“Good Citizens”

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I first became “aware” back in the late 80s when I attended Modesto Junior College. I was an “older” student… beginning my college path at the age of 34. I wanted to go to college and become a teacher when I was a teen, but things didn’t work out that way.  I clearly remember the day, I finally decided that I wanted to attend college… no matter what.

I was at a party with my husband (since divorced) and all the guests were college graduates — I will admit, back then I was more interested in clothes shopping than politics. The group was discussing the Sandinistas and a long running civil war … each one giving their opinion about what was going on… then the unthinkable happened… a woman sitting next to me, asked me for my thoughts. I sat frozen in my seat… no one ever asked my opinion about anything political before and I never heard of a Sandinista. I knew I couldn’t bullshit my way out, so I confessed — I didn’t know what a Sandinista was or why they were at war.

The woman actually was quite encouraging and after giving me some background about the civil war, she suggested I take a class at my local community college, if I would like to learn a bit more. So I did and I was “hooked.”

Within a year, I was joining protests where I lived, which was Modesto, California… a pretty conservative town. The majority of the city council were (and still are) active members at First Baptist Church, and made decisions that affected the citizens of Modesto, based on their faith. A chapter of the KKK held secret meetings a few miles away in the next town. For me, those two extreme ideologies (both citing the same religious text to justify their actions) were enough for me to stay busy and stand up against. It was the Modesto Junior College teachers that took me under their wing and taught me the ins and outs of successful, peaceful activism.

Fast forward to today and I am still speaking out, but usually through the written word; It’s a bit harder for me these days to march in a crowd with a walker. If you are so inclined, you can check out the political blog I write for here. I like to write about a few different topics, but food and what’s in it, is my passion.

But enough about me… you probably want to know about the book I am currently reading, “Good Citizen — Creating Enlightened Society”, by Thich Nhat Hahn.  In a nutshell… it’s a guide for activists who want to follow Buddhist teachings. I like the book and will buy a copy. The majority of books I read, come from the library — if I like it, I buy a copy for my personal library. If you are thinking about getting into activism or already are and want a different perspective, I highly recommend this book.

Peace, Love and Health,

Inge

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