This is where it ends. This is where it begins.

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Studying in public school, our creed has no bearings. We are unified as human beings in singing daily our national anthem out in the courtyard, rain or shine before we start our regiment of learning academics. Religion is not a … Continue reading

Peripheral Vision

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When push comes to shove, historically speaking, people will quote the bible to harness the power to govern and dominate even though their action is vile. Why not start from the beginning. Blame it on the apple. Then the women. … Continue reading

Viola Desmond’s Place in History.

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I love her face the first time I saw her. It was a week-long education series for The Voice of Our Members that Viola Desmond was introduced to us. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An African-Canadian woman. The … Continue reading

Setting the record straight

Video

Women play an essential role in the world. For without the woman’s womb, we are not born. Rejoice and be thankful. – Perpetua

Perpetua and Felicity

Perpetua and Felicity

We celebrate the lives of some remarkable female saints this week, and today, we remember saints Perpetua and Felicity. These remarkable women were early third-century, African martyrs were of great significance in the life of the early Church. They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and sent to the public arena, to be mauled by wild animals. However, they survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Their story was widely circulated secretly throughout the early Christian congregations, giving encouragement in the face of adversity. They were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203.  – Pray As You Go

On this date: History of Perpetua

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Perpetua, a noblewoman, and Felicity, a slave, were imprisoned and killed on March 7, 203 in Carthage. Carthage is a magnificent ancient city in Tunisia, part of Africa. During Perpetua’s imprisonment, she kept a diary and accounts that provided a vivid picture … Continue reading

Father and Son

Art Morgan

Here lies ashes of Art Morgan buried at the foot of Sakura Tree at Forest Law Cemetery close to Mother’s gravesite.

 
Father and Son
wearing the same outfit
black turtle neck, black jacket, black coat. 
Can I tell the difference?
young and older,
spitting image. 
It was Remembrance Day. 
Father was in town for the legion
to commemorate Remembrance Day. 
Where have you been hiding this young lady?
asked Father to Son. 
Where have you been hiding your father?
a thought I kept to myself for the Son. 
He was an army pilot during World War II. 
Father survived the war,
got married, raised a
family of four. 
I was happy to meet Father but
death came to soon. 
He died
in his own
hands. 
Why? 
Have you seen a
grown man cry?
Son was inconsolable. 
In Father’s bedroom
there I sat on his bed and lit
a candle to say a little prayer
and left the candle burning
by the bedside table. 
WHO LIT A CANDLE! 
Scream came out of Son’s mouth
hush, it was me, hush
Inconsolable.
wishing I could take away his
pain. 
Thanksgiving Day
time to scatter the ashes on top
of the mountain
overlooking the lake. 
One by one
the family took handful of ashes
blown to smithereens
carried by the wind. 
Mine placed in a small container
for Father’s ashes to bury him
at the cemetery. 
At the foot of the Sakura tree
is where I buried his ashes
near Mother’s resting place. 
Father’s bible was given to me
in memory of Son’s Father. 
There is no answer to Why. 
Remembrance Day
will always remind
me of Father and Son. 
 

Sometime the hating has to stop.

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For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to watch a movie that would make my heart all warm and fuzzy as I nurse the dreaded flu that I am afflicted with for the past three days. Our library has a wide range … Continue reading

In it for life.

Image

These figures spring from their history, shedding an old skin and metamorphosing into their dream self. This aspect of ourselves is much less tangible than our genealogy; it is the identity we fashion through this ancient dust, the core we meet in the mirror. The self that is much deeper than the colour of our skin. The one we dare not speak, our heart’s desire, our secret hopes, our sacred place. This is the one to be honoured now, back to the source where all tribes meet.

family-mosaicFamily Mosaic is a sculptural portrait of a seven-month pregnant woman alongside her husband, who is laying his head on her stomach, anxious to hear the heartbeat of their new-born child.

This piece is from a series of figurative sculptures entitled Tribes that deal with the motion of mixed ethnic backgrounds. All of the decorative detailing and colours in the work are representative of some aspect of their lives such as their cultural heritage and personal history.

The mother, whose work involves aiding people with communication, has always had a passion for language and art. The yoke of her dress depicts a typical embroidery sampler from the turn of the century representing her German and Italian ancestry. Her face is partly covered by a Venetian carnival mask and in her hand she holds her favorite instrument, the violin

The father who was born at Vancouver General Hospital, was raised in Hong Kong until age 10. His subsequent return to Canada is shown through the map on his back. The chopsticks in his hand and the rice embedded in his arm portray his family’s enthusiasm for the culinary arts. Other details refer to his first career as a geologist where he was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash. He is now a school teacher and is an avid storyteller.

The drum on the father’s back symbolizes the child, who by age two was enthralled with percussion and music. He is representative of a generation of young Canadians of mixed heritage who will hopefully be free to celebrate their diversity and value of the richness of their cultural identity.

Family Mosaic by Nicole Dextras donated by the artist in 2003 to VGH & 
UBC Foundation. The art work and transcript are on display at
Vancouver General Hospital.

The many muses of Picasso and how long they were together.

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Picasso: The artist and his muses exhibit is in town at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is a journey about his art, personal life, and overlapping affairs to remember with six different women that fueled his artistic abilities and made … Continue reading

Arts living in a frame

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Welcome. A roll of toilet paper and towel. A supply he received upon entering the frame. His arts live in a frame called “The Hole”. Three out of fifteen I managed to capture, between wiring. The exhibits are all inside … Continue reading

Setting the record straight

Video

Women Who Changed The World

The following are quotes from USA, Canada and Spain. I am certain the whole world is grateful for all women that changed the world and will continue to change the society.

Thank you to all the women who have taught me that strength isn’t always masculinity and being alpha male. I know many women who I marvel at their strength of character and independence. Some of you are single parents and act as “the anchor and foundation” for the one thing you love more than yourself. Some of you are spouses and masters of making relationships work. Some of you are the bread winners breaking society’s rules on who wears the pants. Some of you show your strength by quietly supporting your partner and asking for no recognition. And some of you find and exhibit strength in being independent and alone in a world that tells you have to be married and a mother to matter.

Thank you to all the women who have shared time in my life and taught me other forms of strength than what my gender is capable of teaching me. – Jeff Reed (USA)

Today we celebrate all the women in our lives: mothers, sisters, friends and women around the world, who support and empower us to succeed.

This year in particular, we recognize that gender equality is still an issue in many countries, including Canada. Please take the pledge to help all women and girls in our community realize their potential and promote gender equality! – Diane Finley (Canada)

Happy International Women’s Day to all the powerful, wise, caring, fearless, compassionate, intrepid, loving, ambitious and simply remarkable women in my life. There is so much to be said for those who balance both thriving careers and strong relationships, who act as both the father figure and the mother figure, who are both independent of others and simultaneously connected to everyone, and who do it all while handling criticism and inequality everyday with strength and grace. Women are forces to be reckoned with. It’s about time that a woman’s value in comparison to that of her male counterpart’s becomes a debate of the past. – Nicole Doray (Spain)

Women play an important role in the world. For without the woman’s womb, we are not born. Rejoice and be thankful. – Perpetua

Perpetua and Felicity

Perpetua and Felicity

We celebrate the lives of some remarkable female saints this week and today, we remember saints Perpetua and Felicity. These remarkable women were early third-century, African martyrs were of great significance in the life of the early Church. They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and sent to the public arena, to be mauled by wild animals. However, they survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Their story was widely circulated secretly throughout the early Christian congregations, giving encouragement in the face of adversity. They were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203.  – Pray As You Go

An Open Wall

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  This is more than a crack on the wall, it’s one of the gates of Jerusalem called St. Stephen’s Gate or Lion’s Gate. I spent more time on the walls of the gate, soaking up the atmosphere, listening to … Continue reading

Seventy years ago

Lest We Forget: Destruction and killings are going on in many parts of the world. “Violence begets violence.” And no country can be free from what is going on in other countries today.

WWII fire-bombing of Tokyo by US remembered 70 years
Seventy years ago on the night of 9-10 March, in the Japanese capital, 334 American B-29 bombers dropped thousands of tonnes of incendiary bombs on the city’s crowded wooden neighbourhoods.
They started a fire storm that burned at over 1,000 degrees and killed more than 100,000 people.

Read more

WWII fire-bombing of Tokyo by US remembered 70 years on BBC News  It was an event that dwarfed even the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, yet it’s been all but …

AshiAkira's Blog

Seventy years ago

Tokyo was engulfed in fire

For what was that war?

View original post

Walking the Royal Steps

Raj Ghat means Royal Steps and is a place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on 1948.

Gandhi (1)

In New Delhi, we visited Raj Ghat. To reach the memorial site, we walked a long corridor surrounded by beautiful green lawn, well-kept garden and a peaceful place.  The vastness of this place is impressive.

Gandhi (2)

Gandhi’s memorial site is made of black marble slab adorned with orange marigolds. The flowers are changed daily. A perpetual flame burns at one end.  Inscribed on the stone is “He Ram” (Oh God).

It is mandatory that we must remove our shoes before entering the enclosure to keep the area free of dirt from our footwear.

The place was busy with visitors including school children on a field trip paying homage to him.

Gandhi

My life is my message ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The design of  a simple memorial site reflects Gandhi’s modest life. Simplicity at its best.

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

He came, he saw, he conquer is the meaning of Veni, Vidi, Vici. This is the beginning of a love story about Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal

It started when a prince, son of a Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar the Great went to a bazaar, saw a girl named Mumtaz Mahal and conquered her. It was love at first sight.  She became his third wife and favorite. In return, she gave him fourteen children; however, she died giving birth. In her deathbed, he promised her that he will build the most impressive mausoleum over her grave and will never marry again.

Shah Jahan was heartbroken and devastated. The country was in mourning for two years. Subsequently, he undertook building a monument that took over 22 years, thousands of men and elephants to build this bigger than life structure to fulfill his promise to his beloved.

In every dynasty, there’s always a villain that is the Shah’s third son with Mahal named Aurangzeb.

Taj Red Fort

Aurangzeb killed some of his families, took over the throne and banished his father to a tower in Red Fort at Agra. From the fort, Shah Jahan can only view from the distance where the love of his life lays. He died at the tower in Agra and was buried next to Mumtaz in Taj Mahal.

I can only imagine how hard it was for the Shah to be separated from his beloved.

What I find beautiful about Taj Mahal is the love story between the Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

A life for life

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Listening to my elders sharing their war stories fascinates me. Not that I enjoy knowing the gory details but understanding how they came to live a full life after the war. My Uncle “Tito Jess” is the best story-teller, ever. … Continue reading

Bennettville: A Vancouver Story

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Today, looking southwest from the dock of Bridges Restaurant, you see commercial wharves, and office and residential buildings. Sixty-three years ago, this area was a tidal flat rising to an elevation of 20 feet at the railway tracks, which were … Continue reading

Nothing to sneeze about

Source: Forumzirve.net

Sneeze: God Bless You.    Source: Forumzirve.net

Why do we say Bless You when someone sneezes? It is habit or plain superstition.  I did a bit of research on about sneezing and it all stemmed from the great plague in 6th century.

National Geographic reports that during the plague of 590 AD, “Pope Gregory I ordered unceasing prayer for divine intercession. Part of his command was that anyone sneezing be blessed immediately (“God bless you”), since sneezing was often the first sign that someone was falling ill with the plague.”[7] By 750 AD, it became customary to say “God bless you” as a response to one sneezing.[8]

National Geographic : From Piazza San Pietro, proceed down the broad avenue across from the Basilica, Via della Conciliazione (commissioned by Mussolini to add grandeur to the site), to (4) Castel Sant’Angelo (Lungotevere Castello 50), a round-walled, battlemented structure that today serves as a museum. Commissioned as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., it was completed in 139 A.D after Hadrian had already died (his body was eventually entombed here). Within a hundred years the building was transformed into a fortress to help protect Rome from Germanic invaders. It got its current name in the sixth century—a time when a plague was devastating Rome—after Pope Gregory the Great had a vision of an angel hovering over the structure, sheathing its sword. The vision was interpreted as heralding the end of the plague, and a statue of Archangel Michael, the rescuing angel, was placed on top of the structure (the present bronze statue dates to 1752). In 1277 the fortress was connected to the Vatican Palace with a covered walkway and became a refuge of choice for successive Popes. It also harbored special prisoners, including the acclaimed goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, who was accused (apparently falsely) of embezzling pontifical gems. Exhibits in the museum today include weaponry and artifacts related to the building’s long, colorful history.

Source: God Bless You: Wikipedia

Awareness: The Power of Art on Media

When it comes to promoting Dialogue, I keep my eyes on art and media.

Working previously in an advertising agency, it opened my vista to the wonderful world of communication with very few words using art. Words for me can get in the way. I choose my words.  The softer the word the better. Simple words preferably. It’s interesting to learn new words every. I subscribe to a word a day and learn new vocabulary. But for what purpose?  The word is only useful for me if it’s life-giving and to bring awareness.

Shhhh....

Shhhh….

Shhh…. look, just look and listen to what I am showing you. What thoughts and emotion are starting to form in you?

Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil

Can you hear? Can you hear your own thoughts? Your own prejudice?

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

When you speak, what language do you use? What I mean by language is not the word. It’s more than words. Do you say the truth, do speak love, do you resonate kindness?

See No Evil

See No Evil

Do you see what I mean? It starts with yourself, family, friends and to the outside world. If you keeps your eyes wide shut, what is the point of having a vision?

The Whole Picture

The Whole Picture

It happened, still happening. Not just at school, not just in Canada, it`s everywhere, it starts in you.  This is not to scare you. This is to learn from the power of media.

City of Vancouver Public Art

City of Vancouver Public Art

Mary Magdalene

Head of Mary Magdalene by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), charcoal on paper Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library

Head of Mary Magdalene by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

The bride speaks of her beloved:

Upon my bed at night
I sought him whom my soul loves:
I sought him not;
I called him, but he gave no answer.

So, I said to myself,
I will rise now and go about the city,
in the streets and in the squares:
I will seek him whom my soul loves.

I sought him, but found him not.
The sentinels found me,
as they went about in the city.
I asked, “Have you see him whom my soul loves?”

Scarcely had I passed them,
when I found him whom my soul loves.

Songs of Songs (3.1-4a)

Memorial day for  Mary Magdalene, a person of generous love, a holy woman, a disciple of Jesus, and an apostle of the resurrection. She was the first person Jesus appeared to after his resurrection and then ordered her to “go and tell my brothers!”

A Toast To Canada

Blue Jays Baseball Game on Canada Day, July 1, 2014

Blue Jays Baseball Game on Canada Day, July 1, 2014 courtesy photo by my sister

O Canada, I have not forgotten you,
and as I kneel in my canoe, beholding this vision   
of a bookcase, I pray that I remain in your vast,
polar, North American memory.
You are the paddle, the snowshoe, the cabin in the pines.   
You are Jean de Brébeuf with his martyr’s necklace of hatchet heads.
You are the moose in the clearing and the moosehead on the wall.
You are the rapids, the propeller, the kerosene lamp.   
You are the dust that coats the roadside berries.   
But not only that.
You are the two boys with pails walking along that road,   
and one of them, the taller one minus the straw hat, is me.
Billy Collins, “Canada” from The Art of Drowning. Copyright © 1995 by Billy Collins. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press, www.pitt.edu/~press/ (Source: The Art of Drowning (1995) via Poetry Foundation)

H A P P Y   C A N A D A   D A Y

Proud to be

Philippines_flag

The highlight of my mornings going to school in the Philippines is singing the national anthem.  Then we all can start our day of studying.

We all go out in the courtyard, dress up in our uniforms, with our right hand on our left chest, eyes fixed on the flag, a conductor moving her hand the three-quarters beat,  and we sing with feelings and gusto. In doing so, this is how we learn patriotism to the country and flag of the Philippines.

Even the lyrics alone makes me feel the freedom and pride how my ancestors fought hard to gain our independence.

Land of the morning
Child of the sun returning
With fervor burning
Thee do our souls adore.

Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shores.

Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds
And o’er thy hills and seas;
Do we behold thy radiance, feel the throb
Of glorious liberty.

Thy banner dear to all hearts
Its sun and stars alight,
Oh, never shall its shining fields
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might.

I must say, I love the Philippine National Anthem. It was first written in Spanish, then translated in Filipino, and finally in English, a total of three versions versions you can listen here.

Symbols on the Flag of the Republic of the Philippines:

  •  Blue – peace, truth, and justice.
  •  Red – patriotism and valor.
  •  White triangle – equality and brotherhood.
  •  Three stars on the corners of the triangle – the three main geographical regions of the country namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
  •  Sun at the center of the triangle – eight rays representing the eight Philippine provinces that started the revolt against Spain that symbolize unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty.

Very brief background:

  •  Spain ruled the Philippine for 300 years. Magellan discovered the Philippines. Catholicism is the main religion due to the Spanish Rule.
  •  America came to the Philippines.  An outbreak of war ensued between Spain and America.
  •  Spain surrendered the Philippines to the America.
  •  Philippines revolted against America.
  •  America proclaimed that Philippines’  independence is the 4th of July.

Just a minute now, Philippines does not want the America’s national day of holiday. They wanted their own date to fall on June 12.  Finally, America approved it  on August 4, 1964 that the Philippines’ National Independence is June 12.

I am a Canadian now but deep in my heart, I am still a proud Filipino.

“Filipinos die for love. Americans die for principle”

valerie

Click on the photo to take you to the original post.

This Memorial Day, I offer a tribute to the hundreds and thousands of Filipino Guerrillas who fought in World War II alongside the Americans. In a moving poem, General Romulo penned these words:

To the men who fought
In defense of the Philippines
In the 1941-1942 campaign
The ill-trained, ill-armed recruits
In straw helmets and rubbers shoes
The pilots without planes
The sailors without ships
The men on horseback
Fighting tanks with sabers
The gunners short of shells
The soldiers with obsolete rifles
Hungry in the foxholes of Bataan
And the batteries of Corregidor
Racked by dysentery, malaria, beriberi
Surviving on false hopes
Defeated at long last by their bodies
Sent to die in their faceless thousands
In the long cruel march to Capas
And in the concentration camps
This memorial is dedicated
By their grateful countrymen
Who will not forget
That their defeat was weakness of the flesh
But victory of faith loyalty and love.

~ Carlos P. Romulo

Half-American and half-Filipino, Panlilio wrote:  Filipinos will die for love, and Americans will die for principle.  I am half-and-half.  I die the same way.” 

excerpt from: Valerie Gonzalez  to read the original post visit : Dream to Learn

Kiss Me. Really!

kiss me

Apparently this is a 900 year old Viking message that reads “Kiss Me” according to runologist Jonas Nordby who decoded it.  Really?  Maybe it’s a Valentine’s card.

I didn’t realize kiss me is part of Viking’s vocabulary.  All I know that the only thing that touches their lips is bjórr.

viking drinking beer

I can’t find a photo of Favio drinking beer

Sources:
Viking Coded Message
When life is just a beer commercial

Myths about slavery in Canada

Since February is black history month, I am sharing this interesting piece of article I read at our local newspaper, Metro News.

Slavery never existed in Canada, right? 
 


black-history-month

Portrait of a Negro slave

FACT: Many Canadians are under the assumption that slavery never existed in Canada (or not at the same levels found in the U.S.), which is false. The first recorded slave to arrive in Canada was a six-year-old boy named Olivier le Jeune from Madagascar in 1628. Most slaves were imported from other British colonies and the Americas.

Was Canada the first country to abolish slavery before other parts of the world followed suit?

FACT: Although slavery in Canada was officially abolished in 1833 politicians enacted legislation in 1793 that would set limitations on slavery in the country. The bill meant slaves would secure their freedom at 25 if born a slave, which was no help to most since the average lifespan of a slave was 20 to 25 years.

Weren’t all black slaves who escaped to Canada from the U.S. afforded all the civil liberties enjoyed by other European Canadians?

FACT: Despite the warm and fuzzy images and scenes displayed in most current-day slave narratives, black slaves who escaped to Canada faced discrimination, violence and segregation. Unlike racist laws that were found in the U.S. (think: Jim Crow), Canada had largely unwritten racist codes, which many could argue made it more difficult for black people in Canada.

Slaves who escaped north lived out the rest of their lives in Canada

FACT: Some former slaves left Canada for the U.S. once slavery was abolished in America to escape difficulties in Canada and for chances at upward mobility afforded to them by moving to cities with higher black populations. Entire generations of black Canadians were completely lost to Canadian history by moving to the U.S.

Source By Takara SmallMetro

To read the whole article, click on the image.

Jerusalem: Filmed for IMAX and Giant Screen Theaters

Video

Jerusalem: Video Clip

If you have the time, please view the  breathtaking scenes on Jerusalem today. Don’t take too long, though, for it might be taken off any time soon because of copyright.

After a year of research and preparation, the giant screen film JERUSALEM advanced into production with an unprecedented aerial shoot throughout Israel and the West Bank.

The film will take the audiences on a spectacular tour of the Holy Land and the city once believed to be the centre of the world.

A 7-minute preview of a new IMAX film on Jerusalem. The aerial views are breathtaking and in HD Quality.

Fresh Off The Boat

The excitement is brewing because on July 1st., we will be celebrating Canada Day. 
I remember when we entered Canada. Coming off the plane, I needed to go and do Number 1.  Since everything is new to me, I was totally lost.  The washroom was nowhere in sight.  Finally, I saw a man in uniform, a security guard.  And I flagged him down and asked. 
Sir, can you tell me where the CR is?
CR?  He answered me with a question.
You know where I can go wee-wee.
Wee-wee?  Another question. 
My goodness, I hate it when someone answers my question with a question.  
Since I am fresh off the boat, I maintained cool.
Sir, what I mean is comfort room, CR.
Ah, you mean Canadian Railway? 
UGH!  Okay, I better try a different terminology then. If this kind of conversation would go any longer, I might as well pee right there and then.  Can’t he see I was already crossing my legs? 
No Sir, I want to void.
Void?  What do you mean void? 
I guess the American English is not recognized in Canada, I thought. 
Sir, what I mean is I want to sit on a throne!
Ah, you mean the washroom.
Whatever, I thought.
Sir, please, sir.  Hurry.  I really have to go. 
Cross my heart, I never heard of a washroom in my life.  Maybe I should have said it in plain English toilet or commode. 

Share is a verb

I LOVE SHARING and it’s my favourite word.  Share is a verb.  It’s an action word.  This was my opening word in my post Monday’s Peace News Captured on video. 
Sharing is very self-fulfilling.  It brings out the humanity in me especially LOVE.  In my reflection, this love is a gift from my God that is meant to be shared.  
So, here go I… 
After yesterday’s Daily Prompt: Polite Company, I am still deeply moved by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history, not so much about the controversial topic about religion and politics. 
Out of deep admiration and respect for him, I want to share this song with you:

We Shall Overcome.

And a beautiful story Morning Story: Do Unto Others.

Have a blessed day.

Pax Tecum, (Peace be With You)  _/\_ Seeker