When I was a little child, my parents taught me by example to pray. I began with a picture in my mind of Heavenly Father being far away. As I have matured, my experience with prayer has changed. The picture in my mind has become one of a Heavenly Father who is close by, who is bathed in a bright light, and who knows me perfectly.
Both my father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis.
When I was a child in the 1940s and early 1950s, my parents and grandparents spoke of Britain as home, and New Zealand had this strong sense of identity and coherence as being part of the commonwealth and a the identity of its people as being British.
Following Michael Brown’s death, I went to Ferguson and met with his parents. I stood with them as they tried to hold their heads high and deal with both their immense loss and the larger issues of police-community relations.
When I was little, my parents really only wanted me to be a scientist or a doctor; they had never even heard of law school. I think even these days if you were to tell your mother you want to be a fashion designer, or an artist or a writer, a lot of Asian parents would be alarmed because they don’t think that’s a secure career.
In Chinese culture, it wouldn’t occur to kids to question or talk back to their parents. In American culture, kids in books, TV shows and movies constantly score points with their snappy back talk. Typically, it’s the parents who need to be taught a life lesson – by their children.
I just like being on my own on trains, traveling. I spent all my pocket money travelling the London Underground and Southern Railway, what used to be the Western region, and in Europe as much as I could afford it. My parents used to think I was going places, but I wasn’t, I was just travelling the trains.
Parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles are made more powerful guides and rescuers by the bonds of love that are the very nature of a family.
My parents, and especially my mother, encouraged by the director of the local school which I was attending, wanted in spite of everything to send me to a National School of Arts and Crafts so that I could later become an engineer.
My parents often wondered why I would grow so indignant at the falsification and exploitation of the Nazi genocide. The most obvious answer is that it has been used to justify criminal policies of the Israeli state and U.S. support for these policies.