Posts Tagged ‘Humanity’

Feliz Cumpleaños, Victor Jara!!

September 28, 2014

Hoy es el cumpleaños de nuestro querido Victor Jara. El estaria cumpliendo 82 años con su pueblo querido. La mejor manera que yo puedo recordarlo es compartir 15 canciones que me gustan de el. Yo tengo la coleccion de su musica asi que 15 canciones son muy dificil para mi pero espero que disfruten de ellas. Aqui les va:

Hace 10 años Se Organizo La Primera Vigilia En Chile Para Los Que Fallecieron En La Calle

April 20, 2014

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Hace 10 años que estuve en Arica, Chile y me inspire a organizar una vigilia para todos los Ariqueños que habian fallecido en las calles de esa gran ciudad. Era un Martes, 20 de Abril, en las gradas de la Catedral San Marcos donde nos reunimos para recordar a todas esas personas que fallecieron en el olvido.

Fue una tarea que duro un poco mas de un mes para organizar. Me acuerdo que tuve que ser entrevistas de radio, escribir articulos en la revista de la Diocesis de Arica, organizar los permisos para la vigilia que se iba a ser en silencio y tambien escribir una carta para conseguir la madera.
Fue un momento muy especial para mi y al equipo de Mujeres que nos reuniamos todos los Martes en el parque para alimentar a las personas de la calle. Cuando tuve la idea de organizar la vigilia pense que ya se habia hecho en Chile y para confirmar, le envie un email a Benito Baranda F., Director Social Nacional del Hogar de Cristo informandole si se habia hecho una vigilia para los que habian fallecido en la calle. Y si se habia hecho, queria saber que hicieron para tener unas ideas para lo que queriamos hacer en Arica. Cuando Benito me envio un email y me dijo que no se habia hecho uno en Chile y que el de nosotros seria el primero a nivel nacional me puse muy contento. Pense que bonito que la cuidad de Arica pueda sembrar una semilla de consciencia y esperar que de luz a toda la nacion.

Para comenzar la vigilia pense que seria un acto muy espiritual si lo haciamos en silencio ya que queria recordar a todos los que fallecieron en el olvido. En el silencio encontramos los alimentos para enriquecer nuestra espiritualidad. Este acto y evento para mi era una manera para despedir a nuestros hermanos e hermanas con dignidad y para que el espiritu de cada uno de ellos/ellas estuviera presente en nuestra caminata. Para ponernos en un momento de reflexion escuchamos esta gran cancion:

 

Al llegar al parque donde alimentamos a las personas de la calle y despues de que los compañeros de los que habian fallecido compartieron historias de sus amigos, comparti un poema. Escribi este poema pensando en todos los indigentes que fallecieron en la calle y en todos aquellos que cada dia mueren de soledad.

MORIR DE SOLEDAD

Lo mas terrible
que un ser humano
puede experimentar
es
morir de soledad.
Saber que no es
querido ni valorado
es algo a lo que los
desamparados
desgraciadamente
se han acostumbrado.

 

A ser aislados
por nuestra sociedad
porque
su
presencia,
estilo de vida,
enfermedad,
es un cargo para la cuidad
ellos solamente han querido
vivir su vida en la tranquilidad
con personas que les entreguen
su amistad
y les den
la oportunidad
de salir de esta oscuridad
y encontrar la felicidad.

 

A nuestros hermanos y hermanas
abandonados por la sociedad,
les han robado
el derecho
de vivir
con dignidad
ya que nuestra sociedad
parece que no
se preocupa
de entregar
amor a la humanidad
y siento que les gusta
ver a los mas pobres
vivir en la oscuridad
porque si hubiera
justicia y solidaridad
muchos no estarian
viviendo en las calles
de esta ciudad,
pero de a poquito
ellos se van
moriendo de soledad.

 

Esta es la situacion
que vive un indigente
en el presente
y le da tristeza
ver a su propia gente
que la sociedad
les haiga
contaminado
su mente.

 

Nuestra sociedad
ha ignorado
la filosofia
de ver
a Cristo disfrazado
en los mas necesitados
y uno no puede
tenerle fe a
San Alberto Hurtado
si no se preocupa
de ayudar
a los mas desamparados
ya que el dedico su vida
ayudando a los
mas marginados.

 

Nuestro labor
es no dejarlos que tengan
mucho dolor
si no que sepan
que hay gente
que les entrega
amor
y asi podran vivir
su vida rodeados de felicidad
porque cuando ellos mueran
podran morir
en la tranquilidad.

 

La proxima vez
que te encuentres
con un indigente
trata de llegar
a los mas profundo
de su corazon
y encontraras
a una persona
que te cambiara
tu modo de pensar
y no lo podras explicar
porque cada uno
lo tiene que experimentar.

 

Para los que quieran leer el articulo que salio en diario local el proximo dia. Aqui les va:

http://www.estrellaarica.cl/site/edic/20040421055335/pags/20040421062505.html

 

 

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

April 4, 2014


Today is the death anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. To remember his legacy I came across this well done documentary that explains how the FBI assassinated MLK. Check it out and share it to those who may find it useful.

My Reflection on 12 years as a Slave

February 26, 2014

I went to see the film, 12 years as a Slave, couple weeks ago with a group of friends and like everyone in the theater I had a difficult time seeing the film without being emotionally shaken. I shed a few tears even though most of my tears filled my heart with a tremendous pain.

As I watched the film I started thinking about the ways this country has not change since the days of Slavery. We may not call it slavery but we continue to live in an Institutional Slavery society where one can argue that our current economic “free market” model is an example where America has not change its evil ways. Our current capitalist model allows certain people to become “masters” over others. Corporations are the new Masters. The 1% are the new Masters. The 99% are the new slaves.

Just like the Masters cling to their religion to dehumanize the slaves, the new Masters are the Religious Right who hold on to conservative views to portray themselves as good Christians or Catholics, while ignoring the social teachings of Jesus who stress compassion for all and recognizing the humanity and dignity of every human being.

There is an African proverb that says: Poverty is Slavery. Given this proverb, our society has treated the poorest of the poor and the working class as the 21st century slaves. In America, both Democrats and Republicans have not done enough to help the poorest of the poor and the working class. It is a moral tragedy that the richest country in the world has millions of people living in poverty and on the streets. Politicians who cater to the corporations and the 1% and don’t pass laws that assist the poorest of the poor to get out of poverty is like the slave master who didn’t want slaves to be educated. Republicans in the eyes of many Americans are clearly seen as today’s slave masters. Not only are the majority of Republicans White but those Republicans who come from the South may easily have relatives who were slave owners.

Another clear example of modern day slavery is America’s Prison Industrial Complex which has many similarities between inmates and slaves. Not only are the majority of people incarcerated people of color but the presence of minorities in overcrowded prisons for nonviolent crimes allows businesses to use inmates and exploit them for free labor. These inmates have to work on slave like conditions. I could go into further detail to showcase the similarities between prisoners and slaves but after watching the movie it will be too painful.

America has to come to grasp with its past by addressing the social issues that are present today. Ignoring today’s social issues only validates yesterday’s cruel behavior.

Long Live Ella Baker

November 13, 2013

Today is the birthday and death anniversary of one of the most famous unsung heroes in our country. Ella Baker. She would have been 110 years old. Today is her 27th death anniversary. Ella Baker was the type of revolutionary that understood that the movement is not about being the one who gets more exposure or the person that everyone talks about. She was all about the people. She was the type of revolutionary who dedicated her life to the struggle of human rights, the type of person that clearly understood that one doesn’t have to get the limelight to fight for freedom of others. She the female version of Bayard Rustin. Both of them did so much for the civil rights movement behind the scenes. 

So much can be written about Ella Baker. What matters is that we apply her teachings and implement her ideas on grassroots organizing to systemically change our system. The best way to honor and pay tribute to Ella Baker is to get involved and organize our communities. Continue to fight for the human rights of all people. She once famously said, “We who in believe in Freedom cannot rest.” 

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when our country continues to invade and occupy foreign countries.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when Palestinians continue to be treated like 2nd class citizens in their own land and Israel continues to have the apartheid wall.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when NSA has already invaded the privacy of most Americans and tapped all cell phones, read our emails and listen to the conversations of foreign leaders.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when homelessness continues to be an issue that people ignore and countries nationwide are criminalizing people for sleeping on the streets.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest until we as a people start changing and realizing that the reason of our existence lies in using our gifts for the greater good of Humanity. When we are able to recognized that the beauty of life is found in upholding the human rights of all people and providing people with the basic human needs and working to abolish systems that seek to impose barriers on people’s dignity, human rights and way of life, then only then will we rest. Until then, we who believe in Freedom cannot rest.

Here is a great article about Ella Baker.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/ella-baker-and-limits-charismatic-masculinity

Here is my favorite song that honors Ella Baker.

Remembering the Homeless Veterans

November 11, 2013

As we celebrate Veterans Day, let us not forget the thousands of homeless veterans that are in our communities. They may not get the special treatment, or be asked to join in a parade, but like every other soldier, they put their time and energy and deserve to be recognized. I am always amazed at how people can “support” the troops or have campaigns to bring the troops home. But, when those troops come back to the United States, they become unknown soldiers. This is especially the case with homeless people who have given their commitment to fight for this country but we haven’t seen this country fight for them.
We have seen too many homeless veterans on our streets. We have seen a lot of our soldiers come back from war torn countries and not be given the proper care to deal with their PTSD. Instead of thanking our veterans for putting their life at risk, we have seen this country turn their backs on them. We can continue to have Veterans Day as a holiday but what good is that if its only to be use as a photo op for the President or any other politician.

Let’s really honor our Veterans by taking care of our Homeless Veterans, especially women. The general public has a perception that women who are veterans are nurses, file paperwork and not engage in combat. That is what mainstream media wants us to think about women in uniform. The truth is that women have also been on the front lines. They have also given their fair share but when they come back to their communities, they realize that resources for women veterans are very scarce. There are not that many resources catered to this population and that is a tragedy in itself. Women in the military not only have to deal with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) but the barriers that they have to deal with once they go to their communities is even more shocking. The lack of VA services catered for women is an issue. Many women feel disrespected when seeking services at the VA because they feel that men would not treat them as equal. They feel that men would just look at them as someone who didn’t have the same combat experience as their male counter parts did.

The VA office has unveiled a 5 year plan to end Veteran Homelessness. While that may sound nice, we would have to see. The problem with all these “strategic” plans to end homelessness, is that every city and state practically has one. It is basically lip services in my eyes. I have seen too many strategic plans to end homelessness come and go and the problem is still there. A 5 year plan to end Veterans Homelessness is like saying the United States in 5 years will stop invading and occupying countries in the world. It’s not going to happen. I wish we can end Veteran Homelessness in 5 years. I wish the United States will stop invading and occupying countries. But, I have to be realistic. It’s not going to happen. I can’t believe I said that but its a dead fact. Only time will tell. In the mean time, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in the streets, who continue to be on the front lines.

Here is a poem, I wrote in honor of our Homeless Veterans.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER

My name is Fred and I am a Vietnam Veteran.
At the time of my deployment, I was fired up.
I was ready to go to war and defend my country.
I was given the proper tools
and was well prepared to battle.
But, something changed when I got to Vietnam.
Something in me realized this wasn’t right.
A lot of my fellow soldiers had second thoughts.
We started questioning the motives for us going to war.

One thing about war is that it will leave you
with scars that you will never be able to heal.
I saw other soldiers kill innocent men, women and children.
These innocent people were our “enemies”
because they were Vietnamese.
I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t have it in me.
So a few of us got court martialed.
We made our decision under the basis that
we couldn’t follow through with our orders
at the expense of killing innocent civilians.

You have to understand that back in our times,
we didn’t have the internet.
We didn’t have the technology that your generations has.
We had a real movement going on.
The anti-war movement was strong.
You could feel the wind of Revolution.

Nowadays, even with all the resources
that this generation has
it saddens me that we continue
to live in a world
where war triumphs over humanity.
Son, how can this be?
How can we allow ourselves to
believe that something good
comes from war?
I’ve been there
and trust me when I tell you
that war seeks to impose
ones’ views over others
while it leaves the rest of us
suffering from PTSD
and if that’s not a catastrophe
look around in your own community
and tell me how many
homeless veterans you see
walking around
with PTSD.

Look at me,
I have tried to
live a normal life
but I can’t.
Once you go to war,
you will never be able
to live a normal life.
I have been on the streets
for quite some time.
I have been getting assistance
from the VA office
but because there is such a
long waiting list to house
homeless veterans
I am on the streets.

Many people may
disagree with me
that I am not a real
soldier because I
didn’t kill anybody
or engaged in combat.
But, does killing someone
make you more a soldier
than someone who didn’t.
The difference I see is that
me and my friends were not
going to allow ourselves
from being brainwashed
and making us kill innocent
people that have never done
anything to our country.
If I invested the same amount
of time and went through the
same training as any other soldier
then I consider myself a soldier.

Right now,
I am still a soldier;
only of a different source,
a soldier who is willing
to fight for the greater cause of Humanity.
Once you live in the streets,
you don’t have to worry about
getting a purple heart to
make you feel special.
Once you live in the streets,
the soldier instincts in you come out.
We are in the concrete jungle
and you have to use
whatever resources you can find
just to survive.

Thanks for taking the time
to talk to me.
I really appreciate your time.
There are a lot of us
unknown soldiers
in these cold streets.
Many of us have our
different stories.
What’s important to know
is that there shouldn’t be
homeless veterans
in the United States.
That is like a slap to the
face for soldiers
who fought and defended this country.

Pictures of Thich Nhat Hanh

October 21, 2013

Here are some pictures I took of Thich Nhat Hanh aka Thay during his talk this past Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the Day of Mindfulness at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido yesterday.

I took some notes of his talk and will add them later in this post but for now wanted to include that I was struck when he stated that suffering and happiness are intertwined with one another. For the longest, I have always felt that way. These are my thoughts in Spanish which I will later try my best to translate.
Si no has sufrido, no has vivido. Para vivir tienes que sufrir porque en el sufrimiento encuentras las semillas que te forman y te hacen ver el mundo con los ojos de la humanidad.
I have felt that in order to live, one has to suffer. If one has not suffered in this world then one is not living. I feel it is in our suffering that we find the seeds that forms us and makes us see the world with a clear vision for the greater good of humanity.

“If you see good in me, you are seeing God in me.”

October 12, 2013

Couple days ago, I was in my house and I was a little hungry. It was past 10pm and I wasn’t going to get something to eat but I decided to go to a nearby Taco truck because I wanted to drive and be alone with my thoughts. I order my food and as I was walking to the table where I was going to sit, I see a homeless man cleaning the table, “do you want something to eat?,” I asked. “Oh yeah!,” said the man. “Go ahead and order your meal. That way you can take a break. Make sure you get a good meal.” The man seem gracious about my offer. When he was ordering his food, I said to him, “when you are done ordering your food, come and join me.”

The man got his food, sat next to me and prayed before he began eating his food. I introduce myself to him. His name is Clarence, a man who appeared to me to be in his early 50s. We started talking and he told me that he is always around the area, cleaning people’s car windows when they are pumping gas and cleaning the tables of the Taco truck. Clarence went on to tell me that he ended in the streets when he lost his job and he didn’t have enough money to pay the rent and bills. 

As we were eating, Clarence started sharing his spirituality with me. He  talked about his faith in God and how when strangers go up to him after he has cleaning the windshields of their car, they always tell him that he is different than other people. Clarence then told me, “I always tell them if you see good in me, you are seeing God in me.” That phrase caught my attention. He went on, “I feel God wants me to tell others about Him through me. I feel He is using me so that people can see Him through me.” I told him that I see God in him and that I have always felt that Jesus disguises himself in the most marginalized so that we as a society can go beyond the outer appearance and pay attention to the inner gifts that we each possess. Clarence agreed with me and said, “I feel the same way too. I feel there is a reason why we are having this conversation. To be honest, when you asked me if I was hungry, I really was. I felt that God used you to reach out to me. Thank you. I can see God in you.” I quickly replied, “I see God in you.”

Clarence was telling me why he likes to wash the windshields of people’s car, “I like cleaning windows. I feel a good driver has to have his windshields clean.” When I was listening to him talk, a thought came to my mind and I shared with Clarence, “you know what they say about the eyes are the windows to the soul. Well, by you cleaning windows, you are ‘cleaning’ people’s eyes so that their sight is clean and will be able to see the God that is in you. By you cleaning windows, you are allowing people to see with fresh eyes the beauty that is in their surrounding.” Clarence paused. “Wow, you just made me realized why I like cleaning windows. Thank you G. That was deep. I never thought about it in that way.”

We ended having almost an hour conversation about life and spirituality. I then shared with Clarence my thoughts on the Gospels. “Clarence, this is what I tell people. Everyone knows about the 4 Gospels but the Gospel that people don’t know is the Gospel according to Clarence. That is the Gospel that you have to tell people about. St. Francis of Assissi once said, ‘Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.’ The missing Gospels in the Bible are living Gospels.” Clarence was taken back by what I had just shared with him, “are you a preacher?” “No, I am not. I just feel that everyone of us has been given gifts to make this world a better place and there is no greater joy than sharing your gifts for the greater good of humanity. In order for us to share our gifts, we have to preach our Gospel and we do that through our actions.”

When it was time to leave we thank God for bringing us together and allowing us to have an amazing conversation. He told me that I can always find him around the area and hopefully we will see each other soon. We shook hands and gave each other a hug.

Discurso de Salvador Allende al ganar la Presidencia de Chile

September 4, 2013

El 4 de Septiembre de 1970, Dr. Salvador Allende se convirtio en el 1er Presidente Socialista de nuestro continente.

Escuche su discurso que lleva un mensaje de humanidad y dignidad.

Como Allende no hay otro. Espero que su vida y su vision de un nuevo mundo nos inspire a construir un mundo mas justo, mas humano y mas digno.

Salvador Allende…PRESENTE!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!

Victor Jara–El Derecho de Vivir en Paz

May 19, 2013

Victor Jara le canta al pueblo de Vietnam y tambien al gran revolucionario, Ho Chi Minh. Esta fue una de las canciones mas conocidas durante el movimiento contra la Guerra de Vietnam. Recuerdo a Ho Chi Minh hoy en su dia de su nacimiento. Y que mejor manera que con esta gran cancion.