Posted by: gdevi | January 18, 2016

“What is That Called?”

Sign of the times update: I had a bizarre experience today. I had ordered a book on a couple of weeks back and had received it. It was a fairly expensive art book for some research that I am doing. Anyway, this Saturday I got another copy of the same book in the mail. I had paid for only one, but suddenly I had two copies of this beautiful book of Iranian paintings. I felt bad about keeping a second copy of the book when I had only paid for one. So today I called to tell them that I had this extra copy and wanted to return it; could they send me a prepaid label for it? They told me that the book was sold by the publisher as a third party on and that amazon would contact the publisher and have the publisher send me a prepaid return label. I said okay thanks. So the customer service person started to thank me and told me this — “Ms. Devi, we really appreciate your honesty. I have not had anyone contact me to return something they got for free by mistake.” Oh, okay, I said, no problem; it didn’t feel right to keep something I did not pay for, I said.

Later this evening, the publisher of the book contacted me. They also thanked me for contacting them and making them aware of their mistake in sending me two copies of the book when I had paid for only one. They also thanked me for contacting them and wanting to return the extra copy. Then they told me that I could keep the second copy.  They were pleased that I had made the effort to return the book to them.

Amazing; I have two copies of a gorgeous book. I think the world must be full of people who stiff others for personal gains that they don’t deserve and did not earn. This must be why  everyone thanked me for wanting to return the book that I did not pay for. Thank you, good people; I will take very good care of both books. One for work, and the other for home.


For Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all who march in the parade of liberty–may you never say “Yes” to injustice, not even for a second–here is a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye:


You don’t need a periscope
or a microscope
to see another human being
guiding a child
hand on shoulder of a child
arranging a coverlet over a sleeping child —

You don’t need a stethoscope
to imagine a heartbeat.

What does it mean when one person thinks
others deserve nothing?
What is that called?

If you know what it is called why keep
doing it?

You don’t need a skewer for broiling
or a paring knifefor seeing inside.


And a sweet song by the lovely Miriam Makeba!

Paul Simon and Miriam Makeba, Under African Skies


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