Sunday, December 2, 2012

message to an Indian police friend and follower of Gandhi

I realized yesterday that there must be a quality about me that makes people want to be with me, and often to seek my approval.  It came through in how profound it became that I would probably not decide what to say on any occasion until I woke up the morning before.  On Tuesday, a sgt picked me up to take to "Interagency Task Force" hq and began referring to my speech.  Speech, what speech, I ask?  I got them to take about 20 minutes to introduce their "hearts and minds" response to gang violence.  By the time I was introduced, I believe I spoke for about 40 minutes straight, with a half hour of lively exchange thereafter.  I'm told the agency superintendent thought the session with about 60 police was a major deal.  That afternoon, my host, the judge and chair of the national mediation board introduced me and 2 others in the justice ministry by abandoning his prepared text completely. I asked him how it felt.  By the time he closed the symposium, he had purposely taken off his tie and jacket.

At the critcrim lifetime award ritual last year, Kip led off eulogies ('twas like being at my own funeral) by saying, "There's only one Hal."  I figure I'm invited because peacemaking IS my rationality.  I am exceptional because I think now and then about what I might say, as I did when I asked what the police program and the problem community were like before I got there and by learning what I could of what they wanted me for ("mediation").  But I respond on stage as I do now with you on the spur of the moment.  How can I do that, people wonder?  I think I have much in common with the experience of the first person on today's first "To the Best of our Knowledge" program on "extraordinary minds" at as and is then is characterized as autistic or even schizophrenic detachment from the rules people around us seek to live by, by social noise.  In my reality, words and numbers and music coincide to form a picture of where others are coming from, how they feel, of a way I might show empathy.  I still think ahead about things I might say at a Friday night get-together if expected to have something interesting to anyone, not obsessively, but enough; just as I think about drinking often, but momentarily when reminded of what drinking felt like.  In that sense, I am a control freak, so detached from reality that I've never tried to find out how to create a power point, nor confining where and how I learn.  In an academic word, I am undisciplined.

One response I feel is curiosity.  Ask me a personal question about me and how my principles apply, and I'll deduce an answer in a several memories of stories including stories of myself that springs up in a little bundle that can zoom out if I'm to elaborate uninterrupted for a period.

A story comes to mind.  By the time I was elected vice president of my homeroom in the 9th grade, I had mastered my Primary Guide to Roberts Rules of Order.  I felt I was pursuing my dream of becoming a lawyer some day.  Now, the channels through which electrons move through my brain are so enlarged that I have had to learn the rules of common courtesy, of cocktail conversation, even of second languages by conscious study that stultifies my conversations, by conscious, concentrated effort.  I am lonely because I am so preoccupied by how to make peace that I don't even know what's going on in books and journals in my field, nor join in any cause, including not voting or signing up for jury duty.  My brand of autism includes not looking issues there "in the eye" as it were.

So the radio program helps me feel that people invite me to speak because I do because of how I am different.  Not shabby.  l&p

Hal Pepinsky,,, 519 Evergreen Circle, Worthington, OH 43085-3667, 1-614-885-6341

From: T K Vinod Kumar []
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2012 2:23 PM
To: Pepinsky, Harold E.
Subject: Re: thinking of you

Dear Hal,
              thank you for remembering me and sending me your latest blog. As I said earlier, I regularly read your blogs and could not be in greater agreement with your views on the events in Gaza and Israel (Blog dated 19th Nov). However I have a feeling that life is less valued and empathy and peacemaking has receded to the background during the last decade. 911, terrorism ,Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria has changed the global discourse, and humaneness, truth, and reconciliation has no value today. I can't think of a leader across the world, who espouses and leads on the basis of these values.
Let us hope things improve over coming years.

Will keep in touch.

Best regards,

On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 9:14 PM, Pepinsky, Harold E. <> wrote:

Hal Pepinsky,,, 519 Evergreen Circle, Worthington, OH 43085-3667, 1-614-885-6341

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