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Tag Archives: People

Somewhere, a Caged Bird Flies Free

People are a curious thing to me. Each of them, unique. You can’t really compare people. Sure, you can take some similarities about them (physical descriptions, emotional experiences, spiritual beliefs, etc) and try and put them into categories to become mathematical statistics, but at the root of it all, each person, the whole of them, cannot be compared to another person.

I’m not much of a people person outside of immediate family members. I prefer being by myself. I prefer doing things on my own. I prefer not having the responsibility of having to account myself to another or to account another to myself. But I like to talk a lot. I guess that makes me friendly in a way, because it’s easy to talk to people. Just say hi and go from there.

This world, the people in it, I don’t understand any of it or them at all. I don’t understand their actions. I don’t understand their reasonings. I don’t understand what kind of people they are and if it’s even appropriate to call them people at all. It’s so confusing.

Everyone in this world wants love. They want happiness. They want family. They want belonging. They want freedom. They want life. They want kindness. They want help. They want pretty much the same thing as the person next to them. But who loves? And who gives happiness? And who contributes to family? Who helps others belong? Who stands up for freedom? Who protects life? Who is kind? Who helps another? None of them. And it confuses me so much because I don’t understand. Everyone, every person, wants all these things, but doesn’t help anyone else, and sometimes doesn’t even help themselves. How can the world magically shift and change and utopia be created with no one wanting to do the work or with no one putting forth the effort? It will never happen. None of it. None of these wants. None of these things. None of it will ever happen.

It’s such a simple thing in my mind, these are such simple things: to love, to give happiness, to contribute to family, to help others belong, to stand up for freedom, to protect life, to be kind, and to help others. Why is no one doing it?

Selfishness, ego, and pride, three terrible things that destroys everything good and worthwhile.

I was once asked what good things I did that helped someone else out. Did I go volunteer at the homeless shelters? Did I feed the hungry? Did I leave bags of groceries on door steps anonymously?

I’m not a people person, I said. If someone was to wait for me to suddenly be inhabited by the spirit of Mother Teresa (which will never happen as I’m against possession), then they will wait forever. It’s a strange thing, that people want an itemized list of good deeds to measure someone with. Does doing good things and having people know about them, winning awards for them, being featured on television, does all of that really make someone a good person? People should just be kinder. People do not need to win awards or have the praises of others to tell them they’re doing something good. But that’s the world today. They all just want to see. Show me what good things you’ve done. Show me.

I can’t. I can’t show awards and medals, certificates and video links, testimonies and work hours. I don’t have any of that. And I don’t want any of that. What good does any of that do me? You help someone. You tell other people about it. They praise you on what a kind, wonderful person you are. Why did you help someone? Was it to help them or was it to help yourself? The things that people do in secret will be shown outwardly in their lives. I’m not a people person, but I have plenty of friends, and my friends are happy with me and I’m ok with that.

If we didn’t live in a society of show and tell, our world would be a much better place, a kinder place with gentler people who didn’t require rigorous testing to be deemed worthy of anything at all. Every person is unique. Every person is worthy of all these things: love, happiness, family, belonging, freedom, life, kindness, and help.

People hurt. They experience such bad things. How does that not give them sympathy for others that are hurting too? How does pain harden hearts instead of softening them? I don’t understand it. We’ve all experienced disappointments. We’ve all experienced loss. We’ve all experienced abuse. We’ve all experienced bad. How do we all just draw up into our own little shells, trapped in our own little worlds, ignoring everything and everyone around us? Is our hurt that bad that we cannot comfort another from their hurt? Are we afraid of being hurt more? What is life if we stand still, trapped in a cage of our own making by the experiences we’ve gone through and all that we’ve suffered?

The past is gone. It may hurt. It may take time to heal. But it’s gone. It’s over with. And we move on, eventually. Somewhere, a caged bird flies free, whether that cage is of our own making or the entrapment of another, somewhere, a caged bird flies free, not looking back and not trying to be caged again.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A Thousand Years

There once was a beautiful princess who lived in a realm not seen by man. Every day, she watched the people of the Earth and wondered what it would be like to be one of them. The people of the Earth were always so busy moving to and fro with many things to do. She watched their short lives begin and end in hours for time moved very differently in the unseen realm.

One day, the princess noticed a man helping a stranger. She didn’t understand what was happening so she watched as he took the stranger into his home and cared for him. He gave the stranger clean clothes and warm food and a bed to sleep in. Intrigued by the man, she watched him for many lifetimes. He was always kind, always caring, and he helped all those around him with a smile. The princess eventually grew to love him and her desire to be human increased even more.

“Father,” the princess asked one day. “I’d like to spend a day on the earth.”

The King, great and wise that he was, looked at her with love. “The Earth isn’t like our world,” he told her. “You will know many things you do not know here, things that will cause you pain and sadness.”

The princess didn’t know what pain and sadness was. Where she lived, there was happiness and rainbows. “But Father, all I do is watch the people of the Earth from the outside. I would like to be on the inside as one of them.”

No matter what the King’s response was, the princess insisted until the King gave in to her desire. “One day, my darling. Then no more.”

The princess nodded. One day was more than enough time for her to find the man and live out a human life. “Thank you, Father!” The princess leaped for joy and hugged the King. “You will watch over me, won’t you?” she asked him. He nodded. “I can’t wait to go! I want to go now!”

In all her excitement, she had forgotten that in order to become one of the people of the Earth, she had to be born as one of them. She would no longer have her powers or her immortality. Nevertheless, the King granted her wish and gently sent the princess down to the Earth with love.

The princess was born to a very loving family with many siblings. From the beginning, being human was so strange that it was overwhelming. The poor princess cried daily at her troubles. She didn’t understand how the human body worked or why she was so lonely being separated from her father. She didn’t even remember that she was a princess. The desire to go home was so great that she had forgotten why she came to Earth in the first place.

The King, seeing his daughter’s distraught, sent her a vision in a dream. “You wanted this,” he reminded her. “One full day, no more and no less.”

Oh, how she cried her eyes out at her father’s words! She wanted to leave and she wanted to leave now, but the wise King didn’t allow her.
“You asked for this, my darling. You will have to be patient and wait it out. Remember why you wanted to come. Become human and live as one of them. Learn as one of them. Promise me.”

With a sigh, the princess conceded and said “I promise I will live and wait the day to be over.” The dream ended and the princess was very sad. She wanted to go home, but she had promised to stay.

With each passing lifetime, the princess remembered less and less of her real home. Her dreams were filled with fragments of memories. She remembered faintly of the man, but could never find him. In each life, she felt the strong desire that home wasn’t Earth. One day was the same as a thousand years. The poor princess has only lived a handful of lifetimes and must live through much more before she could return.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Stories

 

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“ordinary people can do monstrous things” — the story of Sidney Finkel, a Holocaust survivor

What is a monster? Who is a monster? Ordinary people can do monstrous things. Does that mean we are monsters? We are all capable of great evil. How do we justify someone else as evil when we can do exactly the same in their shoes? Human monsters are ordinary people just like us. By no means should we ever forget that because we can be just like them.

Scrapbookpages Blog

Sidney (Sevek) Finkel was born in Poland in December 1931. When he was 7 years old, Germany invaded Poland and his family was forced to live in a ghetto where 20,000 Jews were crowded into only 182 buildings.  You can read Sevek’s full story in an article in a Chicago newspaper here.  Finkel is now 80 years old and for more than 15 years, he has been educating 8th graders in America on the Holocaust.

The title of my blog post today comes from a line in the Chicago newspaper article in which Sevek tells the story of his sister Ronia and her new-born baby.  An ordinary German soldier threw the baby out of a second-story window and then shot Ronia.

How does Sidney Finkel explain this monstrous behavior of the German people?  This quote is from the newspaper article:

“People want to believe the Germans were monsters,”…

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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Diary

 

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The People With No Voices

It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the world and the things that go on in it. We live in the most beautiful country in the world with the most freedoms and yet, the illusion that we live in the most beautiful country in the world with the most freedoms is starting to shatter.

There are people who can scream at the top of their lungs until they are hoarse and no one will listen. These are the people with no voices.

These are the children left to die in the streets that no one pities because no one cares to see their suffering. These are the people in prison who are innocent of their crimes or who didn’t deserve as much time as they’ve gotten for their mistakes. These are the innovators and the forward thinkers of society who cannot and will never speak what they’ve dreamed and imagined and know to be true all because they know too well the consequences of having a voice in a world where one is to be voiceless.

And I too, am supposed to be without a voice.

There is a Mighty God who will judge the world come the end of all things. But for the oppressed and the broken and the contrite and the suffering, from where is hope in times of need? The Saviour is come, but we cannot see Him. The Saviour is still here, but the world continues to spin in all its glory without acknowledging Him. And while we still live in the world, do we obey its ways and follow in its deceits and lies and corruption? No. The Saviour has a voice and He spoke and His words caused many to anger whose wickedness were exposed to the light.

Having a voice against the world means many things. It means that you will be hated. It means that you will be persecuted. It means that you will not belong in a society who values the darkness more and calls that which is evil good.

We’ve all done bad things. We’re all wrong in our ways. I am more wrong than most–worse than any other. It would seem fitting that with such a high count of wickedness, I’d fit perfectly into this world with all its greed and all its power and all its deceitfulness and all its lies and all its murders. I haven’t figured out yet why I’m not right there in the midst of the world, living it up and not giving a care to the person next to me on whether they will live or they will die and in what state would they leave this world. I’ve come to realize that I can’t save the world, but I can speak up and have a voice of truth that may not be convenient or conventional or conforming. And it is in a voice that the world fears because when many voices gather and speak against, the world loses its hold on the precious souls of mankind.

I’ve learned that I’m about the worse person ever to start evangelizing. My brain insists on shutting down whenever I’m writing or studying or learning or testing so I’m not bright by any standard. I trust too easily and I’m not paranoid enough which makes me pretty much perfect prey for all the wolves. I have no qualifications for anything worthy of the world and the odds are highly stacked against me. I’ve also spent the last five years in a federal prison. And I am currently under an order of deportation in the hopes of the federal government that Thailand will one day acknowledge children born in refugee camps as citizens. There are 7 billion people–give or take–that are far more apt for the task of having a voice than me.

But the number of people with no voices just grows and grows, each one waiting for someone else to do what they cannot do on their own: speak.

I do not mind becoming one of them, to fade into the background, to be silent and ride out this wave we call life. I do not mind becoming ignorant and pretending that injustice doesn’t exist. I do not mind living the life of a wife and a mother, that which I was meant to live and that which is all the meaning of life there is to be found. I do not mind any of these things, but nothing changes. And no one steps up to speak.

How do I save a world of people and free them from the chains bound tightly upon them by the world and by a society that values perversion instead of truth? And how can I even begin to think of saving anyone when I’m the most likely one to be condemned to damnation? What irony or sense is that? She can save others, but she cannot save herself.

I’ve heard that spoken once about a Man whom at the time His death drew near, the world mocked His mortality, not understanding His immortality–that which they all sought desperately for, but died simply and was laid to rest in the ground with no other hope of arising again. Yet He died and He rose and He conquered death and the grave. And the world understood Him not and those who were there all the more hardened their hearts and believed Him not, following in their own ways and their own conceits.

The people with no voices need to speak. The people who have stuffed their ears so full of wax to not hear, need to listen. The people with no mind of their own but buzzes about like bees in a hive all working together for one queen, for the queen of heaven, the god of this world, need to think. The people with hearts of stone, lumpy black stone harder than obsidian, need to understand. The people who have eyes but do not use them to see truth, need to start watching and pay attention.

The time is now. Repent. Speak up. Listen. Think for yourself. Understand. Watch and see the truth.

Why all the fear? The worse thing that anyone can do to me is to kill me. There is nothing more that can be done. For what pain does a spirit feel? Or what shame for a body that is no longer alive? Or what dishonor for a name in seven billion still alive and many billions more already gone ahead?

Be not afraid of the world or those in it. For greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Diary

 

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