Thursday, January 24, 2008

there is no love without compassion

Every now and then the world pauses, allowing a few sacred moments for me to reflect. Welcome to the first [in a long while] post that is not rushed by the bustle of my last-semester-almost-full-time-job-distracted-by-love life.

Still, not having had previous time to disperse these thoughts in increments, I fear that this will end up being a post full of color, but lacking cohesion.

[I'm sorry]

Again, on reading:

A few times I've mentioned this book that I am attempting to read, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. I am both intrigued and disgusted by the history I have avoided until now. Not only is my personal ignorance an intolerable realization, but also the testament that this book stands as. I feel so...let down by humanity.

Are we or are we not inherently good?

The Staff Sergeant will respond with an immediate and deliberate, "No." I dodge that answer in order to preserve my idealistic purpose, but I love that he challenges me to look at ideas from another side. Still, I can't help wanting to think that people are [usually] good by nature. All expectations aside, I have come to realize that not everyone aspires to make the world a better place.

[I should be hugging trees, right?]

I've only covered a small slice of the innumerable dilemmas now categorized as "genocide." One of the more inspiring/appalling situations to which I was enlightened was the Khmer Rouge regime that terrorized the Cambodian population throughout the mid-late 1970's. I just don't understand how this happens, how this is happening, elsewhere, right now, as I type, and we as Americans do little or nothing. A good portion of the populous doesn't even know what is happening in, say, Darfur. My mind lacks the ability to process so much apathy...

Backtracking to Cambodia: I was about half way through the chapter when, in one of those few seconds of free time, I happened across a blog post addressing the exact thing I was losing myself in every time I opened the book's pages. This Khmer Rouge phenomenon was severely disturbing to say the very least, so I dove into the depths of Micheal Yon's account, "No Darker Heart" with hopes of seeing yet another perspective. I devoured it, relished the words, fell in love with the articulation and lusted after his experience. I wanted to see the place where he stood, where the rain surfaced scraps of clothing, unearthed irrefutable truths. I wanted to be a voice like his, to be a bridge for those who don't know, to rid the world of naivety and preferrable darkness.

We can't close our eyes, lest the machine is perpetuated and grows more precise, more able, more hungry. If we don't talk about Darfur, the babies still starve, the innocent are still raped and tortured. The families are still displaced, still left with nothing but the memory of life before. We can't close our eyes, turn our gaze, cover our ears...we can't because it makes us an accomplice to unfathomable brutality and devastation. The sad reality is that most of us do, most generations have, and without knowledge, most will continue to.

On future plans:

My old roommate always acted as a great voice of reason. We think alike in many ways and work through our thoughts in similar methods. Coffee with her last night was extremely helpful in calming the currents of my over-active mind. I had constructed a shaky tower of what-if's on which to position my future direction. I really have no idea what I want to do with myself once I leave these hallowed halls of college, but I feel a pulling, a summoning that urges the core of myself toward some unknown place, some unclear purpose. Alas!, over hot tea, in a noisy, but familiar house of coffee, I was able to move from the maddening buzz of my inner thoughts to a place significantly less congested. I had a pseudo-epiphanic moment.

For once, I embraced patience.

[sweet relief.]

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