Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 284 - One of Them? You know One of THEM!

I went to the bread store the other day, minding my own business.  They have loaves of bread of Brandname quality such as Peppridge Farm, Arnold, etc,.  These loaves are usually 4.59 per loaf in the store.  They are whole wheat, oatmeal, 12 grain, etc. not just the white bread and they sell them for $1 each.  You have to get there early as the loaves go fast, they have a limited supply each day. 

I pulled up to the store and noticed on my way in a big truck parked beside me from New York with a canoe on top and a disabled handicapped parking tag on the rearview mirror.  I thought it was strange that someone who had to park so close to the door in the handicapped parking would have a canoe on the top of his truck.  Another snowbird from New York arriving in Florida I thought to myself and chuckled. 

I started putting the bread into my bag and a gentleman from New York told me he wanted to load all this bread up on a truck and take it to NY so that he could sell it.  He claimed there was no place in New York that has a bread outlet.  Maybe they don't I am not sure but I did know we had them in California and Florida.  I assured him that I loved this bread and the pricing too and I thought surely one would have to just look harder for a bread store to find the same pricing everywhere.  He continued on about how he was raised on brown bread and how he raised his kids and how much better than white bread it was for us.  I agreed.
I continued to another table and he kept talking.  So I assured him again how great brown bread was even my foreign exchange students that come from all over the world love it better than white bread. 

He continued on as I put my bread on the counter to pay. Europe is so much further ahead of us he continued.  Yes I agreed.  He then continued on further, "If this country gets any worse and we reelect Obama, then I'm moving." I said, "It wasn't much better under Bush."  He stated, "I can't believe we elected one of them while I live here."  SCREEECHHHHHHHH.  What?  What was one of them? [The implication here is that President Obama was a N-I-G-G-E-R]  So for clarification I asked, "What do you mean by one of them?"  He said, "You know, I'm not going to say it but one-of-them." The lady behind the counter said in her attempt to referee [bad choice in my presence] "Let's not discuss politics in the store." I corrected her, "We are not discussing politics, the issue we are discussing is race!"  She said Oh and shut up. 

I had watched Viola Davis win the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) award the night before for her role in The Help and she said that if each and every one of us could make a small difference, then together we could make a big difference.  I've been in this situation many times.  My lily white skin and kind manner are mistakenly viewed as cues to believe the same thing that other white people think.  If I wasn't white, he would have never taken this conversation to this dark area.  So with Viola Davis whispering in my ear, I summoned the courage and told him, "My kids are biracial and my husband was black and your remark is offensive to me and to other people of intelligence."  He murmured, "Oh you must have been one of people who elected him."  I said, "I didn't elect anybody, the majority of the American people did. You were obviously taught well."  Not realizing that this was a term that we as diversity trainers use was not a compliment, he smiled and said "I WAS taught well."  So I remembered the truck and asked him as a freeloading able-bodied person on his way to go canoeing and receiving disability checks [a so-called-entitlement-program] "So who taught you to be dishonest, what are you when you collect disability, use a handicapped parking tag with a canoe on your truck?"

He reached toward his left ear as he fumbled with his hearing aid and said, "I'm going to turn this thing off so I don't have to listen to you."  If only I had the luxury to do the same from the brown shit that spewed from his mouth!  The irony of it all...he LOVED brown bread but hated a brown President so much so that to be confronted with his own desire to defraud the government, he could turn off his capability to hear.  It doesn't make a difference, he was a disabled listener as well.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 283 - I Have a Dream that We Hear Everyone Who Speaks

Martin Luther King Jrs Dream lives within each of us every day.  If you can dream it, you can do it.  When I went to Atlanta to visit his museum, I was struck by the shoe prints in the sidewalk. Somehow by the color of a man or woman's skin, we decide if they are worthy to have their hand and foot prints on a Hollywood Square.  But it is by the content of their character and what they have done for human rights (all not just black people) that their shoe prints are honored at MLK's museum.  His rose garden is awesome.  The tomb of he and his wife is lit by the eternal flame.  It never goes out.  That is what a dream is until it is fulfilled; burning brightly and lighting your way.  If you have that flame, don't extinguish it, let it fuel your life.  Let it be your air, your water, your food...let it sustain  you. 





My favorite quote of his is that "Silence Constitutes Consent."  Simple and to the point.  The right thing to do is to do SOMETHING.  Being silent is not an option when we witness injustice.  He points out that people riot when they are not heard.  Let us hear each other and be each others keeper.   There is a time to just listen.  We have plenty of time these days....to listen and hear what each other is saying.  My mother used to say this is why we have two ears and one mouth.  We need to listen more.  I have to work at it, it doesn't come easy because my mind thinks I have two mouths and one ear.


Today we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday.  He wasn't a perfect man or husband as we all know by history.  But he sure had shoes that are hard to fill.  I have a dream to go to his new monument in Washington DC.  I will get there, I believe it. Here are some of his many wisdom-filled quotes.  Feel free to adopt one as your own.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A lie cannot live.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A right delayed is a right denied.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

A riot is the language of the unheard.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more MLK quotes, click here: 




Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 282 - I AM

Recently on the OWN network, the documentary I AM had its debut.  Simply put, it is about a billionaire film producer, Tom Shadyac, who had everything, fancy cars, 3 homes in LA, NY and CO and didn't feel any happier with all this money.  He sold everything, after having a bicycle accident that caused recurring headaches.  He was inspired to make this documentary.  I AM is a must see for anyone who cares about the earth's sustainability and the inhabitants across the globe.


There are many keys to happiness in this documentary but the thing I found most interesting is the comment about Darwin.  We all know him as the man who coined the phrase, "Survival of the Fittest."  People interpret this to mean that the strongest is the the one most likely to survive.  Adaptability is also a key in this Darwinism philosophy.  What this documentary pointed out was that another item that is a key for survival is learning how to compromise and get along with others within and around your own species.

I know this theory well.  I remember when I was twelve years old I hated the local neighbor boy named Rusty.  He always was the "tough guy" and I was always the "tough girl."  He and I got into a shouting match once and he warned me that he was going to hit me.  I told him to go ahead.  I didn't realize at the time that boys were stronger physically and that I couldn't really fight.  So he popped my jaw.  A swift uppercut with his right hand. I was so shocked I just stared at him while I felt the burning of my skin and lower jaw.  My teeth had scraped together and I saw the other kids were just staring at my next reaction.  I just told him he wasn't a real man because he just hit a woman.

I grew up that day.  I needed that.  Sometimes our mouth runs and we realize that words cause people to react based on their own inadequacies.  I had obviously pushed a button and learned from this to stay away from bully boys.  Truth was I felt that he had been responsible for stoning our house.  At night, we lived on the end of a row of homes that was open to an open field.  Someone was hiding at night and throwing rocks at our home.  We had called the cops and they couldn't find anyone either.  My mother was the manager of the area and we would sit in the home at night scared to death.  We never did find out for SURE who it was, but after this incident with Rusty, the rock throwing stopped.  Coincidence?  I won't know.

But what I did learn is that all things are connected which is the theme of this documentary. Realizing this is imperative to how we process our own actions as well as others actions and reactions to ourselves.  So who is responsible for what is wrong with this world and who is going to do something about it?  I AM.  And who is responsible for what is right in this world and is doing something about it?  I AM