Wednesday, December 16

Mark Twain on Slavery, How Religion Is Used to Justify Injustice, and What His Mother Taught Him About Compassion


I just love his work. Mark Twain is one of my hero's and his works are just so amazing. Even so many decades after he wrote them, his words echo and touch chords. 

But this is the amazing thing. He's talking about slavery. The feeling of discrimination against somebody else. We all have it kids. You may discriminate against a person with tattoos.  Or with a darker skin. Or with a different religion. Common. Very common. But it's horrible. Imagine what Mark Twain's mum correctly identified. The little boy was torn away from his mother and will never see her again. 

But despite that, he's smiling and singing and laughing and happy. And that's what I want you kids to learn. Be happy. Laugh. Have hope. People clutch on to their bad experiences. Their horrible memories. Their painful times. And many simply cannot move on. I've got so many that it can make 10 lifetimes sad but you have to rise above bad memories and experiences kids. Sing. Be happy. Help others. If somebody discriminates against you, smile and walk away. You're the bigger person. 

But all that pales in comparison to the fact that you've got to read mark twain. All of them. Many times. 

I'm sitting here on a bench overlooking the English Channel just on the right side of Eastbourne on Beachy Head. And I can see the lovely sun dappled waters. The bees are buzzing all around, hopping from flower to flower. And there's a nice little breeze. And I can watch the ships and sailboats below me. An extraordinarily peaceful sight. And just letting the atmosphere wash over me. And I'm writing to you both. Pretty lovely time indeed. 



Mark Twain on Slavery, How Religion Is Used to Justify Injustice, and What His Mother Taught Him About Compassion
(via Instapaper)

“She never used large words, but she had a natural gift for making small ones do effective work.”

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is celebrated as America’s greatest humorist — from his irreverent advice to little girls to his snarky stance on creativityto his masterwork on masturbation. But underpinning his winsome wit was piercing insight into the human spirit and all its perplexities. From The Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1 (public library) — which also gave us Twain on how morality and intelligence hinder each other — comes a moving anecdote about how his mother taught him the essence of empathy.

Half a century before “African American” came into popular use as a politically dignified term, Twain recounts his childhood friendships with black slaves:

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