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Old February 19th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #41
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Yes, the LUXURY of being allowed to be different is just that - a very great luxury, afforded to some of us that live in country with that kind of tradition.

A luxury that (a lot of us seem to forget) was bought with the blood of our forefathers, and a luxury that will disappear if (as some of us would like to deny) we are not willing to spend our blood in its defence.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #42

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Friends say I am easy going by nature which by itself could indicate I bend with the wind and could be accused of compromise or political accommodation. However I hate violence and intimidation and have when possible come to the aid of people in distress. When young I often felt invincible or protected and nothing or nobody could harm me, and no one did - in fact the last time I was unsuccessfully mugged, on Wandswoth Common, my only response was to throw off the atackers and laugh: a nervous respoinse I'm sure. Now I'm old and vulnerable I don't like much pain or bother and prefer to mind my own business, but I like to think that had I been young in the Third Reich or the Old South I would have helped the underdog. Luckily for me I'll never be tested, but the nagging question remains...would I stick my neck out in the strong likelihood it could get knocked off?
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Old February 20th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #43

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Originally Posted by BRIAN GOWER View Post
Friends say I am easy going by nature which by itself could indicate I bend with the wind and could be accused of compromise or political accommodation. However I hate violence and intimidation and have when possible come to the aid of people in distress. When young I often felt invincible or protected and nothing or nobody could harm me, and no one did - in fact the last time I was unsuccessfully mugged, on Wandswoth Common, my only response was to throw off the atackers and laugh: a nervous respoinse I'm sure. Now I'm old and vulnerable I don't like much pain or bother and prefer to mind my own business, but I like to think that had I been young in the Third Reich or the Old South I would have helped the underdog. Luckily for me I'll never be tested, but the nagging question remains...would I stick my neck out in the strong likelihood it could get knocked off?
Your like me, Your life at times has been put in danger. I to have felt that I was invincible and have taken risks. I remember when I was living in South Manchester and I had just finished work and had walked into the drive way of the flats where I lived. It was in the winter and it was dark I heard muffled sounds at the back of the garden. I knew then something was not right. I walked to my doorstep and went into my flat and went to my bedroom window without switching the light on and checked to hear if there was anymore noise. I could hear the noise louder and I had phoned the police. Then put the light on and alerted the nieghbours that someone was being attacked I shout out and said I have phoned the police one of them came out and told me that it was a friend that had fallen over some ice and broken his leg or something like that. I was not buying it and I went down stairs and three men with masks on ran with a gun and one pointed the finger at me and said 'you'. They got in a car and sped out of the place. I found this man just moaning with his feet bound up saying that they were going to put him in the boot of his car. It turn out that it was my nieghbour, he had a reputation for sleeping around with other peoples wives. I could not sit back and listen to those screams as one of my nieghbours had said that she had heard something but just ignored it.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #44

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Your like me, Your life at times has been put in danger. I to have felt that I was invincible and have taken risks. I remember when I was living in South Manchester and I had just finished work and had walked into the drive way of the flats where I lived. It was in the winter and it was dark I heard muffled sounds at the back of the garden. I knew then something was not right. I walked to my doorstep and went into my flat and went to my bedroom window without switching the light on and checked to hear if there was anymore noise. I could hear the noise louder and I had phoned the police. Then put the light on and alerted the nieghbours that someone was being attacked I shout out and said I have phoned the police one of them came out and told me that it was a friend that had fallen over some ice and broken his leg or something like that. I was not buying it and I went down stairs and three men with masks on ran with a gun and one pointed the finger at me and said 'you'. They got in a car and sped out of the place. I found this man just moaning with his feet bound up saying that they were going to put him in the boot of his car. It turn out that it was my nieghbour, he had a reputation for sleeping around with other peoples wives. I could not sit back and listen to those screams as one of my nieghbours had said that she had heard something but just ignored it.
Well done Crystal because I reckon you saved the man's life!
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Old February 20th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #45

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Well done Crystal because I reckon you saved the man's life!
I did not like that man very much, but I could not ignore his screams for help. I will do the same for anyone else if put in that position again.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #46

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I did not like that man very much, but I could not ignore his screams for help. I will do the same for anyone else if put in that position again.
You are a good person Crystal
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #47
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Our moral values are always shaped by our environment.
However, our environments are very complex things.
You bring up two examples - Nazi Germany and the KKK South.

I live in this ("ultra") Orthodox Jewish world. One of my best friend's parents were German. His father served in the German army during WWII. His father hated Hitler (y'mach shmo). He regrets not having shot Hitler when he was once three feet in front of him inspecting the troops. He was disciplined during the war for refusing to work with his artillery crew. Ironically, he was also captured by the Soviets and sent to Siberia.
He became a successful doctor. When he and his wife got to America, they both converted to Judaism and his son and daughter-in-law and all of their grandchildren are ("ultra") Orthodox Jews.
So?
So, his brothers and relatives are all nice Germans who have no particular feelings about Hitler other than he was bad for Germany, of course...
They are nice people but - they spent the war going along and getting along...
What made this man and woman different?

Both sets of my grandparents moved to Birmingham, Alabama at one point and my mother and father grew up living just a few blocks away from each other in the Deep South.
My father's father was often curmudgeonly but, always took pains to treat people with respect. I never heard him say anything disparaging about black people.
My mother's mother was a very dignified and proper lady. My mother had a black nanny whom they imported to Detroit to be my oldest sister's nanny.
Black people - Negroes; were blue collar citizens as far as my grandparents were concerned yet, it would have been beneath the dignity of my grandmother to be rude to a person who was not of her "social class."
My father was uninterested in diversity or racial issues but my mother had people of all walks of life; from all over the planet; of all colors and creeds and cultures, in and out of our house my entire life.
My father's brother was a Bishop in Alabama. He was one of the seven clergymen who wrote to Martin Luther King urging him not to march on Birmingham to which King replied in his famous - "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."
My family was "gentrified" and had no problem with Negros being essentially second class citizens yet - there was not a hint of racial hatred or cruelty amongst them. They were simply part of their environment.
What made them different from all of the rest of the people?

My belief is that one's environment will determine one's character AND if people are influenced in that environment with an exposure to Justice and Dignity, that they will cling to those virtues above all else...
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #48

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Our values are affected immensely by our environment, but I don't think that our environments are everything. It always comes down to who you are as a person and not what the world around you wants. I have a good personal example of this. I grew up in a fairly conservative town and went to Catholic schools all my life. I turned out to be a liberal atheist. I'm certainly not saying that my community was like a Klan community or Nazi Germany, (just the opposite in fact!) just that it didn't have much of an impact on my morals.
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