The “Wise Words” letter by Robert M. Frank Jr. (BDN, Dec. 17), caught my attention not so much because of its profoundness in meaning, but because authorship of these powerful ideas remained anonymous. The man who coined these words was Mohandas Gandhi and he referred to them as “man’s seven deadly sins.” I ran across this list many years ago and was so impressed with its ideas that I kept a copy of them.
Gandhi’s list was in a slightly different order than Mr. Frank’s list, but the “sins” are the same. Here they are in Gandhi’s original list: “1. wealth without work, 2. pleasure without conscience, 3. knowledge without character, 4. commerce without morality, 5. science without humanity, 6. workshop without sacrifice and 7. politics without principle.
Not all Americans would agree with another Gandhi quote, “If there is poverty, let all share poverty.” Instead, we say, “share the wealth.” The current economic upheaval may force us unwillingly to adopt Gandhi’s take on “sharing.” We could call it “socialized sharing.”
Elizabeth Jalbert Pecoraro
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What Roosevelt said
“The objective now is to put at the head of the nation someone whose interests are not special but general, someone who can treat the country as a whole. For as much as anything it needs to be reaffirmed that the United States is one organic entity, that no interest, no class, no section is either separate or above the interests of all. … Without leadership sensitive to change we will be bogged up or lose our way, as we have lost it in the past decade.”
Boy, I wish I wrote that, but I didn’t. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it the day before his inauguration in March 1932.
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MPBN’s two Maines
It rankles to be reminded, yet again, that there are “two” Maines as MPBN announces that it will cut off parts of Aroostook and Washington counties from its broadcasting areas.
Sen. Kevin Raye is right on with his criticism of the network. If MPBN really were a public voice, it would respond to the needs of all Mainers, not the better-educated elites of the larger populated areas who apparently listen to their “cutsie” shows or types of music only college grads from the “ivys” listen to. Their argument is: “Sorry there are fewer dues-paying listeners in northern and eastern Maine to count.”
In my humble opinion, there are programs that could be cut rather than disabling the state’s emergency broadcast system and leaving us in the cultural dark.
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Proud of Youth
Every day we read the sad stories of youth who have fallen into the path of taking from rather than giving to our communities. I wish to put attention on some youths who have chosen to give back to those less fortunate. Friday night, Dec. 19, the Civil Rights Team from Bangor High School braved the low temperatures to stay for eight hours inside cardboard boxes in the parking lot of the school to raise money and awareness to the plight of the homeless in our community.
They, along with their teacher Ms. LaPlante, showed us what true giving and caring is. My son was a member of that group and I can’t help but admire him. He and his classmates made a bold statement hat night; that all hope is not lost.
My son was frozen when he got home. But he said to me, “The homeless aren’t so lucky to be in a nice warm home.” I was really taken aback as I stood there looking at this young man to whom I give my deepest respect and admiration. I’m sure this feeling is in the hearts of all the parents of all these kids who gave of themselves and their time that night.
The Civil Rights group sends a powerful message to our students and lets them voice their opinions about prejudice whether it be about race, homelessness, sexual orientation, as well as any stereotype opinions they see.
With youth as dedicated and caring as these kids and their leader are, I can feel the hope for our future.