Friday, March 18, 2011

pride and prejudice

I watched a new video of Japan this morning. I honestly haven’t watched that much or listened to most of the details. I’ve gotten the major picture, but really, I don’t want or need to see or hear too much. I can’t do much about it, and I’m already a little hardened against a lot of that. Even as I watched the video this morning, I couldn’t help but think of the movie Titanic as the water rushed up a stairwell in an apartment building. Even so, watching the people help save each other, from trees, from the tops of lower roofs that were soon going to be covered, etc, etc, it was amazing to see humanity at its best in the worst of times.
The thing that sticks out most to me is the reports I’ve heard about the Japanese peoples’ reactions since the devastation. Whether based on fact or ignorance, I have had (and still do I suppose) some ‘moral qualms’ with Japan—the Japanese government, more specifically. Just several larger human rights issues that have baffled my mind that still exist in 2011. (Not that these things brought on the tragedy in any way, just some personal core beliefs that have made Japan at large seem rather evil… there are several similar things I could/and do say about America as well.) Despite that, the reports I’ve heard of the Japanese peoples’ actions since have been very inspiring and redeeming, not that they need Brandon’s redemption by any stretch, nor that they would want it.
Reports of how no one is looting. How grocery stores are giving away their produce. People are giving water away. Thing after thing that live up to the Japanese stereotype of putting the nation first, honor, living to never shame your family—again with honor, I suppose. Things I try to have in my own life, things I preach constantly to my boys (It never ceases to amaze me that it’s a gay teacher who drones on and on about being a man, what it mean to be a man to students who have poor male role models in their lives). At any provocation, the American people loot, steal, kill, hike-up prices when people are most in-need, and are constantly out for only themselves. Sadly, that has been demonstrated over and over and over again in every tragedy we’ve had here (all the while having demonstrations of love and heroism and selflessness as well, no doubt). I’m sure there have been cases of selfishness and cruelty in Japan too, they are still people, just as we are, but from the reports, what I hear sounds so amazing. A quality that I wish we had in more abundance, both as a country and on a personal level.


Scott said...

“(It never ceases to amaze me that it’s a gay teacher who drones on and on about being a man, what it mean to be a man to students who have poor male role models in their lives)”

I’m curious about this statement. Does being a gay man mean that you aren’t masculine or a role model? I think in the past I would have (in a very tactful and politically correct way) said “no.” But as I’ve come out and met more gay men who break all my (for lack of a better term) stereotypes, I’m trying to answer this very question for myself….so I’d be curious to read your thoughts.

Brandon said...

Actually, I get a sick thrill out of it. That I, who so many would say am not male enough due to my homosexuality, is often the only man to really talk about being a man with my children--the example of honor, integrity, and even how to treat women!