It’s easy for us now, in the 21st century and with the benefit of hindsight, to see the mistakes made by so-called “strong men” like António de Oliveira Salazar, some of them horrific. It’s equally easy to overlook the good they did. They are, like most of us, a mixed bag of good and evil, light and shadow, right and wrong. In other words, they were human.
What does it mean to be really valuable to others? Does it mean creating something that has immediate market appeal? Is that the measure of our value, when we are lauded by our contemporaries and peers? If yes, then all of the unsung heroes whose remarkable ideas that made our modern life possible are abject failures. Since that does not ring true, I submit there is another way to think about it.
I doubt I will ever fully eradicate my racism. Unfortunately, I suspect some vestige of it will always be with me. But what I can do, and what I do do, is expose myself to experiences that lessen my racism, those being travel, kind and honest conversation, and breaking bread with “the others” whenever I can. These experiences, like wind and rain, smooth rock and, over time, lay low even the highest mountains.
Knowledge alone does not bring about change in the core of a person. Only honest observation, steady practice, and repetition will do that, driving knowledge into the “muscle memory” of the soul.
A chance encounter at a street corner in the old town of Marrakesh, Morocco, led to an adventure where I met Eric van Hove, an internationally acclaimed artist with a vision for transforming a continent, one gleaming, beautiful, and unique electric scooter at a time…all made in Africa.
Sebastopol, California, is a wonderful place to find yourself for a few weeks, snugly tucked away in a lovely home with the look and feel of a Hobbit house. There I danced naked under the Pisces moon, her light as creamy as butter. Then I bowed to the rose, to the redwoods, and to the kingdoms of the earth, giving thanks to what they offer us.