Friday, September 14, 2012

Death of a Hmong daughter

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman

I haven't read the book.  Read a NYT article (one of the free ten I'm allowed each month) about the subject of the book, Lia Lee, daughter of Hmong immigrants to the US.  Lia died Aug. 31, age 30, after a struggle with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, pneumonia and sepsis that began when she was three months old.

As I was reading her obituary I was struck by the lack of understanding we have of other cultures.  Living in a country ruled by the simplistic thinking of Teabaggers, fundamentalists, frighteningly ignorant national senators and congresspeople, people who only watch Fox News, it's easy to avoid developing an awareness of the need to open our minds and hearts to those who are different from us.

I'm not certain where I'm going with this.  I had a brief flash of awareness of my own ignorance and how that ignorance contributes to enormous suffering.  I need to let this simmer.

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