Thursday, 31 December 2009
Here’s what I’m NOT going to do: wish anyone a happy new year, or pontificate about world peace. Aren’t you feeling relieved? Why have I said this?
1. I do agree with my older daughter who says we should put our thoughts out there. I believe words have weight as well as meaning, and have appeal on many levels.
2. I prefer to wish people what they want & need, like good health, gainful employment to afford home, lights and heat, and food. Children born who will be loved, clothed, housed and above all treated as precious beings. And as the future voting, decision-making adults they’ll become in the not very distant future.
3. I believe very, very strongly in peace, but I also remember some very profound words a woman I love dearly told me 30+ years ago; How can we expect Israel to be at peace when brother and sister fight? So what’s the answer?
We can promote peace in every way possible, starting at the basic level within a family, and moving up into bigger and bigger circles. Speaking of circles, let me tell you about The Circle of Friends.
Imagine four circles, one inside the next, inside the next, so they are graduated in size. In the inner-most circle, put the people dearest to you, such as spouse, parent, child. In the second smallest circle write down your dearest friends and almost family. People you can turn to with a problem… In the third circle you put acquaintances, shop-keepers you say hello to or neighbors you exchange greetings with but maybe wouldn’t invite over for dinner. In the last, largest circle on the outside, are the people you pay, like your accountant, house cleaner, plumber or lawyer, caregivers. Interesting exercise isn’t this? For people with disabilities, they usually only have the innermost and outermost circles filled with names.
This month marked the death of a very unique person. That person was Laurence Kim Peek, born November 11, 1951, and died December 19, 2009 in his home in Salt Lake City. He was the inspiration for the character Raymond in the movie; Rain Man. Director Barry Morrow gave his Oscar to Kim Peek, who took it with him 21 years to speaking engagements advocating tolerance for people who are disabled. His father estimated 400,000 people hugged that Oscar.
“When Kim was 9 months old, a doctor said that he was so severely retarded that he would never walk or talk and that he should be institutionalized. When Kim was 6, another doctor recommended a lobotomy. By then, however, Kim had read and memorized the first eight volumes of a set of family encyclopedias, his father said.” This is from the New York Times article of 26 Dec. 2009. In Kim’s words;
“You don’t have to be handicapped to be different. Everybody is different.”

Vintage pictures here from and The last picture – of a guardian angel I dedicate to Kim.