Life is a song – sing it.
Life is a game – play it.
Life is a challenge – meet it.
Life is a dream – realize it.
Life is a sacrifice – offer it.
Life is love – enjoy it.
– Sai Baba
edited by Kendall F. Person
With only 12 in existence, the albino alligator, with its piercing blue eyes and ghost-like white skin is of the rarest creatures in the world. They have been found only in the bayous of Louisiana and are buried deep in mystical beliefs, that laying eyes upon one, good fortune it will bring. But it is well known that an albino alligator cannot survive in the wild, being unable to camouflage itself and therefore never allowed the peace of moving out of harms way. But a more sinister notion of why they cannot survive, stunningly ascertained in the movie of the same name. Albino Alligators tend to be weak, sensitive and shy, unable to defend themselves, much less hold onto territory. It is proven that chimpanzees engage in tactical warfare and wild dogs will strategize in the hunt, but legend has it that an opportunistic gator, impatient about waiting his turn in line, will nudge an albino alligator into the prized territory of the alpha gator, and when the alpha swoops in to defend itself against the hapless gator with pale skin, he will have found himself outsmarted, for his rival has set the stage for ambush and his fate will have been sealed.
In 1773, the 13 colonies located in North America, but still very much under British rule, revolted to additional taxation, believing they had already paid their fair share. So in Boston, they took the British Tea, in which they were expected to pay taxes on and destroyed it all, infuriating the Crown across the pond and setting off a spectacular chain of events, eventually leading to the American Revolutionary War. But in 1775, all of the colonies were still not convinced to join ranks into a single army in a fight for their independence. But at the Virginia convention, a man by the name of Patrick Henry stepped up to the podium and delivered a speech, that would lead to the birth of a nation.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!
The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!
Our brethren are already in the field!
Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
On December 14, 2010, a young woman named Monique Nelson would take her 2-year-old son Christmas shopping, stopping by a one hour photo store in a strip mall located on the south side of the city of Sacramento. In an unthinkable chain of events, she would become a casualty in a street war that made no sense. A shootout began in an opposing business, located in the same parking lot. With the violence escalating and the bullets flying from all directions, Ms. Nelson’s actions would exemplify the bond between a mother and her child, when she acted without hesitation, using her body as a shield, and taking an errant bullet, straight to the heart.
The sacrifice of the albino alligator is another rung in securing survival of a species. For the best territories offer more to eat and the bigger and stronger in animal kingdom, the better chance to find a mate. War does not come without sacrifice, and those who declare it, and those who fight for it, play historical roles in victory and in defeat. And a mother sacrificing herself for her child, is tragic for its existence, and beautiful in its devotion.
Without hesitation – a person or situation or an occasion – we can comprehend a sacrifice on some level; and that the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.But we also may struggle or be challenged by an empty sacrifice: things we do that do not edify our lives, that do not count as our contribution and, that we may not even enjoy, yet the time given or the money spent or the emotion exhausted, was at the expense of something or someone else.
On March 1, Season IV will begin. The Neighborhood has shied away from few topics. We have always tried to deliver thought-provoking shows, while never forgetting that we are here to entertain you. Appropriately titled ‘RAW’, throughout our 4th season we will take a closer look at our cities, our communities and ourselves, with the dream or intent or hope or ambition, to find solutions and build strength together, so that sacrifices we are forced to make, serve a purpose, like the American Revolutionary War or are beneficial to somebody – like Monique Nelson – but unlike the albino alligator, the choice will be ours.