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Saturday, October 20, 2007

LIFE IS FOR LIVING OUT LOUD - OTHERWISE WHY BE ALIVE?

What I love about life is

the way I feel about the things I love. There isn't much that I do that I don't feel passionate about. I love the feeling that comes from doing, enjoying, observing things that bring me joy. And it is almost always something to do with the arts, creating or some core humanity value.

Even though I feel nervous to do things, I never act like a coward. I am one of the bravest persons I know. I continually do things outside my zone of feeling comfortable. I get scared, but I do "it" anyway.

I am scared to my wits end with something I am doing right now. And it all will be over next week at this time. It will be such a relief when it doesn't require my constant care and consideration. I am the organizer for the state of Rhode Island's first ever statewide Darfur event. It is a part of the Dream for Darfur event. www.dreamfordarfur.org

We activists do this for no money. It actually costs us money. We do it because we believe it is the right thing to do. And it isn't easy to do.

I just hope it doesn't rain.

Today we had our final rehearsal of a small group who formed a RI Darfur Ensemble just for this event. And we sound fabulous. There are only eight of us and today was the only rehearsal we have had with everyone present.

I love it when the things I have taken a chance to do and risk my feelings of neutrality and same-old-same-old behavior - show me that being courageous has its own rewards.

I hope it goes well.

I thought of this quote that I love:

"Friend, don't be a perfectionist. Perfectionism is a curse and a strain. For you tremble lest you miss the bulls-eye. You are perfect if you let be. Friend don't be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes are not sins. Mistakes are ways of doing something different, perhaps creatively new. Friend don't be sorry for your mistakes. Be glad for them. You had the courage to give something of yourself. It takes years to be centered; it takes more years to understand and be NOW."

Frederick Perls

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sandra’s Opening Speech for October 27, 2007

Providence Torch Relay

The Torch Relay History and Why It is Relevant to today’s event

While I have been thinking about this day, I remembered when my father invited an Olympic track star to speak at our high school’s annual athletic banquet. I grew up in Indiana and my father was a high school teacher and coach. This track star was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave. He also was the first American in the history of Olympic Track and Field to win four gold medals in a single Olympics. The story of Jesse Owens is relevant to today’s Torch Relay event. The year that Mr. Owens became world famous was in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, that are also known as the Hitler Olympics. It is worth noting that on March 22, 1933, the first extermination camp was opened in Dachau, Germany and began its ugly business of committing crimes against humanity that later was called – genocide. So at the same time that the death camps were operating, people and Hitler were sitting in the stands watching the Olympian athletes in Berlin compete. The Olympic Torch Relay as we know it today was actually introduced at the very Olympic games in Berlin in 1936.

Today, the Official Website of the Beijing Torch Relay states “The Olympic Flame is the highest symbol of the Olympic spirit. The Olympic Torch Relay is a celebration of human peace and friendship. Under the guidance of International Olympic Committte, Beijing is working closely with the relay cities around the world, widely promoting the theme of ‘One World, One Dream,’ upholding the torch relay concept that is ‘a journey of harmony’ to make the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay a complete success.”

I dare to say - that complete success is not possible if the “journey of harmony” is soiled by the lack of promoting the theme “One World, One Dream” in Darfur by way of China’s influence with Omar al-Bashir.

While the Olympics’ host country has the world’s eyes on it, we ask the 2008 Olympic theme to not exclude the Darfuri people. While it sits on the UN Security Council, China supports the Sudanese government…the government who has been coordinating the genocide in Darfur with the janjaweed for over four and half years. And China sells the weapons to the Sudanese government that are used for the Darfur genocide. Darfur is a part of the world and needs the Olympic dream desperately.

Like the irony of the Berlin games in 1936, the 2008 Beijing games will have its own irony if China ignores its role in the Darfur genocide.

We ask China to bring the Olympic Dream to Darfur.

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