▼From Ignorance to Curiosity & Knowledge to Grace▼
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In September 2011, an AP report prompted me to publish an article entitled: Do you have an Inflated Sense of Entitlement? Diane Sawyer (above) picks up where I left off in 2011. Then, I wrote:
At the time of writing the Associated Press has confirmed that 31-year old Gordon Rees Jnr. was shot dead in New Castle (Pennsylvania) by the driver of a tinted window black Chevy Cavalier.
The suspect, who police is currently looking for, stopped, got out, and after a brief argument, shot Mr. Rees Jnr. after the victim yelled asking him to slow down.
This unfortunate incident has special resonance because the last time I was
in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) which is where I live, not my home State of New York, a gangster couple in a big truck (tinted windows again) threw French Fries on my car's windshield after they run a Stop sign, almost hit me and I protested with a two handed gesture muttering the words "come on, man". The male driver, whom I only saw briefly before they turned, stopped, blocking traffic, while the woman locked gaze with me as if awaiting confrontation, whereupon I turned and drove away.
That was, I think, in 2007, in Northeast Philly. And I've always said I'm sure it would have ended fatally for me had I stuck around.
I'd just returned from China en route to Scotland, and had been eagerly anticipating another IMAX movie outing involving my favorite Häagen-Dazs, just like old times.
The most dangerous incident was when I was chased and flagged to a stop by a Caucasian motorist on — if memory serves me right — a Ducati.
He was angry because I'd very safely, legally albeit quickly overtaken him, which is what happens on freeways. I, on the other hand, was perplexed because neither he nor his family, and I told him this, own (Interstate) i-95. And most importantly, I was on my way to White Plains (New York) to pick up my mother, and was late, all of which was none of his business. I told him that too, as I stood through my Sports coupé's moonroof and faced him down while he pretended to carry a concealed weapon. A 5MM gun, he claimed.
He slowly walked away and mounted his motorbike apparently after feeling silly. And in retrospect, it was foolish to stop in the first place.
But I will always remember the racism-laced tirade he launched at me before I even had a chance to open my mouth and smilingly say "nice to meet you too", which totally confused him when I got around to doing it.
His spiel began with "you immigrants think you can come to America and drive any way you blah blah blah".
And that is what is wrong with the world right now. Looking for grace in ungraceful times such as ours is like looking for proof of ghosts at times.
Grace, whose definition, I strongly recommend stopping, reading, and taking in, is the line of demarcation between having a sense of entitlement and knowing that just because you can snub, put down, cheat, sabotage or marginalize other people either from a position of power or advantage, doesn't mean you're getting away with it — no matter how contrary the evidence to the latter, in the interim. That, for those who have been paying attention to totalitarian regimes that crumbled so far in 2011, is the key lesson in that probably Australian thing called boomerang. That, or Civility, in human relations while it is still early, whether one is in a position of strength or not. Listen to Vincent Harding (play button).
I like the way Chuck Swindoll recently deconstructed Grace:
Grace will keep you tolerant and loving. Knowledge will keep you strong.
Grace will make you compassionate. Knowledge will make you discerning.
Grace will help you smile. Knowledge will help you THiNK.
Grace will result in vulnerability. Knowledge will result in stability.
And that is where the unemployed man who went looking for greens but instead found a stash of cash totaling $150,000 (almost ¥1 million) comes in.
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You can't do anything you want now, today, just because you know you can get away with it, will be ignored, — as some, like the Israelis or even U.S. Government, until a time of their own choosing, very frequently do. Oh sure, you can do whatever you want because you feel you're are in a position of strength, like my brothers did for years before the chickens came home to roost.
But decisions have their consequences. And history is replete with rich examples.
That is one thing I've lived long enough to see with my own eyes. And Grace teaches even the rich, powerful, privileged but wise, that all-important life skill.
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