In looking at this picture, you might not even think that there is much diversity in this group. They are all wearing beyond comfortable jeans and footwear. They are sporting the same t-shirt with various pullovers for comfort. They are sporting sunglasses and hats for shade…except for the kids who haven’t learned the virtues of protecting skin and eyes yet. They have all come together to support a common cause and to play a common game. (Well, common game in an uncommon location; tundra golf…not for the faint of heart.) You wouldn’t think that so many different cultures could be represented in such a small group, but without going into their personal backgrounds, I will just tell you that they represent everything.
On this day of reflection I like to think that America was brilliant at being a model for diversity and inclusiveness. How that changed mimics the changes we see on a local level. Learning about different cultures, with the result of respecting them, opens the door for open minds. Take a lesson from indigenous cultures who for millennia were inclusive of all people no matter their beliefs, skin tone, or gender identification and/or definition. Although I now believe that our ability to pass on values of diversity acceptance has become more difficult, I still believe that our ability to truly appreciate and celebrate diverse cultures stems from the generosity of those who choose to share their values and their dreams with the group as a whole.
We are privileged to live in an extremely diverse town. If you can think of a nationality, we most likely are fortunate to have one or two or a small community living here. We just all live and work together. Our community is a blue town living in a red state. We believe in equality and justice for all.
In our disbelief, the results of the recent election finally crept up on us. I kept thinking that something would happen between November and January to save us all from the fact that life as we have known it was going to go through some dark and drastic changes. So I was ready to support my fellow women who were marching on Washington in peaceful protest.
We all marched for many different reasons. Because we can. My 87 year old mother marched to remind US citizens not to step on people’s civil liberties like happened to the Unangan/Unangas people during World War II. She was 12 years old when her civil liberties were taken from her by the US government.
Ours was not as formal as some of the larger city marches. We didn’t have speakers. We did have signs. Great signs. One said Ataqan Akun. We are one. One of them said March 4 love. One said March against Hate. Another said equality and justice. One said feminist AF, carried by a man. One said Tuman tanax^ agliisaax*txin. Take care of the land. Another said Tuman alag^ux^ agliisaax^txin. Take care of the sea/ocean. And one said Ig^ayuux^txin, ang^im atxag^ingin agachan madada. Do the things you know are right.
And this is not right. Unfortunately, things are being taken away from us all, but some are suffering sooner than the rest of us. We, the marchers, just knew it would happen before others realized the impact. We all need to practice the values handed down by the indigenous people of this great land Our people. Our values….the right way to live as human beings.
The best $3.50 I ever spent. This dog-eared copy of one of my favorite books of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 11, 1960. It immediately hit the best seller lists. Nell Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for the book in 1961, and in 1962, an Academy Award winning film was completed.
This very humble book still captures new audiences all over the world, giving voice to relevant questions about morals and ethics, providing vivid examples of personal courage, and highlighting the fact that humanity can, and should, live in us all. There are several books that I read over again. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of them. Harper Lee’s writing is so down to earth and simple. Perhaps the simplicity of her writing is what paints such vivid pictures for me. I am sure that you all have had the pleasure of reading the book, but, if by chance you have not, I highly recommend that you do so before you kick the bucket. You’ll never regret it.
She never wrote another book. High on her list of reasons why was that she didn’t like all the hoopla involved in the publication. Her other reason was that she said all she wanted to say, and she wasn’t going to say it again. Well….it was pretty all encompassing.