Daily Kos Staff
Monday April 19, 2021
photo above: AP
WN: A man in our Home Improvement Group once challenged us all: “Just try spending one day in my skin!” In 1959, a white Texan journalist, John Howard Griffin, did precisely that: for 420 days.
The 1961 book, Black Like Me, and the 1964 film (see below–with period dramatic music introduction!) of the same title tell the story.
We have close relatives in our family who spend all their days in such skins.
I have other close relatives who dismiss any such sensitivity as so-much-liberal/progressive-self-flagellating-unfounded-such-is-life-nonsense. . . Sigh. . .
They could benefit from joining our Home Improvement Group. In it we challenge men to discover or turn up the dial on empathy and compassion. The former is of Greek etymology, meaning “in suffering (with).” The latter is from the Latin: “suffering with.” How their English use is distinguished in our presentation: one is passive; the other takes action. The former sees the pain of another; the latter moves if possible to alleviate it. Both have their legitimate place.
Bluntly: to go through life lacking empathy and not showing compassion misses out on the peace, the joy, the freedom, the sheer abundant life1–and indeed at times the pain!–of what it means to be fully/fulfilled/full-throttle human. In short, one lives a stunted human existence.
If you want to help others be happy, practise compassion.
If you want to be happy, practise compassion.—Dalai LamaFor a grand portrait of what abundant life looks like in one instance, see: Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine, by noted Canadian poets Susan McCaslin and J S Porter.
There’s a beautiful Buddhist text that sums the whole of Mahayana Buddhism: ‘All the unhappiness in the world comes from people who are trying to find happiness for themselves. All the happiness in the world comes from people who are trying to make other people happy.’ That’s very true to the gospel. That’s what leaving self behind means – finding happiness by freeing ourselves from our ego.’—Father Laurence Freeman.
That Adam Toledo was at the age of 13 denied discovering such a life through yet another wanton act of murderous police brutality is utterly execrable.
Hundreds of grieving and angered Chicago residents rallied throughout the weekend to protest the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. While a number of people from Adam’s Little Village community had taken to the streets after learning of his killing nearly three weeks ago, demonstrations ramped up starting Friday following release of body cam video (note: link does not include footage) showing Chicago police shooting and killing Adam while he had both hands up in the air.
“The video released today speaks for itself—Adam was unarmed in his last seconds of life, contrary to now-retracted claims by city leadership that an armed confrontation occurred between Adam and the police,” said Rep. Chuy García, who is also a Little Village resident. “Like so many other Latino and Black children confronted by police, he was not afforded the benefit of the doubt that we’ve seen given to white suspects. Instead, Adam was robbed of his future.”
Even before the release of the body cam footage, Chicago police had omitted key details about the child in statements to the media and public. In an initial statement on March 29, police referred to the boy as an “offender.” A family lawyer said he had no criminal history. A second statement on April 1 then called him a “juvenile,” but still didn’t list his age. Mother Jones reported “it took reporters digging through an autopsy ledger to break the news about his age that day, according to Lakeidra Chavis, a Chicago-based reporter at the Trace, which covers gun violence.” And, horrifically, it took police two days to inform Adam’s mother that her son was dead.
Adam’s killing by Chicago police comes as the 1-year anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Andrés Guardado by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department approaches in June. While the coroner’s office announced a nearly unprecedented inquest into his death overseen by a former court of appeals justice, four members of the sheriff’s office, including the deputy who shot and killed Guardado, refused to testify, “invoking their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination even though none of them have been accused of a crime,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Please click on: Adam Toledo’s MurderFootnotes
- All spiritualities point to embracing a fulfilled life. Jesus’ teaching at one point (John 10) is here:
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.[↩]