Calling for Kindness in the Face of Hatred
To the Editor:
The voice on the phone was furious. Atta Arghandiwal, Co-Director of the Swarthmore-based Global Kindness Revolution, was reacting to President Trump’s recent rant about how he could end the war in Afghanistan by bombing the country into oblivion, killing 10 million people…but he just “didn’t feel like it!”
When the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Atta was a young man with a promising career who managed the internationally famous Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which was known globally as “The Jewel of Asia,” a popular tourist destination. When his life was endangered by his political activities, he fled Afghanistan in the middle of the night to a refugee camp in Germany for two years. Arriving in America with $10 in his pocket and a cousin’s phone number, he answered an ad for a “teller,” thinking it was for a storyteller. It was a different America then, where immigrants were more welcomed and given a chance to thrive, and the bank manager saw something in him and gave him a chance. Twenty-eight years later he was vice-president of one of the largest banks in the country.
Throughout his life, Atta has continued to advocate for and support the flow of migrants worldwide, to mentor Afghan-American youth, and to advocate for our Global Kindness Revolution. Like so many patriotic, naturalized Americans, Atta maintains a passionate devotion to both countries, and Trump’s cruel policies toward migrants infuriate him.
He said: “Uninformed, racist and uneducated politicians and so-called leaders ignore the rich history of this beautiful Afghanistan, which in America’s eyes is just a bombed out, barren landscape of primitive people which has fallen, been invaded, played as proxy and unfortunately been taken advantage of by invaders for four decades. This vile statement by Trump is an insult to the nation, to its people and to its potential future as the world watches and listens.
“As a proud former Afghan refugee who’s devoted a lifetime to world peace and kindness, I will not stay quiet while the land of my birth is threatened by the cruel policies and tweets by the leader of the world’s most powerful nation, which used to be a beacon of hope and inspiration. This is not how you lead a nation or inspire a struggling world toward peace in these violent times.”
Instead, Atta suggests you join us for Kindness at Noon, every day, everywhere, to see how with just five breaths and one kind thought every day at noon, you can join our Global Kindness Revolution. We truly can change the world just by aligning our minds and changing our thinking. See more about this revolutionary approach to conflict at Trustonekindness.com.
Co-Director, Global Kindness Revolution