“The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie.” – Ann Landers
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will… The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
– Frederick Douglass
“By your thoughts you are daily, even hourly, building your life; you are carving your destiny.” – Ruth Barrick Golden
Hello Monitor readers,
I’m keeping it very simple this month with assistance from a few of my older gardening children who bring knowledge, joy, and blessings to me daily. And, I end this column with a fable that I might have shared before.
Who are the K’Nyaw?
The K’Nyaw are people, whose home has been vandalized by the Tatmadaw of Myanmar. Still, they persist in preserving their existence, their culture, their language, and their identity. They are the indigenous people of Myanmar/Burma and that will never change. They have been fighting one of the longest civil wars in the world with the Burmese Tatmadaw, who seek to destroy the individualized cultures that make up the country of Myanmar.
The K’nyaw are people with bravery, purity, and hospitality. When you enter their home, whether you know them or not, they will offer you with the best food they’ve got. They live a very simple and humble life. Because of their humbleness, they have been exploited and used wherever they go. Many became victims of the civil war going on in KawThooLei. Due to unsafe situations in their homeland, they fled and became refugees and a lot have moved to many different countries, including the United States.
In Minnesota alone, there are about 20,000 K’Nyaw or also known as the Karen. The word Karen was given by a western scholar for this group of people but to the people themselves, they’ve always claimed themselves as the K’Nyaw. Minnesota houses the largest K’Nyaw/Karen in the United States. Due to assimilation, there are many different dialects of K’Nyaw. Two main ones are Sgaw and Pwo. Sgaw is the dominant dialect and the most common. Pwo K’nyaw also understands and speaks Sgaw, whereas less Sgaw speak Pwo. There are also many different accents even amongst the two main dialects. To learn more about the K’Nyaw, go to https://www.mnkaren.org/ or https://www.theurbanvillage.org/.
Reflections of the June 17th Annual
Community Peace Celebration
“The Peace Celebration was definitely a highlight of my 20 years on earth. From the preparation of the event up until to the cleaning up of it, I encountered the beauty of mankind. For a moment, the Peace Celebration made me forget about all the atrocities of the world and how helpless the human condition can feel at times, and forced me to appreciate the present and be happy in the moment. It was an opportunity for community leaders and members who spend most of their days fighting an oppressive system to take a breath and celebrate how far we have come and prepare for the journey ahead,” said Respect Djunga.
“The perennial Peace Celebration has harbored a safe space for community healing and uplifting. The ability to truly experience the greatness of one’s community is something we often take for granted but celebrations such as these remind us of the wholesomeness that comes from being together,” said Sarah Zalanga.
“The Peace Celebration was an excellent time of community gathering full of amazing performances, food, vendors and conversation. The love and care people had for one another and the community was very present and felt. As society continues to face unprecedented times, the Peace Celebration brings a sense of healing amidst the storm,” said Abby Gessesse.
“The Annual Peace Celebration was a very positive space where community members came together to produce a beautiful afternoon. The different community artists, vendors, and talents harbored a safe space for peace, love and healing. The unique bond of this community was felt at this event which I found to be very important, especially considering the current times,” said Alise Ostercamp.
“The Peace Celebration was a warm reminder of the vast life community can bring to the bigger picture in Saint Paul. I had a great time being able to interact and organize with other community members that knew how to put together something amazing. The intentionality behind the event as a whole was much needed, considering all of the iniquity happening right now in this country. By the end of the event, I was so proud of everyone that came together to make this event possible,” said jml.
STORY OF TRUTH AND LIE
A fable that I first heard from a Black preacher years ago. This is a shorten version of the Story of Truth and Lie, as shared by https://medium.com/@ParkerSimpson/the-story-of-truth-lie-1476bda2d45e
One day a man named Truth and a man named Lie stood by a river just outside of town. They were twin brothers. Lie challenged Truth to a race, claiming he could swim across the river faster than Truth. Lie laid out the rules to the challenge stating that they both must remove all their clothes and at the count of three, dive in to the freezing cold water swim to the other side and back. Lie counted to three, but when Truth jumped in, Lie did not.
As Truth swam across the river, Lie put on Truth’s clothes and walked back in to town dressed as Truth. He proudly paraded around town pretending to be Truth. Truth made it back to shore, but his clothes were gone and he was left naked with only Lie’s clothes to wear. Refusing to dress himself as Lie, Truth walked back to town naked.
People stared and glared as naked Truth walked through town. He tried to explain what happened and that he was in fact Truth, but because he was naked and uncomfortable to look at, people mocked and shunned him – refusing to believe he was really Truth. The people in town chose to believe Lie because he was dressed appropriately and easier to look at. From that day until this, people have come to believe a lie rather than believe a naked truth.
The moral of this story, and how it applies to modern day society, is that we often either consciously or subconsciously reject certain truths in our personal lives or in the world around us for the sake of our peace of mind. These truths may be in our personal lives: financial issues, relationship issues, struggles with our faith, addiction problems; they are all areas where we often turn our back to the cold hard truth, even if it’s at our own peril.
We’ve also seen this in public society, as well. Our country is brutally divided among ideological lines on every front. People can be presented with irrefutable yet inconvenient truths regarding societal issues including terrorism, global warming, race relations, cultural differences, and countless other issues, but they shun those truths and decide instead to believe the well-dressed lie, especially if it benefits their agenda or idealistic narrative. The story of Truth and Lie swimming in the river may answer why we do this to ourselves, but what it doesn’t answer is when and if we will ever learn from it.
In Gratitude: Keep the positive vibrations flowing, stay optimistic; and, keep hope alive by striving and digging to hear, see, and be the truth.
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, and Surrounding Communities...
May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities…
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! Get Your vaccination shots and booster shots if you feel comfortable doing so!!!
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