Booking Thru Life

Adventures of a Viking Reading Bystander

The curtain rises on the scene
With someone shouting to be free
The play unfolds before my eyes
There stands the actor who is me

Enryo (遠慮) is one of the most quintessential Japanese concepts.  “Restraining speech/actions towards people” (「人に対して言語・行動を控え目にすること」).

A Stranger in a Strangeland.

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world_we_live_in_bindHow could that be?

I was born on top of the world.  The middle class, white suburbs in Southern California, in 1950.  White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant heritage: (that dreaded 21st century epithet WASP).

Then, Why a stranger in a strangeland?

There were hills that I couldn’t climb when I was young. I was sheltered by my dreams, now stellated mirrors in the sun.

Everybody: just like me?

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Of a Strange and Distant Time

Strangers in Strange Lands

A gypsy of a strange and distant time
Travelling in panic all direction blind
Aching for the warmth of a burning sun
Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from

Left without a hope of coming home.
Gypsy — Moody Blues

He didn’t want to be a gypsy, he wasn’t really a gypsy by nature, but he left without a hope of coming home.

The world and himself made him a gypsy, an exile: a stranger in strange lands.

But he did push for the burning sun.  It technically is called RADIATION.  Order AND Disorder.

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Lichtquanten — Albert Einstein
A Photon — a light quantum

And every one, except one of his mentors, his older fellow exiles, including Einstein, eventually disagreed with Teller Ede, making him an exile three times: a stranger in strange lands, all his life.

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The Gardener

The Gardener of “Souls”

“He was such a wonderful human being. He was gentle, not a Hitler-esque cruel director. I never saw him get angry; he wasn’t a tortured human being in any way. Because he’d been an actor himself, he made a gardener director. He knew exactly what the plants were, how much sun and how much earth and water they needed. He let them grow and blossom in their own time. I loved him and I shall miss him like anything.” –Saeed Jaffrey

“Dickie, a one-man entertainment empire, was at least as significant as those humanitarian titans he brought to life on screen. He was also the quintessence of kindness and modesty, and it was a privilege to have known and worked with him.” — Michael York

It took twenty years.  He told everybody that he would do it. 

It took him twenty years of Championing to get the funding and to make it.

Richard Attenborough was able to make Gandhi (1982), which had a fine performance by Ben Kingsley in the title role. The film is dedicated to Lord Mountbatten, Pandit Nehru and an unknown Indian called Motilal Kothari, who suggested the subject to Attenborough in the first place in 1962.

Nehru’s advice to Attenborough was that it would be wrong to deify Gandhi: “He was too great a man for that.” The film won eight Oscars – best picture, best actor, best director, best original screenplay, best cinematography, best art direction, best editing, best costume design – the biggest haul ever for a British movie. In his acceptance speech, Attenborough said: “Gandhi believed if we could but agree, simplistic though it be, that if we do not resort to violence then the route to solving problems would be much different than the one we take.”

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Extraordinary Ordinary Part II or Be Prepared.

‘I just saw what was going on and did what I could to help.’

Survivor Vera Gissing said:

‘I owe him my life and those of my children and grandchildren. I was lucky to get out when I did and having the chance to thank Nicky was the most precious moment in my life.’

As far as he is concerned, his actions weren’t anything extraordinary.

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The Voice of Hope

She lights up a room with her enthusiasm. And she knows what needs to be done.

She has given voice to so many people.

But, there is problem. The culture is stuck. For a long time, few had understood or paid attention to her voice.

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Now, some are beginning to listen. Yes, the system is badly flawed, in a rut, and much of the time making the problem worse. But, we can’t afford it anymore, both in fiscal terms and human terms.  Government officials across the States and other countries are starting to come to see for themselves.

THERE IS A BETTER WAY.

Government institutions only serve the people running the system, they are making a good living off the difficulties of some of us – those who get trapped with the “unjustice ‘justice’ system” and the “unhealthy ‘health’ system” – yes, they are TRYING to help – but good intentions are not enough.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Deborah Cima has a better approach.

She has been Championing Drug Courts in San Bernardino County in California, for 19 years, for she does this naturally as a Champion [Advocate] Idealist.

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It Will Get Better..

Taller than 99.35 percent of all Americans, with the wingspan of an albatross…

“I’m living proof that no matter where you’re at or how hard it is, you can come out of it,” she said with assurance. “The key is you just can’t give up. Keep believing in yourself.

“It will get better.”

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A Man for All Reasons

He is a man of an angel’s wit and multiple learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, strength, and resolve? And as time requireth, a man of marvelous modernity and reasoned enterprise, and sometime of as sad gravity. A Man for All Reasons.

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“His greatness sprang first and foremost from his moral qualities.”

“He was what might be termed a moral genius, an upright and noble personality, a practical idealist, independent, incorruptible, and indomitable, uncompromisingly self-sacrificing, a man devoid of guile and to whom the concept of self-indulgence was entirely foreign.”

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The Double Edged Sword of Temperament

There are always peaks and valleys encountered in one’s life journey in time and space.

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“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends.
But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy
is the quintessence of true religion”
Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Get action. Do things; be sane;
don’t fritter away your time; create, act,
take a place wherever you are and be somebody;
get action.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Fix reason firmly in her seat,
and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”
Thomas Jefferson

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain
what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.”
George Washington

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Well, the road to the heavens is also paved with good intentions and bad intentions.  Because we never know, and never will know, the side effects of our actions that we in-tend — for our actions are ex-tensions that we can’t at-tend to, by definition.

And all of us have good intentions, in beginning, at least, and many still have good intentions to the end.

However, most people don’t enjoy directly dealing in the negative – they don’t like to think or talk about negative things, about themselves,

and sometimes others

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Masika

No, she isn’t the first person you will find when you google the name Masika (at least today).  She ain’t a photographer’s model.

She is more in the Mother Teresa mold:  A Model of Protection.

He/She holds the whole world in his/her hands.

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Someone who stands up for victims of violence — including herself, and gives safe sanctuary.

“Since I’ve been doing this work I’ve been raped three times. I’ve been beaten, tortured and left to die.”

“I receive women from villages who’ve been raped. I counsel them and escort them to hospital for treatment, as well as looking after orphans whose mothers died during the war or because of rape, and children born from rape.”

Masika

She plants the seeds of hope.  Concrete hope — growing and standing for the future.

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Are Women Human?

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‘In reaction against the age-old slogan, “woman is the weaker vessel,” or the still more offensive, “woman is a divine creature,” we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that “a woman is as good as a man,” without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that.

What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether, viz: (…) that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual.

What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.’

That is what she wrote a long time ago.

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Yes, people are different, fundamentally and radically different, and people are the same, fundamentally same.

It’s called Temperament.  People are born different and the same.

“It is extraordinarily entertaining to watch the historians of the past … entangling themselves in what they were pleased to call the “problem” of Queen Elizabeth [I].

They invented the most complicated and astonishing reasons both for her success as a sovereign and for her tortuous matrimonial policy. She was the tool of Burleigh, she was the tool of Leicester, she was the fool of Essex; she was diseased, she was deformed, she was a man in disguise. She was a mystery, and must have some extraordinary solution.

Only recently has it occurred to a few enlightened people that the solution might be quite simple after all. She might be one of the rare people were born into the right job and put that job first.” — Dorothy Sayers

Dorothy Leigh Sayers (13 June 1893 – 17 December 1957) was a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages. She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, that remain popular to this day. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy to be her best work. She is also known for her plays, literary criticism and essays. [Wikipedia, revised]

Dorothy Sayers a Mentoring Idealist, a Contending Counselor:

“Some Idealists hold certain contentions that they put forth dramatically whenever the occasion requires or permits them to do so. Even so they make sure that their ways and means conform to regional norms, wishing, as they do, to sanction in a benevolent way…the Diplomatic Contender.

Counselors are like their Mentor twins, the Educators, in that both are directive, the one giving advice, the other directives.”— [Personology pages 174-5]

dorothy sayers the child

“Although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning. It is as though we had taught a child, mechanically and by rule of thumb, to play “The Harmonious Blacksmith” upon the piano, but had never taught them the scale or how to read music; so that, having memorized “The Harmonious Blacksmith,” they still had not the faintest notion how to proceed from that to tackle “The Last Rose of Summer.”

[Dorothy Sayers, The Lost Tools of Learning]

Diplomatic Contenders are beyond compare as Counselors. Advisement is the side of diplomatic mediation that focuses on helping people to realise their potentials, and both kinds of enterprising Idealists have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the wellfaring and wellbeing of others and genuinely enjoy mentoring their companions toward greater personal fulfillment. [Personology, page 176]

Why do I say, “as though”? In certain of the arts and crafts, we sometimes do precisely this—requiring a child to “express himself” in paint before we teach him how to handle the colors and the brush. There is a school of thought which believes this to be the right way to set about the job. But observe: it is not the way in which a trained craftsman will go about to teach himself a new medium.”

[Dorothy Sayers, The Lost Tools of Learning]

Incidently, reknowned child’s author, J K Rowling (Harry Potter fame), also a Counselor Idealist cites and enjoys Sayer as a literary role model, while having through her own life enjoyed reading Sayer’s ‘whodunnit’ novels:

A friend of C S Lewis, (also a Counselor Idealist), Dorothy Sayers differed over the reason to write:

Dorothy L. Sayers believed strongly that one should not write mainly to please one’s audience. Certainly, audiences have needs, and many of her works were commissioned for particular populations or organizations. However, Sayers would generally write on something only if she found herself passionate about a given topic and thought she might have something to say about it—not just because someone asked her to write on that topic.

On this point, C.S. Lewis disagreed with Sayers. He often wrote for people who wanted an article on a particular subject written by a popular author because he felt a pastoral obligation to them.
…and not their only disagreement:
Sayers also disagreed with C.S. Lewis on the matter of women’s ordination. He wrote to her asking that she take a public stand against it (this defense of tradition needed to be written by a woman, he reasoned).  Instead, Sayers suggested she would be an “uneasy ally” for him because she did not see any theological reason why women should not be priests. She distinguished between whether a man or a woman should be “cast for the part” of “playing” Christ in the mass (it made the most dramatic sense for it to be a man, of course) and whether a man or a woman could represent Christ to humanity. Because Christ was the representative of all humanity, not simply, male humanity she believed either a woman or a man could reflect that representation.
Sayers’ influence did not cease upon her death in 1957. Theater companies continue to produce her plays, English professors include her Dante translation in their syllabi, mystery fans still read about Lord Peter and Harriett, and hundreds of classical schools around the world owe their existence to Sayers’ small essay “The Lost Tools of Learning.”
A thriving Dorothy L. Sayers Society meets yearly, mining her work in ever-greater detail. Perhaps most significantly, many of Sayers’ theological contributions keep returning to print.
It had been 1938 when she was invited to address a women’s group; her speech “Are Women Human?” was ahead of her time and probably more than a little shocking.
This address, along with an essay called “The Human Not-Quite-Human,” was published in a slim-but-powerful volume.
Sayers asserted that there is no such thing as a man’s job or a woman’s job, but that people should pursue vocations for which they are passionate and gifted. She challenged a culture that tended to define men’s interests and human interests synonymously, while holding women apart as some sort of special species, not-quite-human.
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