Letters from Americans are kept on the American Perspectives page.
I have never been to your shores, but I feel that I need to share with you the important role which your country (and all it stands for) has played in my life. I was born in Germany in 1969. My parents were both War children. They were 5 when the Allies marched into what was left of the Reich. Mum grew up in the British sector and has many heart-breaking memories, not only of being bombed out twice, of a brother in a concentration camp due to political activity and of seeing her father killed, but also of the occupation time, when British soldiers were none too kind to little German urchins. My father however, lived in the American Sector. His war time experiences were just as horrific, but the evil was over (according to him) when the 'Amis' rolled into the little town. Initially immensely fearful, the American soldiers won him over with smiles, chocolate and rides on tanks. He describes how he realized (even as a little boy) that his family had been lied to about the Americans - that they were fair and kind, not imperialistic and cruel. He learned elementary English hanging around America soldiers. His family began to receive CARE parcels packed in the US and sent to starving families in occupied Germany. For the first time in all of his life (born in 1939), my dad and his siblings had enough to eat and even some small luxuries. My dad's impressions and recollections have had a profound effect on my own opinion- not so much of America (as a political idea...too much abject nonsense has happened recently), but of the basis of American democracy and human rights. I know from Dad that military intervention is possible for all the right reasons. It does not have to do with oil, etc. My German family never saw the Americans as anything other than liberators and enablers. I still believe in you and I will teach my children to do so also. God bless America.
About the Author:
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States
We all want to be heard. Please bear with my ramblings, you'll be able to see my point in amongst the waffle.
Ah yes, about being heard.
Whether on a personal scale with the people around us or for the
rest of us with bigger mouths, in our community or dare I say it globally!
We now have many vehicles in which to explore and expand our level of communication
with one another and as this happens we all come to the realization that;
1. We are all the same.
2. We are all suffering.
As bleak as that sounds!
Some of us are suffering on a level that the rest of us would only experience in our darkest dreaming.
Some of us suffer physically, some mentally, some emotionally. But the bottom line is, we all suffer.
Some of our suffering seems so lubricious and trivial to others that had we the momentary ability to see ourselves from their eyes we would cease our histrionics immediately and feeling slightly silly, get our heads out of our arses. Or other peoples arses for that matter.
The Dalai Lama has the opinion that we all wish to be happy. When asked the question.
What is the purpose of life? He answers.
"I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering"
Now do we believe that Georgey Junior wants to suffer?
Is he maybe a bit of a masochist?
What makes him happy?
Did his childhood conditioning somehow warp his mind into believing that his past and current courses of action are morally sound?
Maybe being the worlds biggest wanker makes him happy?
Or maybe it is the unsettling fact that he is a born again christian which keeps his happiness topped up and buoyant.
Safe in the knowledge that which ever atrocities he commits, it will all be just hunky doray because he has god on his side!
The horror, the mind numbing, desperate horror of it all.
I believe religion is the cause of ALL OUR PROBLEMS.
It may seem like a sweeping statement but look around and you can see the evidence piling up.
I am reading Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and having had that sneaking suspicion that arrogant,
religious bigotry is the fundamental cause of war and strife on our planet,
I am glad that such a brilliant mind has actually compiled such book to get the truth out there.
And because I am not a good debater and my points tend to get side tracked too much anyway, I have personally willed
Richard Dawkins into my reality. Clever hey? And as a by-product he is now in other peoples realities too.
So hopefully we can all do what Rage against the machine suggested a few years back and WAKE UP!
All we have to do is speak up when challenged, change our own minds and wait for Rupert Sheldrake's Morphic resonance to do the rest.
But from my own very limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility
comes from the development of love and compassion for all sentient beings. As hard as that can be sometimes.
Now America, I know how it feels to feel fear. It has been part of my experience and still can be.
But I choose, remember that word? I choose not to indulge fear anymore. There is a higher path
available to all of us at all times. A history and culture of fear is undoubtedly hard to change, but not impossible.
Apparently Atheists are the least trusted people in America. My word. What does that mean?
Would someone who had formed that opinion, be chatting away to me quite happily about the business I run and pay taxes for,
the yoga classes I teach to bring a calmness into my part of the world, my family who I love and respect, the charity that I support ....., you get the picture.
Would they upon hearing that I do not believe in their god or any god for that matter, take a little step backwards? Their little shaking hands pressed
to their lips. Would they immediately gather up their children and leave my company?
Muttering as they fled that they felt something funny when they saw my three tattoos anyway.
I wonder which group of people Atheists would deem the least trustworthy? I'm not sure about anyone else but I try not
to put people into groups, it seems a recipe for disaster and quite stunningly lazy.
But clearly we need a new paradigm. and lets be fast about it please.
Religion is obviously not working. And luckily having free will, we can we look for a philosophy that is better suited.
I believe that philosophy could be Buddhism. Remembering that we all possess the Buddha nature, yes even George,
and at anytime we can tap into that nature and attain a higher level of understanding regarding the other people we share our planet with.
If you have never read anything about Buddhism please I encourage you to.
Be open minded, think beyond your conditioning, you're family history, your country's majority view point, your fears and hopefully your prejudices.
I've enclosed a prayer written by His Holiness in 1960.
I hope that this prayer can be read by those who dearly need to read it and that it is indeed quickly fulfilled.
Yoga teacher + designer.
About the Author:
Name: Leza McLeod
Country: South Africa
Occupation: Goldsmith and Yoga Teacher
Experience With US: Visited the United States
This is my first time to "blog" I really don't know how this is done,I don't have a title just a topic because I don't know what to put on, anyway I choose education because it's were I can relate . By the way I'm from the Philippines, it's my DREAM that someday I can go To U.S. and teach there and experience how your education system really runs. I had a chance to do that when I was still teaching in the refugee camp in Morong, Bataan and we were ask to teach in one of the class there it is in the Subic Bay Camp, when the U.S. base was still there. But it's a very short experience, 14 years ago I can still remember that inside the classroom, it's carpeted, air-conditioned, each student has his own cabinet or box for his things with his name on it, the interaction between the students were short because they have this movie time, then they went to the canteen for their snacks after that we went back to the camp. I think our supervisor, Jamie Bidwell (I hope the spelling is correct) was exposing us to "American way of handling students in the classroom because we were teaching Vietnamese refugees then.
I really love that experience, where we Filipino teachers taught the refugees, with the help of our American supervisors and I know it is impossible that there will be another refugee camp here in the Phils. I was an ESL teacher in P.R.P.C. (World Relief Corporation) and I want to take this opportunity to thank the following Jaime Bidwell, Gordon Sphar, Debbie Gassaway, to those who I forgot the names, sorry, but Thanks anyway, I really treasured the times I was in the camp doing all the things you taught us. I know that it was supported by DND if I,m not mistaken so all the teaching materials are available, just plan your lesson well and do your best always. Lastly, I wish that someday there's another company or another WRC would plan to have a refugee camp or school for street children here in the Philippines, so that it can help our children giving them the best education just like the refugees before. Thank You and GODSPEED....
About the Author:
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States