9.09.2006

Out Of Respect

Movies, books, music, television, the Internet, all of these can be used too bring us into a thought process that is engaging and provocative. They can be used to present a point of view, an opinion, which may or may not be true. For the last few years I have struggled with the thought that all of these resources may be leading me down a path I had never intended them to. The way I view the world is shaped primarily through the lens in which I view it with. For any young American that view mostly comes through the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the news we read.

We are a completely wired generation.

I remember how when working in the warehouse with my dad and brother in law the radio would blare out the rantings of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. I remember how it made my blood run hot to hear the stories they told of how the “left” was trying to ruin “freedom” in America. I would nod and agree with their impassioned speeches railing against those who would seek to disrupt the fabric of our precious union. In my ignorance I believed that what these men had to say was true and that they were only conduits, mouthpieces if you will, for which the truth was projected from. Growing up in my home meant being strongly opinionated on everything and anything, especially our government. It wasn’t until my first international encounter that I realized the world didn’t exist as the men on the radio said it did. I came to understand that the names given to people were given to mentally disconnect you from the fact that they were humans just like the rest of us. Names like terrorist, murderer, extremist, these were given to make me think that these people who committed certain acts were not really humans at all but sick and depraved demoniacs living within the façade of a human form. Wolves in sheep’s skin.

There is something very frightening that happens in a nation where entertainment is the major form of communication. We begin to believe that the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the headlines we read are the reality of what makes up the world at large. We believe that everything is based on a true story and because of that our stories become our truths. The lines between fiction and non-fiction become so blurred that you are tempted to either believe everything you hear or nothing at all. I know, there is a balance in there somewhere; I just don’t know how to find it. The lack of balanced resources to pull from makes it hard for me to believe that balance even exists.

Five years ago on Monday we in America will remember the events that happened in New York and other cities. We will remember the people who died and the buildings that fell. And out of respect for those who are no longer here with us we will continue to shift blame from one president to the next, make “docu-dramas” on what “really” happened and fight an ongoing “war on terror”.

My personal “war on terror” begins every morning when I wake to the understanding that the same place inside of those men who flew planes into buildings also exists within me. I am not above the desperation or depravity that overcomes all of humanity at times. I too can be zealous, I too can be misled, I too can murder.

2 Comments:

Blogger Carlene said...

Someone wiser than me once said..."No one ones the truth, we each just see it from our own perspective." I think that knowing that is the best basis we have for gaining a better understanding of what the truth is. If we can recognise the lenses we are looking through, we may be able to understand why we see what we do. The next step is an acceptance that others will see things differently, but it is only by being open to their perspective that we get to see a more three dimensional truth. Of course we also need to realise that none of us can see through perfect eyes. With another's view comes another's flaws, so even the most well rounded view will be flawed.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous leslie said...

I think those photographs are the most amazing photos I have ever seen! They are beautiful! I was totally in awe and I hope one day I can even come close to taking pictures like that. Atlanta is not to far away, maybe I can meet up with them sometime.

11:19 AM  

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