So… several weeks ago I get in a cab when the bus system’s let me down once again. That’ll be a $20 trip thanks very much!
I tell the very dark-skinned, heavily accented Indian driver where I’m going.
Seriously and without a trace of irony he says: Oh that’s a very dangerous part of town, there are a lot of black people there!
Really, I say looking him squarely in his deep brown eyes, I don’t see that as a problem.
He looks surprised, waits a beat, then asks me where my husband is. What husband, I say. He starts flirting with me.
Today I jump on the train. The first seat I sit in is opposite a scruffy looking man, who looks terribly excited that I’m about to sit next to him. A nanosecond of deliberation later and I decide to sit there anyway. That’s until I realise I’m surrounded by a reasonable collection of half-empty food containers he’s sprawled everywhere. Sorry mate…
Looking for an empty seat I move to the next carriage. My brief but peaceful reverie is interrupted as I listen to a deaf man abusing an impeccably dressed Sikh. Apparently he was ‘looking at him funny’ – who knows if that’s the case? The deaf man mumbles his enraged insults whilst the Sikh silently watches, waiting for his tormentor to get off the train.
Don’t you love it when a member of one minority group gives hell to another?
At what point does xenophobia become dangerous?
Speaking of minority groups, around 200 people (80-odd Australians) were killed and around 200 injured in the 2002 Bali Bombings. Five years later, and I am sickened all over again when the perpetually unrepentant bombers are executed.
Australians have reacted with typically mixed emotions – some celebrated, others think it makes no difference. No one can judge the reactions of another. There have been suggestions that somehow the deaths of the bombers will be a deterrent to others considering similar heinous acts. Um… tell that to a suicide bomber already.
Perhaps its controversial, but I’m opposed to the death penalty no matter who we’re killing…
My heart bled and still bleeds for all those who were killed and injured in that horrible event. I feel the pain of the beautiful Balinese people, as they had kin who were taken and have suffered financially for many years from the resulting downturn in tourism. And my heart bleeds also for those who planned this act of hatred against other human beings.
And so when I learned the news of their deaths, I prayed.
- For those taken, for those left behind. Those who have suffered from this incident. For them I wish for closure and healing.
- For the families of the bombers, may they not feel the need to seek revenge.
- And for the executed men, that their energy bodies are purified in the after-death state. That they finally understand they are no different from those they have killed. That they release hatred and fear. And that they take a better re-birth, free from the samskaras that plauged them in this lifetime.
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
(We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality
Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance
May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality
Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace)