Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We Need to Open our Minds to Open Discussion

I just walked down here to Chrysalis.
I walked on the very concrete that you see in the picture. There were no cars as the street is being blocked off to prepare for community entertainment to relieve the suffering that those in this environment feel.
I want people of the missions to know that I am not attacking the missions for anything. I am mereely relaying what is told to me by others. Of course I must exercise judgement in how I present the comments from others. I am learning how to do that. It is not a task that I take lightly.
The missions and the television crews are doing their bit today to help bring smiles to the faces of the community called Skid Row.
I received an email from someone from back east this morning that brought a smile to my face. I have admiration and respect for this individual and her partner and colleague. I found out
something about her that I really like. Don Garza told me that he saw her on the street and directed her someplace to find out information on Skid Row. Hmmm, I thought. This is a woman who is willing to walk the streets of Skid Row to find out the facts for herself.
I just want to thank her for sending me an email. She knows who she is and I must apologize to her for something. I did not spell your name correctly in the first or second email to you. I just sent the email. It will not happpen again. (smile)
I noticed that there is a focus on this person's part to focus on Los Angeles issues. I do not know why that is the case. I welcome her participation and I hope that she inspires discussion and ideas.
I have not read her view point on other matters. I do not know if I would agreee or disagree. What I do know is that if I were to have a discussion on a wide variety of issues with her, it would be necessary for me to do my homework so as not to be embarrassed, for one, and to bring something to the table to contribute to meaningful discussion.
I do not judge people of they are a Republican or Democrat. I learned early at Harvard School for Boys to avoid that limiting and isolating behavior. I did not view HR Haldeman as a Republican. I viewed him as Hank's father. Hank was his son who was a schoolmate of mine.
Mr. Haldeman was very nice to me.
I did not view Ronald Reagan, governor of California at the time, as a Republican. I viewed him as Ronnie Jr's father. Ron was a few classes behind me at Harvard School. Indeed, there were many Republicans at Harvard School. If I were to sequester myself from them, I would not get a chance to learn about them as people. I believe if we remove the labels that
categorize people as this or that, we can begin to come together as a community-local,statewide or national. Eventually we can become a world community. It starts with each individual.
I cried when President Reagan died, not because he was the President. I cried because he was the father of a school mate and I viewed every one at that school as family. I still do. In fact, I have a story about Judy Stewart, the daughter of actor Jimmy Stewart, to illustrate that point. It will be in an upcoming blog. She went to Marlborough School but she was a Harvard School cheerleader my first year at the school. It is the family season and the story will be appropriate.
More than one thing comprises a person. Get to know all of the sides so you can challenge the person to question the source of their opinions. Before you can do that you must know your own reasons for thinking the way you do. Find the source of opinions.
That is how people end drug use. Finding the souce of unresolved issues. What are the factors that interplay on this issues. They come, not from one, but from many varying sources. This makes the discovery challenging and illusive if one is not aware of the hidden jewels of information that can lead to the bright light of understanding.
Some have told me that Heather Mac Donald is a conservative. I do not look at her that way.
I look at her as an individual that does not look at the Skid Row issue in a manner that is inhibited from baggage stemming from group think attitudes.
I can not comment on her other viewpoints. I do not even begin to think I know enough about illegal immigration, etc. I have my basic viewpoints but not anything else. I live in Skid Row so I can speak about it. I only speak about what I know. That is limited. I relay others thoughts, views and opinions. Please do not confuse the two.
Thank you for writing to me Ms Mac Donald. Thank you for generating discussion. That is what is needed about this area known as Skid Row. To learn about the woman who is writing about our city, click here. In my opinion, it is not as important what her opinion is as it is what comes from her expressing it. Examination of ourselves and our issues to which can result in constuctive and effective policy that can enhance the lives of people and our communities.

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