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 We're more alike than some realize

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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
Registration date : 2008-05-04
Age : 94
Location : Akron, Ohio

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 12:35 pm

A Stodghill Says So blog:
We're more alike than some realize DickMPJeep
It never crossed my mind that I'd end up a military policeman in Germany but there I was standing beside a battered Jeep with the Weser River at my back and the North Sea a few miles away. It was a pretty good life that winter of 1945-46, certainly a lot better than it had been a year earlier. Now when you got cold you could stop at the service club for a cup of coffee and at the end of your shift a warm barrack was awaiting your return. An old slave labor barrack still enclosed by a barbed wire fence, but that no longer mattered. The Jeep was not my favorite because it didn't have a high rod mounted in front of the radiator to cut decapitation wires. Luckily, at least for me, the windshield always did the job. The pinging sound was not pleasant to hear, but better than the alternative.
The best thing about that job was learning about people. Not just ordinary people but former German soldiers who had conquered all of mainland Europe from the English Channel to the gates of Moscow, from the northern reaches of Norway to the sands of North Africa. The Balkans too, and Greece. Now they were civilian guards hired to help us watch over an ordnance depot that had been an aircraft factory.
You don't spend entire nights for seven months sitting in a guardroom with other men without getting to know them pretty well. You hear their stories, see pictures of their wives and kids, listen to them quietly sing old marching songs, talk about every subject under the sun except Adolph Hitler and his cronies. Some would have seen him as a god, some would have hated his guts, all would have fought fiercely because they were soldiers and that's what soldiers do. They lost eventually, but not because they ever encountered better soldiers or better men.
Gradually I came to a realization: hell, the only difference between any of us is the accident of birth. Take that away and take away the politicians, the priests, the preachers and you'd take away the animosity. Only months earlier we had been trying to kill each other, but in order for that to have happened someone had to teach us to hate. The same old stuff handed down through the ages. They don't speak our language, they don't go to our church, their skin doesn't look like ours.
I had seen it earlier during three weeks spent guarding Polish and Russian prisoners who had been coerced into switching sides. It's easy to make men do that when you occupy their homeland - join us or we'll kill every man, woman and child in your family, it's as simple as that. The two groups got along fine, worked hard together unloading trucks, sang the same songs around a campfire every evening, but when the slightest disagreement arose they'd hurl the worst insult they could think of at each other - Polskie, Russkie. Roman Catholic, Orthodox. Hate them, they're different, but not before someone has done the teaching.
So what's the answer? That's easy, there is none.
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Phil
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Number of posts : 157
Registration date : 2009-04-08
Age : 78
Location : Southwest Oregon Coast

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 12:54 pm

Quote :
So what's the answer? That's easy, there is none.

I couldn't agree more. Some of our bitter enemies over our history: England, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, China...


Some of our greatest friends over our history:
England, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, China...
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 1:21 pm

I agree with both of you. I've been fortunate to have visited over 50 countries, but one doesn't have to go to that many to figure out we're all alike underneath. Some were hostile to us because we were from the US, but we smiled and acted respectfully.

We had two AFS students. They came to the US with preconceived ideas of what we were like. Both found out we were different than they expected.

And we can never forget we are a nation of immigrants, except for the Native Americans. They were probably immigrants from long ago according to the National Geographic DNA studies.

I love diversity, but I also love to find the similarities.

Carol
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alice
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alice

Number of posts : 15672
Registration date : 2008-10-22
Age : 72
Location : Redmond, WA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 1:59 pm

People are people. Black and yellow red and white--all are precious in His sight.

Good thread, Dick.
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Phil Whitley
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Phil Whitley

Number of posts : 907
Registration date : 2008-04-01
Age : 76
Location : Riverdale, GA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 3:40 pm

The most poignant sentence in that entire, superb essay was "Take that away and take away the politicians, the priests, the preachers and you'd take away the animosity."

Amen, Dick. Amen.
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A Ahad
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Number of posts : 1102
Registration date : 2008-03-25
Age : 50

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 4:15 pm

Dick Stodghill wrote:

So what's the answer? That's easy, there is none.

For me, this bit is quite poignant, Dick.We're more alike than some realize 950944
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 5:19 pm

9/1/2009

Dick... Very Happy

This was a very good post... We're more alike than some realize 572534


All my life I always believed if you strip away a
person's religion, their skin color, etc. we're all the same
people. I've had friends who were white, black, Japanes,
Jewish, etc. We all ate together, laughed together, cried
together. Take away the politicians, the religion and I do
believe we would all be great together. I grew up in the
1950's , my father died when I was 7 1/2 yrs old. My
Mother re-married, she did something that was a big
taboo in those days , she married a black man. There
were five of us ages 1 yrs. old to 7 1/2 yrs old and my
Mother was 29 at the time in 1956. All I can say is he was
the greatest father I got to know, first he married a
woman who had 5 children. I never once called him step-
dad , always dad...I remember the strange weird looks we
got in public, and yet that man always made sure we had
food on the table, Christmas was like Macy's Dept. Store.
And many of his relatives I adored and loved, he was a
great father who took the place of my own father, I shall
never forget him, he died a few years ago and I still miss
him....Love conquers all colors.... Here's to you Dad... We're more alike than some realize 499995

Cheers...Joe... We're more alike than some realize 94519
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 5:27 pm

Joe,

That was beautiful! heart

Carol
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 5:38 pm

9/1/2009


Carol.... We're more alike than some realize 572534


" Thank You." In re-telling that story
it brought up emotions I haven't felt in a long
time , I'm sure you know that was my first book,
" Is Your Father Black ?" It was a time of shame
and turbulance, I lived in both worlds white and
black, so I saw both sides and as I grew up I
taught myself there's bad and good in everyone
no matter what color or religion....

Love..Joe... We're more alike than some realize 94519
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
Registration date : 2008-06-12
Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 5:43 pm

I can remember so far back. Back when and how the hate was passed on like water from one person to the other. Little words and looks that children understood. A kind of subliminal message from parent to child. Small words that change the world.

There is an answer.

Learn the language of peace and pass it on.
Love,
Betty
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
Registration date : 2008-06-12
Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 5:51 pm

Hi Joe,
You are a rainbow. That is what you are.

There is the story about God putting his bow in the sky to remind people that he will not destroy mankind again. I wonder if you have a crystal to hang in your window to remind you of the rainbow you are.

But, you do not need one, you have the hummingbirds and Miss Dusty and your your painter's eye to see the world in all it's colors.

Love,
Betty
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 6:02 pm

9/1/2009


Betty... Very Happy


" Thank You." You are a treasure.


Love Joe & Dusty... We're more alike than some realize 94519
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 6:10 pm

I have tears, Joe. The message touches my heart. I tried to raise my children to believe that skin colors were like eye color and hair color, just colored by the Creator's paint to make the world beautiful. We lived on an island where most people looked like us; but the boys rode the bus from the Catholic church to a Catholic elementary school on the mainland.

My son invited me to be a "bus mom" on a trip to Disneyland. He was so excited! "Now, you can meet all my friends at school." When I arrived at school, the teachers were putting the children in little groups as close as possible to their friends as the number of parents would allow. I found my son who tugged on my arm in his enthusiasm to show me off to his friends.

I have to admit, most of the groups of children looked like my son and me , all but one. That little group seemed to be the ones who were different;their ethnic backgrounds gave them features that included Asian, African, Latin, Indian and "other" backgrounds. One little boy had a pronounced limp. These were my son's friends. He was seven.

I walked around Disneyland with my own little United Nations, It was many years ago, and people turned to watch us. No mother there was more proud. No children had a better time. My son was truly clueless. Friends were friends.
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 6:13 pm

DK,

Another beautiful story.

Love, Carol heart
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 6:31 pm

Quote :
I love diversity, but I also love to find the similarities.

Carol

One of the things I liked best about teaching night school was the freedom I had in setting up my curriculum. I was told when I arrived that I was being given all of the sophomores because of my track record with the state exams. At first I was disappointed. I figured I has done my time with those buggers. I had been teaching Jr. and Sr. AP classes, and had expected to be assigned to one of those grade levels. But the principal said she didn't care how I did it, so long as the percentages were acceptable. During my first year there, I was lost. I had no idea how to go about teaching these very diverse young people who were hostile and mistrusting of a system that had let them fall through the cracks. My only consolation at the end of that first year was that no other teacher had done any better. Most of them were saying that it wasn't us, it was them. Several left and went back to day classes. I stayed, and started studying what was available about means of teaching these diverse and difficult young people. There wasn't much to go on. Texas educator ruby Payne's book, Poverty, was an exception. I started the second year determined to do better, which ought to be pretty easy, considering. I had learned that these kids had no contexts to put things in, so I tried to provide them. During the first semester, I worked at helping them to value diversity, and feel valued within it. We started with Hispanic and African-American literature, since those were the prevalent cultures in the classes, then broadened the selections out so that just about every culture and sub-culture I could find selections on was tossed into the pot. During the second semester I switched gears on them. After saying "different is good" for 18 weeks, I turned around and focused on how we are all more alike than we are different, or as dick said, "We're more alike than some realize." Joseph Campbell's Hero Cycle was explored through everyone I could think of from Oedipus to Percival and King Arthur and Don Quixote and Hamlet to Luke Skywalker and Audie Murphy and Benito Juarez and Richard Pryor. The basic message was that we all tell the same stories, and along the way, both terms, we wrote about everybody we read about. The students got involved, began seeing contexts, and the scores, incidentally, went up. Way up.

We are all diverse, and we are all similar. That's what it's all about.

Ann
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
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Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 6:36 pm

Dear Ann.
I believe that you are a great teacher. Not just great, but unique.

Love,
Betty
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joefrank
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joefrank

Number of posts : 8210
Registration date : 2008-11-04
Age : 71
Location : Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 7:16 pm

9/1/2009


I've always noticed all my life , children don't
recognize color , to them their friends and that's
it ..Until an adult starts up with their hatred, then
and only then a child will start realizing another
child is different , this I find very sad ! I always
admired Josephine Baker, she was trying to create
a circle of children to live and love each other...
Josephine , you were a great lady.... We're more alike than some realize 354181


Cheers..Joe... We're more alike than some realize 94519
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A Ahad
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Number of posts : 1102
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Age : 50

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 8:06 pm

I have often found that certain kinds of pictures and soothing music can inspire great feelings in people:

We're more alike than some realize A1
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alice
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alice

Number of posts : 15672
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Location : Redmond, WA

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyTue Sep 01, 2009 9:38 pm

Ahad,


What a gorgeous Kinkade! Do you have it?
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A Ahad
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We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyWed Sep 02, 2009 1:58 am

I wish Alice. I was sent it by a friend on Myspace.
Here's another:

We're more alike than some realize A4
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
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We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyWed Sep 02, 2009 4:19 pm

I have many stories about stepping where angels fear to tread with the issues around differences. I often wonder if an anthology of those stories would sell. Unfortunately, they might be taken wrong sometimes by either party.
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyWed Sep 02, 2009 4:20 pm

I know Michael Jackson was a troubled person of immense talent and major controversy; but some of his songs were so on target.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyThu Sep 03, 2009 3:07 am

Abdul,

This is the view I can see through the window at present (my parent's home). It's a winter scene of a farm with Winter Hill in the background. My grandmother was born in the farmhouse in the distance. The roof is just visible behind, and to the right of, the long building.

We're more alike than some realize Pbucket

The landscape above is not far from the Ribble Valley (about twelve miles away) that was the inspiration for Tolkein's Middle Earth.

_________________
We're more alike than some realize 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ We're more alike than some realize 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ We're more alike than some realize 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
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Age : 94
Location : Akron, Ohio

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyThu Sep 03, 2009 5:16 am

Nice, but where are the city lights, the honking horns, the slamming doors, the screaming kids, the barking dogs and whistling trains that make life so great?
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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Location : UK

We're more alike than some realize Empty
PostSubject: Re: We're more alike than some realize   We're more alike than some realize EmptyThu Sep 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Trains in the Ribble Valley:

We're more alike than some realize Holland5

Dog:

We're more alike than some realize 8o+even+a+dog+knows+a+good+view

Children:

We're more alike than some realize DSCF0082

Cars:

We're more alike than some realize 515690931_1860f42625

Lights:

We're more alike than some realize TheRibbleValleyBook1

Photographs by John Toms:

http://www.lancscape.co.uk/cmsmadesimple/index.php

_________________
We're more alike than some realize 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ We're more alike than some realize 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ We're more alike than some realize 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ We're more alike than some realize 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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