Tag Archives: humanity

this was a woman!

Josephine Baker was surely more than just a pretty dancer who thrived on her exotic charms and wild popularity from her adoring admirers; she had the guts to talk back to the authority that ignored her presence, the voice to speak out against injustice, the pride of who she was and the will to fulfill her meaning of life despite her hardships. And she did all of this with a graceful choreography of decencies and humanity in style.

Reading of the intriguingly informative article about this strong-willed, headstrong woman has confirmed me in the universal credo that no matter where you came from, with the best of what you possess and the will to meaning by actualizing your valuable attributions, you can rise above biological and social planes deemed to stunt your growth into what you want to be. In fact, Baker’s resilient spirit against social discrimination and personal hardships epitomizes what Nietzsche advised to the suffering humanity:” That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” In this sense, the figure of Baker transcends a statue of civil right activist that some people like to erect for pontificating about their political ideology and becomes a universal model of humanity as she herself practiced during her lifetime. For it was not that she loved the socially disfranchised people of her kind, but that she loved mankind more.

Baker’s life was exciting, and the elements so wonderfully mixed in her that parliament of humankind might applaud her to the very echo and proclaim to the world “This was a woman!” For all her acts of courage and fortitude gracefully surrounding her person, those thousand decencies she exemplified as a citizen of the world flew from all her words and actions, really. 

 

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Vet’s long-lost wallet comes home

RE: 8/26/2018 The Los Angeles Times article of “Long-lost wallet’s unlikely return”

For the times passed by, you can just look away and say, “they are gone away” because they are woven by your memories that you have collected through life, willed or unwilled. They become part of you, making you of spirit, fire, and dew, an unique star in a constellation of the universe. Hence nothing could be more pleasingly surprising than discovering that part of you or your beloved kept in photographic images or words of the frozen time, evocative of distant nostalgia that beckons you to reminisce about them, by a happy stroke of serendipity paired with benevolence of a stranger. Something like that happened to Ms. Sharon Moore, a daughter of one former army corporal Robert McCusker.

When Ms. Moore received a “Friend” request from a certain Frenchman named Patrick Caubet on her Facebook page, she deleted it. But then Mr. Caubet messaged her inquiring about the lost wallet of her father Mr. McCusker with the pictures and documents contained therein that he had accidentally found in a basement of his building presumably used as an America officers’ social club. This time she responded and verified that it was her father’s. Prior to Mr. Caubet’s contacting Ms. Moore, he had launched a campaign for locating the rightful owner of the wallet, which encompassed an aid of his English-speaking friend and inquiries to the Pentagon and the U.S. Embassy for help to no avail. Then the help came from a French military office in Paris that located the names of Mr. McCusker’s children in just days. Being a military man himself with a certain feeling of soldierly camaraderie, he was determined to succeed in his campaign, which ultimately came to fruition.

Thanks to this benevolent efforts of one French military man, Ms. Moore and her brother living in Dover, New Hampshire, could reminisce about the lost pages of his Korean War veteran father who had died in 1983. The wallet had pictures of their mother and aunt, military documents, Massachusett Driver’s License, and a Social Security Card, all of which were still kept in a mint condition. Ms. Moore said that since she had her father’s Purple Heart, her brother would be in possession of the wallet that their father had lost on his way from the Korean War to home. In return of her gratitude, Ms. Moore sent Mr. Caubet a lovely basket full of sweet jars of maple syrup she had made herself, some of the candy her father had enjoyed, and a New England Patriots Jerky. Thus, the wallet became their treasure of their beloved father’s memories that they had not known – the terra incognita of their father’s memories before they came to the world -. It became the part of their memories that bound them together to the legacy of their lineage, reminding themselves of their father’s valorous war efforts as a soldier and of his tender loving memories of their mother as a man.

Amid the news of endless politicking, peddling of social media that goes beyond reasonable measures, and a litany of social ills, this article stroke me as a bonanza of altruism that still thankfully kept alive in everyday life, a fresh breath of air that made me feel grateful and hopeful for our future in which so long as we don’t lose a thread of sanity and milk of human kindness, we can make constraints of our lives bearable with a lightheartedness. The kindness of the Frenchman speaks to us that no matter what language you speak, the feelings and emotions that you and I have can strike the chords of our humanness because the principles of reason and of sentiment are universal in all human creatures. The return of the lost wallet as the living record of Ms. Moore’s father attests to the truth.

 

The Ills of Gentrification

RE: 8/10/2018 article of “A Home for Homeless Vets” by Teresa Watanabe of The Los Angeles Times

It has always been the case that those who who have suffered from afflictions of life appear to give helping hands to the bearers of the suffering. In Vigil’s Aeneid, when Aeneas and his people arrived at the shore of Carthage after the fall of Troy, the beautiful queen Dido welcomed the refuge with open arms and provisioned them with food and shelter and told Aneneas, “because I was once a sufferer of the affliction, I know how you and your people feel.” Now the time and space is translated in modern day California, and this very noble act of humanity in the figure of an old veteran solder continues.

A certain Japanese-American WWII veteran campaigns to provide affordable housing for veterans as well as low-income individuals and families at the risk of homelessness. He has even gone out of his way by establishing “Go for Broke National Education Center” in order to develop a five-story building on leased city land that would house the center and as many as seventy affordable housing units for the aforesaid applicants who find themselves between a rock and a hard place on the threat of eviction from their homes by landowners.

The article in fact brings light to the increasing number of homeless population that results from urban gentrification by which private developers plan to evict low-income residents from their newly acquired properties, so that such reworked properties will accommodate to the level of comforts required by those who can afford high rents, and thus create a totally new residential and commercial environments commensurate to the economic levels of the gentry.

The projection of building a low-income housing complex should be put into action forthwith without fail; it’s not about creating Skid Row, pace the popular opinions on such project in fear of tainting the atmosphere of communities and affecting the economic activities adversely due to the substantive presence of exiguousness incarnate.

I firmly believe that there should be more consorted efforts of fellowships of humanity as aforesaid to actively, substantially and tangibly help people in need to the extent possible by providing them with many more supportive “permanent” housing programs, not ad-hoc homeless shelters. It makes my head swivel in wonderment why politicians do not champion such existential programs, instead of hackneyed willy-nilly metaphysical ideologies that only divide this nation built upon liberty and justice. For if people are ruthlessly kicked out of their abodes just because they are undesirable in the eyes of the businessmen, where can they find liberty and justice to live their sovereign lives as resonated by the Gospel?

Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” – if you don’t give them the necessities of life? (James 2:15-16)

Bonbon Brunch Bonhomie

IMG_4017It’s one fine Saturday afternoon, and Hans Bauer and Zeus Magoo are as cheerful and loquacious as sparrows in the morning sky as they are talking away about the weekly panorama of Avonlea,families, and businesses at the delightful brunch hosted by their good business partner John Elephant, who has not only an acute business mind but also intelligence embodied in geniality out of his deep concern for humanity. So as a token of appreciation of individuality, John asked Hans and Zeus in advance  of their choices of brunch rather than deciding the menu on his part (or his wife Rachel’s, to be precise). It’s in fact convenient for Rachel to prepare for the guests’ meals and also interesting to detect a trace of character and personality in each of the meals by its ingredients and condiments it accompanies. As  tree is known by its fruits, a persona can be interpreted by what he eats to a certain extent because people tend to stick to diets of their choice.

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“I must say it has been a fine week weather-wise, ” John says blissfully before having the first bite of his lobster cooked in his favorite vino by Rachel,  “It’s spring in earnest, and we are entering Season of Summer as if we are flying on an airplane! Speaking of which, I am going to California  next week to consider buying a two-story house there. My experience with treacherous weathers on the East compelled me to look westward. In fact, California reminds me a lot of Cape Town, where I came from. But I am unsure whether or not my whole family will have to relocate there. I am thinking of Rancho Santa Margarita in southern California. That’s where I am going to look around first.

IMG_4019Zeus Magoo, who runs a convenient kiosk on 1291 Suhs Avenue, is surprised by John’s sudden intention of relocation to California because to Zeus moving a place of livinghood with a family, let alone his means of business seems to be too risky a business itself. “Well, it’s a nice idea to get away from the grim East, but I don’t think the nice weather should be the alpha factor to make you decide to uproot your livinghood, John. I mean, you can always vacation there with your family to escape from the blustery winter days, but moving there for good may ensue unforeseeable implications you can’t think of. Of course, you have enough resources to officiate a new residential and business addresses in the Sunshine State, but you need to think about this moving there carefully.”

IMG_4022“Yes, I agree with Zeus on that.” Hans Bauer, a tram conductor of thirty years, chimes in with his quiet agreement. “John, you are a man of prudence and sagacity, so it is hardly to expect you to act on impulses or whims. Think again, and think good. We don’t want to lose our trusty John to the Wild West. Surely, the eastern climate is not the most cheerful not salubrious to the sunny temperament, such as you possess, but then it’s not too bad to live here. At least, it’s better than Hanover, where I cam from at the age of eighteen.” Hans is then momentarily carried away by the floaty recollections of his early year with a melody of nostalgia.

The Trio’s brun table is filled with delicious food and general bonhomie air mixed with a certain pang of farewell, expectations for fortuitous future, and memories of the good old days that each of them is feeling at the same time. All in all, there is nothing more like having someone to talk to in times of need. That’s why Epicurus once said,  “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”

thanks-for-reading-Rok-Hardware

A view from the Window on a Snowing Day

snow-scene-in-paris-eugene-galien-laloue

Snow Scene In Paris Painting by Eugene Galien-Laloue courtesy of fineartamerica.com

 

Looking thru the window, what do I see?
Snowflakes softly falling down from heaven,
Smiling faces of little children,
Neighbors shoveling scoops of snow away.

-  'tis in one scene of Winter Play.

Thinking to myself, is everyone happy?
Doing what they've been doing thus far,
Fulfilling demands placed upon their 
life is a surety of simple security?

-  'tis in a script of Life Play.