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Healthy Lifestyles, Happiness Amidst Chaos Requires Concentration

Mar 16, 2008
In Richmond on the west coast of Canada, a news story told the feelings of several older locals who recalled how 50 years ago all their young Japanese playmates were pulled out of school and sent off forever in army trucks, and they still felt sadness and some guilt somehow.

Now the Japanese are long gone, only seen in curio shops of artifacts from Japan. Now, more likely are peoples from China, with their curio shops. You can now buy a Buddha as known in Japan, or in China, both very different from the true thin real Buddha who died quietly in his eighties while meditating under a fig tree in India.

Buddha had a pleasant morning with his disciples and they all followed great Gautama Buddha in which he began a final serene meditation in this world and completed it in the next.

Perfection leaving clay and entering Nirvana we could all pray to attain near our ascent, or descent to eternity. And these neighbors all notice how their children come from home having studied those two religions next doors and how much they sound like ours.

Then, we know, we need to be aware that we truly can begin our ascent to wisdom not with a bomb in a mall but with flower shops and organic food stalls and books about deep thoughts and fun mysteries that cause you to think what if?

None argue such a detail as that when they meet under the fig trees in the mall, where their children laugh and play, as they do at school. As our worlds and histories seem to dictate, new migrants to America are more Latino, in Canada from old British Asia.

Now more than half the population of Richmond were born outside Canada, of the 173,600 residents, 57 percent were foreign born. And the racial harmony has been remarkable in this city with the highest proportion of foreign born people in Canada.

How this could happen is the happy harmony out of decades of guilt, misplaced into Anglo youth who saw their Japanese friends taken away in trucks after Pearl Harbor. To many elderly Anglo people in Richmond now, it is an almost eventual accepting of each new wave of ethnics mixing with the English speaking local people of Canada.

Locals can recall losing playmates whose parents were from Japan but who had been born here; feeling hurt and anger as they saw them being trucked away, their homes and fishing boats sold at auctions. This happened in Canada in tandem with America as panic felt in all American and Canadian Pacific coastal cities after Pearl Harbor.

Few citizens of Canada or America who were originally from Japan returned to their previous homes after the war. The new waves began in earnest before the takeover of Hong Kong when many Chinese arrived, and this has continued from China and southeast Asia.

Each new wave has tried to fit in with the existing society; even in rare cases where several shops in several malls placed only Chinese or other ethnic ads in their windows, causing excitement at city hall. No bylaw was necessary, after delegations reminded the merchants they were turning away potential customers.

"25-50 PERCENT OFF" signs in English and Hindu and Vietnam were soon sprouting throughout the malls and neighbor merchants-strangers, began to bow and meet and buy each from each other. Their children began to feel comfortable in the strange other shops and play with those children. The signs are now all clearly in Chinese, Hindi, whatever plus English.

This uplifting story of peoples of various ethnic backgrounds learning to live with each other and their strange smells, habits, customs, sounds, religious peculiarities-such as our Christmas- should be encouraging to all persons of good will. It does for me.
About the Author
Derek Dashwood loves the combining of science into the humanities to measure happiness and bliss.Our site has sections on Happiness, and top right is our Other Healthy Sites connection, at
Healthy Lifestyles - 8 Steps To Bliss
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