Fear of melting pot

Synopsis : People have an inherent fear of others who are not like them and often fail to understand the beauty of other people, their culture and their language because of this fear. We see that immigrants of similar culture and background try to stick together in foreign countries where they find it difficult to assimilate into the local culture.The blog looks at the reasons for this fear on both sides and suggests ways to overcome them.

Fear of melting pot

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Source : Google photo

I have often wondered why and what makes people afraid of others who are not like them. It is almost universal in nature that people are afraid of the unknown and fear others who are not like them. The African Americans were particularly singled out by the white people whom they loathed and were mortally afraid of but they were by no means the only people the whites were afraid of.

They also were afraid of the “yellow horde “ of Chinese and other Asians invading their country of America who were alien to them in their customs, their behavior, their clothes, their food and eating habits and their strange languages but to top it off their strange religions or lack of Christian beliefs that rattled the whites the most.

They strongly believed in their racial superiority to others, their self righteous beliefs in their Christian religion and their innate fear of “heathens “who were not Christians therefore candidates for the hell fire and brimstone.

But being Christians was not enough to escape their hatred and fear based racial prejudices because most of the African American slaves were baptized and practiced their religion albeit with their African flair like mixing voodoo with the Christian faith. The whites did not understand the black Christians and routinely burned out their churches and persecuted them using a burning cross as a symbol of their hatred.

Let us therefore try to understand why there was this fear that still persists today and what we as a civilized society of this century can do to overcome it to make the people more tolerant towards each other and reduce the unwarranted animosity that fuels hatred and prejudice against all people of different races.

If we study the evolution of the human race that the scientists believe started when  homo sapiens stood up on two legs in the Rift Valley of Africa millions of years ago and took the first step towards  evolving into what we are today, we come to the conclusion that it was a very long process to evolve from the primitive man to the modern age but we learned many things as we evolved. We learned to make tools that were necessary to hunt and gather food, we learned to make clothes from animal hides at first and graduated to fancy silk and cotton later, we learned to cook food and make fire to cook food with, we learned to make primitive shelters at first but later graduated to fancy skyscrapers of this day and age.

In the process of evolution we as humans learned many things and shed many early practices like wearing clothes made of animal hides and eating raw meat and living in caves although some people in the rain forests of Amazon or in Nicobar Isles still prefer the old ways and wander around naked. Their numbers are dwindling because of the onslaught of the pressing humanity all around them so they too will succumb to this pressure eventually and make some missionaries happy.

But man has always been afraid of what he did not understand. He was afraid of the tremendous power of nature that caused thunder and lightning and burned down vast swaths of forest where people lived. He was afraid of the ground trembling due to earth quakes and did not understand why it was happening. He was afraid of the sudden tsunami that came and swept away everything. He wondered looking up and seeing the zillions of stars that twinkled and wondered why there were comets that perhaps bode ill.

This fear gave rise to the religion and a belief in the supernatural being up there in heaven  even among the first humans and was passed on to the next generation albeit with some modifications and additions that later morphed into what we know today as the religious beliefs of the humankind.

It was easy for the primitive man to attribute to a supernatural being called God anything they could not understand and said that the thunder was nothing but the rumblings of an angry God that must be propitiated somehow.

He found many excuses to propitiate a vengeful God and sacrificed chickens and even humans like the Aztecs and Mayas who made it a part of their ritual that perhaps the later day padres of inquisition took their cue from.

So as the human race starting out from the Rift Valley so long ago spread out to various parts of the world for whatever reasons , they evolved into various races that we know today that are differentiated by skin color, hair and other features.

As people lived in different parts of the world, there came an isolation between them leaving them to develop into their unique identity as we know now and developed their own languages and customs, their rituals and even various versions of the same religion of Christianity or Islam causing a rift among them for the first time in a massive scale. This led to persecution based on their beliefs that continues even today.

I had written in my earlier blogs that fear usually leads to apprehension and a misunderstanding of other people who are not like them which in turn leads to prejudice and hate. I think the whole concept of racial superiority as claimed by the whites is a product of fear based prejudices that were perpetuated and made into laws by their predecessors and passed on to the next generation as the gospel truth. The apartheid in South Africa was based on the fear of blacks and colored people so the Dutch settlers made laws to protect their advantages and denigrated the natives. The missionaries were their tools when threat did not work. They always accompanied the rabble army everywhere where threat did work to pave way for the emancipation of the heathen souls.

People say that the religious persecution has caused more grief in the world since Jesus, Buddha and Mohamed walked the earth than any natural calamity and there is no sign that it has abated. Just look at the ISIS and the mayhem they are causing in the name of Mohamed but this has been going on since man invented religion out of fear. The hell fire and brimstone for the heathens and 75 virgin houris for the suicide bombers in heaven is just some of the attractions of the religion that pits man against man and creates divisions, hatred, prejudice and a feeling of self righteous superiority complex among people based on ignorance and lack of understanding of others who are not like them.

I hear the melting pot theory all the time from the Americans but America is still struggling with race issues today that the politicians are using as an excuse to get votes. The uneducated whites or ones with low education are furious that they are still poor and can’t get good jobs and decent pay to raise their families properly so they blame it on blacks, Asians, Latinos and others who take their jobs and get better education. They resent that these “inferior “ people get better jobs , live in better homes and enjoy a better quality of life than them and even get welfare checks when not working. They wrongly believe that these” inferior” people  are voting in large numbers to make a black person like Obama the president of the country  ignoring the fact the Obama was also widely supported by the whites albeit educated ones.

So America has never been a melting pot and is not about to become one in the near future. You only have to ask a Filipino living in one of the segregated Filipino communities  anywhere just how many  whites and others they know and invite to their homes and their answer will be none or very few. They are mortally afraid of whites whom they call Puti . Probably they had bad experience in the hands of a white policeman who gave them hefty fines for some violations but they in general are afraid of “puti”. This fear comes from not speaking good English and not knowing any white and their culture. The Chinese and Koreans or Indians do not fare any better but they try to get along as best as they can with their neighbors who may be white and mistrustful of them.

So people from Asia live in segregated communities and seek their own kind for various reasons. The Latinos do the same although there is some social mixing of races where the education level is high which translates to higher paying jobs and better living standards.  Still the melting pot theory does not hold water yet.

It will take a lot of understanding between races to remove the prejudice and fear to bring people closer together. When fear is irrational, it continues no matter what and breeds more fear and prejudice in the next generation. Why do you think people today behave the way they do by shouting insults at non whites, attacking them in public places, writing hate graffiti on their walls, slashing tires of expensive cars owned by the blacks or Asians? They do not know anything about the civil war and how the slaves were beaten and persecuted but they continue the trend just because their parents did the same and their grandparents and great grandparents probably worse.

The fear factor is paramount that guides their actions. All it needs is a foul mouth politician who stokes the fire of fear to gain votes and become the president. Now he has the power to do anything he wants like building the wall to keep out all those wetbacks who are rapists and murderers and who are coming illegally, who do not pay taxes and who will be deported.

The white voters of the American heartland have always voted for the candidates who promise them jobs, higher pay, fewer taxes, more federal aid, removing all the non whites who are taking over the country and daring to date their daughters. They elect people who will do their bidding in Washington so these congressmen and senators enact laws to make it harder for the Asians and other immigrants to enter the United States, get jobs and become citizens.

They did this to keep out the Chinese and the Filipinos in the 1950s or even earlier. The made laws that said that these people are ineligible to become citizens because of their race. It just goes to show that the white fearful voters can still exert pressure on their elected congressmen and senators to make such racially biased laws. Now they have a president who they hope will do their bidding.

Now various hate groups are sprouting like mushrooms in Europe as well as a reaction to the flood of refugees and hate crimes are on the rise there. It does not help if some moron Islamic jihadist kills a few people in Paris or Munich. Germany wants now to deport 100000 Moslem refugees whom they perceive as threat to their identity.

The haters then take it as a cue to come out in large numbers and shout Heil Hitler and wear Swastika bands just like in the US where the KKK people are openly active again . Some politicians see this hate as a means to channel the energy of the unwashed into votes for them so they promise tougher immigration laws, mass deportation and severe vetting if they are elected.

These are all reactions due to fear of the strangers and their religion that incites jihad and suicide bombing. No one wants to live in fear. But fear is a very powerful motive for people to act the way they do so until that fear is gone, people will reject assimilation, reject love of neighbors who are not like them and keep on hating.

So if you are white and live in the American heartland and are afraid of African Americans, Mexicans, Asians and others and believe that they are not good people, I urge you to get to know some of them. You will be surprised how nice they are and how friendly they can be given half a chance. Are you willing to give them half a chance? America will be a great country if you take that simple step forward. Just remember that knowledge with understanding is a powerful tool to fight hate and prejudice.

 

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My heroes: Fidel Castro

My heroes : Fidel Castro

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Source : Google photo of Fidel Castro

I think it was in 1972 when Fidel Castro came to Mostaganem , Algeria where I was working at that time. The whole town had showed up to welcome him and the Algerian president Boumedienne. There were barricades and policemen controlling the crowd. The town had been scrubbed clean before they arrived in their black DS limos flanked by the guards both Cuban and Algerian but I was determined to take a few photos of my hero so I got through the barricades and approached the presidential limo and took a few snap shots while Fidel looked but not at me. He had his trademark cigar and his beard was black and thick. People were aghast because I took such a risk of approaching the car to take photos. The policemen in Algeria are trained so shoot first and ask questions later.These were the praetorian guards who fiercely protected Fidel and Boumedienne. CIA had tried to assassinate Fidel a number of times because USA considered him their avowed enemy but Fidel not only survived such attempts but thrived at poking fun at the US government.

Elsewhere in the world he was welcome as a hero who boldly stood up to defend the poor and the downtrodden from imperialism and colonialism. In Mostaganem the Algerian government had built a nice hospital with the Cuban assistance where Cuban doctors and nurses worked and trained their counterparts so Fidel Castro was invited to inaugurate the hospital. The Cubans lived near my apartment and played baseball but they spoke no French or English and I spoke no Spanish so I never got to know them.

I always admired Fidel and Che Guevara and painted Che ,framed it and put it on the wall here but I never painted Fidel because I felt that he was so much larger than life that a mere painting by an amateur like me would not do justice to him.

Yesterday he died at the age of 90 after living such an illustrious life but judging from the street dancers in the little Havana in Miami one would think that he was such a villain. This requires the study of the Cuban revolution and why it happened and most of all why it succeeded.

If you watch the movie The Godfather , you will understand the role mafia played in Cuba in sucking the lifeblood out of that poor country and how they made enormous profit  with the full collusion of the corrupt government prevailing at that time. People danced and attended lavish parties drinking and cavorting with prostitutes while the Cubans starved and looked on helplessly. The precious land was owned by a few rich people who let the landless farmers work their land to make the patrons rich but they themselves remained poor and destitute.

The education was limited to a few upper class people and many went to the United States for their education because they could afford it. The vast majority of Cubans remained uneducated by design because the rich thought that it was easy to control the uneducated people and make them do their bidding but the resentment was growing nationwide and was waiting for an outlet.

That outlet was provided by Fidel and his loyal friends in arms one day when they returned from their exile and started the fire of revolution that still burns today.

People started coming from everywhere and joined his group of revolutionaries in large numbers because they saw that a charismatic leader like Fidel was what they needed to make the revolution a success. The rest is history. The corrupt president and his cohorts fled the country along with their loot and many rich people did the same because they realized that there was no future for them in the new Cuba. The mafia had to flee and shut down all their operations but resented it greatly and plotted to overthrow the new government of Castro.

The US government  always  considers it the national interest to protect the US businesses and their property no matter how much the Cubans were exploited in the process so sent in the mercenaries recruited from the disgruntled Cubans of Miami but the invasion called the Bay of Pigs invasion failed miserably. Most of the invaders were captured and executed by the Cuban government making the USA angrier so they tried to assassinate Fidel a number of times and killed Che Guevara in Bolivia where he was sent to fight for the poor landless peasants there.

The US government then imposed trade sanctions on Cuba that has not yet been lifted after 50 years or so and has had its intended effect on their economy but to everyone’s surprise, the Cuban revolution succeeded in doing what it had promised its people in spite of tremendous odds. It distributed the land to the landless farmers, gave the opportunity to everyone to become literate and created the world’s most successful universal healthcare that the whole world except the United States admires.

When a group of sick Americans arrived in Guantanamo base to get some medical help from the base doctors, they were chased off by the gun toting soldiers .It was a US base and they were chasing off poor and sick Americans who wanted their help because they could not afford the high cost of healthcare in their own country. So they reached Havana and asked people if they could direct them to a hospital nearby.  Cubans are a very warm and hospitable people so they brought them to a hospital where the doctors attended to them immediately without asking for anything from them. The Americans were pleasantly surprised at their welcome and at the spanking clean modern hospital where the doctors and nurses were competent and professional. They were brainwashed in the US to believe otherwise.

They were treated without any charge except for a small bill of few dollars for some medicines that were generic and were given generous gifts before they were discharged. The Americans could not believe their good luck and were in tears. Michael Moore has made a movie about it which people should watch.

But the propaganda against the Cuban revolution and Castro continues to this day although one must admire Obama for making the diplomatic connection again and opening up travel and trade between these two countries .It is a small beginning but in the right direction.

It took great courage and sacrifice by Fidel and his revolutionaries to make Cuba great again , get rid of corruption, give hope to its people, develop the infrastructure and build schools, hospitals, housing for the poor and empty its jails by sending the criminals to Miami where they are creating problems. It was a brilliant strategy. Cuba now stands tall among the League of Nations and sends medical missions and builds hospitals in numerous countries like in Algeria, Angola etc. and develops its trade ties with many countries. It is a beautiful island that is not too far from Haiti where I worked for some time but never had a chance to visit.

Cuba has earned its status as the model of the most pro poor country where the government looks after the basic needs of its people in a way that is the envy of the world. Fidel and Che will always remain my heroes.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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The politics of hatred

Synopsis : The politicians and other aspirants to higher office often use the politics of hate to appeal to certain voters that sows discord among people and often causes violent clashes.  The hate has no place in any society no matter how divided they are politically so the only way a country can move forward is by promoting tolerance and understanding among people and fight hate and injustice with their votes.

Politics of hatred

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Source : Google photo

The election in the United States has resulted in the choice of a person who found that his rhetoric of hatred, division and outright racism resonated with a certain number of voters who agreed with him and voted for him in large numbers. This has happened after eight years of Obama who won Nobel peace prize for his effort to bring the people together instead of dividing them.

Almost everybody knows that Obama alone brought the country out of recession, created millions of jobs, made affordable health care universal, made the trade pacts with various nations that promote growth instead of stagnation, helped resettle thousands of refugees from war torn countries and gave them a chance at making a new life for them in the United States. He bailed out industries that were in serious trouble and saved jobs.

For the first time an African American was elected to the highest office and helped advance the cause of the minorities and other disadvantaged people in the country so everyone felt that the country had made tremendous progress under his administration bringing the unemployment down to 4.5% from a high of 13% a few years ago. This alone has sealed his legacy as one of the great presidents.

But obviously not everybody agrees with this assessment. They are the hard core republicans who were more motivated by their intolerance and negative feelings about a president based on his skin color than his achievement. In their eyes, a person of color could do nothing right even if the facts were staring at their faces so they elected a person who encouraged the voters to elect him because he made them believe that he was just like them and shared their hatred and values.

I always felt that there was an undercurrent of racism in the United States that was rooted in their past when the whites mistreated the non whites and kept them as slaves. This hatred gave rise to the KKK that routinely beat up the slaves, tortured them and hanged them for no reasons other than the skin color. They never accepted their defeat in the civil war and still keep the pictures of their heroes in their homes and fly the flag of confederacy in 2016.They are the same people who were responsible for the genocide of the native Americans and still call them derogatory names like squaws and Injuns.

True, the African Americans and others have come a long way from those days and can now participate in the national election and a few have even gained prominence in the political field by becoming congressmen,  senators,  governors and mayors but this election shows that there are forces that still exist that influence their politics and has the power to roll back all that has been gained over the years  like the civil rights ,voting rights, equal treatment for everyone, equal job opportunities and many such gains.

The hatred and the division continues in the country that has given rise to the sentiment that was hidden just beneath the surface for some time and had never totally dissipated. Let us now analyze the cause of this resurgence of animosity toward the people of color and try to understand the reasons why obviously normal and sane people still feel that they are superior to others that gave rise to the racism in the first place.

I think the racism is rooted in the history of mankind. It existed in the past and it exists today in many shape and form almost everywhere. I have written extensively on the subject in my blog called “The ancient scourge called slavery” that is perhaps worth reading in this context.

Let us therefore once again  state the reasons behind this resurgence of racism in America that has now come out in the open and is espoused by no less than the president elect himself. It is true that the country as a whole has moved away from the days of civil war in a positive way and continues to make progress toward a better racially integrated society but this has happened only in areas where the education level and the income associated to higher education has made it possible for the African Americans and the minorities to improve their lives. The election of Obama was an example indeed that anyone with education and ability could achieve what was once thought to be impossible.

Now the country has for the first time become a country of different ethnic groups, Latinos, Asians and the African Americans that outnumber the whites in total number although the communities still remain segregated. Whites tend to live in exclusive white neighborhoods where non whites are discouraged to move in and others live in their own communities that do not bode well for the idea of a more assimilated society as a whole.

The non whites have definitely made progress in terms of education and employment although if you really take a close look at the statistics, you will notice that the segment of the population that has made significant progress in education and jobs are mostly the Asians and others who came from countries where it was no longer safe for them to live. The education level among the African Americans and the Latinos has not risen as much as they could have or should have so they tend to get employed in jobs that are menial in nature like the farm jobs or in the service sector where higher education is not required.

The non whites also tend to live more harmoniously with each other and even inter marry  which paves the way for a more racially integrated society as a whole. The children of such mixed marriages are accepted in their society as normal and some consistently win national awards of excellence in studies and spelling bee contests.

Now let us look at what has happened to the whites. They have lived as always in segregated societies where they rarely meet with or have a chance of mixing with others who are not like them. They tend to live in small towns or in rural America depending on farming or on the local factory or steel mill and the coal mines that are their only source of employment. The education level among them remains low because their employers do not demand it. They do not like to do the actual farm work that is left to the people from Mexico or other countries but prefer the jobs in paper mills, mines or other factories closer to where they live and earn a regular wage. The wages may be low but it keeps them employed at a certain level.

They are the whites who dislike people who are not like them and show contempt for educated whites and non whites lumped together as elites who do not share their values, their beliefs and even inter marry, who are richer and live in better homes, drive expensive cars and live a life of prosperity that still eludes the un educated or lowly educated whites.

They claim to be religious and regular church goers where they meet with their neighbors who are also like them. They go to their local pubs where they drink and watch the games on TV or exchange gossips with their neighbors or discuss the politics of election sweeping the country. Some of them hunt together and go on fishing trips. They socially mix with only their kind and invite each other to the bar be que  parties or other social events like marriage or funerals.

Their children go to school up to a certain level where they are taught by teachers that the theory of evolution is not right, that they should get most of their knowledge from their Holy book of Bible, that they did not descend from apes, that they are whites and it is their manifest destiny to be superior to others who are not like them. They tell the children that the climate change is a hoax and the foreign religions are not true faiths. These things are taught in their Bible classes that they must attend. This is also repeated throughout the country by the tele evangelists who target these folks and solicit their contributions. Their school board makes sure that the children are not given books to read that do not support their beliefs and ideology. Theyhire only those teachers who are compliant and teach what the parents believe in.

They do not have much faith in the elected officials and do not understand how the economy works in the modern world. They believe that most people are poor like them and a few are rich or super rich but believe that the rich are getting richer but also `know that poor are getting poorer. They do not believe that the world is interdependent and what happens in one country impacts them as well. Most of them have never traveled anywhere and many have never left their state in their lifetime.  They only watch the local TV program and the soap opera or listen to the local radio run by the church or the religious people. They do not know where Aleppo is and do not care what is happening there.

Their concern is only with their day to day life, the farm prices, the local election, the local church and their pastimes like going to the pub or hunting. They are not at all concerned about the outside world and fail to understand why their mills or factories are closing but understand the implications. They become very angry that their only source of income is gone and they are unemployed who cannot find other source of income.

This is the story of the American heartland that is repeated everywhere. From this heartland the army and the navy recruits the young men and women to serve. The only requirement is to be strong and healthy and a willingness to serve the country and fight in a  foreign war somewhere because they are patriotic just like their parents  and believe that their government is always right fighting their enemies somewhere so they should do their part. Lt. Kelly came from such small towns whom they considered a hero for killing those women and children in My Lai because they were commies. They  got what they deserved, right?

After seeing the brutality of war in a foreign country and losing their buddies, they come to a different conclusion about their country, their role in the fighting and the consequences especially when they come home and do not get adequate care and medical services for their injuries or trauma. They see in their TV the dirty rooms and cockroaches in the Walter Reed hospital where their injured friend is struggling for attention to his needs. They find out how corrupt the veteran’s administration is and how long they have to wait for an appointment just to see a doctor. This makes them think of the government at a lower esteem.

Now comes a politician who claims that he is uniquely qualified to solve all of their problems, build a wall to keep out the illegals who take American jobs, clean out Washington of all the rubbish that is cluttering the corridors of power there, mostly bring jobs back. This is music to their ears so they vote for him. Never mind if he talks dirty and sexually exploits women. Never mind if he does not pay his taxes and has failed in many of his businesses. Never mind if he blames everybody including all the foreigners who take away American jobs because he must be right. He is just like them. They too talk dirty and are not above shacking a woman if they get a chance. They too hate Washington which to them is a den of crooks that has let them down in a big way so yes they will vote for this man who promises Valhalla.

I have been to small town America and known these people first hand. Among them I found kindred souls who were really nice people but were only occupied with what concerned them most which was the economy and jobs. Their kids had never heard of BBC and VOA and asked me what strange stations I was listening to in my radio. They did not know that the short wave radios exist and you could listen to any station in the world.

I have written about this gap in their knowledge in my blog called “ The clash of generations”“that is perhaps worth reading where I explained this gap and their incomprehension of the modern world and how it is being governed by the technology.

It is quite unfortunate when a person comes along who tells these voters that only he can solve all of their problems, they believe him and forgive all his sins. Doesn’t the Bible say that no one is perfect so only he should cast his stone who has not sinned? Doesn’t the Bible say that one should forgive the sinner and not the sin? These small town people believe they are very religious and will tell you that all they need to know is in the Bible.  Pity if you disagree with them and try to tell them something different.

If you look at the police force in any state, you will notice that 95% are white who come from such small towns and who replicate the values their parents taught them. They will stop you and speak to you roughly and ask for your papers just because you were driving at 46 miles per hour instead of 45 that is the limit, or you did not indicate a lane change on an empty street or parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and no one in sight. They do this particularly if you happen to be non white and driving a nice car. These so called violations are then entered into the police database that keeps a record of how many times you have been stopped and fined.

These white policemen do not hesitate to shoot to kill someone who is just selling a cigarette or a CD somewhere  or wrestle him down in a choking strangle hold so that the man dies. They shove and push an old Indian man down and hurt him badly just because he was hard of hearing or could not understand the drawl of a policeman. Everyday a person of color is shot dead but such policemen are rarely accountable for their crimes.  Some 25000 cases of police brutality have been registered but none except a miniscule 1% have ever faced trials and even lesser punished.

The hated KKK still exists and its members are often respected people who secretly support them and get their support in return. Now the hackers are making public their names so that everyone knows who they are and where they are. Even during the period of slavery, the KKK people always hid their faces so as to remain anonymous because they knew that what they were doing was wrong. The judges who were members of the KKK saw nothing wrong in lynching black men and forgave all those who committed such crimes. What is amazing is that such crimes are still being committed in America but no one is brought to justice.

Now in this divided country, a man comes along who wants to turn the clock back and undo whatever good a very intelligent and pragmatic president has done for the people because such hateful rhetoric got him enough votes to win. They say that in America, winning is everything and losers are soon forgotten but is that really true?

Many such people have brought disaster on the population due to their policies and have paid the price but who remembers history? Has Martin Luther King died in vain?

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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The Havelis of Sekhawati in Rajasthan

Havelis of Sekhawati in Rajasthan are well known all over the world for their magnificent beauty and detailed art work that are masterpieces in the Rajasthan architecture found only in the Sekhawati region of Rajasthan in India.

Haveli means palace that were built by the royals and the noble rich citizens as their palaces and are a  result of the unique art and building style of Rajasthan that is found nowhere else in India. The colors are dazzling and glow but this form of art is in decline now making these palaces all the more precious because they are no longer built that way. The royals and the rich people of Rajasthan were the patrons of artists and stone masons who created such masterpieces long ago. The dry desert like condition of Rajasthan helps preserve the colors in their original brightness.

The power point presented here highlights the best of Sekhawati architecture in all its details for you to enjoy. It shows the magnificent palaces and havelis of Sekhawati in Rajasthan ,India in all its glory.

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Source : Google photo of the interior artwork of the Sekhawati palace in Rajasthan , India

Havelis of Sekhawati in Rajasthan

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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Brain drain?

Synopsis :  The so called brain drain from the poorer countries to richer countries is a process that has been going on for a long time because people with brain and aspirations seek better opportunities elsewhere other than their own country . There is nothing wrong in seeking opportunities if that is the only way anyone can fulfill his dreams and prosper . This blog shows why it happens.

Brain drain ?

brain-drain

Source :Google photo

When smart people take up jobs in another country where they seek permanent residency and eventual citizenship, they are accused of brain drain. People say that such brain drain hurts their native country because of their emigration. Millions of people have moved to other countries to seek greener pastures but that is derogatory because it suggests that people are like cows that seek greener grass somewhere so I will use the term better opportunities.

If we study this phenomenon called the migration of intellectual people who seek better opportunities elsewhere, we see this happening in countries where the education level is high and job opportunities are low. India is a good example where the education level has been steadily rising since its independence in 1947 among all classes of people throughout the country because more educational institutions have been opened than in its pre independence period. Then the education was limited to the elite and to a few deserving bright people who were given the scholarships to study. The rich people sent their children aboard especially to the United Kingdom where they studied law, medicine or other subjects that England excelled in.

Gandhi, Bose, Nehru and many others went to England for their education because their parents could afford it. Also there were few such educational institutions in British India at that time but that started to change when the British established the University of Kolkata, the Campbell medical college and law schools there. The Presidency college, Loreto and other schools were set up that were excellent and educated hundreds of thousands of Indians before the independence but the British set up these colleges to serve their immense need to educate and train Indians who would then serve the British in various junior capacities all over their vast empire.

The British were unable to fill all the posts with their own people .Also the Indians were willing to work for lower wages than their British counterparts so the British helped spread the education in India to serve their need.

My father who was a gold medalist in  high school got a job at a very young age and served as an accountant under the British government and was posted all over India received the coveted silver medal from the British King George V for his service to the empire. This medal was minted in England and was inscribed with my father’s name on the rim. I proudly display his medal here in my home in the Philippines.

But most Indians remained uneducated during the British period. The established Universities and colleges were few and could only accommodate a few students. This would change later after the independence but pre independence education level was low to say the least. Those who were employed by the British were paid lower wages than their counterparts in England for the same job but people were happy to get a job and put up with the hardship of frequent transfer from one part of the vast country to another part or even to other countries that were ruled by the British.

It was a period of easy travel with few restrictions. No visas were required for anyone to travel anywhere within  the British empire on which the Sun never set as they said in those days. There were no restrictions on what one could buy in London and bring it to India because there were no custom duties within the empire or was kept at a bare minimum. Those who could afford could buy any thing in England and get it delivered to their door. My father bought English cigarettes called Abdalla that came in fancy tin cans but many rich Indians bought Morris cars or British made horse carriages called Broughams. The ships from England delivered them to Kolkata directly.

The education was the responsibility of a few traditional schools run by the Brahmins called “Tolas” where the pupils were taught mathematics, astrology, logic, religious texts like Vedas, Upanishads etc and Sanskrit because it was essential to learn it to understand all the old texts. English was not taught as a subject so no one learned anything about western science and philosophy or other subjects.

The British brought India into the modern world by introducing them to the study of European science, law, medicine and philosophy and other various subjects, in short to the British education system that was excellent and of high standard. They brought excellent teachers to teach at these universities and colleges and brought books and other teaching materials from England to fill the shelves of the libraries.

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They built excellent public libraries all over India including in my home town so I place a photo of it here. Indians were eager for the knowledge of the western science and medicine so many were educated this way who became in their turn noted scientists, lawyers and medical doctors. Still the education specially higher education remained limited to a few people.

This however , changed after the independence when the education of the masses was given the priority by the government that invested in education by establishing many schools, colleges and universities all over the country. The Indian Institute of technology, Indian institute of medical sciences, agricultural universities, technical colleges, engineering colleges, veterinary colleges, Tata institute of fundamental research etc. were established but emphasis was given to primary education so thousands of elementary and high schools were established where boys and girls were admitted. The education of girls was encouraged in all sciences and all fields for the first time with active support of the government with financial aid, free school lunch and other incentives so the education level of the vast population started to rise exponentially and has continued to this day.

The reason I write about India is because I know its history and its educational system and because I am a product of that system. Our agricultural college was the first such college in India established by an American missionary in 1910 but now there are numerous agricultural colleges and universities in the country.

The British should be given credit for bringing to India the modern western method of education that opened up the vast world of knowledge to the students but they had to learn English first. It should not surprise anyone that very few Indians spoke English and those who managed it somehow spoke a kind of pidgin so the British established the English education system and set up schools like St.Joseph college, St.Mary’s college, Boys high school, Girls high school, St.Anthony school etc. in many cities where children were taught in British English.

This tradition still continues in those schools that are called English medium schools where children become fluent in the language. I had earlier mentioned Loreto but all these institutions were run by the religious people namely Anglicans who introduced Indians to Christianity. The British also built many Anglican churches throughout the country.

These church affiliated schools set up an excellent standard of education that are still valued by the Indians and respected. The post independence India saw an explosion of new educational institutions in the country because the private business people were allowed to set up schools and colleges as a business enterprise so the number of such schools and colleges have skyrocketed.

What it means is that the country now produces many more educated people than it can find jobs for so these newly minted graduates seek jobs where they can find them. Often it means going overseas where they are needed and where they get a salary that they can never hope to earn in India. This is when the term “Brain Drain” was coined. People say that these smart people are leaving the country in droves and using their talent to develop other countries instead of the motherland.

Now I will explain why this argument sounds so hollow in this modern age of internet and interconnected world through instant communication.

It is true that brilliant people who are highly educated and skilled in their fields also have high ambitions .Who can blame them? What is the purpose of education if not to earn decent wages for a decent living? This is as true in India as it is anywhere else. Education is not a luxury for a few but rather a necessity to learn the skills needed to cope with the modern world.

There is a shortage of specific skills in computer science, medical technology and engineering, healthcare, law and accounting just to name a few. So the graduates in these fields get many opportunities outside their countries and get good jobs. So they move and set up a new life somewhere else, perhaps marry there and become citizens. There is nothing wrong in it although many who have settled in the USA or UK or Australia feel nostalgic for the country they left behind and try to keep in touch. This nostalgia however, quickly fades as the next generation born in the United States or UK does not feel the same way as their parents and become more assimilated into their country.

The internet revolution is unprecedented in the human history. It has brought the whole world together like never before. Gone is the old fashioned way of communication through telegraphs, telegrams, telex, fax and such. Now it is instant e mail and it is free. You can skype anyone in the world and see him and talk to him for free. You can send messages from your smart phone or see a person on skype in it all wirelessly and instantly. You can send digital photos that you take with your smart phone or with your digital camera and instantly send it to any part of the world wirelessly.

Sure people abuse this technology as is evident from millions of junk photos, selfies and files sent daily through facebook or other social media but the technology is here that is put to good use by many  who can now apply for jobs online and get interviewed through skype. This opens up the job market worldwide for qualified people.

This is the revolution I am talking about. You can fill up an application form for jobs anywhere in the world on line and get a response in a short time. Some employers search the data base of Linkedin that has millions of talented people registered there to find the person they are looking for. You do not have to have a computer or a smart phone to do that because there are thousands of internet centers where you can use their computers for a small fee.

Another field that has opened up in a very big way is the transcription business. Now someone in India with a computer can receive the legal or medical reports from another country that he helps transcribe and send back. He gets paid for such services directly to his account.

Then there are the call centers that operate in many countries where people handle business by phone or through internet and render a service for which they get paid directly. They never have to leave their country to work abroad and earn a decent living. There are  translation or editing services that are done through the internet which employs many people in many countries.

There are distant learning centers that teach through the internet to students in remote parts of the world the subject of their choice. There are doctors who give free diagnosis of a disease and its treatment by looking at the medical reports, x rays, ultrasound pictures of the patient in remote part of the world through the internet so the internet has brought people closer this way like never before. I will not write about the internet dating services but they too are growing like crazy and many people find their life partners this way.

We can say what we want about the brain drain but the fact remains that today it is no longer considered shameful to leave your country and go and work in another country if that country gives you the opportunity to do so and prosper. Professional people seek professional satisfaction in their jobs so if a doctor is given a chance to work in a modern lab in the US or UK to develop a cure for a disease, he takes it and considers it a fulfillment of his dream of becoming a noted scientist. Often his home country can  not provide him with such opportunity so he goes where he is appreciated. I see nothing wrong in it . It is quite normal and natural for people to  have ambition and seek better opportunities.

Now in some countries they have progressed to the extent that their citizens living abroad decide to go back .This is happening in China and India although their numbers are few.

I am sure as nations make more progress and develop to create more employment for their educated people, more will decide to stay and work there. I must mention here that India still has a program to employ returning scientists for a period of two years until they can find a more suitable job somewhere. I know this because I was offered jobs twice under this program in India that unfortunately I could not accept due to personal reasons but it is a big help to those who want to return.

The world is making progress not because of brain drain but because the new talents are migrating and creating new opportunities for them and others. The flow of money sent home by such people is staggering in amount and keeps many economies in many countries afloat that in return creates more jobs for the locals. Just imagine how many millions of new homes are being built by them giving jobs to millions of masons, carpenters and others who are not so fortunate.

Just imagine how many small businesses are being set up with such money that are employing so many people in their own country. It is a fact that one person who has a good job supports at least ten people in the service sector plus his family so no matter where they are, they are helping folks back home. This is not brain drain. This is a boon.

 

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What is beauty ?

Synopsis : Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder as the cliche goes but true beauty is universal as exemplified by Miss Spain who was judged to be the Miss World. However different people have their own ideas about beauty and will go any length to promote it so this blog looks at the notion of beauty among different people.

What is beauty ?

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Source : Google photo

Human beings are obsessed with this question since they evolved from their primitive life so long ago and always disagree when it comes to define what beauty is. People say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so if you are the beholder and happen to be a strict orthodox Moslem or Jew then your definition of beauty will be wildly different from someone in another society. So how people define beauty essentially depends upon his religion, his ethnic background, his cultural background, his tribal heritage, his customs and taboos, his upbringing and lastly his education and social awareness.

The Caucasians for example like women with strong and pointed jaws and call such women beautiful while in Asia a woman with softer facial features, oval face and almond shaped eyes would be considered beautiful so there is no standard that is universally agreed upon because there is a strong cultural bias involved when it comes to calling someone beautiful. This cultural bias is inherent in all cultures because people are taught from their childhood what should be or not considered as beautiful and are loathe to accept anything contrary to their beliefs.

There was a time in China when a woman with very small feet was considered very beautiful so they bound their feet from their childhood very tightly .It resulted in agonizing pain all through their miserable lives because walking became so painful due to the enormous deformity that feet binding caused yet the practice continued until Mao Tse Tung banned it forever. You may not like Mao Tse Tung because he was such a monster in his personal life yet he did something good by declaring that men and women are equal and this abominable practice of binding the feet must stop. Some time it takes a strong person of ruthless courage and audacity to dictate to people who must give up certain practices that are inhuman and so painful.

I remember Kamal Ataturk who banned the practice of wearing Turkish Fez and veils for women in Turkey that was a very traditional Moslem country so women for the first time in their life felt the freedom from the oppressive veils that their men forced upon them and have never looked back since then. Turkey is considered to be one of the few Moslem countries where the women have been able to liberate themselves from the past taboos and norms through education and asking for equal rights thanks to Kamal Ataturk setting up an example of moderation that other less liberated women can aspire to. But Mao Tse Tung and Kamal Ataturk were called revolutionaries for a reason who decided that men must not judge women and dictate to them what they should or should not do and left a lasting legacy that changed their nation. Fidel Castro is another such legend who changed Cuba forever through his bold moves to make women equal to men in every way possible.

When we come back to the notion of what is beautiful, we come back again to people who paint themselves into a corner in defining what is and who is beautiful so two people will never agree on this subject. Dark  people crave for lighter skin and fair people roast themselves in body tanning beds with ultra violet rays even if it is known to cause skin cancer. Women lie naked in beaches around the world to get a tan even if it is known to cause cancer.  You will read in the Indian newspapers matrimony section any day the ads for a bride who has wheat complexion by which they mean a woman of fair skin although some wheat varieties are quite brown in color.

In Burma the tribal women wear neck rings from a young age to extend their necks because long necks are considered beautiful by their men. They do it by adding rings each year that press down the collar bone with their weight and deform it permanently. The pity is that they can never take the brass rings off because the extended neck would collapse without it and bring about a quick death. In Africa especially in the Southern part of Ethiopia and Somalia, there are tribes that consider women with lip disks beautiful so these poor women cut their lips and insert a flat disk in it that they gradually increase in size over the years. I still do not understand how they can eat or drink anything with such disks on their face but the tradition continues.

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Source : Google photo

In other parts of Africa, the Dinka people in South Sudan consider their women pretty who wear facial scars. These scars are made by cutting the skin regularly and putting on the poultice of herbal paste to heal it. Some tribes wear the scars on their face and body to distinguish themselves from other tribes who may develop a different pattern of scars like cattle branding in some countries. Among the Fulanis of West Africa, men wear make up with paint, beads and other means to attract females during festivals where women gather to select their mates. This is not so different from the birds that try to attract females with colorful plumage or by decorating nests with feathers and pebbles.

You will notice that in the animal kingdom, usually it is the male that is more beautiful and gorgeous than the females where the males fight it out to win their mates. The females then get to choose the strongest and healthiest males who will then sire genetically strong offspring.  Now it is scientifically proven that humans do the same although it is done subconsciously. When a man looks at a woman for the first time, he checks out how wide is her hips and how tall she is, how large her breasts are etc. because he is wired to think that way in order to decide if the woman will produce healthy kids. Women too are genetically wired to think of their male partners from the point of view of breeding although it may sound a bit crude but such are the laws of nature that guide us through this process even without us realizing it consciously. They are impressed by the tall, athletic looking male with broad shoulders, narrow hips and strong physique. This is called the first impression that may lead to some patent pick up phrases men like to use to impress the girl.

But in all societies, they place more emphasis on female beauty than on male so it is a boon to the industry that produces mind boggling array of products that will turn an ugly woman into a beautiful one instantly. There are creams to whiten the skin, creams to make the breasts bigger and fuller, elevator shoes to make a woman taller when nothing else works, hair colors of numerous  shades , special bras to uplift the breasts, special jeans ( at a  special price for a limited time) to hide the bulges. So women low in self esteem fall for these gimmicks and have helped make the cosmetics a multibillion dollar industry worldwide. These snake oil peddlers see no limit to their income as long as some women feel that they are ugly and need their dubious products. The TV is full of commercials of this type of ads 24, 7 so you can imagine its effect on people.

We know from the history books that Cleopatra took a milk bath in a gold bath tub everyday to make her skin soft and beautiful but she was a beautiful woman albeit vain as most women are  but don’t worry . The cosmetics industry has something better at a cheaper price. Who said women are not suckers? The traditional society depends more on its resources than the commercial products because of economics so it is a practice among the Hindus for example to scrub a woman with a paste of milk cream and turmeric before the all too important marriage interview. They swear by their Holy book that it works and turns dark skinned and unlovely women into someone more presentable. If they fail the interview then they must try again such are the rules of the traditional society.

The western woman on the other hand is more gullible to the snake oil peddlers and will try anything to look better. It may include botox injection or cosmetic surgeries or who knows what else? The wise people say that a beautiful woman does not need botox or surgery to look better but it falls on deaf ears of women who think they are not pretty and want to improve their looks by cosmetics and clothes. Women more than men are influenced by what others think of them and not by what they think of themselves. Then there is peer pressure. If wearing very tight shorts cut to the crotch is the fashion then they all run to buy the shorts. If wearing jeans cut in shreds at the knee is the fashion then they buy such jeans and the razor blades. No woman wants to be accused of not being  in tune with the current fashion be it the hair color, tight shorts or shredded jeans. The fashion is a fad worldwide but like all fads, it changes every now and then.

I see this craze here in the Philippines where some women over 60 forget their age and wear inappropriate clothing that are more suitable for teen agers and even go to church like that to the dismay of the padres. A great deal of what you see as fashion starts overseas somewhere and is brought to you through the TV and the movies  so it becomes the thing to do unless one wants to be labeled as old fashioned and not with the current vogue.

4ba03b30734cfc99f76ab0765639f6f7Now let us go back to the tribal societies of Africa and try to understand why they do what they do to make the women look pretty and what is it they consider pretty. Again it all comes down to what men think of them because their make ups, beads and paints are meant to impress their potential mates so it is more biological than anything else. They did not have the beads before the Westerners came to “discover” their land and the tribes. The traders brought with them beads, paints and mirrors, clothes, trinkets and tools and lastly guns so that the tribes could massacre each other paving the way for the whites to settle on their land. So the tribes used seeds of plants to make necklace, natural colors made from plants and earth to paint their body, animal teeth as decorations, animal hides to make clothes and women braided their hairs. This braiding is an art and time consuming but it does make a woman look very pretty. You only have to see how the Malian women braid their hair in so complicated and beautiful ways. ( Source : Google photo)

Our daughter was so impressed when she went to Zambia that she had her hair braided the African way that took her hours to untangle later but such is the price women pay to look pretty. I am not talking about cutting the skin to develop scars because that is too extreme but there are ways a woman can look better without spending a lot of money. The African women know this so they go for the intricate hair styles that do not cost money but a lot of time. They say they have all the time in the world so who is complaining?

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Source : Google photo

Another thing women in some countries do is to paint their hands and face with henna to look pretty. In India henna is known since a long time but you have to see the Egyptian or the Sudanese women how artfully they paint their hands. It is also used widely among the women in the Middle East when they are at peace which is seldom.  Then there are the nose piercing, ear piercing and belly button piercing that many women do to wear ornaments. The hippies started even piercing their eye brows and put rings there but what do they know?

The puritanical societies in the United States still look down on any kind of piercing and are shocked if their daughters pierce their ears and wear rings. As I have written earlier, the likes and dislikes are rooted in their beliefs, their tribal customs, their upbringing and many other things so what is considered beautiful in one country may not be considered so in another. I am partial to women who have oval face, soft jaw bones, almond shaped eyes that are big and expressive , good skin, tall, black lustrous hair that is long and well groomed, good posture, long neck (without the rings) and regal poise. Only Amparo Munoz comes close. I do not consider Hollywood movie stars pretty although some have sunny personalities  but then I may be biased in favor of Asian or Middle eastern women because I was brought up to appreciate beauty in women in a certain way only.

So my last word on this topic is what makes a woman beautiful is not necessarily her pretty face and all the other attributes that I mentioned earlier but her inner beauty that shines through if she is a loving, caring, moral, very educated, with empathy for others, not vain, not selfish, helpful, generous, gifted with artistic abilities, sharp mind and a loving heart. Such a woman is a lovely woman anywhere.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

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The remaining days

Synopsis : We often think of how to spend our remaining days after retirement .This blogs looks at various options that can enrich your life and give you the satisfaction that you have lived well and have been useful to others in significant ways.

 The remaining days

Disabled senior in the park

 The remaining days

One always gets to thinking about the old age and what it means. The lucky or unlucky ones get to be old and either enjoy it or dread it depending upon their circumstances. Then there are those who go early due to disease, accident or incompetent doctors who make mistakes but are not accountable. Hindus believe that each person lives a predetermined course in life so there is not much anyone can do about it. So it is ideal to plan for the old age whether or not you get there one day. It is like planning for buying a house or a car for which you have to save unless you are the type who believes in the plastic credit card that is so fashionable these days.

I see many old people who are bent, feeble and struggling to stay on their feet although they may have once been athletic, very energetic and full of life. The old age comes to most people and it can be a blessing as well as a curse. It is a blessing to those who have lived a very useful life and are remembered as  generous, kind and helpful persons who did great things in their life. Their life is an inspiration to all who strive to be like them. They are like old wine that gets better with age. Then there are those who have totally wasted their life by getting addicted to drugs or alcohol and have gone through failed marriage, failed jobs, failed family and have ended up destitute in their old age because they lived their life recklessly. The world is full of such people who never planned for their rainy days.

There is a story about a brilliant Indian man who was a top notcher in his journalism class at Harvard. His classmates all graduated and got excellent jobs and encouraged him to do the same but he said that he wanted to be a famous writer and would write about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His lovely American wife worked hard to support him and his folly and put up with him for a long time gently trying to persuade him to get a job but he failed to do so. He even went to an interview in India for a lucrative job but walked out when they told him that his job in New York would include giving the visiting dignitaries a “good time” meaning pimping.

Finally his loving wife left him leaving him with no support and destitute so he who was used to smoking fine tobacco and good living became sick and died with his dream of becoming a writer unfulfilled. His wife did not come to his funeral but was one day seen kneeling at a pauper’s grave in some forgotten cemetery because she still loved him.

There are many people who waste their lives even after getting some education. Such people have no friends, no one to help them in their old age and leave no legacy. Some  end up in jail because of something they did in a fit of rage or foolishness. There was a fellow from my father’s village who was a thief and spent most of his life in or out of jail but living a life of a beggar and crime. He had no education and no skill other than pick pocketing.  He one day showed up at our house and told us that he traveled by train all over the country without ticket because he was an expert in avoiding ticket checkers.  He demanded and got new clothes and shoes plus pocket money from my father because my father was a generous person and felt pity for this fellow.  This despicable person then disappeared for good, never to be heard from again. What happens to such people? Someone  with Harvard education dies and is buried in a pauper’s grave and the other without any education and skill except thievery dies by the road side with no one to care for him. Both are misfits and lived recklessly depending on other’s charity.

The old age comes to most people who live a normal life, have job and raise a family. Some enjoy their old age with their children and their grand children, travel all over the world and take care of their spouse. They are the lucky ones but how many are so lucky? What if one day your life is turned upside down by war, famine or natural calamity? How does anyone prepare himself for such disasters that hit so many people? How does a person prepare himself when he is suddenly laid off from his job because the coal mine or the steel mill in his small town is closed? There are millions of people who find themselves in dire straits due to no fault of their own and no one to help them.

Often people think that their kin and children will look after them in their old age but many are deceived. In some countries in Europe, their governments look after the old people by making health care free or affordable. The social workers check on them from time to time and tend to their needs. But poorer countries can’t afford such care for their old citizens so they depend on their family. Now a days there are many fancy old age homes in many countries where one can retire in comfort. Their all needs are taken care of but at a steep price so it serves only those who can afford. This leaves vast majority of people on their own. Think about the poor people in Asia and Africa.

In India some people choose a life of wandering sadhus  who are religious people and have no families. They live often in shelters provided for them and get food by begging. Among the Buddhists, you see the monks in saffron robes going out with the begging bowls early in the morning. People give them food because they feel that it is their duty to do so. But ordinary people are not wandering sadhus or monks. Those who are employed by the government and serve a long time, retire with a good pension that is often adjusted for inflation so they manage to live a decent life in the old age. The wife gets the pension in India if the husband dies. However, others are not so lucky who work for private companies or are self employed. It is often the staggering cost of health care in the old age that dooms most people who do not have insurance.

I understand that in Australia everybody is taken care of by their healthcare system no matter what the cost. It is so in France, England, Nordic countries and Belgium. Their healthcare system is the envy of the world. Among the poorer countries only Cuba can claim to have the universal health care but the Cuban revolution was made on the premise that everybody should have free education and healthcare .Their land reform is exemplary because it gave land to the landless peasants for the first time making the land more productive but other countries have not been able to do it due to corruption that breeds like flies in their capitalistic societies.

When all is said and done, there is really no one responsible for your old age except you in most countries. This is where a long term planning becomes very useful. After taking care of the education of your children and paying for the house and other expenses, you are left with your spouse to take care of if you are married and just yourself if you are not. So spend the money wisely and save a good portion of what you earn in a lifetime for the old age because money is the only friend you get left.

There is a saying that goes like  “How you spend your dash” is more important than how long you live. On the grave stone you see it inscribed with something like Born  ,year – Died year.  I will end it with a story about an old man and how he spent his remaining days.

He lived alone in an old house by himself and took care of himself as best as he could because he wanted to be free in his old age. His son and daughter in law tried to move him into a home for the aged and sell the house but he decided not to leave and carry on as best as he could. One day he saw a bunch of teen agers trying to steal his old car so he gave them a chase and caught one of them. He found out that he was a refugee from Laos who had settled in the neighborhood. The Lao gang roamed freely doing bad things like stealing cars, selling drugs and even raping the sister of this fellow because he refused to join the gang.

The old man thought that the young fellow was not a bad person and decided to help him by giving him odd jobs around the house and even gave him all the tools from his workshop so that he could become a carpenter. Then the gang beat up this Lao boy but no one could go to the police because everyone was terrified of the gang. So one day the old man wearing a long coat went to the house of the gang leader in the evening and said that their criminal days are over and they should leave the boy alone. But they laughed and threatened the old man with guns. He then slowly put his hand inside his coat pocket to take out something that the gang members thought was a gun so they shot him dead in front of a crowd that had gathered. The old man did not have a gun but only a cigarette lighter. He gave his life so that this murder that was witnessed by so many would now bring in the police and put these bad people in jail. The young Lao boy did not know that the old man was dying of cancer and had only a short time to live. It is a Clint Eastwood movie.

 

Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

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My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

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