A X IO M M A G A Z I N E
WINTER 2013/14 G E N E R AT I O N Z HOW I SEE THE WORLD W H AT I S R A C E ? TRUE TOLERANCE
DEPARTMENTS / ARTICLES
FACTS & FIGURES
The Dalai Lama gives insight on tolerance and religion
How Open Minded Are You? Take this quiz to find out
Catch up on todayâ€™s social media trends
Rashida Jones opens up about her biracial background
GENERATION Z: The Future of the World
HOW I SEE THE WORLD
WHAT IS RACE?
Explore the scientific evidence behind the misconception that divides us into race
Defining the differences between tolerance and acceptance
Get to know the characteristics of your generation
One art studentâ€™s view on her journey into adulthood experiences
“I have a father who came from nothing and conquered the world. The last thing I’m going to do is sit here and spend his money and try to look pretty. That’s not interesting to me at all.”
RASHIDA JONES QUOTES COME FROM RECENT INTERVIEWS BACKGROUND BY IMDb
Rashida Jones, famous for roles on The Office and I Love You Man was born in Los Angeles, and is the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. Her father is of African-American, as well as Welsh, ancestry while her mother is Ashkenazi Jewish (a descendant of immigrants from Russia and Latvia). In recent interviews, Jones has been very open with her feelings about her multi-cultural background.
people think that I should be settling into one way or another. I’m lucky because I have so many clashing cultural, racial things going on. I can float and be part of any community I want. The thing is, I do identify with being black, and if people don’t identify me that way that’s their issue. I’m happy to challenge people’s understanding of what it looks like to be biracial, because guess what? In the next 50 years, people will start looking more and more like me.
I’m back to that place where I’m like, You know what? I’m black, I’m white, I’m Jewish, I’m Irish, I’m Portuguese, I’m Welsh, what the f**k ever. To me it’s so inconsequential. People still say things to me like, ‘Oh my god, you’re black? I would’ve never guessed that.’ And I just think, I can’t help your ignorance. There are bi-racial people who look like me or who look like Alicia Keys or who look like Halle Berry. I’m so proud to be so many things.”
RJ: I don’t have any issues about my identity, I relate to every side of both sides of my family. I wasn’t brought up to distinguish. I was brought up to celebrate those things and I think that other
I am very light-skinned and I don’t look like I have a black parent… I’d show up to a casting and the casting director would be visibly relieved and would tell me: `You don’t really look that black at all’…
I used to take it personally but not any more. I used to leave auditions furious, thinking, `How dare you tell me I’m not black? How dare you try to tell me what color I am? Now I think, So what!
Los Angeles, California
HOW I SEE
THE WORLD By Anna Stephens
he World according to my experiences is a place of immense cultural diversity, which is constantly in flux through the exchange of ideas. A major component to how I have landed my point of view is through the notion of exposing oneself to new ideas, different art forms and opposing political beliefs. I truly believe in the importance of learning through doing and challenging oneself through jumping into new experiences. I try to do this through travel, having debates with people who have opposing viewpoints than mine and through attending shows both in the arts and in music. A large influence on my belief in learning through doing comes from my familyâ€™s background. All of my grandparents, as well as the majority of my fatherâ€™s family grew up working on farms in rural Wisconsin. This kind of environment revolves around hands on work and the necessity of a dedicated routine. In this respect, I can say that my family has always placed value on the essence of authenticity and doing a good job. Having a strong work ethic has always been the foundation of all of the creative endeavors my relatives have branched off into. Coincidentally, the majority of my family members have built their lives around creative careers in the arts or teaching. My father is one example of a figure in my life that has influenced and encouraged a lot of my goals as a young artist. As a high school art teacher and sculptor, he has built his life around helping people and communicating his own stories through his work. His sculptures are very reminiscent of his upbringing of growing up on a farm, through his use of found materials and his attentiveness to craft. Ironically, both my major in Printmaking and minor in Interior Architecture are very process-oriented. I find that I am drawn to mediums that are very hands on that demand a sort of attention to construction. Whatever the medium may be, I can say that my family has imbedded the importance of being honest with oneâ€™s work, to be persistent in practice to become the best one can be.
My family also happens to be made up of lots of designers. There seems to be a constant conversations relating to sustainable design and the importance of looking at new materials. Being environmentally conscious has always been considered as an ethical responsibility to my family and myself. This is rooted from my family’s long history of working off the land, emphasizing the idea of “doing it yourself”. Recently, I had a long conversation with a design professor of mine. The topics of discussion ranged from ideas in politics relative to our responsibilities as designers and creative thinkers, to issues in public health, specifically about nutrition and the roles of genetically modified foods vs. buying local. This discussion, or what could be considered a debate, was very enlightening to me because it challenged my opinions on the importance of sustainable design. In his opinion, he does not believe in global warming, eco-design or the downsides of genetically modified foods. Nor does he see the sustainability in buying local. As he put it, he did not believe he had the right as a designer to “impose” his beliefs on other people and placed emphasis on the significance of freewill and individualism.
“ When faced with a challenge, whether it is debating someone’s differing beliefs or venturing into a new place, it is important to make that experience matter.” His stance on many of the issues we debated made me think of Tony Judt’s chapter in describing the New Left that arose during the 1960s. This approach on politics had everything to do with the individual. Judt states, “..If something is good for me it is not incumbent upon me to ascertain whether it is good for someone else- much less to impose it upon them (“do your own thing”). What was interesting about my conversation with my fellow professor was that we both claimed to take liberal sides. Although what seemed to be evident was the definite difference in opinion, and as Judt also described in the same chapter as a “decline of a shared sense of purpose.” When faced with a challenge, whether it is debating with someone’s differing beliefs or venturing into a new place, it is important to make that experience matter. Talking with my design professor left me both frustrated and enlightened. Until talking to him about these issues, I guess I had assumed all designers believed in eco-friendly products and sustainability. All in all, it left me with a greater understanding of what kind of direction I wanted to go with my work. For me, as I see it, the world is in need of alternative approaches to materials which in the long run benefit the health of the environment and the people who inhabit it. As a designer, I feel the responsibility to create spaces with these issues in mind. Likewise with my interests in fine art, I see the importance in applying my talents in places like Sweet Water Organics, where things like mural painting have a direct influence on the community in which it is located.
“ -Dalai Lama
INTERVIEW BY ANNE STIENS
How can we promote tolerance and respect towards other religions and ethnic minorities? “I always mention that the concept of one single truth and one religion is itself a contradiction. But on the level of the individual it is very relevant and can be very helpful. You should keep a single-pointed faith for yourself.
What can we all as simple human beings do? “We must develop close contacts with others and their traditions. In India for over 1000 years – besides the home-grown religions – all major religions were established there as well and lived together. Generally they lived together in harmony and friendship for a long time. One researcher found a Muslim village with a population of 2000 with only three Hindu families there. But the Hindus had no fear and everybody was very friendly. That is India. Sometimes there are problems as in all populations. That can happen and is understandable.
In the reality of different communities and religions with so many people the concept of only one religion is irrelevant. In reality we have different religions and a concept of one truth seems irrelevant to me. From the personal point of view, everything is relative, and one truth for each single person is relevant.
Basically a spiritual sense of brothers and sisters existed. India kept 1000 years of religious harmony – why not in other areas in the word?”
But when you have many people with different values and backgrounds this concept is not convincing as there are many truths and religions – and this is good so.”
When do you think the situation in Tibet take a turn for the better?
Your holiness, what can we learn from others?
“The more close contacts we have on the personal level the deeper is the understanding and mutual respect. You need close contacts to learn about the values of other religions from each other like Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindu or Buddhists.
“When Mahatma Gandhi and other great leaders started their work nobody gave them any guarantee of success. But they were very determined and full of will-power whatever the obstacles were. When my Indian friends started their freedomfight no one knew when freedom would come – they were determined as well and advised me to follow it.Nobody knows when things will change but you must keep your determination – that is important.”
The deep understanding of their values develops a basis of mutual respect. We Buddhists are eager to learn more about mutual respect and the practice of tolerance and compassion towards others. Some Christian friends have implemented these things already in their religion. Thus we develop a spiritual brother-and-sisterhood.”
“Good fortune arises from spiritual qualities like love or tolerance which make us more happy”.
THE DALAI LAMA’S TEACHINGS
“Be kind whenever possible It is always possible.” “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.” “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” “It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.” “It is very important to generate a good attitude, and a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”
WRITTEN BY KHUSHNOOD NABIZADA
What impressed me
most is that you cannot find intensive missionary thoughts in the Dalai Lama’s speech to conquer people for his Buddhist belief. He is a general missionary for humanity and the good cause of peaceful coexistence, integrating all major religions into global codes of tolerance. For him there is no right or wrong religion. He stated: “All major religious traditions carry basically the same message: that is love, compassion and forgiveness; the important thing is that they should be part of our daily lives. We can’t say that all religions are the same, different religions have different views and fundamental differences.
But it does not matter, as all religions are meant to help in bringing about a better world with better and happier human beings. On this level, I think that through different philosophical explanations and approaches, all religions have the same goal and the same potential.”
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
For him moral action means not to interfere in the people’s desire for happiness and joy. Everybody must also consider the interests of others. Sensitivity is needed to take care of other people.
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.”
The Dalai Lama grounds humanity in all of us, in our kindness and responsibility as human beings.
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness and my philosophy is kindness. This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.
“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
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