10/09/06 Dear BK,
10/07/06 Dear BK,
You are not alone in
your feelings. I know of someone who chose France and is
quite happy with her decision. A couple, friends of mine, are about to go to Mexico with a small
I am no longer
embarrassed to be a US citizen, although I must admit it took me several years to get over
that feeling. “My country, my government, my war.” Hard to get used to, true,
but accepting the truth has made me stronger in my small efforts to change the
way the world works.
The US is a convenient place for me to do my peace work. I have a minimally comfortable income. My dollars, when I send them (along with the dollars I have raised from generous friends such as you), have a good exchange rate in places that really need dollars. There are many people doing good works here. We gather from time to time and compare notes, help each other out with ideas and money, pool resources, and give each other moral support.
And I enjoy the work. I think I was not meant to only play. Marilyn and I have a long standing belief that the best way, for us, is not to merely be enlightened, not to merely preach and teach the enlightenment, but to take the compassion and turn it into actual works to make more peaceful tomorrows.
I just received an invitation to give a pair of workshops to New York City high school students: “Putting a Human Face on ‘collateral damage’”. I am confident that compassion will be awakened in more than a few of these young folk. Yes, it’s a small thing to do, but if everyone did a small thing…
The people I know who
are most comfortable living here in the US fall into three main categories.
Some are blissfully blind, deeply denying, and they live in a small universe
defined by their own, usually material, sometimes artistic, accomplishments. The
second group feels that by living a just life they provide an example-doing no
harm they feel they do good. The last group consists of people who are doing
work to change the world, and garnering great satisfaction as they experience
the effects of their work.
The people I know who are the most optimistic are those doing good works. Yes, it can be frustrating at times, but to paraphrase Krishnamurti ((I think it was K)), “One cannot see the immediate results of positive actions but from time to time you get a glimpse.” The feeling that comes from that glimpse is manna. It feels good and it sustains and it provides energy for more good works.
I could find no blame in thinking about your leaving. I can find an anticipation of loss, but that is about me, not you. Also about me is the thought of visiting with you in your new home, so please take the climate into careful consideration. I trust there will be a guest room…
Perhaps your retirement
has more to do with your current feelings than the current state of the nation.
You have given much of your life to guiding young ones. I am sure that your
influence has steered many away from violence; steered many to
thoughtful lives; steered many to
resist the media’s assault on rational thinking. Consider the possibility of
using your considerable talents to help effect positive change in the US. Your writing skills are
exceptional. You are a ham who loves to talk <insert mental picture here>.
I can think of so many ways you could act to accomplish positive change in the
I would love to work with you on a project or two.
Perhaps work will set you free.
In loving kindness, Bruce