Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Its Okay to say Merry Christmas In Public....

  Christians across the globe are participated in the biggest annual religious observation  by all the different shades in the  Christendom, and the most beautiful part of this for me is, the re emphasizing the core value in the teachings of Jesus Christ ‘PEACE’. Here in  America it is the time for our  cities to be grace in the seasonal colors of  red and green, with beautiful lights adorning our  streets and wreaths hanging in front of homes and businesses.
     This is one of the exceptional times in America when it is okay talk to people you don't know , you walk past a complete stranger and they say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, depending on where their faith meter is… or if they are for or against the public display of faith. One thing I love about Christmas is the way we all get all hyped up to be nice to each other and reach out to the less fortunate amongst us and it is also what makes me wonder if there is way for us to be like that all year around.  Do we need some sort of religious  faith and community based celebratory reminder? For example the city of Portland pride itself of being one of the few places in this country where students speak more than Ten languages, and our beautiful country also happens to be the most religious diverse country in the recent history of the world, cant we take advantage of all this and make our country and city a better place where every month we ask members of our community from different  faith tradition to  have a short ceremony  in front of city hall and the hall ways of their Highs Schools and for the whole month we can wish each other happy that particular festival or  celebratory , for example in Dec, we can say happy Hanukkah ,Yuletide or  Happy Kwanzaa to every one you walk or pass by  in Portland , they can chose to ignore you or respond. We can be a model for other states and some countries who are fighting against each other.. Merry Christmas , Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Are we A Trigger Happy Nation?

   A  few days ago, those of us  watching cable news  were  beyond shock over the news item that disrupted our favorite news shows or day time TV , Whereas the disruption of our daily lives with news items about a gunman or gun-woman in a crowded community space is not surprise to some of us, when it happen to be a space occupied by children, its always twice painful. As a father I can only imagine the pain and hurt that parents whose kids were taking away from them by such acts feel, I don't have any way to measure their pain since my kids are here with me. As an educator, I can only imagine how it feels to  return to a space that have experienced such mayhem and to be able to engage the rest of the young people, I will be tattered to pieces by the time I finish engaging them. I don't even know if I will have the courage to enter that space. It will be a sacred space for me...
    Violence of many formats  have taking center stage of our national identity . Our children especially boys, are bombarded with gun violence as a form of entertainment or education. From their first toy through the video games they play , the music they  listen to, movies and reality shows they watch  on TV in their formative years , the use of gun as a tool that gives you advantage  against your opponent or enemy  have been embedded as a value our society cherished.
      Gun advocates and anti -gun activists always lock horns after terrible incidents happens, each  camp's surrogates make appearances  on our TV and radio political shows to jibe at each other whiles emphasizing their unwillingness to bark down and look at  what we can do to cut down on situations like this.     I don't think  we can totally eliminate incidents like this, but we can do much better preventing recurrence. Our children look up to us to protect them, we look up to the government to put laws in place that protect us and our families. The time to find a lasting solution is now.  We should be able to bring all stake holders( NRA, gun manufactures, sellers, reality show networks and holly wood) under one roof to see how to go about this, Lets do this America… my heart goes to anyone who have ever lost a loved one due  to gun violence.