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May 28, 2004 - Friday, 1:35 p.m.
You know, I faithfully read The Bleat nearly every day. Somehow the mixture of politics, history and kid stories is just the right mix for me. I am sure that the fact that writer hails from North Dakota, where both of my parents were born and raised, helps give a common background that I find comfortable.
Recently he has been talking about politics and world affairs, two topics that haven’t been near and dear to my heart… well… ever. However, throw a couple economics courses at me - which happened this year - and the state of the affairs of world will not stay out of my mind. I’ve managed to stay blissfully ignorant of the machinations of the political world for over 40 years. Politics never lit any fires in my mind, and in January of 1986 Challenger exploded on take off and within a week a devastating earthquake hit Mexico. I was 4 months pregnant with my third son, and I cried for over a week any time the news came on. After that week I turned off the news and stopped reading the newspaper. I couldn’t see another devastated parent. I couldn’t bear to read nasty stories in the papers about abusive parents. I was at the end of that rope. I closed the book and never looked back.
In 1990 when the Gulf War started my parents were living in Haifa, Israel. With my heart in my throat I watched CNN every night. They remained safe in Haifa, and the war passed. I still stayed away from the newspapers (and do to this day). I find international news interesting, but don’t like seeing the domestic issue and it makes my heart heavy and overwhelms me with the knowledge that I have no ability to help, fix or change any of it. War coverage is a nasty mix of international and domestic issues. Gah! My heart aches to see it.
I stayed away from CNN and the news for a number of years, until 9/11/2001 when again I found myself glued to CNN for about a month. Don’t know how I watched as much of that as I did. Again that terrible feeling of helplessness and despair, why is our world like this?!? I had a nice little break from reality until March of 2003 when the war in Iraq started. Again the TV was tuned in to CNN. That lasted about 2 months, before I turned it off. Now CNN just emails me every time something news worthy happens. The news in one sentence, for the first time in my life I have at least some working knowledge of the events of the world, limited though they may be.
In my world, no one would dream of stepping on a bus with an explosive strapped to their chest. Come on! Look at that 3-year-old adorable child in the front seat! How about the pregnant woman dreaming about the sweet smell of babies and what she is going to make for dinner tonight? No one should be able to do that. No human should be able to justify the act of mass- murder for any reason. ::sighs:: In my world, there could never be a Saddam Husayn, or any vicious dictator. No one would ever steal someone’s identity and use up all his money. No one would take garden lights out of your front yard! My world is a nice place filled with nice people. In my naiveté I pretty much walk around like my world exists. Even though I know it doesn’t exist yet, I believe that it will one day (perhaps not in my lifetime, but one day). I am crushed when some does steal something from me, or cheats me. My heart breaks every time I catch a story about some awful child abuse case, or human rights debacle.
I spend every moment I can in the company of my family and friends. I take care of anyone that falls into my sphere. I try to shield my tender heart the best I can.
However, then tendrils of the economic state of the world is slowly twisting around my ankles and dragging me mentally into an arena where I am a very green novice. I want to suddenly be at a world level close to how the US is. Whether you live in Texas or Ohio, you have a decent standard of living available, medical attention, and food to eat. You have the opportunity to be educated and prosper if you work hard. I realize that the cultural differences in the world make the arrival at this point unpredictable. You can’t just look at politics or economics; you have to look at culture, religion, historical background, and all the multitude of paths leading to a peaceful and just world. And everyone isn’t going to arrive there on the same road. I don’t have the answers. I know that they are there, in the Faith, but I will have to spend some time exploring it. I am sadly lacking in a lot of knowledge to draw real conclusions about anything. I just believe it is within the human capacity to evolve a peaceful world.
The question… or the thought bumping around in the dark corners of my mind… what is the best way I personally can help to accomplish this? Some how I think there are minds out their more versed in the intricacies of economics and in the intricacies of how different societies work. I just feel that the answer is out there lurking, the right set of minds just needs to find it.
More thoughts on this another time….