The common thread between me and other immigrants, we fled our country to move beyond, sometimes, to move beyond hate. Hate is a strong word. When I was younger, I wrote a term paper the Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment. The final analyst of the paper, I was for electric chair, a capital punishment. This was based on a young mind being exposed to violence. Not in my home where love thrives but due to poor government system and being under the regime of so many super powers. Hearing and reading stories is not good for a young mind for I learned the word hate. I hated what the Spaniards did, I hated what the Japanese did, I hated what the Americans did, and I hated the martial law, hate, hate, hate… Here in Canada, I learnt the history of the holocaust from watching the movie Schindler’s List. I hated the Germans. Fortunately, there is one immigrant that helps me move beyond hate. Eva Olsson, a holocaust survivor and she lives here in Canada. Her life philosophy in life is:
> Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece.
> Treat others the way you want to be treated.
> Racism is a learned attitude
>Make a choice.
> Change your attitude.
She is right. I cannot change the past and I can definitely change my attitude.
Subsequently, I began to find my VOICE. Stand Up! Speak Up!
By being silent I will suffer. That is why I have to speak out against intolerance, violence, disrespect, mendacity and any forms that will kill the soul of a human being. If I maintain this silent attitude and accept the inhumanity, then, I have just lost the purpose and meaning of life. That purpose comes from the heart connected to the mind. As much as possible, I leave little room for hatred and cultivate love.
Love brings peace. A moment of Peace, a day of Peace, and never-ending Peace is what I strive for. If I tell myself who I am, words are not enough. I have to show you and I start with children.
If I can only teach one child to become loving, forgiving, compassionate, kind and see the goodness of the world in the God of small things, then I have done my job. Hopefully, the child in turn will teach other children and this can have a ripple effect.
I changed and keep the deep abiding Love of God based on my Catholic faith to love one another as He loves us. And this is Peace.