The Danger of a Single Story

“Everybody has a story. And there’s something to be learned from every experience.”
— Oprah Winfrey

She would know how hard it is.

She wouldn’t assume the worse or just abandon things.

She warned us of this:  The Danger of a Single Story

Journalism’s weakness:  Hit and run investigative journalism.  Headlines and Magazine Covers.  Money and reflective fame.

Shallow and a single story.  Sometimes good, most of the time irrelevant, sometimes bad…

“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Ralph at Cato

You would have never believed it, not ten years ago, or even now.

It must be a fake picture 😉
What is he doing?

What is the Unreasonable Man, Ralph, the man “on the left,” trying to convince those who might be viewed “on the right”?  Left or Right, never the twain shall they meet?

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Ralph Nader compromise?  Not chance.  He wants to be Unstoppable:  by joining with the Libertarians and Conservatives in common cause.

Strange Bedfellows?

Maybe the conventional “wisdom” or common bromides used in political and conventional media discourse is badly wrong or hopelessly simplistic?  — Naw!  Can’t be.  It will never happen?

If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured or far away.

— Henry David Thoreau

“If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong.

Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.

Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly.

Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be.

I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.

I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right — for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.

The point of this book is that people are different from each other, and that no amount of getting after them is going to change them. Nor is there any reason to change them, because the differences are probably good, not bad.”

Did What Is Right

According to his own conscience.

Which was against his country’s norms at the time.

A Man for All Seasons.

 

“You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes. Also, I felt at that time, that the Japanese government did not have any uniform opinion in Tokyo. Some Japanese military leaders were just scared because of the pressure from the Nazis; while other officials in the Home Ministry were simply ambivalent.

People in Tokyo were not united. I felt it silly to deal with them. So, I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong in saving many people’s lives….The spirit of humanity, philanthropy…neighborly friendship…with this spirit, I ventured to do what I did, confronting this most difficult situation—and because of this reason, I went ahead with redoubled courage.”

Yes, There is the banality of evil.

And, Yes, he probably did pay for his life-saving kindness.  He had a tough life,  but the approximately 20,000 descendents of the individuals who he helped are glad that he did the right thing, in his own mind.

Others could not, and more importantly, did not do the same.  But, it was a natural thing, FOR HIM.  It’s called personality: Character AND Temperament, two sides of the same coin.  You cannot separate them.  It is a whole.

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Wings

Don’t ask me what I did.  Ask what I did not do.
I did not clip her wings.
— Ziauddin Yousafzai

Malala 1

Ziauddin Yousafzai, Teacher Idealist, is the father of Malala Yousafzai, a young woman who protested against the Taliban for the education rights of children, especially for Pakistani girls. Originally a headmaster of his school in Swat Valley, he is currently the United Nations Special Advisor on Global Education.

Malala Yousafzai, Fieldmarshal Rational, ( born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary by journalist Adam B. Ellick was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Malala rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu. [Wikipedia, revised]

“I will get my education – if it is in home, school, or anyplace.”
— Malala

As Malala became more recognized, the dangers facing her became more acute. Death threats against her were published in newspapers and slipped under her door. On Facebook, where she was an active user, she began to receive threats and fake profiles were created under her name. When none of this worked, a Taliban spokesman says they were “forced” to act. In a meeting held in the summer of 2012, Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her.
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Unreasonable

But not irrational

— not by long shot.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” –George Bernard Shaw

He is unreasonable in his consistent integrity of his ideals.

Some say, because of that, he is unsafe at any speed of change.

He has always been Idealistic. THAT’S THE NATURE OF TEMPERAMENT.

He won’t change, he can’t change. He doesn’t compromise.

And he is unreasonable about that. Continue reading

Old Soldiers Never Die

“The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us – all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths – must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.”

He won’t go away.  Still, he tries to help.  He has no political power. And he will fade away.

Those who fail to learn from history, will repeat it.

Slow ideas take longer to work, than fast ideas.

Counterfactuals are hard to do, but we know these atheistic Communists Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung were responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the 20th century. Current history is also difficult: how many deaths can we lay at the feet of Putin.

So how many lives did this atheistic Communist SAVE?  — Probably millions. We will never know. And he now is virtually ignored by his own countries, and the international community gives him accolades, but more likely they need a famous speaker for their get together.

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
– Gen. George C. Patton

Mikhail Gorbachev was key in the relatively peaceful break up of the Soviet Union.  He, had been in effect, the Tzar of Russia.

He had the Idealistic Idea that the world, and the Soviet Union, could be a better place.

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Feed them on your dreams

He had a voice, and he had found it.

And his natural talent was to teach, using that voice.

He did what he loved, and loved what he did.

“Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs…” [The 8th Habit]

And that’s what he did, for he was a Teacher Idealist, a Proactive Idealist.

An Educator. “… as inherent in the word educator, it has to be educed by an individual skilled in drawing out potentials. In this interaction the Diplomatic Initiators have an edge over all others, including the other Idealists. They seem uncannily able to influence those who seek to improve what they say and do at work.” —  Dr. David Keirsey

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Her Third Act

She was sitting next to Marilyn Monroe in Lee Strasberg‘s Actors Studio.

Lee said to her “you have talent.”

That made “all the difference in the world” — she had someone tell her that she had some self-worth.

The funny thing is you would think she wouldn’t have needed it because she was a very beautiful woman, and she had had a privileged upbringing.

But you see, that was something that hadn’t happened to her before. What you see is not always what you get. For Hank, was a complicated man and hard to get to know, to say the least.

And Jane couldn’t understand that in her first two acts.

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