Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
Uploaded on 8 Apr 2011
http://www.ted.com Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation (no spoilers). In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.
Dogs will jump. Many people think a small puppy jumping is adorable! But when that puppy is now seventy pounds (or even twenty pounds) of adult, the cuteness wears off. The best way to teach a dog to stop something is not to let him do it in the first place.
Honeybees May Help Search For Landmines
Researchers say the insects have a perfect sense of smell that can detect the odour and they may be used to help find unexploded landmines in Croatia.
The sugar-craving bees are being trained to identify their food by using the scent of TNT (trinitrotoluene), a powerful explosives mix.
Professor Nikola Kezic and his students set up several feeding points inside a tent, with only a few containing TNT particles.
The method of authenticating the scent of explosives with the food they eat appears to work.
The bees gather mainly at the pots containing a sugar solution mixed with TNT, and not the ones that have a different smell.
Prof Kezic, who leads part of the mine detection operation Tirimisu, said he concluded that bees can clearly detect the explosives.
He said: “This scent, it’s coming from the TNT. In the centre of this scent, we put the reward.
“We put sugar solution as a reward to condition the bees that they can find food just in the middle of (the) smell of TNT scent.”
Dogs and even rats have been used to detect explosives worldwide, but unlike bees, they could set off blasts on the minefields because of their weight.
Once the experiment with bees proves scientifically reliable, the idea is to use them in areas that have already been de-mined where their movement would be followed with heat-seeking cameras.
Around 460 square miles are still suspected to be filled with mines from Croatia’s war in the 1990s but coming to the rescue could be the unlikely insect heroes.
Officials estimate that since the beginning of the Balkan wars in 1991, about 2,500 people have died from landmine explosions.
During the four-year conflict, 90,000 landmines were placed mostly at random and without any plan or existing maps.
Prof Kezic said US researchers had in the past experimented with mine-searching bees, but TNT was not part of their tests because its smell evaporated quickly and only small traces remain after time.
(c) Sky News 2013
Robinhood is back!
Bank Robber Says He Gave Stolen Cash To Poor
Wednesday, 1st May 2013 02:34T
An Australian man charged with robbing a US bank of $140,000 has told a court his actions were justified because he gave much of the money to people made homeless due to bank repossessions.Corey Donaldson, 39, who is representing himself, told the jury he was using the banks to bailout the poor after becoming homeless himself last year and meeting people on the streets.In an emotional opening statement Donaldson said: “I must say, I feel like a frightened child.”I came up with the idea that since the banks had been bailed out, and the people had not, I was going to confiscate money from US Bank in Jackson, Wyoming, and redistribute it to the poor and homeless in America and thats what I did,” he said.Donaldson, who has lived in the US for 20 years, is accused of claiming explosives were planted around the bank while carrying out the robbery on New Years Eve.Jared Thomas Williams, branch manager of the bank, said Donaldson met him in his office on the day of the robbery.He added that he told him members of a Mexican cartel were outside the building and were prepared to blow it up if Mr Williams did not give him $2m £1.29m in cash.”There were four military-grade explosives that had been buried in the snow, and they were prepared to detonate them,” Mr Williams said Donaldson told him.Mr Williams said he loaded $140,000 £90,000 – nearly all the cash in the bank – into a duffel bag before giving it to Donaldson.Donaldson was arrested in Utah after he was identified on surveillance cameras in the bank.A close friend of his, Kevin Day, had called police after he arrived at his home late one night and told him where to find $8,000 £5,150.Mr Day testified that he had been close friends with Donaldson for 16 years, adding he became emotional when he received the money as it came at a good time.Investigators say they they recovered about $30,000 £19,309 after Donaldsons arrest. Donaldson told an FBI agent shortly after that he had intended to surrender.The trial is expected to last a week.
American soldier presumed dead 44 years ago ‘found living in remote Vietnam village’
Annie McKee talking with Karen Edelman about Toxic Bosses.
via Springpad – Smarter Living and Enjoying Life More…
It’s time for psychologists to put their house in order
BMC Psychology pledges ‘to put less emphasis on interest levels’ and publish repeat studies and negative results
In 2005, the epidemiologist John Ioannidis provocatively claimed that“most published research findings are false”. In the field of psychology – where negative results rarely see the light of day – we have a related problem: there is the very real possibility that many unpublished, negative findings are true.
Psychologists have an aversion to some essential aspects of science that they perceive to be unexciting or less valuable. Historically, the discipline has done almost nothing to ensure the reliability of findings through the publication of repeat studies and negative (“null”) findings.
Psychologists find significant statistical support for their hypotheses more frequently than any other science, and this is not a new phenomenon. More than 30 years ago, it was reported that psychology researchers are eight times as likely to submit manuscripts for publication when the results are positive rather than negative.
Unpublished, “failed” replications and negative findings stay in the file-drawer and therefore remain unknown to future investigators, who may independently replicate the null-finding (each also unpublished) – until by chance, a spuriously significant effect turns up.
It is this study that is published. Such findings typically emerge with large effect sizes (usually being tested with small samples), and then shrivel as time passes and replications fail to document the purported phenomenon. If the unreliability of the effect is eventually recognised, it occurs with little fanfare.
From where does the bias stem? The publication bias is pervasive and systemic, afflicting researchers, reviewers and editors – all of whom seem symbiotically wed to journals pursuing greater impact from ever more glamorous or curious findings. Unsurprisingly, this relationship encourages the spinning of findings by authors, over-egged claims and outright fraud to add to publication bias in psychology.
Indeed, in a survey of nearly 6,000 American psychologists, the majority admitted being guilty of selectively reporting studies that “worked” (67%), failing to report all dependent measures (74%), continuing to collect data to reach a significant result (71%), reporting unexpected findings as expected (54%), and excluding data post-hoc (58%).
Remarkably, 35% indicated that they had doubts about the integrity of their own research on at least one occasion and 1.7% admitted to having faked their data.
Has psychology cast itself adrift from other sciences, having lost faith in the links between the believability and the replicability of psychological phenomena? Back in 1965, the psychologist Ward Edwards stated: “If a hypothesis is preposterous to start with, why test it?” Such “anti-science” views should be discouraged and any empirically testable hypothesis is worthy of investigation.
In this context, we might raise the spectre of Daryl Bem’s recent paperdocumenting evidence of precognition. Interestingly, it contains multiple replications of a phenomenon that we just don’t believe. Other psychological phenomena are less readily replicated (eg. bystander apathy) and yet we firmly believe in them.
No doubt a key factor is whether the replication occurs within the same lab or across different labs. Nonetheless, as the psychologist Arina Bones humorously remarked, since so few psychology papers state hypotheses that are later disproved, scientific hypothesising in psychology may be the most reliable form of precognition.
Last year, Harold Pashler and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers noted that psychology is becoming ” … the public face for the replicability problems of science in the early 21st century, [and] psychological science has the opportunity to rise to the occasion and provide leadership in finding better ways to overcome bias and error in science generally.”
Although some individuals are culpable, psychology’s problems are largely systemic. We cannot rectify every issue immediately, but a great start would be to value replication and negative findings by offering researchers the space to publish such findings – not in a dedicated journal for unloved findings but at the heart of mainstream psychology journals.
With the launch of BMC Psychology on Wednesday, our journal policy is to offer a dedicated open access forum for psychologists to publish work deemed by peer reviewers ” … to be a coherent and sound addition to scientific knowledge and to put less emphasis on interest levels.”
This remit unquestionably includes null results and replications and the more central role they must play within the discipline. We cannot avoid the conclusion that psychologists, editors and reviewers have conspired to deny the rightful place of negative results and the importance of replication – psychology’s dirty little secrets. We must change.
Keith Laws is professor of cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Hertfordshire, and a section editor of BMC Psychology
Guns don’t offer protection – whatever the National Rifle Association says
The insistence that guns protect people from rape and violence is not rooted in scientific reality
An American family compare handguns at a National Rifle Association meeting.
Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images
“The one thing a violent rapist deserves is to face is a good woman with a gun!” That was Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the National Rifle Association, the standard bearers for America’s gun lobby, making the case that personal firearms prevent rape.
In the light of recent events in Cleveland and others that have, over the years, sadly come to our attention, I have wondered how seemingly functioning human beings can enslave others, subject them to a treatment they would not like to have imposed upon themselves. The oddity of it is that there is no external group pressure, not necessarily a difficult past that could start to explain this behaviour.
Coincidently, I came across this article that may provide a few clues… People not to meet and avoid at all cost!
Confessions of a Sociopath
She’s a successful law professor and a Sunday school teacher, with a host of family and friends. But her interpersonal calculus centers on how to manipulate and outmaneuver the many people in her life. Welcome to a world of ruthless cost-benefit analysis, charm, and grandiosity.
I have never killed anyone, but I have certainly wanted to. I may have a disorder, but I am not crazy. In a world filled with gloomy, mediocre nothings populating a go-nowhere rat race, people are attracted to my exceptionalism like moths to a flame. This is my story.
Once while visiting Washington, D.C., I used an escalator that was closed, and a Metro worker tried to shame me about it.
Him: “Didn’t you see the yellow gate?”
Me: “Yellow gate?”
Him: “I just put the gate up, and you were supposed to walk around it!”
Me: [Silence. My face was blank.]
Him: “That’s trespassing! It’s wrong to trespass! The escalator is closed, you broke the law!”
Me: [I stare at him silently.]
Him: [Visibly rattled by my lack of reaction] “Well, next time, you don’t trespass, okay?”
It was not okay. In explaining their horrible actions, people often say that they “just snapped.” I know that feeling. I stood there for a moment, letting my rage reach that decision-making part of my brain, and I suddenly became filled with a sense of calm purpose. I blinked my eyes and set my jaw. I started following him. Adrenaline started flowing; my mouth tasted metallic. I fought to keep my peripheral vision in focus, hyperaware of everything around me, trying to predict the movement of the crowd. I was hoping that he would walk into a deserted hallway where I would find him alone. I felt so sure of myself, so focused on this one thing I had to do. An image sprang to mind: my hands wrapped around his neck, my thumbs digging deep into his throat, his life slipping away under my unrelenting grasp. How right that would feel. But I know I had been caught in a megalomaniacal fantasy. And in the end it didn’t matter; I lost sight of him.
The US economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons US growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the US into a period of stasis we can’t innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.
via TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/BP8Nx6al4eU/robert_gordon_the_death_of_innovation_the_end_of_growth.html http://ifttt.com/images/no_image_card.png
Today Caroline sent me this and I must say I love it.
It took me a long time to understand what the Brits say “The content” and what they actually mean.
Negotiating With the British
|Author||They Say||They mean||Others hear|
|Rhoda Klapp||Lessons have been learned||We are going to do it again exactly the same way and cross our fingers||They aren’t going to do it again.|
|Russell||Say: “Moving forward….”||Mean: “The present is shit and all bets are off”||Others: “We have a long future together”|
|John Dubai||British say “We do not support this treaty”||British mean “This is a gross injustice and will cost millions.”||They hear “We love this European treaty, and we accept it”.|
|OSMarsupial||Brits: “That’s a great idea!”||We mean: “Yeah, not bad, not brilliant”||Translated as: “They like it.”|
|Kevin Lynch||You say (to an Irishman): How very Irish!||You mean: Eccentric, amusing….but quite clever.||We think: You supercilious, patronising racist bastards!|
|Kingstonian||I think we should draw a line under this.||I really don’t want to talk about this anymore, it is embarrassing.||They want to underline how important this issue really is.|
|Tim||Brit says: “leave it with me”||He/she means: I’ll never touch this again.||People understand: Great they are all over this and will make sure it gets taken care of.|
|glenn rose||‘Robust systems are now in place to ensure’… means –||‘we’ve shut the stable door after the horse has bolted, but have changed how things are done so that the management can’t be fingered in future’, and is understood to mean,||‘Lessons have been learned …’|
Sometimes, I wonder why people are so eager to get the truth. The truth is they are not willing or ready to hear it. Unless they meant they wanted to hear some sanatised truth. But then, is that “the truth”?
Truth can heal, edify, make people change and take action. It can also hurt. It is a bit of a Russian roulette. But then, if you do not want to hear it, do not ask for it.
It is the end of a friendship with someone I used to really care for because about the truth. The truth that has helped her grow and reach her goals, one by one. I have tried to be open and supportive. Now, it is all thrown back in my face. I was not expecting thanks but certainly not this.
How can I possibly be a true friend if I am not willing to deliver the truth? It is not truth to hurt or destroy. It is truth you owe the other person because you respect and love them. I would seriously question the true feelings and motives of someone who feeds me with what I want to hear.
Maybe, next time when someone asks me to be honest, I’ll just lie, it is easier and I won’t be resented for it.
Google recently announced it was unifying its privacy policies and would be sharing the data it collects about users between all of its products, starting March 1st. That means your web searches and sites you visit will be combined with other Google products like Google Plus and YouTube. If you’d rather avoid that, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reminds us you can remove your Google search history and stop it from being recorded.
Turning off search history is one of the top Google settings you may already know about anyway if you didn’t want Google recording any sensitive searches (health, location, interests, religion, etc.), but with Google becoming more like AOL these days, now’s as good a time as any to check if you’ve got your web history paused or not.
If you’re not logged into Google already, log in. Then, go to https://google.com/history. Click “remove all Web History” and “OK”. Doing so will pause the recording of your searches going forward until you enable it again.
It is not very hard to see that there may be a certain level of truth. But obviously more about the end of our way of living, our way of thinking that seem to have become redundant. If we go on like this, we go straight to the wall.
Even our political and economic systems seems to be running out of steam. Capitalism, the money market, the sense of entitlement, the lack of a sense of responsibility and community, the God Money, lust and greed have eclipsed general and personal values and morals, the common good.
I am not advocating being goody good marvellous but just realising that there is value in appreciating what we have rather than what we think we want. Or worse, think we are free when we are so influenced by others, the environment (think marketing and advertising). I have come to talk to too many people with iPhone, boasting about the features and specifications of their device. Yet, other manufacturers were offering similar products, often superior but they just wanted this device.
I sometimes envy freegans. For me, it is the return to the source, completing the circle. The urban equivalent of feeding on what nature has to offer. I just do not have the guts to do it. They appreciate what they have. Like the birds, they do not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will bring abundance again. I am not naive however; I understand we need consumers for freegans to prosper.
We have created too much for everybody and those who have, have so much that not only do they think they are entitled to it but worse, they do not appreciate it any more. They prefer focusing on the next conquest that will inevitably leave them with the sodding feeling of emptiness inside.
Some go on worshipping strange Gods. Follow men with dubious agendas. So thirsty for any light that they become blinded by a fake light.
There are many lost souls around us. Suddenly it hits them: why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? What am I supposed to accomplish? Of course a market of self-help, books and diverse temples open up to them.
Maybe we have too much time on our hands to think about ourselves. We may give more time to ourselves than others, too often.
I guess, to sustain our planet and reconnect with what is important, we need to recognise how blessed we are. We need to empty our houses and give the extra to those who have much less. Learn to recognise what we need as opposed to what we want. Rebuild real relationships; improve the important few relationships we have rather than the thousands on social networks. Recognising that one real life friend is worth a thousand on Facebook. Only people who love you and whom we love matter. Just be aware of what and who is around rather than our own wants. After this, there is really not much of importance.
So yes, maybe we are starting to live in a new era. Maybe we need to be shaken up before we give up our habits and lifestyle that no longer apply. We will need strength, courage and resilience. Hopefully, the end result will justify the means. At least we’ll have future generations to thank us for it.
Used to stress about little things, make check lists as long as my house inventory list:
- Eyebrows tidy
- Hair clean and smoothed
- Shoes polished
- Shirt impeccably ironed
- etc… up to item n. 2347
Now, I do not care so much. More of a like me or lump me attitude. OK I do not let myself go (completely) but stressing about little things does not serve any purpose, does it? How can enjoying ticking boxes be better than actually enjoying life?
Maybe I favour content over the exterior. Not sure. Maybe it takes a few box ticking before something clicks in your mind. Who knows?
I tend to surround myself with similar people, so “laid back, they’re almost horizontal”.
One of my friends has just told me when he gets his new agenda (2012 now out), he puts his holidays in before anything else.
So when time is ticking, make time for living!
Great site listing interesting facts, a sample here:
- The term rule of thumb comes from the old English law that men couldn’t beat their wives with anything wider than their thumb.
- American poet Edgar Allan Poe was once thrown out of West Point Academy in 1831 after showing up for inspection stark naked.
- A monkey’s skull wrapped in leather and paper was used as a soccer ball in the very first World’s Cup Soccer Championships in Uruguay
- Ants never sleep in their whole life
- A reward of $1,000 was offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of a man robbing taxi drivers. The man turned himself in and demanded the reward as a result. He received a 20 year sentence for aggravated robbery instead.
- Elvis Presley’s hip-wiggling started out as a stage fright. He was so nervous, that his legs would shake.
- Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.
- A man was arrested and charged with the robbery—of vending machines. The man posted bail, entirely in quarters.
- TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
- Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
- The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
- The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
- A polar bear’s skin is black. Its fur is not white, but actually clear.
- Experts at Intel say that microprocessor speed will double every 18 months for at least 10 years.
- Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.
- Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
- All of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20.
- Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th.”
I came aross this article and found it interesting. Hope you do too.
Relationship Chemistry: Can Science Explain Instant Connections?An examination of why friends and romantic partners click Published on August 20, 2011 by Kelly Campbell, Ph.D. in More Than Chemistry
Why do we foster instant connections with some people? I initially became interested in this topic because my friends were so eclectic. In each case, I had formed a relatively quick connection with a person, despite our sometimes disparate ages, cultural backgrounds, and lifestyles. It made me curious as to what caused our close and easy bonds.
I began asking people in my network about chemistry. The first person I asked was my hair dresser. I said “I want to study chemistry, which is the natural connection between two people. Do you know what I mean?” and her response was “Oh sure, you just have it with some people. Like the other day, I had it with this kid who came into the salon.” Later on, I was driving with my friend and asked “What causes chemistry?”, he thought about it and said “My friends and I share a sense of humor. We’re also pretty good looking guys. I’d say those are the commonalities.” Over dinner, another friend and I had a long discussion about it. We tended to think chemistry occurred most often between people who are down-to-earth and sincere. If a person is comfortable with themselves, they are better able to express their true self to the world, which makes it easier to get to know them. Understanding oneself would also make a person more tolerant and accepting of other people, even if perspectives on important matters differed.
Related Articles The Blirtacious Wives Club Why “Friends First” Doesn’t Work The Love Project Tell your husband; I just want to dance with you Some Tough Love for the Love Addict in Each of Us Find a Therapist Search for a mental health professional near you. Find Local: Acupuncturists Chiropractors Massage Therapists Dentists and more! Although non-judgment facilitates chemistry, my research has also shown that similarity between people is crucial. Upon first meeting a person, if we perceive at least some similarity, we may feel more at ease disclosing information about ourselves, because we believe the other person will understand us. Feeling understood is essential to forming relational bonds. So in terms of similarity, there can never be too much, if our goal is to develop satisfying partnerships.
Another relevant variable is the degree to which we disclose information about ourselves. The theory of social penetration describes that at the beginning of a relationship, individuals tend to discuss a wide array of topics. If this initial discussion is rewarding, they begin to disclose more personal information. Although disclosures are good for relationship development, revealing too much too soon is not the best strategy. Even in long-lasting marriages, partners tend to balance self-disclosure with some degree of secrecy. It is perhaps this element of secrecy or mystery that maintains the excitement within friendships and romantic relationships.
One of the most important factors for romantic chemistry is sexual attraction. Many of my study participants described a strong sexual magnetism as the basis for their romantic connections. Surprisingly, my research indicated that attraction is relevant to friendships as well, but to a lesser extent. Taken together, my studies showed that the core components of both friendship and romantic chemistry included non-judgment, similarity, mystery, attraction, mutual trust, and effortless communication.
So are some people more prone to experiencing chemistry? I originally suspected that extroverted people would encounter chemistry most often. Extroverts tend to thrive on positive interactions and seek out such exchanges. They are additionally at ease in social situations, which makes other people comfortable in their presence. Surprisingly, my prediction was not supported by the research. Instead, I found that people were more likely to experience friendship chemistry if their personalities were open (e.g., adventurous, imaginative, and emotionally in-tune), conscientious (e.g., competent, disciplined, hard-working), and agreeable (e.g., friendly, cooperative, and considerate). Openness and conscientiousness were key determinants of romantic chemistry as well, but agreeableness was less important.
My studies also revealed that not everyone experiences chemistry. I asked individuals why they did not think it had happened to them. Most people did not know, but some identified specific reasons including not having the personality for it (e.g., being too shy), lacking trust in other people which made them closed off, not having the opportunity to meet people, and not meeting people with similar interests.
In the end, my journey to understand chemistry afforded many answers. But even after the personal reflections, discussions with friends, and research studies, I still question whether chemistry involves something that cannot be explained by science. Part of me thinks so. Maybe it is caused by a spiritual connection, remembering the future, or destiny, I don’t know. I do know that when I first meet someone and experience that feeling, it puts me into the flow of life. I am rejuvenated and eager to learn more. Whatever causes that experience, I hope it continues because in getting to know others, I have been able to discover new parts of myself.
“They were called the “Red army” but they wear blue uniforms. They killed a certain type of people (I did not know which). There were corpses and blood everywhere in the streets. I suddenly saw a girl (in her 20s) running towards me; she miraculously escaped, running away from “them”.
She had blood on her head and abdomen. I took her in my arms to hide her blood as other soldiers ran by and saw us. It is incomprehensible why she has not been seen and shot, but there was so much confusion around. Her blood betrayed her. I now had her blood on my front. Because I rescued her, I had also become a target.
I looked around; I wanted to find a hiding place for us. We entered a building. I found a grid over an air conditioning duct. Being the priority, I asked her to get in and to stay there until I came back later to get her. I placed the grid back and urged her to wait for the whole day and night if needed, to be still and silent. I went upstairs and hid but I am not sure where (I think the loft). I could hear the steps of soldiers in the stairs, they were looking for any of the people they were ordered to kill. I felt the fear, the sweat rolling down my ferehead. I was thinking of the girl, praying for her and me to be spared.
I saw the shadow of a soldier with his gun very close to me. I shut my eyes thinking he would go away, that he did not exist and stopped breathing. He went away. Then, I waited. I heard the steps of the soldiers’ fainting steps and voices in the vast stone stairway. I waited for a long time, after that. I so wanted to make sure they had vacated the building, to make sure that nobody was there. I thought of the girl. I hoped she was alive and if she was; she must have be paralysed because the duct was narrow and she must have been stressed.
I went down the stairs very slowly, on my toe tips to be as silence as possible. I could only hear my heart pounding. I finally reached the grid and whispered to the girl. I wanted her to recognise my voice and my hand instinctively reached for her mouth. I did not want her to scream. She was alive but terrified. I helped her squeeze out of the duct. We went out. I was scared that people across the street may have seen us and informed the soldiers of our existence and position.
There was a fire station nearby, we got in. A firefighter was checking his engine and saw us. He looked around quickly to make sure we were alone. He helped us climb on top of one of the engines where the soldiers may not think of looking. He said he would come back to give us some food and water and move us to a safer place.
He kept his word. He dressed us in complete US firefighters uniforms, the helmets concealed our faces.
We accompanied them on a call. The other firefighters did not speak to us and ignored us as if we were invisible but I liked it this way.
Then no memory….
The firefighter came back a second time with some uniforms. They were nurses’ uniforms. He told us we should go to the hospital which was in another part of the building. He advised us to mingle amongst the medical staff. He said as a “gesture of good will” the “leader” of the soldiers had pledged they would not search the hospitals. He said that he did not believe him and did not trust “them”. He suspected that anyone injured would simply be picked up as they were entering or exiting the hospitals. That’s why the medical staff’s uniform was a wise precaution. From that point on, we were hiding in the nurses’ lockers during the day if we suspected trouble and slept on top of the fire engine at night. We saw many soldiers outside the hospital, we simply pretended to work there (carrying some trays, bandages, paper work). They did not enter but we could tell they were looking through the big glass window. We were scared they would come in but they did not.
The girl was gone. I am not sure where she was now but I felt she was safe and well. I felt I would be also safe thanks to the care of the kind firefighter, in the safety of my locker by day and the top of the engine where I spent the night…”
Dream made on Feb 23, ’05, two days after I finished Ann Frank’s journal