January 17th, 2011

Writer's Block: Free your mind

Do you believe society will ever truly overcome racism?

If by "society" you mean the United States, probably not.  Racism is so much a part of the fabric of our culture that our culture would be unrecognizable without it.  According to one study in the 1950s it was one of our 18 most important values, and though it was listed as number 18, i always thought it deserved to be much higher; and not all that much has happened in the last 60 years to make me change my mind.  In the rest of the world, anti European prejudice has been mostly caused by the actions of Europeans and northern Americans and a change in that behavior could possibly bring about changes in attitudes.  Europe and northern America are still pretty powerful and wealthy compared to the rest of the world, so a refusal on our part to any longer use that wealth and power to hurt others might restore the reputation that northern America enjoyed (undeservedly i think) 150 years ago as a help and a haven for the world.

So many of the people whose forgiveness we need are either dead or beyond caring, that i don't see any way out.  Not for society anyway--maybe for individuals.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 62 - The Treasure of Tao

Tao is source of the ten thousand things.
It is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
Sweet words can buy honor;
Good deeds can gain respect.
If a man is bad, do not abandon him.
Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,
Or the three officers of state installed,
Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses,
But remain still and offer the Tao.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.

Daily Tao - November 14th, 2009

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