Sunday, August 06, 2006

Prejudice Can Be Fought with Fearless Courage

I believe prejudice cannot be defeated entirely; but it can be fought with fearless courage and stamina, and with a "Great Soul."I spend as little intellectual and emotional energy as possible on lunatic fringe movements and other idiocies. Instead, I travel all over Japan to give lectures in Japanese on antiracism, nonviolence and peace. To my great surprise, I receive a lot of encouragement from many intelligent and compassionate Japanese educators, government officials (mayors, city councilors, lawyers ...) and journalists.

I have been on many radio and TV shows here in Kyushu to promote multiculturalism. Elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, universities, community centers, and institutions of all sorts request my lecture every week. Can anyone stop me from promoting multiculturalism and other important universal values here in Japan? I do not think so.

When I think of India, I recall that it is the birthplace of Buddha, and, at the same time, the name Mahatma Gandhi also comes to mind. They are both equally familiar to me. Shakyamuni, who is known as the Buddha of compassion, seems to have been an exceptionally bright man who treated all ethnic groups equally. Mahatma, "the Great Soul," was a "warrior" who dedicated most of his nearly eighty-year life to the welfare of all human beings. He fought against injustice in South Africa and India.

Although Gandhi never resorted to weapons -- more precisely, because he never took up weapons -- he was a "soldier" who fought the battle for truth. No adversity or obstacle ever caused his faith to waver or drove him into despair. Gandhi's movement, which was called "nonviolence," continued without pause until he was shot to death by a Hindu fanatic.By all non-violent means, I'll fight till the end. I bet my life on what I am doing; and together with all warm-hearted brothers and sisters all over the globe: "We shall overcome!" (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

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