SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 303: “We Can Live In Peace”

Okay… this is starting to get ridiculous. Summer is here and with beads of sweat dripping down my forehead, I am doing my best to fight my dry mouth’s desire to guide me away from my enthusiasm in meeting a friend today.

For over an hour I have walked mostly empty streets, and with the three-digit temperature rising most are staying inside… and its only 9:00am.

Yep… Summer is here and I’m feeling a bit slow roasted walking in the direct sun.

Discouragement is a temptation, but one that is being subdued due to a sign that I am passing on every street corner. It has quickly become a symbolic companion who is proving to me that, even in the barren streets, I am not really alone…

I call this companion, “lost bird.” Who, through the implied love of his owner, has become an icon to me in opening yet another glimpse of the love society is capable of putting forth.

It is this plea, which in a strange and surreal way pulls me from street to street in unwavering desire to meet unknown friends. Can’t explain it fully, but for some reason, the posting for this lost friend has strengthened my obligation to stay open-minded, even in the midst of a solar barrage.

Maybe it’s the implied love read into the copy, maybe it’s the absence of human presence at each posting, or maybe it’s a hidden wish to find the noted lost feathered friend. But whatever it is, my eyes are double opened in my blistering walk.

Heat waves are beginning to rise from the pavement, and in a patch of shade I see a fellow washing his car. With the awareness of the hot day slowly fading into the background of my brain, I approach him… hoping that if he will not speak with me, he will at least blast me with a stream of cool water.

Well, the water soaking takes not form, but in its place I am refreshed with the words of new friend, Noor.

At plus seventy years of age, Noor pick up the theme of yesterday’s Drake, our fifteen-year-old friend of peaceful wisdom.

The generation gaps is closed when with the same hope of young Drake, Noor expresses his greatest advice, “Try to find a way to have more peace in the world and less violence… everybody should get together in having the same respect for each other.

If we continue on the path where we are going, especially with our government system, we will have another revolution. The middle class is being shrunk down. We will have the rich, the super rich and the poor, with nothing in the middle. That’s what I am afraid will happen.”

Now, I speak from experience, because I am a little bit older. My dad was born in Pakistan, he was a Muslim, but I converted to Catholicism many, many years ago. And, I’ve learned that regardless of what you believe in, we all hold the same truth to our heart. And if things don’t change… I see a revolution in this country, that is if the bomb does not drop first.

I grew up in New York, and we all got alone with each other… Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, we all respected each other and were friends.”

I’ve been watching the film Gandhi, starring Ben Kingsley. It’s a very long flick, but in it lies the secret that made Gandhi the great man that he was. And, in his greatness there was no malice, no charge to kill, maim or torture. No quest for personal gain. No senseless anger or contemptuous and greedy thought for self. He had one wish only; that was for his, and all people, to be treated with love and kindness; to be respected for who they are and be allowed to live in equality and harmony with fellow-man. Not having to be crafted of the same cultural or governmental mold, and to be governed, or to govern, unjustly. But, to accept one another’s faith and beliefs with one basic rule: Acceptance and love towards one another.

What’s sad… is that in the end, he was murdered for his good works, But in that Gandhi still live on in the hearts of many, an inspiring statue of right to us all.

Noor, smiles at the reflection of Gandhi’s works, “We can live in peace and still get what we want,” he concludes as he get back to the business of washing his car.

Noor, thanks for the shade and kind conversation. Peace to you my new friend.