Part of my growing politicization is that I have decided that I do not have to apologize for thinking the following:
1. Education is a wonderful thing. However you make your living, knowledge makes you a better person.
2. Open mindedness is a wonderful thing. What ever your religious beliefs, being hateful to any group does not please anyone’s God. I think every holy book on the planet is pretty clear about this.
This does not make me an elitist or a snowflake. Education makes us smarter. Open-mindedness makes us kinder.
Read the entire post at Smarter, kinder and living in 2017.
The Airbnb site says my hosts at the Riad speak English, French and Spanish along with the local Arabic, but it only takes a few minutes for me to realize that the claim regarding English has been exaggerated. Lahcen, the helpful house manager who greets me, probably does know several hundred words of English, compared to my several dozen words of French and two of Arabic, but his ability to answer my questions is limited. Najet, the cook and custodian who assists him, speaks some French and no English at all. Soon the three of us are communicating with gestures, key phrases and facial expressions, and it’s not going as poorly as you might think.
Read the entire post on my X0 blog at Happy International Day of Peace, Lahcen and Najet.
… Only the book ended up being about Nigeria instead. You see, in 2010, when I started to write it, Americans on the whole considered Nigerians scarier than Arabs. I had just taken a job with a Nigerian oil company where I often worked late in a common room and couldn’t help but overhear the phone calls of my young, male Nigerian co-workers as they called home.
Please read the entire post on my x0 blog at More in Common
While researching z2 I learned about how unwanted Italians circumvented the immigration laws of the day by crossing the Rio Grande and coming in as more welcome Mexicans. I was astounded to learn of the extent to which Asians were denied entry into the early U.S. under any circumstances. My own ancestry is largely German and, yes, there was a time when some states tried to keep out the undesirable Germans, too.
I don’t talk about this to make light of the group hate that plagues us today. I don’t think society will ever look back on our racism and xenophobia and laugh. I least I hope not. Rather I want to point out how ultimately petty and harmful our biases of today will someday seem.
Read the entire post at Time and Hate.
Every so often my characters surprise me with their wisdom. I’ll be writing away, happily trying to convey some occurrence crucial to my plot, and one of them will interrupt the action with a remark that causes me to pause and wonder where that came from.
Click the photo to read the entire post.
I was so moved by the post on BuzzFeed called “15 Photos Of Libyans Apologizing To Americans” that I had to repost this message here. Please check this out. It is always a wonderful moment when our fellow humans stand up to remind us that no one has to let the idiots of this world speak for them.
For more on the photos, please visit my x0 blog at Sign painting for world peace.
When I started writing a book about a telepathic link developing between two strangers, I wanted the second woman to lead a life that was very different from my protagonist. There were a lot of good reasons to make her Nigerian. For one, I’ve gotten to work with and know a variety of Nigerians in my day job, and I had both information on and appreciation for Nigeria’s cultures. Secondly, I recognized that few nations have as poor a reputation here in the US, largely due, I think, to the ongoing rash of Nigerian internet scams.
But I also knew that Nigeria has lessons to teach the rest of the world about learning to get along.
Read the rest of this post at Empathy lessons from Nigeria.
World peace …. that favorite topic of beauty pageant contestants and those attempting a serious drinking toast ….. was also an obsession of the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel. His personal recipe for world peace was to use part of the fortune he amassed from his invention to present an annual award to the human or humans who had done the most in the past year to make peace happen. Along the way people as diverse as Mother Teresa, Leo Tolstoy and Henry Kissinger have been honored. The award is presented every year in Oslo Norway, and a few days ago the author of this blog got to visit the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
Read the rest of this post at Dynamite and world peace.