We live in a society where duplicity, lying, deceit, and not being honest are common. We are inundated with people that say one thing to your face and another behind your back. And, God forbid, if they get found out they make you the enemy.
In the past few years, this has happened to me almost on a daily basis due to me being on the radio and simply being honest. But there were three occurrences that were bold.
Two happened in Hawaii with a Dr. Bill Harris and Karl Seff, a science professor at the University of Hawaii, who are both Directors of the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii ([email protected]).
I used to write articles for the VSH until they appointed an envious person to manage their newsletter. I submitted an article about GMOs to the VSH and was asked by Mr. Seff what was wrong with GMOs? He also stated that he ate them and I could not resist telling him that that fully explains why he is like he is. His point that followed was that the VSH was an organization espousing vegetarianism, which had nothing to do with GMOs . I explained to him that the last time I looked GMOs were vegetables and since vegetarians eat vegetable how is it not applicable?
He became incensed and blew me off and added me to his “shitlist”. Ironically, about a year or so later at a GMO opposition hearing, Directors of the VSH spoke about the dangers of and their opposition to GMOs.
A short time after that incident I submitted another article to Dr. Harris. He told me that the newsletter person who was a volunteer would not accept any of my articles and since his position was a volunteer position they could not force him to accept the article for fear of his quitting.
I knew Dr. Harris was full of crap and trying to simply look like the good-guy. So I told him that if the newsletter guy quit because of taking my article, I would volunteer and take over the newsletter duties.
That was the last time anyone in the VSH had anything to do with me despite the incident happening at least twenty years ago.
The irony of all of this is I have been a vegetarian since 1975 and a vegan since 1990. My weekly radio show in Honolulu started in 1981, which centered around eating a plant-based diet to obtain maximum health. The show began well before the VSH was formed. When it was formed, several of their Directors would call-in on my show talking about who their upcoming guests would be. Oh yeah, I have spoken to that group at least three times. But, false ego (the tendency to never look bad) supersedes honesty.
Recently, I have been toying with the idea of starting an internet radio show so I can reach more people. There’s a man, Patrick Timpone, that has been doing internet radio for a long time. A mutual friend put me in touch with Timpone, who I had hoped would be able to help by getting me started.
While speaking with Mr. Timpone I talked about the benefits of a plant-based diet causing Mr. Timpone to become very defensive. Obviously, he felt that I was threatening his lifestyle so I shortened the call but mailed him a copy of my book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. What happened after that was a mind-blower.
Our mutual friend tried to get Mr. Timpone to loosen up and hear me out. The following are the words of actual emails.
Mr. Timpone to our mutual friend:
I talked to Hesh for a while sometime back. Nice fellow, but I don’t really “thing” (more about this misspelling later on) he has anything new or interesting to bring to the table.
This was inadvertently sent to me by the mutual friend when he copied me on his email to Mr. Timpone. In the mutual friend’s email to me he tried to get me to try to reconcile with Mr. Timpone by having him on my radio show.
My response to this was:
I’ll find someone else to help me with internet radio. Why would I have a hypocrite and someone who thinks very little of me on my show? He made it very clear that he thinks very little of me and is very judgmental. If he wants to do a radio show with me he should ask me to be on his show. At least that would display a semblance of humility. The guy is such a know it all and as such I cannot bring anything new or interesting to the table. So, what’s the point?
I then sent a response email to Mr. Timpone (Patrick @1radionetwork.com) in response to what he said to our mutual friend, which was inadvertently sent to me:
Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. It must be hard being a know-it-all with little tolerance for difference. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for you to have a stroke or a heart attack, or erectile dysfunction or type 2 diabetes before you figure out that succumbing to the dictates of your tongue, which overrides the intelligence, is a recipe for disaster. Had I known you knew everything I would not have wasted the postage in sending my book to you as I’m sure you knew all about what it encompassed and would not learn anything new by reading it. And so the Baskin-Robbins legacy continues with its 31 flavors. You make me so thankful that I have an open mind. Oh yeah, you misspelled “think”. But I’m sure you knew that and wanted to see if anyone would catch it. I am so sorry that “I can’t bring anything new or interesting to the table”.
Timpone’s response to our mutual friend:
What on Earth were you thinking? Was it in any way cool to share my private email with you concerning Hesh? And after reading his last email to me I am obviously right on target in not wanting him anywhere in my space. Please be more discrete with our personal conversations.
Then, again, our mutual friend sent Timpone’s email to me. Any my final email to Timpone was: I don’t blame you. Nobody likes getting busted.
There were two choices in both instances. 1 – being honest in all respects and 2 – being duplistic to not seem like a bad guy.
I put in the respective email addresses in case anyone had comments for them. I welcome all, pro and con. It helps me to grow.
Anyway, I am sure that many of you have had similar experiences that ended in disappointment and frustration. The way to overcome this is by taking stock in and of your behavior.
We cannot use the examples set by many in so-called religiosity. We have Catholic priests that are pedophiles. Instead of punishment they are assigned to other parishes. We have ministers that marry their boy friends instead of truly heeding their alleged Lord’s words. And then, in the past, we have had world-renowned clergymen getting busted for cheating on their wives.
What I like to refer to are the words in the ancient text Bhagavad-gita As-It-Is where the qualities of the Bramanas set the tone for civilization to follow. In the East Indian culture the Bramanas are the spiritual guides to the others and as such have learned and made a part of them certain qualities for others to strive to act by.
The actual quote from Bhagavad-gita As=It-Is is as follows:
“The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity, nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquility, aversion to fault-finding, compassion, freedom from covetousness, gentleness, modesty and steady determination, vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor – these transcendental qualities belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.”
Interestingly enough there are explanations of these words that are far removed from our perception. For example, charity should only be undertaken for the furtherance of God consciousness. Otherwise it’s a waste of money. Self-control refers to the control of the senses and trying to limit sex life to the propagation of children. Non-violence, or ahimsa, relates to not checking anyone’s progressive life. It goes on to say that animals are also making progress in their evolutionary life by transmigrating from one animal life to another. If an animal is killed, then his progress is checked. And if an animal is staying in a particular body for so many days or so many years and is ultimately killed, then he has to come back again in that form of life to complete the remaining days in order to be promoted to another species of life.
Imagine what the world would be like if people exhibited these qualities. No wars and no pimps or hookers of any kind, corporate or human. The problem is that few people are in the mode of goodness, way more are in the mode of passion, and the bulk are in the mode of ignorance, having no glimmer of spirituality.
It goes on to say that activities in the mode of goodness are considered auspicious for progress on the path of true liberation, while those acting in the modes of passion and ignorance will have to continue their existence in the material world as human beings, or they will descend among the species of animals or even lower life forms.
The human form is the only form that allows one a choice. The choice being, either to cling to the world with its endless frustration of sense gratification and bear the consequences of repeated birth and death, in the forms described above, or to develop a relationship with God and never take birth in the material world again.
To put it another way, whatever material enjoyment one achieves in his/her lifetime, such as wealth, fame or beauty, does not automatically carry forward to one’s next life in the material world because the next form depends upon the consciousness or desires one accumulates in his/her lifetime. For example, all humans and creatures exhibit four similar behaviors. They eat, sleep, mate and defend. What separates the two is consciousness. But, and there is always but, if one embarks on a God-centered spiritual path, that individual will pick up where he/she left off, in the previous life, in a guaranteed human form. Somehow, in this lifetime, when I came in contact with this philosophy I had no problem with its acceptance and adherence.
Unfortunately, many people do not believe this, never heard of it before, or think that developing a relationship with God would turn them into a boring, dried-up person. Ignorance is bliss!
About 500 years ago a very saintly person said, “One should feel himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than the tree, and ready to offer respects to all not requiring any in return”.
In other words, humility far exceeds arrogance.