yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inspired by a Little Girl

On my refrigerator, I have a "Peace Display" that includes a tiny photo of Anne Frank, the little girl who penned the famous diary before she was killed by the Nazis. It seems to be a part of human nature, an ugly part, that we are afraid of "the other" and I notice I feel shades of it from time to time. An uncomfortable feeling when I'm out in the world and around people whose culture or customs are foreign to me, feeling uncertain if I like them or not. When I hear about atrocities that some people commit towards other fellow human beings (and other living beings), it is beyond comprehension that humans can be so cruel. Yet, I can feel inside of me the fear, condescension, and even anger that arises when my cultural upbringing differs with another's.

Last evening, my husband and I watched a wonderful documentary on PBS called, "P-Star Rising," about a little girl from the Bronx who is a recording rap star with many difficulties in her life. I wasn't expecting to like her or the film much, but I began to see that even though I didn't "relate" necessarily to her form of expression, I discovered that Priscilla (P-Star) is a bright, soulful, adorable little girl just like any, and her family's struggle to survive and thrive under very difficult circumstances is the same world over. There is wisdom in P-Star and her father's frank and open conversations with each other, heartache in the reunion with her mother, enthusiasm and natural talent in her performances. I felt grateful to have been given an opportunity to see this little movie and get to know a culture that I didn't know before, and really appreciate it.

There is more than meets the eye when we get to know people who are really different from us. Or as Atticus Finch says to another outstanding little girl, Scout, in "To Kill A Mockingbird," you have to walk in the other person's shoes to understand what they are going through. To create meaningful peace in the world, it starts with being open and really listening, taking the time to get to know someone who is from another world, even from the same town where you live.

To learn more about "P-Star Rising" and Priscilla herself, check out these links:
View the trailer:
Two music videos:


  1. I find that the people who make a difference in the world are those that focus on their environment. They have a sphere of influence within the people they encounter on a daily basis. Whatever they express to them ripples out into the broader world. A domino-effect distribution of love.

    My good friends make my life better. I hope I do the same for them.

  2. Beautifully said and felt, Duncan! My Uncle Dave told me when I graduated from college that the best thing I could do for myself would be to establish myself in a community. Wise advice!