Others will write more eloquent words about the late Mr. Harrison who left us a decade ago today. I’ll just share my favorite work of his. A short little number in requiem for his friend, the late Ronnie Peterson.
Dear Police, upon the occasion of the eviction of Occupy Philadelphia and Occupy LA:
It is not my place to say whether what you are about to do is right or wrong, and it doesn’t matter what I believe either way. You are going to evict this occupation, and all the resistance this ragtag band of sleep-deprived community organizers, volunteers, and chronically homeless could put up might, at best, delay you by a matter of hours. You, the occupiers, and we in the media: we all know these conflicts can only have one outcome.
What I am asking you to change is your demeanor. I have seen you be confrontational, frivolous, spiteful, insulting, self-righteous, and even at times, solemn.
Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-violence, in one of his lectures at the University of Puerto Rico , shared the following story as an example of “non-violence in parenting”:
"I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban , South Africa , in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.
One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, ’ I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together. ‘
After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.
He anxiously asked me, ’ Why were you late? ’ I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, ’ The car wasn ’ t ready, so I had to wait, ’ not realizing that he had already called the garage. When he caught me in the lie, he said: ’ There ’ s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn ’ t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I ’ m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it. ‘
So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn ’ t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.
I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don ’ t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.”
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has reconfirmed the revolutionary September results of its historic experiment that detected neutrinos, a type of uncharged particle, moving faster than the speed of light…
The most amazing window ever created by humankind is not on this planet, but floating in space, the most spectacular part of the International Space Station. It’s the ISS Cupola. This animation shows how it was installed.
1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let’s scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I’ll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you’re religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you’re a Vegas magician, that’ll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it’s all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can’t be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don’t make that deal.)
8. Don’t steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don’t lie. (You know, unless you’re doing magic tricks and it’s part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don’t waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it’ll make you bugnutty.