Tell Me Something Good

monday-morning-inspiration-quotes-e1442491467149Tell Me Something Good is a simple challenge that prompts bloggers to share a nugget of positive news or wisdom and it’s started by the creator of A Momma’s View.

So for all of you who would like to play along and stick to the rules, here they are:

  • I’ve found the program Victorian Slum House fascinating. It shows how complex life was back in the 19th century. My Great Books group discussed Karl Marx’s writing about “Alienated Labor,” which was published in 1844. The program, while maybe not perfectly comprehensive, shows a lot more of the history of the era.
  • I’m reading Keeping it Halal, a book by a sociologist on Muslim boys growing up in the US.
  • I’m continuing to work on a novel. It seems that a few pages were lost, but I’m still moving forward despite this loss.
  • Here’s a quotation by Norman Vincent Peale:
    Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.

It’s easy:

Mention something that you consider being good in the comments

• Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.

• Share this post and invite your followers as well.

 

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The Masks We Wear

masksNicholas Gattig wrote a  fascinating article from The Japan Times on how people adopt or expect people of different cultures to behave in a certain way, to don a stereotypical mask.

On the night of April 18, three days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a side-drama to that story unfolded between three men as they criss-crossed the city, a performance staged partly in the theater of culture.

Just before 11 p.m., Danny, a young Chinese man on a work visa in the U.S., was carjacked at gunpoint by the Tsarnaev brothers, two immigrants from the Northern Caucasus. As recounted by Danny to The Boston Globe, the ordeal was a gruesome variant of the ethnic interactions that play out in America every day, with the players assigning and assuming their roles based on stereotypes.

“Maybe you think all white guys look the same,” said the older Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, warning Danny not to remember the brothers’ faces as he was chauffeuring them around Boston.

“Exactly,” lied Danny, who later identified the men to the police.

“You are Chinese,” said Tsarnaev. “I am a Muslim.”

“Chinese are very friendly to Muslims,” Danny said. “We are so friendly to Muslims!”

The exchange is surreal, especially Tsarnaev’s non-sequitur about identity. Islam is a religion, which means being Muslim doesn’t contrast with being Chinese (however friendly disposed, China is home to an estimated 20 million Muslims).

In fact, Tsarnaev imagined himself as a jihadist, a self-image that helped propel him through a heinous crime. In his perverted reading of the faith, killing Americans is a thing Muslims do. The Chinese Danny, in turn, obliged the views of the Chechen with the gun, so he would live to see another day. Both men were staging a performance, projecting identities to each other. Their encounter was a high-stakes version of what since the 1950s has been known as “impression management.”

You can read the rest of the article here.