Where to start.... there is so much to talk about, and yet I cannot find a starting place. It seems like we have been here so many times before.... riots in the streets... peaceful protests gone bad.. Opportunistic sociopaths taking legitimate protests and turning them into reasons to loot and burn businesses and homes, making people who are already living lives of misery more miserable. Spokespersons who, instead of trying to be calm and reasonable, use the protests as a time to justify their dubious claims to being 'Leaders'. It does no good for the people to loot and burn. It does nothing to make anyone's lives better. It does nothing to right any wrong, or to avenge any death. All it does is promote more misery for more people. Dr. King would not be happy with this. He believed in peaceful protests. The violence always came from the other side, not from him. This all just makes me so damned sad. Sad, because I thought that my grandchildren would grow up in a better, more peaceful world. Sad, because I thought that we were on the way to resolving our differences 50 years ago. Sad, because I love this country, and I believe in the good that people have deep in their hearts, and the good that they can do for each other. I believe that we can all get along, if we just try. I believe that there is place, deep inside us all, that is good and loves peace. I believe that we can all learn to live with each other, if we can just learn to accept each other and not dwell on superficial differences.  It breaks my heart to see all the violence and hatred that shows it's ugly face in these riots and deliberate destruction of people's lives. 
  Rodney King said it for all of us, so many years ago, when ther riots broke out over the injustice done to him. He was deeply troubled by the death and destruction in South Central.... "Why can't we all just get along?" he said, his voice shaking and on the verge of tears. 
 If we are to continue as a vibrant, good country; if we are to continue to believe that we have the best form of government in the world, then we must learn to live together in peace! We cannot continue down this road of chaos and violence. We must put aside our differences, and come together in unity, as one people united for the greater good of all. We must reject those who make their living by trying to divide us. We must make a commitment to work together as the citizens of the United States, and not as the members of one group or another. We must learn to get along. We don't need to love everyone, but  we must learn to accept all good and decent people. 
  Only then, when we have started to resolve our own internal differences, can we take baby steps towards peace in the whole world. Now, there is too much hatred and violence, and it must be stopped.
  Now, as we approach Thanksgiving, we must look to the ideals that Mr. Lincoln spoke of and give thanks for being able to speak our minds without repercussions. We must give thanks for the ability to be whom ever we wish to be. 
 I love this beautiful country. I love the stated ideals. I wish to give thanks for being born an American from the United States, who's heritage is of Immigrants and Native Americans. I give thanks for my family and all those in the world who I have come to know and love. My wish is for the healing of this national wound, and for people of all stripes to finally start to realize Dr. King's dream.
 Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Love and Peace, from my family to yours.
 November 25, 2014
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York


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