Monday, February 22, 2016

The recent death of Harper Lee (female) at age 89 – a time to remember

Harper Lee’s famous novel, “To kill a mockingbird” with the now famous saying,

“…if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view -”
“Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

This famous passage/saying the cornerstone of racial tolerance must be learned by rote by everyone and practiced before we make any statement derogatory of another.

The book a current (since 1962) a must read in all American schools, turned a bitterly racially segregated USA in a more tolerant country, that has finally seen its first Black President. There is still a long way to go, with US jails filled disproportionately with African Americans, but nevertheless making small improvements in time.

This must also remind those who are impatient to see immediate change, that change sometimes occurs slowly and to speed things up, intelligent means must be found to provide compromise for the sake of racial tolerance where the majority community go out of their way as an act of good faith to make concessions above and beyond the needed to show they really mean well.

The link above is a really good analysis of the issue, and how it also applies to the Sri Lankan context. I would recommend you read it in its entirety understand how what was true in 1962 USA can be applied in 2016 Sri Lanka.

It is best to remember how some of the issues that affect human beings cut across nations and are commonplace everywhere, and all we can do is to understand if there is a problem and try to find a solution on similar lines, using this book and its lessons as just one of the tools in the armory of peace and reconciliation.   

1 comment:

  1. send our children to spend a week in a household of a different race, it will work wonders to their psyche for the rest of their lives, the best way to put the above passage into practice.

    Better late than never