On Good and Goodness – 2014

Good – an adjective, noun, or adverb – and this is the season of goodness.

Good is a word that transcends the globe in many languages and customs. Through a smile, music, a dance, and many other ways, good touches all and has a way to communicate across language barriers. Do you remember Matt?

Good – a desire or approval … as in living in peace with each other

Good – as in pleasing and welcoming

Good – kind, kindhearted, good-hearted, thoughtful, generous, charitable, magnanimous, gracious

Good – as in showing kindness and respect

Good – something produced for use by others

Good – as in appropriate, fitting, and adherence

Good – meaning valid, valued, treasured

Good – a quality emphasizing the best, finest, and nicest – or considerable, sizable, substantial, appreciable, and significant

Good – displaying or possessing a virtuous moral value – thus virtuous, righteous, upright, upstanding, moral, ethical, high-minded, and principled

Good – respectful, well-behaved, obedient, dutiful, polite, courteous, moral, righteous, and with integrity, virtue, and goodness

Good – referring to the positive qualities of a group of people

We need to reach that happy stage of our development when differences and diversity are not seen as sources of division and distrust, but of strength and inspiration. (Josefa Iloilo)

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. (Dalai Lama)

Goodness is the only investment that never fails. (Henry David Thoreau)

Dream that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. (Desmond Tutu)

I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others. (Muhammad Ali)

Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it. (Pablo Casals)

I keep up enough with news to know that the world is not lacking bad news. Whether wars, human strife, harm, or killings, many of events are based on culture, religion, politics, race,and quest of power for imposing one set of values while stifling others. Nonetheless, my belief in humanity remains steady.

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Even with all the bad news, I remain convinced that the majority of the world is good. After all, these are people who go about their daily life, and communicate across languages with smiles, dance, music, kindness, and acceptance … and yes, the bloggers at WordPress that I encounter also serve as ambassadors of humanity’s goodness – thus supporting my belief.

Yes, it’s the Christmas season, which is an important occasion for we Christians .. and festive time emphasizing good. However, goodness is a quality continually exhibited many Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, and many other religions throughout the world … so to me, Santa Claus is a figure of good that transcends all cultures – thus not bound to Christianity.

In the spirit of Santa’s goodness, thank you for all the joys you regularly deliver to me. Yes, you are good. Happy Holidays to everyone … and to my Christian friends, a blessed Christmas to you!

But, one question … Which of the musical and visual gifts in this post did you enjoy?

On Baseball and Civil Rights

This weekend Major League Baseball (MLB) will celebrate Civil Rights. Whether it be Saturday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds or various events held beyond Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark over two days, the weekend is designed to celebrate racial equality.

The highlighted event is a luncheon to honor MLB Beacon Awards to Hank Aaron (Beacon of Life), Muhammad Ali (Beacon of Change), and Bill Cosby (Beacon of Hope). Whether national figures as President Clinton, famous Cincinnati athletes, local and national distinguished figures, or simply the people attending to honor and learn, events will look at both the journey taken to date and the journey ahead.

In light of electing a president who happens to be black, there are other events in the shadows this celebration. We have a prominent South Carolina conservative joking about a gorilla escaped from a zoo: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.” – And then delivering this lame apology, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

We have racist comments from other notable individuals concerning a Supreme Court nominee – one being the same radio talk show host who promoted and aired Barack the Magic Negro, a song written by a conservative speaker and intentionally distributed by a prominent political leader. Not to mention numerous daily encounters that may or may not make the news.

Whether it be White on Black, Black on White, Christian on Muslim, Muslim on Jew, Catholic on Protestant, Indian or Pakistani, or countless others – whether it be obvious, subtle, in jest, or based on stereotypes and/or misconceptions, individual people need to take it upon themselves to look at their own behavior, as well as their responses when observing such behavior in others.

Let us hope that this weekend’s events in Cincinnati will remind everyone that we are all humans and all deserving the same respect and dignity. Since we humans essential invented the classification of people by race, it is also up to us to do its dismantling.

This is said of Bill Cosby.

He has challenged people to do better. He’s been a very courageous person and has not allowed his fame and his prominence to interfere with his ability to be candid when it comes to assessing conditions and calling on people to step up to the plate.
Retired U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Nathaniel Jones

Personally, I related these words to Tim Valentine – a fellow citizen and fellow blogger whom I regularly read to learn, thus invite others to read him. Personally, the Understanding Race exhibit that touched me earlier this year in this post. Personally, I’m trying to get better. Are you?