Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Hosting a Readalong for Peace in Nov.(Dec.) or 2019?

I heartily apologize for not responding to comments in a timely fashion within the last 11-12 days. I've responded to all now, thank goodness, and I want you to know that I thoroughly enjoy comments--I was just temporarily overwhelmed with life.

Since last Saturday, October 27, I have thought and thought about what I could do, as an individual, to do something positive to help ourselves and our world in the light of the increase in violence against people who are judged to be "the other," those who are not only the target of demented individuals, but are also the targets of well-organized groups who seek to diminish them, eliminate them, or banish them from within our borders. 

I am thinking, most recently, of the 11 Jewish men and women who were slaughtered last Saturday.

I am thinking of the immigrants to this country who fear deportation--both legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. I am thinking of black Americans and Latino Americans who are being prevented from casting their ballots and who are forced to lead diminished lives.

I am thinking of the Jewish children and teens in this country who are asking since Saturday, "Why did this happen?" And I'm thinking of the children of immigrants who ask, "Why are we in so much danger? Why do we have to hide?"

Do I believe that by merely reading a book and discussing it with other readers that I can affect what's happening in this world? Of course not.
But I do believe that by reading specific literature I can reaffirm my values, that I can strengthen myself, that I can reconnect with the impulse to say openly, or to shout out loud, "No, not here!"

1. This is the most difficult suggestion I've had to offer to my fellow bloggers.

2. My proposition may flop, completely, and I accept that I may be the only reader who will participate. I know what it is like to be overwhelmed by what's happening because I have been overwhelmed myself.

3. This suggestion is offered with U.S. readers in mind, although I'd heartily welcome any reader from any country to join in. Because these issues affect people in all countries. We are not the only country to be experiencing an increase in anti-Semitic crimes and activities.

Now comes the complicated part: Selecting a book to read. Will you read on?
1. The book, fiction or nonfiction, can be any title that you believe might inspire you to feel engaged  in the current struggle to maintain and promote human dignity and decency. It might be a novel (historical or contemporary or classic). It might be nonfiction about people trying to help others, to reach for peace, to do anything  that  strengthens the soul for standing up against prejudice, hatred, and evil. It very well might be none of those things. And that's okay.

Notice that what you personally choose to read is left  intentionally vague. Because this is for you.
We all need something to inspire us now.

I have been resorting to escapist literature. There's nothing wrong with that, and I believe that I will be continuing this habit as this year passes and the next comes along. But it doesn't strengthen me.

As for my choice, I haven't totally decided, mind you, but I'm inspired to read a non-fiction book I own that's about Christians who risked their lives to try to save Jews during WWII. I haven't done much research on this topic, but I'd like to know more about these people. I think it would strengthen me.

If you are interested, let me know about your scheduling conflicts. Are you too busy reading other things in November? Would December be better? Would January be even better?  What do you think?


  1. It's a lovely idea. We can always use some reaffirming. I would like to take part, but December would be better and January even better for me. It seems like something which should have a sort of urgency to it, so perhaps it doesn't seem right to "wait" until January, but it also might fit with some people's ideas of new year's resolutions too...

    1. I think your suggestion of January as a good month is a very good one. Let's go with that.
      I think that after December 31, a fresh surge of energy enters the scene, and as you say, the resolutions concept has an impact on everyone as well. Thanks! I'll write a post on it very soon. Thank you also for responding.

  2. I'll participate but I have not a clue what I could read, I'll need to do some research. I don't mind when it happens.

    1. Katrina,
      I'm so glad you're interested.
      What do you think of January as "Buried in Print" has suggested?