Posted to Facebook by a colleague presently located in Myanmar:

Steven Davis

Ten Rules for Hard Times

  1. Do not circulate anything on the internet that comes from or makes strong feelings. Feelings of hatred and anger will not solve this problem. Your internet post can kill.
  2. Be skeptical of everything you read and hear about the problem. You probably slept through your history class. What makes you an expert now?
  3. Read critically. Judge the quality of your sources. Understand their biases. Seek out unbiased information. Don´t trust anyone just because they are a doctor or professor.
  4. Don´t worry too much about history. The famous Irish writer James Joyce wrote: “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. ”He should know. His country had been in a brutal civil war for decades. What matters is now.
  5. Be aware of your own and others´ stereotypes. Don´t use or listen to language that represents a whole ethnic group in a single way.
  6. Don´t use the kind of language that could make people angry. You know what I mean: “terrorists,” “liars,” etc. Only children and immature people use this kind of language.
  7. Practice compassion for everyone who is injured or killed in conflict. Is your compassion for everyone, or only for ´your side´? If you only show compassion for one side, then I have trouble believing that you are not prejudiced.
  8. Do you have a religious faith? If so, look in your religion for the source of compassion for all people. If Jesus, Allah, or Buddha is your religious model, then practice your religion by following their example of peace.
  9. Learn something about ethnicity. For instance, that ethnicity is a matter of culture, and not genetics. Genetically, we are all pretty much identical.
  10. Work for and respect the Rule of Law. If there is no Rule of Law, then that needs to be your focus. Don´t add crime to crime.