Tag Archives: genocide

Celebration to Terror: Boston 4/15/13

16 Apr

Unplugged for most of tax day, news of the Boston marathon bombing popped up during a search last night.

I immediately texted my cousin (she was safe) and a runner friend in Portland who had friends running there (they were all safe).

But I knew so many weren’t safe and how scary it is to wait – and to contact a loved one, not knowing.

For all my running-addiction friends! www.guardian.co.uk

For all my running-addicted friends!

When I hear news of bombings, I  shake my head, as if to reset my thoughts, or what I’ve just heard.  Like those first few moments after I heard of the Twin Towers attack, and could see them on fire from 5 miles away – it felt unreal, unimaginable.    We’re VERY lucky here in the U.S.  How do people get used to these attacks?

A bombing is a hate crime, regardless of who, when, where.  Hate can be the only reason people would want to destroy people physically and emotionally and turn one of Boston’s most famous celebrations into a shared grieving.

Once again I raise the question:  what causes people to hate so much to bomb, commit genocide, hate crimes, bullying?  As I compile 6 ways (I think) we can prevent genocide, the larger question continues to taunt:  WHY?

Do you know?  

One thing I do know, is that the memory of yesterday’s bombing will remain in people’s conscious and unconscious memories for a long time to come.  They will remember the bombing as they gather for any celebration or fair, when they get on the T, and, likely when they see someone bruised.  I hope we can all remember to be supportive and nurturing for the individuals affected – and in fact, to all of us.  Hate hurts.

Life doesn’t stop and neither should our drive to enjoy and love every minute we have.

We can never have too many reminders to hug those we love - often! www.todaystmj4.com

We can never have too many reminders to hug those we love – often!

Stay safe!  Take care!

Empathy: Be kind

7 Jan

I love this quote, so key, so true of empathy:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
by Saint Philo of Alexandria

(and recently read in the book, ‘The other side of the world’, by Jay Neugeboren)

I always think of empathy as the key to connecting and understanding others – and even myself.  While this post is from one of my other blogs:  http://identity5772.wordpress.com, it certainly is essential to communication.  And what’s more fashionable than shoes, but good communication!

Here’s to blister-free walking this week!

Shes!  When did shoes become the go-to destination for journeys to nirvana?  When did well-appointed heels turn cads into princes and transform us plain girls to ‘sex-y in the city’?   Or has footwear always been as important to fashion as the saying: ‘Don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes’  has been to identity and peace?

Does our penchant for buying shoes, amassing Imelda Marcos or Carrie Bradshaw sized collections speak to our need to understand others?   Do new shoes provide  the potential and ability to walk that mile to understanding?

My footwear reflects my soul and mirrors my identity.  My journeys are on

Shoes fit for my very long journeys

foot and I’ve learned the hard way that Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahnik’s derail my  joy into train wrecks.

Footwear can define identity, and, is just as complicated.   I recently told a dear friend, ‘we may wear the same size, but we like and wear very different shoes – literally and figuratively’.

It can be hard to understand someone you love.  Someone  whose footwear appears interchangeable with your own.  Different styles, different

One pre-Xmas night, a group of young men were camped in front of a shoe store on 34th Street in Manhattan. They were spending the night to be first in line to buy the ‘newest’ sneakers. What kind? What did they look like? No-one knew – just that they wanted them.

toes add difficulty relating to the owner of the heart-pumping-blood to those other  toes. As a species focusing on souls, rather than soles, and the miles journeyed, can surely help promote listening, peace and, understanding identity.

Empathy, the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, to listen for  identity without bias or judgement.   Knowing and doing are two totally different things.

Empathy can improve communication and connection, if that  first giant step is taken:  to understand what someone else is feeling or what they need.

Swapping metaphoric  ‘shoes’:  Would any genocide occur if perpetrators imagined themselves, or their mothers, or wives, or children as victims?  Would they say ‘NO’ to crimes of hate?

This must be a key to peace as I wrote about in my recent post ‘Peace Requires Listening’.

Daniel Lubetzky,CEO of Kind Bars and PeaceWorks remarked (one of) the key to Palestinian-Israeli peace is for Israeli’s to listen to Palestinian needs.  I think a shoe swap and long survival hike might help.

I’ve often found empathy, along with blisters, after finding myself on a path with someone I’ve judged.  ‘Blisters’ force me to slow down, open my eyes, acknowledge the pain.

It’s painful to listen if we are not sure of our identity, or we are not on firm footing ourselves. In Vilna, Lithuania (‘Dinner in Vilna’), Lilly said she was unhappy before she focused her identity and connected with Judaism.

Some say shoe shopping, especially during a sale, is a religious experience. There are other ways to worship.

Empathy.  Walking that metaphoric mile.  Several years ago, I discovered the cure:

Imagine these pills shaped like SHOES: Empathy pills!

A pill.

A shoe-shaped empathy pill.  

Mid-judgement, mid-hate action, a quick pill pop would change everything with, ‘Here, walk a mile in my shoes.  Have an empathy pill.’

As soon as a pharmaceutical company gets back to me, I’ll take your orders.

In the meantime, how has a pair of shoes helped you understand others, or, shaped or defined your identity? 

What leg of your journey has developed your empathy?