on justice -Benedict/James Orbinski

''Justice only fails when we fail to imagine that it is possible. But like so many things, it depends not only on imaginings but on what we do.'' - James Orbinski

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts on 2011...!

So many things have changed since the beginning of 2011... and as it's coming to an end... (1 month & a half is quick for me!) i can't help but feel the need to reminiscence what has happened and write bits about it. but since it's late, and my head is filled with scattered thoughts, let me just simplify these thoughts into a few-worded summaries... of thoughts.


FLYING TO TZ in 1 month & 1/2!


Monday, September 13, 2010

To the top world suppliers of weapons & arms..

In our world today where the economy and market is globalized, and security issues inevitably crossing international borders, it's difficult not to take the sales of weapons & arms into more careful consideration and to decipher its importance to us, as global citizens of the world.

According to a report to congress, last year's worldwide arms deal was a startling number of 57.5 billion dollars - though a drop of 8.5 in comparison to last year's deal. The top three suppliers, US, Russia and France along with other countries like Germany, Italy, China and Britain are responsible for the weapon sales to developing world - 45.1 billion dollars in 2009, and 48.8 billion in 2008 (NY times, September 12, 2010).

I find these data unsettling and the following excerpt even more disturbing:

''Relationships between arms suppliers and recipients continue to evolve in the 21st century in response to changing political, military and economic circumstances,'' Mr. Grimmett (specialist in International Security at Congressional Research Service) concluded. ''Where before the principal motivation for arms sales by foreign supplies might have been to support a foreign policy objective, today that motivation may be based as much as economic considerations.''

There are so many cases where arms deals have fueled unnecessary killings in already wartorn, developing countries, and even propelled a devastating genocide in Rwanda. And if these atrocities have been borne out of ''support [for] foreign policy objective'', I can't imagine what the result would be for the weapon deals that are based on economic considerations. While there are international organizations, policies to govern international trade, I'm not so sure whether moral codes will outweigh the profits these top suppliers hope to gain from their deals.

And while I understand that the market flows with the clientele's demands, and that had there not security threats, there would no demand for weapons. But these threats also derive from the thought of the missiles and nuclear plant in neighboring countries, and the only tactic is to buy more weapons and arms to defend your borders... isn't this the perfect example of a vicious cycle? 

I'd like to believe that, whenever possible, peace settlements should always be prioritized before any country or government turn to destructive means in order to secure their grounds. 

With that note... I think I should add Utopia to my reading list. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

on improving my deteriorating memory

I've noticed that my memory is starting to fail me. For instance, I would remember a conversation I had with a friend yesterday, but have trouble remembering who it was. Or, going to the fridge to get more milk, and then doubting myself, because the milk is already on the kitchen counter. Obvious sign of aging, no doubt. Scary thought, especially since I'm going back to school in a week. And my solution? I'm going to counter-attack this problem and start memorizing Bible verses, inspirational & useful quotes, and favorite poems. Starting with one of my all-time favorites--- Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare: 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although its height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though its rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Putting things back into context

''Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.''

--Isaiah 58:8

I remember highlighting this verse in my old, worn-out Bible in High School, and quoting it in letters, cards to friends, and copying down in my notebooks as a self-reminder. But I don't recall if I ever read the verses before and after this passage that I like so much; I don't think I ever read this verse in its proper context.

Then, about a week ago, a friend of mine who was having an amazing, life-altering experience at Downtown Eastside gave me a list of ''Justice texts'' to read. And having kind of strayed away from regular devotions, I thought this would be a motivating, refreshing way to start again. So I went through the list, and I couldn't stop re-reading Isaiah 58:6-12--for its teaching, its richness, and the truth that I needed to reflect on. What kind of 'fast' or 'sacrifice' is pleasing to our God? What makes our 'light break forth like the dawn'?

I believe that everyone have different calling, but one of things we are all called to do is to see justice prevail, and in our society today, injustice still looms over the lives of those who are trapped in poverty, addictions or mental illness.

There are so many practical steps, but I think the first and foremost is to 'start caring'. To conduct research on the living conditions of these people, to dig deeper into social injustice. Then, I doubt that you won't be moved to do something after your discovery.

''Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking 
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.''
                                                                      ---ISAIAH 58:6-12

It's nice to be able to put things back in the context, where they belong!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Safari Slideshow

Safari in Serengeti and Ngorongoro Park - Tanzania, East Africa
June 2010

The Crater

Jeep #2! ready for adventure!

Hungry Giraffes

Beautiful Safari Scenery

Baby Pumba!

This reminds me of a scene from Lion King

Sexy Prints!

Zebra herd (the first animal we spotted)

Mufasa in hiding

Beautiful Anonymous Bird

Mother & Baby Elephant 


Bad time to get a flat tire, Sam?

Just chillin' by the branches

Where we camped in Ngorongoro Park

Never seen the clouds so low
Magnificent view.

Blue-ass Monkeys. Too bad I didn't get a pic of their behind

Safari Sam and I

Monday, August 9, 2010

wise words

''Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.''

--William Parrish (meet joe black)