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

Monday, August 31, 2009

so what to you, so what...

i just finished reading James Maskalyk's Six Months in Sudan. from the beginning til the end, the book illustrates the hardships of the people in abyei, through the eyes of a msf (medecins sans frontieres) doctor.

i definitely don't have the writing skill to sum it up, so all i can really say is, read the book, read the stories of the people who live so far away yet whose flesh & blood are anything but akin to ours, and feel their pain and needs, or better yet, do something to help.

do something to help.

'for what is faith without deeds?'

''Tell me. What does it matter that fifteen minutes after this, the mother wrapped the body that once held her daughter and walked slowly down the hospital road, across the football field, and disappear with her bundle into the market?
She did.
So what to you, so what to us as humans. It's possible that because you were too far to feel its ripples, it doesn't matter at all.
... it's not about trying to reconcile two different worlds, it's about understanding that it's one.'

--James Maskalyk, Six months in Sudan

Thursday, August 27, 2009

beautiful quote from beautiful people to beautiful people

'For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.'
-Sam Lavenson/Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

thoughts on people on skytrain

This is my second time witnessing this - and I just have to vent it out.
What is it with people pretending to be blind when there are an obviously pregnant woman standing, struggling to keep her balance on a rocky, crowded skytrain? This is my second time in a week standing beside a pregnant woman who has nowhere to sit.

And while I couldn't tell the people who are sitting down to give up their seat, I did what I thought was appropriate to do - I turned to the pregnant woman standing beside me, and without trying to keep my voice down, over the heads and ears of the people who are all comfortably sitting down, facing a lady whose very body image screams 'pregnant!' - I said -

'Are you doing ok? do you need to sit down?'

People on the skytrain need to stretch their necks, look up from time to time, or stop pretending to be blind or severely handicapped, grow up, and give the elderly and those who desperately need a seat - a seat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have so many things to do on my check-list before time runs out. And time is always running out.

First, I have to write my letter of intent in order for my application for grad schools.
Second, I have to plan out my schedule for the next six months so that I can apply for volunteering in Africa.
Third, to look up part-time job in order to save up for school & volunteering - if I get accepted.
Fourth, work out my savings plan, and to become a better steward of my money.
Fifth, to set time aside for hobbies I'm picking up - e.g. learning Arabic, Russian, Hindi, improving my Japanese & Korean, and maybe learn some kickboxing.
Sixth, to learn how to cook - well.
Seventh ....

The list could go on.

But what preoccupies my mind now is this - how to make a better sense of the world we live in.
Why do we work the way we do - probably to maintain or to improve a pleasant lifestyle - and just how in the world can we be content and live shamelessly with this simple goal of satisfying our immediate needs, materialistic desires, career goals, family plans - while most of the world's population is warped up in violence and hunger, disease-stricken and who knows what other hell people are forced to go through everyday.

To say these things is like a slap on the face. For too long I chose to live in the sluggish ignorance of all these things. Who cares if I can buy a brand-name t-shirt that costs $30 when a mosquito net can be bought for $10 can save an african child from falling into the deadly claw of Malaria? Who gives a damn when a brand name bag you just purchased can probably feed a war-stricken orphan for a few weeks, or even months?

I'm not too sure where I'm going with this. But what I'm convicted of is that I wish for change - change in myself, and if possible, then use what I have to improve the humanitarian crisis of the impoverished world we live in.

And yeah, there are poorer and more unfortunate souls in other countries struggling to live through one day, even as we are fearing for our own economic downfall.

Sometimes reality bites, but better to feel the pain and search for remedies than to let the wound to sit around and rot.

Just thoughts...
Now to number 1 on my checklist.