Random thoughts

Sharing some thoughts, ideas, and some laughs

The good, the bad and the very ugly

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Bigot (big-uh t), noun, intolerant prejudiced person

Synonyms- chauvinist, diehard, doctrinaire, dogmatist, extremist, fanatic, fiend, maniac, monomaniac, racist, sectarian, segregationist, zealot

Antonyms – humanitarian, tolerant, liberal

I am appalled by the vicious, ugly attacks on the native community being made by supposedly intelligent, respectable citizens of this country against its first and true citizens.

Regardless of how one feels about an issue it is just plain wrong to take malicious attacks on the traditions, cultures, religions and beliefs of others.

There have been articles in newspapers and on line reporting the “flash” mob drumming circles and dancing in support of Idle No More. It is truly disturbing that there are so many people that feel it is their right to minimalize others just because they may be different. The comments that are being made and printed are nasty, unnecessary, viscious and in some cases racist. For the most part the comments have little or nothing to do with the movement but rather just shots at Native Canadians.

Idle No More is not just a native issue it is a people issue. I do not profess to understand or appreciate all of the ramifications of Bill C-45 but I am making it my job to learn so that I may speak with some knowledge and integrity. THEN, I will be in a position to comment. Sadly more people do not share in my desire to learn but would rather strike out in ignorance. click here for Idle No More Blogspot

Here in the Niagara Region, specifically St Catharines, there is a deer hunt scheduled for the next two weekends in one of the most beautiful and certainly the largest park in the area. This park is abundant with wildlife including many deer herds. “Brian Skye, one of three people in the Haudenosaunee’s wildlife and habitat authority which is organizing the hunt, said the park was picked because of reports of the overabundance of deer.” It is true there are a great number of deer in the park and yet it would appear there is a good balance of nature at this time. This is not a “cull” hunt. It is a hunt that was agreed to and is permissible by treaty. The hunt is 4 days long over two weekends.  There shall be about 20 hunters per day armed only with bows. It is a righteous hunt. click here for St Catharines Standard article

Assuming the hunt is carried out in the manner of native tradition and I do hope that it will be so,  I can assure all of those who are concerned about the welfare of the deer, these animals shall be treated with respect and dignity. That is a hell of a lot more than can be said about the millions of turkeys that were devoured Christmas Day or the millions of pigs, cows and chickens that are slaughtered to feed the vast majority of those who find this single hunt so reprehensible. Remember that when you are being asked “how do you like your steak?” Unless you are a vegetarian, opposing the hunting of deer or anything else is about as hypocritical as it gets.

“Part of what we originally had in our treaties was the right to harvest natural things,” he said. (Brian Skye)

Again, regardless of whether one agrees with the hunt or does not, it is totally inappropriate to make derogatory, disgusting, racist comments about those Native Canadians that shall be involved in the hunt.

This is prejudice, this is bigotry, this is wrong!

I recognize the names of a number of those who are opposed to the hunt and who have also registered their lack of tolerance for Idle No More movement and especially its participants. I am horrified to discover how many “pillars” of St Catharines Society are so incredibly hypocritical and intolerant.

Have we learned nothing? Every November we all wear poppies”Lest We Forget” and we all swear up and down that we shall never allow a repeat of the genocides in history or the persecution of the innocent for their beliefs. What is it about we humans that makes us hate the way we do. Why are we so threatened by different cultures and colours and beliefs. Truly, I am not being sanctimonious, I would really like to know why. I have been as guilty as anyone and I would really like to know what it is that is inherently in our nature to be cruel and unkind.

While researching for this blog I came across an absolutely fascinating website. It is called Understanding Prejudice. This is a really neat website as it offers the opportunity to not only learn about prejudice but also has a number of “tests” which are very enlightening. For those who are open minded and interested in learning more about themselves and their “prejudice”, it is well worth the investment of a bit of time. click here to go to Understanding Prejudice website

I am fully aware I am not going to make any friends by writing this post. Frankly those “friends” that choose to no longer enjoy my company as a result of this post are of no loss to me.  I do know however that I shall be able to look at myself in the mirror with complete comfort knowing that I have spoken out and stood up for that in which I believe. I believe in rights, human and animal rights. I believe that people have the right to love whom they choose, pray to their god or not, live in the manner they so choose so long as they are not bringing any harm to anyone else. I believe in the right to speak and write what is true. I may not agree with what others say, or do or believe but I will defend their right to do so. I am opposed to the violation of rights be it against humans or animals.

The following is the the Native American Code of Ethics:

  1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strengthto be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).
  2. Respect. Respect means “To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy”. Showing respect is a basic law of life.a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.c. No person should be made to feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person’s quiet moment or personal space.f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

    g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

    h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

    i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

    j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

    k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

    l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

    m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

    n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

  3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.
  4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.
  5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.
  6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.
  7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.
  8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.
  9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.
  10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.
  11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

The following is the Ten Commandments:

ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother.

SIX: ‘You shall not murder.

SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery.

EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.

NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

The Following are the Core Beliefs of Budhism

THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

The First Noble Truth
Unsatisfactoriness and suffering exist and are universally experienced.

The Second Noble Truth
Desire and attachment are the causes of unsatisfactoriness and suffering.

The Third Noble Truth
There is an end to unsatisfactoriness and suffering.

The Fourth Noble Truth
The end can be attained by journeying on the Noble Eightfold Path.

NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH

1. Right View/Understanding
(Understanding the Four Noble Truths)See things as they truly are without delusions or distortions for all things change. Develop wisdom by knowing how things work, knowing oneself and others.

2. Right Thinking

Decide to set a life on the correct path. Wholehearted resolution and dedication to overcoming the dislocation of self-centered craving through the development of loving kindness, empathy and compassion.

3. Right Speech

Abstinence from lies and deceptions, backbiting, idle babble and abusive speech. Cultivate honesty and truthfulness; practice speech that is kind and benevolent. Let your words reflect your desire to help, not harm others.

4.Right Conduct

(Following the Five Precepts) – Practice self-less conduct that reflects the highest statement of the life you want to live. Express conduct that is peaceful, honest and pure showing compassion for all beings.

5. Right Livelihood

Earn a living that does not harm living things. Avoidance of work that causes suffering to others or that makes a decent, virtuous life impossible. Do not engage in any occupation that opposes or distracts one from the path. Love and serve our world through your work.

6. Right Effort

Seek to make the balance between the exertion of following the spiritual path and a moderate life that is not over-zealous. Work to develop more wholesome mind states, while gently striving to go deeper and live more fully.

7. Right Mindfulness
Become intensely aware of all the states in body, feeling, and mind. Through constant vigilance in thought, speech and action seek to rid the mind of self-centered thoughts that separate and replace them with those that bind all beings together. Be aware of your thoughts, emotions, body and world as they exist in the present moment. Your thoughts create your reality.

8. Right Concentration
Deep meditation to lead to a higher state of consciousness (enlightenment). Through the application of meditation and mental discipline seek to extinguish the last flame of grasping consciousness and develop an emptiness that has room to embrace and love all things.

THE FIVE PRECEPTS

The Five Precepts are basic ethical guidelines for the followers of Buddhism.
They are undertaken voluntarily, rather than as commandments from a god.

Essentially, these precepts promote harmony and reduce suffering between ourselves
and others. The underpinning moral code has two qualities: compassion (karuna)
and loving kindness (metta), which are used as the guiding principles in life.

1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicatants.

3 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the very ugly

  1. What an excellent post. I truly wish it was Freshly Pressed. Well enunciated and supported.

    Love the mention of the Noble Truths – if only we considered them more often.

    I had zero idea (I’m Australian) anything like this was going on, and worse, I’ve had a Canadian work colleague return to Canada to study – and in all our conversations, never learned anything about the Native Canadians. I had zero idea.

    I greatly, greatly appreciated this.

    Best to you, & the cause. And don’t worry about “not making friends” for this post, I’d befriend you in an instant for your very outspokenness and eloquence.

    • WOW! Thanks! I am pretty new to this whole blog thing so if you would elaborate on “freshly pressed” it would be appreciated. My only reference to freshly pressed is what I wish my shirts looked like when I put them on!
      Thank you again for your kind words, it means a lot to me to hear that my random thoughts might actually resonate somewhere.
      Kindest regards
      Julia

      • Ha, your thoughts echoed all the way to Australia, me in my bed before work – morning of Tuesday 🙂

        ‘Freshly Pressed’ is aspired to by many. WordPress randomly (I don’t really know how they even become aware of worthwhile posts) highlight a post here or there by determining it ‘freshly pressed’. In deciding this, they make it feature in searches for ‘something to read’, when bloggers go cruising, looking for a good read.

        Top lefthand side, you would have a ‘W’ in a circle. Look at its dropdown menu, & click on ‘Reader’. Once there, go to the ‘Freshly Pressed’ tab on the righthand side (from memory) and voila! the favoured posts.

        Sometimes, in truth, the posts are unique and great – but very often (about 50% of the time) to me, this is, they are pretty average. I really don’t know how they got so noticed. It is very worthy sometimes, and just ‘what the?’ other times, but basically it’s a delight as you get hundreds of drop-ins, emails, & new subbers.

        Good luck with being noticed! 🙂
        And welcome, blogging I thought I would ‘never do/didn’t understand’ – until I had something I wanted to communicate to the world, & it was the ‘way to go’.

        Sincere regards Julia, Noeleen

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