Sunday, August 29, 2010

On the Great and the Grotesque and the Weird Way They Intersect

File:MKGandhi.jpg





I started Mein Kamf ("My Struggle" in German) in June, but War and Peace, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The History of England, The Longest Day, and Gandhi got in the way. Anything was better than Hitler, especially Gandhi.

I could only stomach Hitler for so long before I was utterly disgusted! I have a hard cover of his THICK book. I carted it along with me places, but other books were always more appealing. I broke down and downloaded it onto my Kindle for $4.99 after I finished Gandhi. Now, it is easier to cart around, and I can listen to it with TEXT TO SPEECH when I am in the middle of things. I stop the voice every once in a while to underline his grotesque tirades about the Jews and about the need for land for the German race. Such foreshadowing of the horrors that would occur fifteen years later. According to Wikipedia, "In The Second World War, Winston Churchill felt that after Hitler's ascension to power, no other book deserved more intensive scrutiny." Too bad people didn't scrutinize.

Hitler was a persuasive speaker. While his writing was not as good, he still wooed a Germany devastated economically due the the reparation put upon it after World War I. 


It is hard to have Hitler bookend Gandhi's greatness, Gandhi's autobiography was the next on my list. It was a good choice. Oh my goodness, my respect for  Gandhi is enormous. His autobiography was amazing. It wasn't flashy or even persuasive, but it showed a man of deep character and conviction who gave up so much for the betterment of India. He fasted and lived a simple life (to the extreme). He cared for the individual as well as the people who were oppressed by England.  Germany was oppressed by England too. Well, England and her allies, who oppressed Germany because of the excessive reparations put on them after World War I (See this ARTICLE). Gandhi's solution to oppression was non-violent resistance (Satyagraha and Ahimsa). Gandhi did not seek glory or fame. Hitler's solution was all about violence and hatred and seeking glory for himself. 


The contrast of two men who overlapped in time is amazing. Gandhi was born in 1869. Hitler was born in 1889. They wrote their disparate autobiographies within four years of one another. Their ends on this earth were very different. Hitler committed suicide in 1945 at age 56 as allied troop closed in on Berlin. Gandhi was assassinated by an angry Indian protester exactly three years and nine months later at the age of 78.  The former lived a grotesque life. The latter lived a great one. 


So here is the weird way they intersect. Apparently, Gandhi corresponded with Hitler. Here is an article about how Mein Kampf is received in India today:



Indian business students snap up copies of Mein Kampf
Sales of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler's autobiography and apologia for his anti-semitism, are soaring in India where business students regard the dictator as a management guru.

Booksellers told The Daily Telegraph that while it is regarded in most countries as a 'Nazi Bible', in India it is considered a management guide in the mould of Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese".
Sales of the book over the last six months topped 10,000 in New Delhi alone, according to leading stores, who said it appeared to be becoming more popular with every year.
Several said the surge in sales was due to demand from students who see it as a self-improvement and management strategy guide for aspiring business leaders, and who were happy to cite it as an inspiration.
"Students are increasingly coming in asking for it and we're happy to sell it to them," said Sohin Lakhani, owner of Mumbai-based Embassy books who reprints Mein Kampf every quarter and shrugs off any moral issues in publishing the book.
"They see it as a kind of success story where one man can have a vision, work out a plan on how to implement it and then successfully complete it".
Jaico Publishing House, one of the publishers in India, said it reprints a new edition of the book at least twice a year to meet growing demand.
"We were the first company to publish the book in India and there are now six other Indian publishers of the book, although we were first to take a chance on it," said Jaico's chief editor, R H Sharma, who dismissed any moral issues in publishing Mein Kampf.
"The initial print run of 2,000 copies in 2003 sold out immediately and we knew we had a best-seller on our hands. Since then the numbers have increased every year to around 15,000 copies until last year when we sold 10,000 copies over a six-month period in our Delhi shops," he added.
Senior academics cite the mutual influence of India and Hitler's Nazis on one another. Mahatma Gandhi corresponded with the Fuhrer, pro-Independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army allied with Hitler's Germany and Japan during the Second World War, and the Nazis drew on Hindu symbolism for their Swastika motif and ideas of Aryan supremacy.
Dr J Kuruvachira, Professor of Philosophy of Salesian College in Nagaland and who has cited Mein Kampf as a source of inspiration to the Hindu nationalist BJP, said he believed the book's popularity was due to political reasons.
"While it could be the case that management students are buying the book, my feeling is that it has more likely influenced some of the fascist organisations operating in India and nearby," he said.
India is not the only country where Mein Kampf is popular. It has been a best-seller in Croatia since it was first published in while in turkey it sold 100,000 in just two months in 2005. In Russia it has been reprinted three times since the de facto ban on the book was overturned in 1992.
In Germany the book's copyright is held by the state of Bavaria where its publication is banned until 2015, 70 years after Hitler's death.
In India, any book more than 25 years old is free of copyright, which has paved the way for six separate publishers to print the book. (Article from HERE)
Amazing!

The Well-Educated Mind: 142 out of 158. I'm at 90% with 16 to Go!!!!

MEDIEVAL (400 – 1599)
1580 Essays of Montaigne (6/8/10)
EARLY MODERN (1600 – 1850)
1754 History of England, V.5 Hume (8/14/10)
1776 Decline & Fall Roman Empire Gibbon
1792 Vindication Rights Women Wollstonecraft (6/17/10)
1835 Democracy in America Tocqueville
1848 The Communist Manifesto Marx & Engel (6/17/10)
MODERN (1850 – present)
1860 Civilization of Renaissance Burckhardt
1904 Protestant Work Ethic/Spirit of Capitalism Weber
1908 Ecce Homo Nietzsche Autobio (6/14/10)
1925 Mein Kampf Hitler Autobiography (09/3/10)
1929 The Story of My Experiments w/Truth Gandhi (8/27/10)
1937 The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell
1938 The New England Mind Miller
1948 Seven Story Mountain Merton
1955 The Great Crash Galbraith 
1955 Surprised by Joy C.S. Lewis (6/28/10)
1959 The Longest Day Ryan (8/10)
1965 The Autobiography of + Malcolm X
1973 Journal of a Solitude Sarton (6/5/10)
1973 Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn 

1974 Roll, Jordan, Roll Genovese
1978 Distant Mirror Tuchman
1987 All the President's Men Woodward & Bernstein
1990 A Midwife's Tale Ballard
1992 The End of History & the Last Man Fukuyama

Body Wellness: Body Mass Index

I finally looked up this formula. Maybe I knew it long ago and don't remember. Anyway, it is:

WEIGHT IN LBS
DIVIDED BY
HEIGHT IN INCHES SQUARED
TIMES
703

A "healthy range" is 18.5 to 24.9 BMI, but if I were 18.5, I would be 146. I would be anorexic! I don't have a small frame though (ALTHOUGH, the rough estimate of putting your fingers around your wrist puts me in the small frame range, but that is ridiculous!)

Good new is that I am in that healthy range! YEAH!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday

Tying up some loose ends before I go on my vacation adventure. I'm excited. :) Where will I go, and what will I do?  Who knows.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chillin'

I need to leave in a few minutes, but I thought I would write. Nothing much to say. Today turned out to be a much mellower day than I expected. I was going to walk with Michelle at 6, meet with Noha at 8, and Michele at noon. All three had to cancel. So, I had from the time I got up until a few minutes from now that I wasn't expecting. It will be good to ease into my vacation with less activity. That was my last time with Michelle, and I don't think I can meet with her tomorrow because I want to be able to say good-bye and thank you to Melinda for all her hard work on Ultimate this summer. Also, kids might be coming over afterward. Maybe I can meet with her after I come back from vacation.

God opened the door for me to stay at a beautiful beach house next week. I am so happy. I need some time alone and time to read and pray and sleep. I am tired, and I think a couple of days at the coast will be just what I need. :)

Well, I better take Paul to the Ortho and piano. I will shop for the fam while he is at piano. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Your Life is a Vacation"

I was at a reunion with college friends yesterday. I was telling the women that we are determined to take a vacation this coming year, and one of the ladies (who I am not as close to) said, "Your life is a vacation."  I wasn't sure what she meant, but I debriefed with my friend Jean in the car afterward, and Jean thought it was a friendly way of saying that I was a "housewife" and didn't work. Being a fellow "housewife," Jean went on to explain that when people say that, she said she refused to feel guilty about it because she has raised three very healthy children who love the Lord and are doing well in life. She has managed her home well.

I didn't feel guilty about what this woman said (she was the least close of all the people in attendance), but I did wonder why she didn't inquire about whether I worked or not. I do work! And not just at "housewife" duties either! I probably spend a good 40 hour working every week!  I just don't draw a salary for it, but I could do that if I chose to do so.  Our agency has an account all set up for us to do just that, but we chose not to since George works full-time. We are 100 percent volunteers but 100 percent employed in work for our agency!

Just sayin'

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh Dear . . . It has been quite long

This blog has become a very low priority as of late. I had a too busy couple of weeks that made me see the need to cut back and decide to make a vacation a bigger priority than it had been. I plan on getting out of town at the end of next week. I am still praying about where that might be.

All that to say that I am having a delightful weekend ALL BY MYSELF! I forgot how much I enjoy being here all alone, and it seems like it hasn't happened for more than a few hours in quite a very long time!  Last year, when the boys went on their camping trip, I had unexpected, out of town, strangers (who soon became friends) in Travis and Hilary Shepard coming to stay here while they attended the TOAG training at Joe's. I was looking forward to that weekend, and I think I did have maybe a half a day to myself when they took off. I can't remember now. I may have even had one of the two night to myself but not one whole day here alone. Today is that day, and it has been heavenly!

I got up before dawn for prayer and time in 1 Peter, drank some chai tea, and started the fast at sunrise. Yes, I am fasting. I am not a Muslim, although I am submitted to God. So, in that sense, I am. :) I wanted to do it to feel what they feel during this month and make it more comfortable for them to have me over without feeling the need to serve me anything!  I have more to say about, but it has been excellent. It has helped me to focus and also to reign in my eating. I do miss the water during the day though. It is a LONG time to go 14 hours without any water, but the days have not been too terribly hot, and I do most of my exercise (today being the exception) so that I can take drink (5:45 am Group Power allows me to drink for 1/2 of the class).

After sunrise, I spent more time in 1 Peter. I forgot how much I LOVE this book! It has brought back warm memories of doing it in Malaysia (more than once, in fact). I also did it in the summer of 2000 after Colossians with Stacy, Teala, and what was her name? Can't remember. That was a good time to do it, since Stacy began to bring more an more drama and trials to my life, and I was able to endure them. Her life went down the tubes a few years later (divorce and abandonment of her children), and I don't regret standing up to her abuse and speaking truth, even though she did not want to hear it. What a very sad woman.

Then, I took a walk/run up Glen Eden going the opposite way that I usually go so that I would end up at Lisa's house (which is en route) at exactly 8 am for speaking about The Art of Racing in the Rain. It only got a 6.8.  The three of us were not wild about it, but the women not there had given it higher scores.

After that I ran down the hill home.  Then, I did something I haven't done in quite a long time, perhaps two years. I did The Firm Time Crunch Workout! I loved it, and it was hard. It is a MUCH better workout than Group Power at the club! It burns many more calories (I think 30%).  It was challenging weight-wise too. Maybe I should just quit the club and do that and running/walking/biking/hiking like I did for so many years. I have to think about it.

Then, I took a shower and puttered a bit in the office cleaning up. I have also read Gandhi. I like him and want to rewatch the video. Terry Henry stopped by to pick up the Algebra I book, and now I am in bed and watching Persuasian. I got it for 4.99!!! It completes my Austen DVD collection. I did not have a copy of this movie. :)

Well, I have already laid out my dishes and even candelabra for breaking the fast tonight.

I love the quiet. I love my men, but it is nice to have quiet too. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Well-Educated Mind - 89% Complete (141/158)

MEDIEVAL (400 – 1599)
1580 Essays of Montaigne (6/8/10)
EARLY MODERN (1600 – 1850)
1754 History of England, V.5 Hume (8/14/10)
1776 Decline & Fall Roman Empire Gibbon
1792 Vindication Rights Women Wollstonecraft (6/17/10)
1835 Democracy in America Tocqueville
1848 The Communist Manifesto Marx & Engel (6/17/10)
MODERN (1850 – present)
1860 Civilization of Renaissance Burckhardt
1904 Protestant Ethic/Spirit of Capitalism Weber
1908 Ecce Homo Nietzsche Autobio (6/14/10)
1925 Mein Kampf Hitler Autobio
1929 The Story of My Experiments w/Truth Gandhi
1937 The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell
1938 The New England Mind Miller
1948 Seven Story Mountain Merton
1955 The Great Crash Galbraith 
1955 Surprised by Joy C.S. Lewis (6/28/10)
1959 The Longest Day Ryan (8/10)
1965 The Autobiography of + Malcolm X
1973 Journal of a Solitude Sarton (6/5/10)
1973 Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn 

1974 Roll, Jordan, Roll Genovese
1978 Distant Mirror Tuchman
1987 All the President's Men Woodward & Bernstein
1990 A Midwife's Tale Ballard
1992 The End of History & the Last Man Fukuyama

Friday, August 06, 2010

I Really Don't Like War Books

But it seems that I have read two in the last month. I didn't mean to, but I read War and Peace. Then I read this little GEM:

He gives almost a minute by minute account of what happened on D-Day from both sides. He did many personal interviews and read many documents. This is a thorough rendering of the day, and it isn't boring!

It was written 51 years ago (the year of my birth, 1959), and it is a classic. I heartily recommend it.

It makes you appreciate World War II Vets that much more!

Now, on to reading Hitler, who caused it all to happen in the first place.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I love this book!

I haven't reread this book in a long time. I got a free audio download of it through Learn Out Loud:

Love, love, love it! Been listening to it in the afternoon and evening. So good! So filled up. :)

From Dale Carnegie Tips of the Month

5 Tips for Shaking Off a Mistake
Legendary Basketball Coach John Wooden once said, "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." The obvious point he was trying to convey is that everyone makes mistakes and fails. It is what you do after the mistake or failure that makes all the difference. Here are 5 ways to shake off your mistakes and move forward to success.
  • Brush it off
    No one is perfect. Once in awhile everyone makes mistakes, it's going to happen. Don't spend time worrying about it, cooperate with the inevitable and focus on what you are doing.
  • Don't fuss about trifles
    Forget the small stuff. If you let go of the smaller mistakes, you'll be more focused and catch the larger ones before they happen.
  • Don't worry about the past
    Shake off your mistakes and move on. Forget about what happened, no matter how silly or embarrassing. By letting go of the past it will help you focus on your current task.
  • Profit from your mistakes
    So you've made a mistake, now figure out why you made the mistake, make a note and move on. Making even a mental note will help remind you to be more careful next time the situation comes up.
  • Rest before you get tired
    Many times silly mistakes are made simply because you are tired. Make sure that you get enough sleep.
I received such great condemnation a couple of months ago for an innocent mistake that I made with no malice intended. This was encouraging to just shake it off and move on. I have shaken it, but something happened this past week that reminded me of it. I think I need to reread How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Both are excellent books for anyone!









Wednesday Freewrite

I'm setting the timer for a 15 minutes freewrite this morning. I haven't really had the luxury of a free morning for a while. Eight meetings a week with monthly ones sprinkled on top of that has made it more difficult to post here, but that is OK. I was trying to write my post for James 1:19-27 this morning and felt like I needed some writing to free up my mind and fingers on the keyboard. So, I write with a sanctified Faulkneresque stream of consciousness this morning.


I feel better. I have identified my problem last week as caffeine withdrawal. I had more caffeine than usual in the ice teas I had been handed and made. I had that second cup of tea in my new rose painted tea pot. I didn't mean to overdue it, and I didn't think I had to have it. When I didn't have it last week, I would get a splitting headache and flu-like symptoms. The symptoms went away on Saturday when I indulged in a chai and then another chai at Teala's tea counter at the sorority. Then, they came back again on Sunday. The site I looked at it happened 12-24 hours after the last caffeine. I had green tea at church at 8:00 am, and I had a splitting headache at about 7 or 8 Sunday night. 


So, I have cut back. I only have 1/2 tablespoon per day. That is going to be my limit. I tried making chai without any tea in it, and it doesn't quite have the right taste. It tasted like a tasty steamer though. So, I will have those in the afternoon if I need a hit of calcium. I already use 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe. Now, I will use 1/4 of the amount. The headaches have been gone since that bad one on Sunday night. Yeah!


The big thing I should journal about is George's dad's passing. He was talking one minute in the hospice house on Monday. The next minute his head went back, and he was gone. He had pain meds for the first time the night before. That is all he went through. Nothing like the more drawn out situation with my dad and his morphine pump and my mom with the battles between the assisted living center and the hospice organization that had my mom's care (that was a stupid thing - all because my brother was friends with the doctor who NEVER even came to see my mom the whole month I was nursing her). He had a very peaceful passing. He said he just wanted to fall asleep and not wake up, and that is basically what he did.


All that to say is that George is handling it well, but I know he is not the same old George. He is processing, and I need to be there for him. We canceled Jesus Community, and I canceled with Michele tonight. I need to listen to him rather than 20-somethings right now. It is the right place for me to be.


Oh, I also had a huge answer to prayer. I can't say here what it is because I have a feeling there are lurkers here (HI!) that might know the people involved, and I don't want to betray any confidences, but I have been praying for something for four years. I was pretty fervent for about 1-2 years of that, but about two months ago, God laid it on my heart to pray for it again. Now that four years have gone by, the impossibility of things changing was even BIGGER (we are talking HUGE). So much so that I prayed in faith that He would move mountains to make it happen (I felt that strongly that this was His will to pray in this way). Low and behold, I got my answer last Friday, exactly how He had put on my heart to pray. I was doing back flips. Then, I was with Jane going over our study in Discipleship Essentials (I am putting a link to it below because is an wonderful book for basic growth in the faith) on prayer, and I had written that prayer request in the book when I did it with Rebekah four years ago!  I had just told Jane about the answer, but I had forgotten until we got to that last question in the lesson. I was blown away.  I love how God allows us to be part of His work even though we don't deserve it.


Well, the alarm is going off. So, I will end this now. No proofreading either. 


Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...