When I Made a F in College English
I first knew I could write when I made a F in college English. The assignment was to write a story about our own lives. I wrote about my grandmother. When I went to see my teacher and learn my grade, she said I made a F. She said I had copied the story out of a book. I said I hadn?t. "No freshman writes that well," she said. I couldn?t convince her otherwise, and she didn?t change my grade. But I left her office feeling like I had just won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Now comes the Internet! From my computer in my home, I am in instant and inexpensive contact with people everywhere. On my web page (www.hatebusters.com) I can describe my books and ask for orders. But web surfers need to know about my web page in order to read about my books. Here is where I need your help. I am asking everyone in my Email address book to please pass along this message to those in your address book. And if you could add a line or two saying that you know me, I would be forever grateful.
The proceeds from sales of my books go to support the work of HateBusters. By passing this message to your friends, you are helping HateBusters to reduce the hate in our communities, our country and the world.
As Man of LaMancha opens, Don Quixote is an old man. His brains have dried up from reading too much about man?s inhumanity to man. But instead of surrender, Don Quixote mounts a crusade. I?m now an old man. I?ve taught race relations and fought for a fairer world for decades. For almost 20 years I?ve lived with what the doctor who diagnosed me calls a "damnable disease." I left my college in 1995 to mount my own crusade. I call it HateBusters. Mayors, governors, presidents, ministers, rabbis and school children have invited me to come and help them. I never say no. I charge no fees.
I went looking for goodness in people one summer. I rode my bicycle, alone and without money, from Disney World to Disneyland, by way of Seattle. Along the way I told people about the Human Family Reunion, and I met the people who are the heart and soul of this country. In China by bicycle they gave me a name, "Ai Hua," means "Loves China." I have a Chinese grand daughter.
Ride my bike. Bust hate. Go everywhere. Write it all down. Many books now I?ve written. Those who read them, love them. But it?s all been done on back channels. On a small scale. I taught in a small college. I published my own books. Now I?m ready for prime time. Over 500 hundred people I asked for a sandwich, a glass of water or a bed for the night on my cross-country solo bike ride. No one said no. "Audacious Asking," I call what I learned to practice. "Have a bold and noble mission. Ask for exactly what I need and know that the one I ask cannot say no." It?s that simple. And that powerful.
I come now to ask you to buy my books. Take a chance. I just might be the Grandpa Moses of the print medium. Or I could be a no-talent wannabe. Only one way to find out.
Here are the titles. Counterpoint: Life beyond a Damnable Disease
Every once in a while a man like Ed comes along and is allowed to enter into our lives. His honesty makes us take him in and care for him as if her were our own.
My first reaction after reading the passages is to say, "Hallelujah!" I?m happy for Ed Chasteen. I?m glad he?s alive and well and hope he can live a long, full life to continue his works and inspire us all.
Counterpoint is an inspiring book. It makes people want to cheer and cry while getting its point across. The book shows how struggles can be overcome and that nothing is impossible.
At some spots I almost felt like a proud parent. I felt like I had known Ed for a long time, and I also felt like pushing him and helping him along his way. And when he succeeded I was happy and proud for him.
Counterpoint deserves and holds a special place in my life. Throughout the book, I felt like I was right there with Ed going through his struggles with him. The book was very moving, and there were times I found myself with a tear in my eye or a smile stretching across my face.
From the beginning to the end, I was never in control when reading this book. Each time I read, I felt as if I were in another world. I?ve cried, smiled, frowned and even laughed through the entire book.
After reading the last chapter of Counterpoint I continue to ask myself, "What keeps this man going?" After an incident like that I don?t think I would be able to go on. It seems like every time he breaks out of one prison, he is allowed a small glimpse of freedom; then, ?slam,? the door is shut again and the key thrown away. It takes more than human will to continue to carry on under those circumstances.
How To Like People Who Are not Like You
Each of us is unique, tailor-made in an off-the-rack world. In a world nearing six billion people, this is a comforting thought, reassuring us, as it does, that there is no one just like us, and suggesting that we bring to the human experience something precious and one-of-a-kind.
But if no one is just like us, what are we to do to build community, and a sense of belonging? We are not meant to live lonely and isolated lives; we are meant for sharing and belonging. Our very uniqueness compels us to search out those whose differences compliment ours; then once we have found them, se set about weaving them into the tapestry of our lives so that together we may become more than any of us alone ever could be.
How are we to do this? It would help if we were all born with a set of instructions programmed into us. Since we aren?t, we all need to read a book written by Ed Chasteen. It?s a little book, simply and beautifully written, which tells us step-by-step how to like ourselves, our friends and families, and people of other races and religions.
Now in its tenth edition, ?How To Like People Who Are Not Like You? explains exactly what must be believed, thought about, and done to escape that iron cage of mind and soul that keeps us from feeling at home wherever we are and from going anywhere we choose. Reading this book and taking to heart its message will set us on that lifelong journey to becoming a World Class Person, one who is able to go anyplace at anytime and talk to anyone about anything, and feel safe.
Hey, Bicycle Rider?Don?t Worry about That Dumb Dog
"Too much sanity may be madness. And the greatest madness of all may be to see life as it is and not as it should be." Don Quixote
"Let it never be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one, brief shining moment, known as Camelot." King Arthur
"If I remain silent, I am damned. If I speak, I am condemned." Jean Valjean
As we enter the third millennium on this third planet from the sun all things seem possible. Aldonza can become Dulcinea. The round table can be rebuilt. No more empty chairs at empty tables!
Pedalin? Pilgrim--Alone and without Money across America
From having spent his life trying to teach white people and black people how to like each other, Pilgrim has grown weary. His best efforts have had little result. He has given his heart, mind and soul to the effort, and sometimes things seem to be getting better. But having been aboard the planet for more than 50 years, Pilgrim cannot feel the unadulterated joy he now and then experienced years ago and expected by this time would be constant.
Despite knowing too much about the dark side of human beings, Pilgrim believes that inside every person on the planet burns a spark of goodness. He believes this. But he doesn?t know. He has to know.
When Pilgrim was a little boy, he would listen on Saturday mornings to Let?s Pretend on the radio. Those stories he heard of heroes and princesses fired his imagination and filled his mind. Then on Sunday mornings in church he learned about a little boy who killed a giant with a slingshot and saved his people, a man named Samson who pulled down the temple and killed his enemies and Moses, who made the Red Sea part. These Saturday and Sunday stories lodged in Pilgrim?s soul.
Now an old man with what his doctor calls a "damnable disease," Pilgrim has a plan. If his plan works, he will prove that doctor wrong who said he couldn?t be active. And he will find that spark of goodness inside every person he meets. His plan is to get on a bicycle in Orlando and start pedaling northwest. He will take no money. He will be all by himself. When he is hungry or tired, he will stop at the first church he sees and ask for help.
If people really have a spark of goodness, they will help him. If his doctor is wrong, Pilgrim can keep pedaling. If he makes it to Disneyland, he will know that spark of goodness really exists. He will prove that his illness cannot keep him home. To everyone he meets across the country, he will talk about The Human Family Reunion, a program he and his students at Jewell College started years ago to get people of all colors, creeds and cultures together for a giant smorgasbord, where they all bring their favorite foods and the sole (soul) purpose of the evening is to begin the process of learning to like one another.
Better to fail at something bold and heroic and a little crazy, Pilgrim thinks, than to succeed at a lesser goal. Many years and miles removed from those Saturday and Sunday morning stories of heroes, Pilgrim seeks now to live out a story of his own that someday might be told to other little boys and girls who are just beginning their own dream time and whose imaginations at a young age are open to all possibilities.
This is the story of what happened.
A Fairy Tale?Phillip of Sapphire College and Those Who Could not Hate
He?s working on a new curriculum for Sapphire College. The WORLD AS I WOULD HAVE IT is the name Phillip has given his plan. Drawing on Looking Backward, Utopia, 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Don Quixote, Camelot, Brigadoon, the Wizard of Oz, Finnean?s Rainbow, Alice in Wonderland , and all the fairy tales he has ever heard, Phillip wants to dream the future into reality.
Those who come with Phillip to Sapphire College will imagine a new way of knowing and relating. Then they will go from this place to practice imagineering, as they bend the world to their vision. Together Phillip and his students will read some of these and other books. They will see movies. They will talk to people with practice in imagining. But mostly they will dream. Phillip has no idea what their final destination looks like. For at Sapphire College they have a saying which guides everything they do:
Ridin? Bikes and Bustin? Hate?Stories to Warm Hearts and Make Heroes
I have songs to sing and stories to tell, amazing, inspiring stories, stories of love and hate and heroes. If I don?t ride, I can?t walk. If I do, I can run. If I don?t bust hate, despair stalks me. If I do, joy comes.
Thinkin? and Livin? by Bicycle
Then one day as I got there, I noticed that where the sidewalk ended, there was now a paved path sweeping gently and upward to the right. The bicycle seemed to turn itself in that direction. A short time later the path became a country road leading soon to a town I had never seen before.
"I?d better get home," I said to himself. "Mother will have supper ready." But when I turned my bike around, the road was gone. Before I could cry or be afraid, someone appeared at my side. I looked quickly around. An old man stood in front of me and around me stood four beautiful children about my own age. Something about them all soon let me know that I had nothing to dread. I didn?t ask who they were, how they got there or even how I chanced to be in a place I had never seen before even though I had traveled only a short distance from my home.
"Hello, Arthur," the old man said.
Before I could tell the old man my name was Edgar, he continued. "I knew that bicycle would one day bring you back. Don?t you recognize it? It was yours when you were 10," the old man said. And you had to be 10 for it to bring you back.
"Merlin?" I didn?t understand how I knew the old man or why the old man called me Arthur or why I asked the old man, "What happened to us? Where have you been?"
"I?m sorry, Arthur. I forgot to warn you about Mordred. Now Camelot?s gone. But I?ve found you again, and this is the City of Nevaeh."
I thought I should cry and be afraid. Mother had taught me not to talk to strangers. And I understood that I was lost. But I was happy. And glad to be here. I didn?t know why. I just was.
"You can?t go home again, Arthur," Merlin said gently to me. With my magic, however, I will bring your home to Nevaeh. Your house, your street, your mother and dad and your school and church and all your friends will be here. You won?t know it from where you were before. You will go to sleep tonight and when you wake up in the morning you will think this has all been a dream. But you will live the rest of your life here in Nevaeh. Peace and Power and Purpose and Joy will be with you always. You won?t see them again with your eyes, but you will feel them in your heart. And you won?t see me again, Arthur. But as I have spoken, so shall it be.
"Now, Arthur, ride into Nevaeh. Your mother has supper ready."
"Edgar Ray, you better wake up. It's Saturday morning and Let's Pretend is coming on. It's the story of King Arthur today." Mother called me "Edgar Ray" when she wanted to be sure she got my attention.
HateBusters?Who We Are and What We Do
HateBusters began that fall morning in 1988 when I went into my yard and picked up the morning paper. Big headlines screamed: "Klansman Elected to Louisiana Legislature." I had been teaching Race Relations at William Jewell College for years, telling my students that?s it?s never enough just to know. We must be willing instantly to act on what we know.
I took that paper to my class. "We have to do something to help Louisiana redeem itself," I said. "But I don?t know what." Over the next few weeks those students designed the uniform and took the name: HateBusters. The Governor of Louisiana invited us to come. We went. Word got out. We began to be invited to other states. By 1995 we were so busy that I left the college to do this full time. HateBusters became a 501 C-3 non-profit.
In 1998 someone burned a cross in Kansas City, Kansas. A group formed to condemn this awful act. This group called themselves, "Clergy and Church Against Race Violence." HateBusters moved its headquarters to Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas in 1998. HateBusters joined forces with Clergy and Church Against Race Violence.
Our combined purpose is to respond as fast and as visibly as humanly possible when someone burns a cross or commits some other act of race violence. The moment we hear of the violent act, we get on the phone and on the internet. We call churches. We call the police. We call city government. We call TV and newspapers. Within three days we hold a prayer vigil where the cross was burned. Many people come. The story of our vigil is carried on the evening TV news and in the morning paper. We work hard to make sure that our response is big news. We want our response to over-ride that image of race violence with the story of good people doing noble deeds in defense of victimized people.
Our quick and visible response to violence is only our first action. We give help to victims. Victims need legal, psychological, spiritual, emotional and financial help. We organize the local community to provide that help. We ask people to write love letters to the family. We stay in touch with the authorities until an arrest is made. We go to court as friends of the victim and sit with them during the trial. We hold a press conference when the verdict comes in to render our judgement to the community.
HateBusters also works to prevent race violence. We have a book called How To Like People Who Are Not Like You. With that book we teach people how to like each other. We teach children in school how to talk to each other so they won?t get in fights. We teach them how to call each other good names rather than bad names. We teach people how to oppose hate and why they should.
What those who hate believe and how they behave finds no support in any of the world?s holy books, nor is it sanctioned by any of the world?s great teachers. Those who hate have embraced a lesser teaching, and with it they would, if we do nothing, drag us all down to our doom.
HateBusters seek to inspire, encourage and inform all who hear of us. We want to breathe on that spark of goodness inside every person on the planet until it bursts into a flame that will warm and enlighten all who come near.
HateBusters does not charge fees. But we do have expenses. We depend upon those who believe in what we do to support us. All gifts to HateBusters are tax deductible. This book tells the HateBusters story. It will inspire and encourage you. You will want to join us.
Chasteen has a rare gift and an extraordinary perception of the human psyche.
It?s great, fantastic, moving. If a reader is not truly touched by the book it must be because he is an observer and not a runner in the race of life.
Not many men would confess to us as Runner is doing because they were not taught to love in that way. They were taught to con people and not to cultivate and cherish others.
Runner is a lesson in life.
Invite us and we will come.
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