Thursday, March 5, 2020

Historical Figures (José)

Not so many pictures of our older buds writing today, because we all went to see the PSC's Gospel Choir's Black History Month Concert last week. And of course, our very own older bud Joan was the star of the show. However, that didn't mean we didn't get some stories from our Best Day buds.
That afternoon, I had lunch with my older bud Philip. Since the Gospel Choir was having their concert later that afternoon, Philip asked if they’d be celebrating famous historical figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. We talked a bit more about Abraham Lincoln and how he was a lot more complicated than in the textbooks, and then the conversation turned to Mahatma Gandhi. Older bud Elliot was sitting at the next table, and when he hard Gandhi’s name, he shook his head.
I know Elliot has some strong opinions about Gandhi, and I know Philip’s always looking to learn something new, so I brought Elliot into our conversation too. When Philip asked Elliot why he didn’t like Gandhi, he said that Gandhi fought a lot against the English Colonial rule, but did nothing to fight classism in India afterwards. Then the conversation turned back to Abraham Lincoln, and Elliot talked about how freed people were given the land where they labored after the Civil War, only to have it taken away from them and given to their former masters.

History is a very messy subject, and historical figures more than the sum of their crowning achievements. The people of Best Day are no different. They make mistakes. They make history. They make miracles. They make a living. They laugh, cry, do some things they regret and make up for it. And every single one of their stories is worth hearing.

José Dominguez
One Experience Two Perspectives
I’m amazed about how an early experience can be so permanent and how at the same time, the person involved in it can be so distant.
When I was 7 years old, even being almost a total introverted kid, I loved to visit my neighbor friends. On this particular day, my mother gave me as a present, a Mickey Mouse clock. Oh, it was so neat! It surpassed all my worldly possessions which were some marbles, some plastic little trucks, and one ball. So happy I was with my MM clock that I decided to visit my friend Marino Rios who lived 2 blocks away. He was impressed about my clock and suddenly he went to his room and returned bringing a shoebox full of plastic toys and told me, “Pepe, I change you my toys for your clock, think about it.” Playing, for me, was more important than counting the time so I accepted. So proud, I immediately showed my mother the super acquisition and explained the big deal I just made and the fun those plastic toys will give me. “You have been robbed!” She responded impatiently, almost mad. “But it will give you a lesson of the value of things.” She explained to me a huge comparison of prices, money, dollars, and fairness. At the end, I felt more like a stupid kid than a happy kid. But later I felt that such experience was funny and I spoke about it freely.
Until one day 67 years later, I found Marino Rios again, now a prominent physician. Believing he would remember the Mickey Mouse of my infancy, I tried to make a deal to refresh his memory. He told me, “I have no idea what you are saying.” I looked at his face and he was uncomfortable being spotted and ended, “I think you are confusing the person. I will never take advantage of nobody—specifically an innocent kid.”

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Curated by Caitlin Cieri