Sunday, January 8, 2012
My Hero: Pancho Ramos
I'd like to introduce you to one of my heroes, Pancho Ramos. If you have more time, you can read a detailed biography of his recent years here. In November 2011, Pancho was arrested for meditating at the Occupy Oakland protests. He said, "If police are stepping up their violence, we need to go and step up our nonviolence.” Throughout the protests and even after he and his friends were in handcuffs, he showed compassion and loving kindness to everyone there, especially the police officers. He has had a long history of non-violence, generously giving all he has and encouraging others to share their love. After being arrested in Oakland, he was held under deportation orders. Years before, he had entered the US from Mexico on a student visa at the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics. When he learned that the department's research would assist in nuclear weapons development, he refused to continue with their program. His visa was nullified and he became undocumented. 20,000 people signed a petition on change.org to have him freed, while many others meditated in front of his court arraignment. Because of the amazing love and compassion Pancho had inspired in people, he was freed without bail after 4 days, unprecedented in immigration issues.
Let's start a rebellion! Let's fervently spread loving kindness to everyone we meet! Pancho taught, “The most effective weapon against a system based on greed and violence is kindness.” Let's stop fighting back and resisting and start really changing the world one smile at a time!