. http://bit.ly/16YUXd

Learning to enjoy the diversity and complexity of the global village and sharing the bounty of the harvest.


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