Stealing the Dignity

“As awful as violence is, at least it’s out in the open where it can be recognized and handled and eventually it’s ended. But the jokes keep on, quietly, subversively, like a cancer, rotting away the foundations of hope for the Negro, stealing the dignity on which we can build respected lives.” ~Sammy Davis Jr, from his autobiography Yes I Can ©1965

Some of the cruelest words I have ever heard were followed by, “It was just a joke.”

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Cozy

“Most people feel cozy enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara; they just want samsara to be a little bit better. It is quite interesting that “samsara” became the name of a perfume. And it is like that. It seduces us into thinking that it is okay: samsara is not so bad; it smells nice! The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to Dharma centers. There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better. And if it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with Dharma. We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison any more.” ~Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

“I ask you though, Harold, is it enough?”  ~Maude

Love Is

Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

David Wilkie suggests replacing the word “love” with your own name.  Read it again; how does it sound?

What if?

“People died and it’s a horrible tragedy. My feelings move from shock and disbelief to going to the ‘what-ifs.’  What if I tried to reach out to him that last time I saw him? ‘Hey Mark, how are you doing?'”  ~Mark Roessler, neighbor of Austin bomber Mark Conditt (source)

:-)

“When we smile, the muscles around our mouth are stretched and relaxed, just like doing yoga. Smiling is mouth yoga. We release the tension from our face as we smile. Others who run into us notice it, even strangers, and are likely to smile back. It is a wonderful chain reaction that we can initiate, touching the joy in anyone we encounter. Smiling is an ambassador of goodwill.”

~This quote has been attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh, but I’ve been unable to find an original source.  The sentiment sounds like him, the phrasing does not.  Regardless of who said it, though, it’s a nice thought.