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Rockntractor
09-18-2011, 06:54 PM
By Robin of Berkeley

I was strolling around downtown Berkeley this week, when one of those shiny young college students waved at me with a smile. I knew what was coming: a plea for a signature and, more importantly, money for some progressive cause.

She asked perkily, "Do you want to help immigrant rights?" To which I replied my usual, "No thank you," and walked away. But I was tempted to instead retort, "You know what I would really like? I would like a full year's moratorium on everyone asking for their rights. And during that time, I'd want everyone to work on themselves, and to do something for other people. A whole solid year of no one demanding and everyone helping! If you have a petition for that, I'll gladly sign."

Of course, she would have looked at me as though I were from Mars. These days, it's all about people standing up for their rights. And that means everyone: Latinos, blacks, women, gays, bis and bi-curious, illegals and legals, everyone, that is, with the exception of the privileged, straight, white male.

But what is actually owed to them or to anyone else? As an older person, I remember the good old days (which get better and better the older I get). You didn't demand your rights with your parents or your teachers or anyone else. If you did, you'd get either a slap across the face or a stern lecture about not acting so uppity.

Back then, you weren't entitled to anything unless you earned it. And we're not just talking money and possessions here, but something more important: respect. No one would have or should have respected you simply because you were born upon this earth. But if you acted in a respectable fashion, that is, accountable for your actions and kind to others, then respect would inevitably follow.

But today...what a different picture. Of course, my generation, the Baby Boomers, are responsible for producing all of these entitled folks, because the young 'uns were taught that the world owes them something for nothing. Through 60's music and leftist schools, rights and demands were emphasized over traits that are so much more important. And meanwhile, many old folks haven't moved on developmentally, still remaining frozen in time, circa 1964, making their own demands.

Of course, most people from the left reading this won't have the foggiest notion of what I'm talking about. Isn't demanding rights and making money what this life is all about? Sadly, in this shallow, secular world, people have been stripped of the knowledge of what to actually do with this one precious life.

That's where my year's moratorium comes in. Perhaps if people took a break, they'd come up with the answers themselves. I once read an evocative quote, "Wisdom happens in the moment between two thoughts." Perhaps if people took a break from demanding and blogging and checking their Facebook, they'd understand that life is about more than just demands and things.

It involves giving, and I don't mean a donation to one of those bright-eyed college kids on the streets of Berkeley or for Obama 2012. I'm talking about interpersonal giving; I'm referring to being kind. And doing so for no personal gain, simply because as human beings we are supposed to.

Notice an old woman struggling to get across the street, and do not mug her -- help her! Open the door for someone using a cane. Remember that someday, God willing, you will be that old person and you will need someone to open the door for you.

Call your grandma to cheer her up, and send flowers to your mom for no reason other than she gave you life. Smile at someone who looks a bit glum; leave a dime on the ground for someone else to pick up. Every day do what used to be called, "A random act of kindness."

And then notice what happens, first inside of you, but also in the world. Because just as anger is contagious, so is love. Love is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you express some human compassion, it spreads and gathers force and becomes the only true force that can change the world.

After a year is up, you'll notice something remarkable: you are a changed person. You won't have as many needs and demands, because you won't feel as empty inside. You'll be filled up with something more precious and enduring, something that cannot be given to you by any law or any leader.

I'll end here with a few lines from one of the most beautiful songs of all time, from Jackie DeShannon in 1965. It was hugely popular back in the day. These words are desperately needed during these strident times.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It's the only thing that there's just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,

No not just for some but for everyone. . .



Lord, we don't need another meadow

There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow

There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine

Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.



What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It's the only thing that there's just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love,

No, not just for some but for everyone.

No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

-- What the World Needs Now

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/what_the_world_needs_now.html

Wei Wu Wei
09-18-2011, 10:42 PM
That's where my year's moratorium comes in. Perhaps if people took a break, they'd come up with the answers themselves. I once read an evocative quote, "Wisdom happens in the moment between two thoughts." Perhaps if people took a break from demanding and blogging and checking their Facebook, they'd understand that life is about more than just demands and things.

It involves giving, and I don't mean a donation to one of those bright-eyed college kids on the streets of Berkeley or for Obama 2012. I'm talking about interpersonal giving; I'm referring to being kind. And doing so for no personal gain, simply because as human beings we are supposed to.

Notice an old woman struggling to get across the street, and do not mug her -- help her! Open the door for someone using a cane. Remember that someday, God willing, you will be that old person and you will need someone to open the door for you.

Call your grandma to cheer her up, and send flowers to your mom for no reason other than she gave you life. Smile at someone who looks a bit glum; leave a dime on the ground for someone else to pick up. Every day do what used to be called, "A random act of kindness."

And then notice what happens, first inside of you, but also in the world. Because just as anger is contagious, so is love. Love is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you express some human compassion, it spreads and gathers force and becomes the only true force that can change the world.

After a year is up, you'll notice something remarkable: you are a changed person. You won't have as many needs and demands, because you won't feel as empty inside. You'll be filled up with something more precious and enduring, something that cannot be given to you by any law or any leader.



I wholeheartedly agree. Selfless actions do wonders for cleansing the soul. Random acts of kindness are great, so are personal actions like forgiving someone who has wronged you, or putting other people before yourself. Despite the snarky undertones of this article, I agree with the general message.

Starbuck
09-18-2011, 10:49 PM
I just watched the Enron story again. I've seen it before....

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that doing the right thing is important.

noonwitch
09-19-2011, 01:16 PM
Is Robin of Berkeley an Oprah fan or something?

Rockntractor
09-19-2011, 01:30 PM
Is Robin of Berkeley an Oprah fan or something?

Quite possible.

Novaheart
09-19-2011, 01:38 PM
By Robin of Berkeley

Of course, she would have looked at me as though I were from Mars. These days, it's all about people standing up for their rights. And that means everyone: Latinos, blacks, women, gays, bis and bi-curious, illegals and legals, everyone, that is, with the exception of the privileged, straight, white male.

She lost me here. She has lumped in illegal aliens with citizens. Citizens are always entitled to demand equal rights, illegal aliens are not entitled to equal rights. If she is dismissing the concerns of citizens for equal rights amongst citizens, then she is obviously opposed to the promise of liberty and the American compact. She is therefore dismissed.