From when I came... part 2  

Bobbingjoy 61F
214 posts
8/11/2006 8:48 pm

Last Read:
8/15/2006 8:14 am

From when I came... part 2

To continue...

After high school, I had no clue what course of study - or of life for that matter - I should pursue, so I started out reading a spectrum of stuff.

An incident occured that very first semester which set me up superlatively for the remainder of my post-secondary studies.

I happened to sign onto Sociology 101, lectured by a world-renown professor who was also my mentor and course tutor. The prof. also happened to be the Dean of Arts.

Of course I left writing the term paper until the last day - actually the last night - before due date, so madly read The Rules of Sociological Methodology. Since it was translated from German in a rather complex academic manner, I had written my own understanding around the margins of the printed text, paragraph by paragraph. In a panic to be able to submit any paper, I then just typed out all that I had written, unedited, ver batum and rushed to submit the paper before the noon deadline.

Guess what? I got an A++ - yep, two pluses! and from the Dean of Arts and world famous sociology professor! I instantly became known as one of the select group of undergrad "intelligentsia" - and totally sailed through undergrad with great marks and much tolerance from all the other profs. Absolutely crazy... and most certainly not really earned.

Before completing undergrad., I had another fabulous opportunity: I was one of 27 students from 23 member nations offered an internship at UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation) in Paris, one of two Canadians. Me, an east-end Vancouver kid - who's high school guidance counsellor advised to take the commercial stream since she thought that, even though I was obviously intelligent and quick enough, I wouldn't have the economic means to go to college - selected among hundreds of Canadian students to report to duty "at 9 a.m. sharp at UNESCO headquarters July 15th" (quoted from the telegram).

So began my career in working for world peace... well, ok, working for human rights and international socio-economic development a tiny bit at a time. It was a dream come true, ever since at age 16, I went to New York City staying with an adopted aunt who happened to work for the then Secretary-General of the U.N. itself, and dreamt of becoming just a tour guide there, totally enamoured with the lofty goals which founded the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It really was an awesome opportunity... and several fellow interns, with whom I still stay in touch, have all pursued various careers still connected with internationalism and socio-economic justice.

It's perhaps providential I didn't remain in that career, since I feel so dismayed at current events, the Middle East continuing wars, terrorism, etc., nevermind all the horrors of escalating natural disasters.

Still, it was a great part of from whence I came, what still motivates me, what I keep close and hang onto when in despairing moments...

Do you ever wonder from where anyone comes, what motivates them, what makes them who they are, even if what they're doing is dasturdly?

While I've stopped being such a wishy-washy liberal socialist, I still fleetingly wonder at what created Osama bin Laaden.

OK, I'll shuddap now.

Joy, with tears

jeffreyl1 66M  
24 posts
8/12/2006 12:21 am

"Still, it was a great part of from whence I came, what still motivates me, what I keep close and hang onto when in despairing moments..."

Where you have been is an integral part of the "how" and "why" you are where you are now; none of us have parachuted into our lives from out of "nowhere," after all....

This undoubtedly had to be a truly an amazing "place" to find oneself in so early on in life's path. We certainly make choices along the way that shape our course, but the course itself in turn helps to shape us; it's the reason questions of "who" almost demands the question of "where."

"Do you ever wonder from where anyone comes, what motivates them, what makes them who they are, even if what they're doing is dasturdly?"

In a word, indubitably....

"While I've stopped being such a wishy-washy liberal socialist, I still fleetingly wonder at what created Osama bin Laaden."

And I frankly have to admit my curiosity is more than fleeting, particularly in his case. But curiosity aside, what's done is done, and whatever value the understanding one could glean from an in depth study of that question would possess would revolve about deterrence, rather than explanation or rationale. Whatever created him, whatever path he trod from there to here, "here" is still monstrosity and madness. That, in spite of the fact many folks I know consider me a "wishy-washy liberal socialist" (though those that do, don't really know me all that well, I would have to say).

"Joy, with tears"

Those I am most suspicious of in this world are those who profess to be both aware of what goes one and yet devoid of tears....

Bobbingjoy replies on 8/12/2006 8:57 am:
Say, Jeffrey,
I keep trying to remember that I've had great opportunities so far and am extremely happy to say I don't fear leaving this earthly body, especially when I get bummed out over such stuff as money, or the lack thereof. After all, I've had many, many years of having enough, knowing I had access to more, knowing rather profoundly I was and am loved, respected, trusted, yadda...

As for bin Laaden and cohorts, my main question is why they somehow sincerely believe we non-Muslims don't have a right to survive? Are they so brainwashed so lives are so easily expendible? Havoc and fear is somehow their right to wreak? Where in the Koran can anyone interpret all such madness?

Tears... sometimes the despair is far beyond tears, I'm afraid. Some friends say they are just happy we've lived a simpler, happier world and are glad we won't be around for the apocalypse. Blinker-living, methinks... but perhaps they are better off than me.


jeffreyl1 66M  
24 posts
8/12/2006 6:28 pm

Hmmm. Not sure why there's two of me. I didn't think I stuttered when I hit "Post." Oh well.....

Bin Laden reportedly remarked shortly after the fall of the WTC that there "were no innocents" in the towers that awful September morning. This, in spite of the fact that most of the world's nationalities and certainly all of its' major religions, including Islam, were well represented in the day's horrible, horrible toll.

In Iraq, Muslims slaughter other Muslims daily these days over sectarian squabbles. In Pakistan and India, those who Gandhi set free of the tyranny of one empire now butcher one another with violent abandon and thus surrender themselves to a new taskmaster, their own hate. In Spain, Basque separatism goads men onto one another, while in Northern Ireland, another type of sectarian difference feeds hatred. On and on the list goes ... religion simply is the cloth in which men wrap their hate in a vain effort to make it appear holy.

It's not what it is about Islam that underwrites Bin Laden's insanity, it's strictly hate, anger and rage. That he clothes it in intellectual, semantic and religious claptrap doesn't change that basic fact. George W. Bush claims to pray for guidance from the Almighty, then launches a devastation in Iraq that thus far has conservatively cost tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, a toll that is near to surpassing any havoc Saddam Hussein was able to wreak in decades of despotism. That adventure was seen by and sold to most Americans as a "payback" for the atrocity that was 9/11, yet what does the scripture George's "core constituency" holds to be at the root of American history and culture (an imminently arguable position, but in this case, "truth" is in the mind of the believer, as it were) teach? Let's see, something ... something ... something about turning the other cheek....

The funny thing is, George and crew really do have the right "scripture" at hand, and they toss it about casually, as if it's some great American possession, to be proselytized to the world in most benevolent (and if necessary, militant) fashion:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...." I noticed long ago that it doesn't read all American men, all Christian men, all any one kind of men. Simply, forcefully and succinctly, it says, all men.

Bin Laden has no more right to deprive another of life than you or I, but he is unwilling to leave the table without getting his ounce of flesh in reparation for what he views as the injustice of the Palestinian people and America's complicity in prolonging that. Just as now, there are many who will not rest 'til someone has paid for 9/11.

Gandhi said it simply, and best, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." It's not any religion that justifies the insane lashing out taking place all over the globe these days ... it's blindness, plain and simple....

(Oops, just noticed my soapbox was showing. I'll breathe now... )

Bobbingjoy replies on 8/14/2006 8:29 am:
to you, Jeffrey!

A Harvard math prof. and jingoist about 20 odd years ago sang... his name totally escapes me right now... "They're rioting in Africa (whistling); There's strife in Iran (more whistles)..."

I've been reading Dan Brown's Angels and Daemons... and just read the rather brilliant speech by the cantelango (sp?)... Very fascinating position... but doesn't work against all the angers, rages, fears humankind choses to wrought, dammit!

And tears are not enough.


Become a member to create a blog