Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering...

September 11, 2001 showed the human race both at our worst and at our best...Let us not forget...<3





glitter-graphics.com

At this point, I would like to share some supplemental reading in the form of two links and a story I wrote several years ago that is printed out below that will be followed by a meaningful video.

The first story (called Memories Of Mohamed) was one that I had written shortly after 9-11 in the form of a review of Gone With The Wind.

The next story is called Tea For One, and it was written by a very special young lady from England.  

I came upon it when I went to her portfolio over at Writing.com to look for a journal that she had been keeping.  

I'm not sure whether or not she's still keeping the journal but keeping it on a private setting or whether she simply gave up on writing it.  

I know that she was feeling a bit on the discouraged side re: how much good her writings were doing the last time I wrote to her several years ago.

It was around this time that I was starting to experience some health and financial problems that distracted me from being online as much as I once had been--which is why I lost track of this friend for awhile.

As many of you know, I'm now in the process of setting things up to make it easier to travel here and there in Cyberspace in spite of distractions that are still going on in my life.

One place to go is called Where To Find Me...

I hope that, after reading Tea For One, that you will check out more of the visible items in her portfolio.

On this note, let's continue while reflecting on how the decisions we make have the potential to keep history from repeating itself when it comes to acts of terror...

The Choir On The Hill
by
Ainsley Jo Phillips


When I volunteered at the Fountain Square Girls' Club in the spring of 1976 as part of a class requirement, I would occasionally bring my "adopted" kid brother, Mark, along with me.
My girls were all simply crazy about him--especially, when he brought out his "gee-tahr" and led them in singalongs.

The next time I would come in without him, they would ask me when I was going to bring Mark back with me.

At the end of one week, we were going to have a Mother/Daughter pitch-in dinner, and everyone was excited about it.

We formed different groups, and the group I led was in charge of drawing a mural on a huge piece of paper for the purpose of hanging it on one of the walls. This mural would represent Girls' Club.

I created an assortment of life-sized little girls to go on the mural, which would be an outdoor scene while my girls made flowers, trees, birds, etc to go in the picture.

All at once, one of them looked at one of the girls I'd drawn and got a scowl on her face!

"I'm not gonna work on a picture with Black girls in it!"

My girl pictures included an assortment of girls of many shapes, sizes, hair & eye coloring, and races.

It was then that I noticed that the group in charge of the mural was 100% Caucasean, even though that branch of the club also had a few Black girls--and I knew that clubs all over had a whole rainbow assortment of little girls.

This girl seemed to be somewhat of a leader, because she had managed to convince the other girls that this was a bad mural to take part in.

So I asked her what she had against Black girls, and found out--as I had suspected I would--that an older relative (e.g. parent, grandparent, older sibling, etc.) had told her that Black people were bad.

I asked them if they liked Mark--knowing what the answer would be: an immediate chorus of asking when he was going to be coming back to the club again.

"Do you realize that, if we all lived in Belfast, Ireland, we'd be trying to blow Mark up and he'd be trying to blow us up instead of our being friends?"

They looked amazed and couldn't imagine something like that happening.

I explained that, since we were Protestants and he was a Catholic, we would be at war with each other if we lived in that part of Ireland. . ."but, here in the United States, we all get along."

I concluded by saying that Black people weren't bad people any more than Catholics were, and that the only reason some people believed this is because someone started stories like that which weren't true.''

It wasn't long before we were all back to being busy on the mural again, and nothing else was said against Black people.

That fall, I went to Ball State University to begin taking courses towards getting my Master's in English--and, eventually, I hoped, a PhD, as well.

However, I had gotten off on very bad footing with the first instructor I'd taken a class from.

One evening, I'd gotten enough of her snippy, condescending attitude towards me and had gotten up and walked out shortly after class had begun. It was a choice of either getting out of there and getting some fresh air or else showing her and the rest of the class what I'd had to eat that day.

I walked over to the library and saw a group of good-looking male students there who were a little older than I was and decided to get their advice, explaining that I didn't want to get the instructor in trouble, as she seemed like a very good teacher, but that the two of us just had a personality clash for some reason. However, I didn't want to end up with a failing grade on my record, either.

The guys were very comforting and told me that what I was experiencing was commonplace and that nobody was going to get fired. They advised me to call my student advisor and tell him the problem. So I did--and he told me the same thing.

He asked me if I would like to drop the class--and I told him that I thought that I would go ahead and stick it out, as long as I wouldn't end up getting a failing grade. The next day, I would confront the instructor and tell her that I'd really like to stay in her class but didn't want to hang around just to end up getting an F for the course. I ended up getting a C.

Anyway, that night, I went back to the guys after talking to the advisor and told them that everything was going to be okay.

I exchanged addresses and phone numbers with one of them who had invited me to drop by and see him sometime. After I had completed the last session of the class, my dad picked me up, and we went to the apartment of that one student. He wasn't in but his roomie was, and we hit if off right away.

Soon, this guy became a regular visitor to our house, and we enjoyed sitting around drinking tea and discussing our different cultures, as he was here from another country where he had been a middle-school social-studies teacher.

He loved looking at our Christmas lights, was excited about getting to watch Gone With The Wind for the first time, and absolutely adored those old Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movies.

One evening, we were in the family room with Mark (who was staying with my folks and me) watching TV when a beautiful commercial came on.

"I love this commercial!" Mark said, softly. And Mohamed (my new friend from Saudi Arabia) and I agreed.

One Catholic, one Protestant, and one Moslem sat watching as the choir of young people stood on a hillside singing, "I'D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING!" while passing candlelight on and on and on and on until the entire hill glowed and twinkled like a giant Christmas tree!