Tuesday, February 11. 2014
NOMINATIONS LIST and Honor Roll for Doomsday and the Echo
#1 Bryan Ngo (6)
#14 Sarah Beckon (7)
#3 Jacklyn Tran (8)
#14 Alexander Evangelista (8)
#64 Julie Poladian (8)
#5 Maddie Bruce (9)
#44 Cindy Liu (9)
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
Even futile gestures matter if done with purpose or passion; meaning lies in motive, not result.
From the Los Angeles Times, February 28th, 2013:
FT. MEADE, Md. – Army Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to sending huge digital archives of secret U.S. military and diplomatic records to the WikiLeaks website, saying he was motivated by a U.S. foreign policy “obsessed with killing and capturing people.”
Manning, 25, sat erect in dress blues beside his lawyers in a military courtroom and read aloud for more than an hour – slowly but sometimes stumbling over his words – from a 35-page, handwritten statement that described his personal angst over America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I began to become depressed with the situation we had become mired in year after year,” he said.
After his nearly three years in jail, Manning’s sometimes rambling, sometimes riveting confession offered the first public insights into what drove the former low-level intelligence analyst to play a role in what prosecutors called the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history – an estimated 700,000 documents in all.
It is unlikely, however, to settle the argument of whether the pale, thin soldier in wire-rim glasses deliberately aided America’s enemies and put U.S. lives at risk, as prosecutors contend, or was a whistle-blower who committed civil disobedience to expose flaws in U.S. policies, as his supporters say.
Manning said his goal was to spark a domestic debate about U.S. foreign policy and “to make the world a better place.” He said he thought the leaks “might be embarrassing” but would not harm the United States.
Manning said he alone was responsible for uploading to WikiLeaks highly classified combat videos of U.S. airstrikes that killed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, detailed logs of U.S. military patrols and incidents, a memo from an unnamed intelligence agency, assessments of terrorism suspects held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the globe.
The release of the material on the anti-secrecy website beginning in February 2010 outraged U.S. officials, who said the leaks endangered intelligence sources and that the sometimes unflattering diplomatic dispatches embarrassed key allies. In Tunisia, allegations of corruption revealed in the files helped spur civil unrest that ultimately overthrew the autocratic regime.
Prosecutors are expected to present a detailed assessment of the alleged damage to national security caused by the leaks when Manning is sentenced.
Under a plea arrangement, Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 criminal charges of misusing classified material, including unauthorized possession and willful communication of information from military databases. He is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge from the military.
But Manning also pleaded not guilty to 12 far more serious charges, including aiding the enemy and multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act. He is scheduled to face a court-martial beginning June 3. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.
Defense lawyers hope that prosecutors will decide that 20 years is enough punishment and will dismiss the remaining charges to avoid a public court-martial with 140 witnesses discussing a deeply embarrassing breakdown in the military’s system for safeguarding classified information.
The public relations fallout for the military already has been significant. Protesters urging Manning’s release routinely converge at the gates of Ft. Meade for pretrial hearings. On Saturday, they marked his 1,000th day in custody with rallies in 70 cities in the U.S. and abroad.
Manning’s comments were his first in court since November, when he testified about the harsh treatment he received at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia after he was arrested in Iraq in May 2010. He said he was held in solitary confinement at Quantico for up to 23 hours a day, and considered suicide.
Asked repeatedly Thursday by the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, if he wanted to go forward with the guilty pleas, Manning answered each time with short, crisp words: “Yes, ma’am,” and “Yes, your honor.”
He then read his statement. “I am a 25-year-old private first class in the Army,” he began.
Manning said he enlisted in the Army to gain “real world experience,” telling recruiters he was interested in “geopolitical matters” and advanced computer skills. He said he nearly washed out during basic training because “I quickly realized I was neither physically or mentally ready.”
But he persevered, he said, and eventually was deployed as an Army intelligence analyst with a top-secret clearance to Contingency Operating Station Hammer near Baghdad. Upset by what he read in diplomatic cables and on a classified military network, he said he soon began collecting and storing classified material, taking some of it home to his quarters and printing or downloading it on his personal laptop.
“I looked everywhere and anywhere for information,” he said.
In December 2009, he said, he started “conducting research” on WikiLeaks because the website seemed dedicated to “exposing corruption.” He continued to follow the site, because “it is something good analysts do…I routinely monitored their website.”
While on leave visiting his aunt in Potomac, Md., he said, “I tried to decide what to do with” the classified material on his personal computer. He traveled to Boston and told his boyfriend, Tyler, about the material, but he “was not excited about it.”
When he returned to Maryland, a blizzard hit; so, suddenly snowbound, “I debated what to do” about the materials, he said. “Hold on to them or disclose them to a press agency?”
He said he called the Washington Post, but a reporter said she “did not believe him” and turned down his offer to provide the secret files. He said he then called the New York Times public editor and left a message, but “I never received a reply.”
In February 2010, sitting in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Rockville, Md., he visited the WikiLeaks website, he said, and “I clicked on the Submit Documents link.”
Over the next few months, he uploaded other documents and material, including encrypted gun-sight video and audio from a July 2007 incident in Baghdad in which two U.S. Apache helicopters killed a dozen people, including a photographer and driver working for the Reuters news agency. The military later said the helicopter crew mistook a camera lens for a weapon, but Manning called the video “war porn.”
In leaking the classified material, he added, “I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”
1. Abacus Haunting Me
We shall have to repent in this generation not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people but for the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I lived in Glendale during my first year out of college. You may be aware that the city is home to significant Armenian and Armenian-American populations. While these populations have mainly grown in the last few decades, their origins lie in the wake of the atrocities perpetrated upon the Armenian people during and directly after the first world war. People came here for the same reasons they seemingly always come here: to escape the dangers, problems, and miseries that threatened them before, and to find new lives in a relatively safer harbor. But for Armenians, the dangers, problems, and miseries added up to something far more insidious: an attempt by the Ottoman Empire (now, essentially, what we call Turkey) to exterminate their people. They came here seeking refuge from genocide.
I had the opportunity to discuss what happened in the former Ottoman Empire with several people in the city. What struck me wasn’t even that they felt the events in question were undoubtedly genocidal in nature, but that they felt the rest of the world had a moral responsibility to call it that: genocide. By not doing so, the argument went, we were complicit in the crime: you don’t have to fire a shot to contribute to evil.
A huge number of countries do, in fact, unambiguously and officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
We do not.
This isn’t to say that we haven’t made our recognition of the genocide fairly obvious. Most of our states have individually recognized it, and most of our leaders have individually recognized it before taking power. But once they take power, they typically move from explicit statements to hints and innuendos; deviations into on-the-nose references tend to elicit recriminations from Turkey, which has seemingly no incentive to have the horrors of its past given an official label.
We have what can be charitably described as a complicated relationship with Turkey. In the simplest terms, we need them, and they need us. Our relationship with them isn’t simply one we can torch; too many of our interests are mutual, intertwined, necessary. They understand what we believe; we understand that they don’t wish to have the dishonor of recognition applied to their forefathers, any more so than we’re all that eager to have people talk about our systematic destruction of Native American societies a couple of centuries ago.
Yet we teach our children about the Trail of Tears and the like. Over the years, we’ve actually gotten admirably more frank in our educational message: We’re a great country, but yes, we did these terrible things. We study them not to justify them, but in order to better recognize the factors that drove us to do them – and in order to avoid repeating our mistakes if those circumstances arise again. In certain ways, this is how we’ve treated the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks, or even our campaigns in Vietnam.
While this information isn’t treated the same way in every state – the perspective you’re offered in Californian schools differs from what you might find elsewhere – I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the majority of today’s schoolchildren grow up with a far more nuanced view of their country, its policies, and its histories than they would have even sixty years ago. We’ve come a long way and taken a lot of hard looks in the mirror.
But we still rarely call the Armenian Genocide, well, that. We cajole and negotiate behind the scenes, trying to get Turkey to recognize it themselves, not wanting to get out in front of them…or, frankly, not wanting to end a valuable strategic relationship over a couple of words. Some marriages only survive because the spouses involved agree not to talk about their problems, and it strikes me that we have a similar relationship with Turkey right now: we both recognize what could be said, but neither side will say it.
And I can see people conceivably thinking So what? The people I spoke with in Glendale may see recognition as a moral imperative, but does that make it so? And even if, after all our deliberations, we decide that yes, it is a moral imperative, is the greater good served by that recognition? Are our other interests worth jeopardizing so we can call a spade a spade?
Must we call the ____________ __________________what we believe it to be?
If the cost of honesty is high, is it fine to lie?
2. The Message Fades, But the Mess Prevails
We die to stay alive, we’ll kill to survive.
The Receiving End of Sirens, The War of All Against All
William Heyen spends A Poetics of Hiroshima seemingly writing in circles. Certain things stick out horribly – the image of the baby’s head turns my stomach just reading it aloud – but the poem, at first blush, just looks like a jumble. For some of you, it probably doesn’t even seem like poetry. We can sense its patterns, can understand that Heyen’s centering his broken lines as a means of showing how we struggle to make sense of the senseless, and so on. On some level, though, the work just feels like a digressive paragraph that the writer, upon finishing, proceeded to chop into “poetry” by going back and hitting the Enter key a bunch of times in the middle of his sentences. That this is somewhat the point – that we don’t make chaos randomly, but as the consequence of ordered, sequential decisions that turn the expected into something new and broken – doesn’t change the fact that Poetics is a tough read.
There’s something else going on as well. Trust me: I read the poem aloud fully expecting your attention span to wander, even though what Heyen’s describing is arresting, or at least deserves to be. And it’s not because you don’t like hearing poetry read aloud, or because I’m particularly bad at reading it aloud in a darkened room.
T.S. Eliot closes a far more famous poem, The Waste Land, by referencing the “fragments shored against [his] ruins” – the chaos of the work he’s just written. That line in particular always stuck out for me: the man trying to make sense of his world’s wreckage, trying to trace a line back through the catastrophe to the way things were before. If he can understand how we went wrong, how we lost what made us us, he – we – can work to recover. Until then, he (and, by extension, we) will be stuck in this weird twilight zone, wandering through a world that doesn’t make sense anymore because we never learned how to reshape it.
That seems to be the message of virtually all history: This is worth learning because we can’t let it happen again, or Understand where you came from so you can understand how to move forward. The problem, of course, is that Eliot wrote in an age defined by horrors previously unseen and inconceivable. Those horrors also seemed, in defiance of history’s tendency to circle back on itself, unrepeatable. It did not seem possible for us, as a world, to put ourselves through something like that again – to smash a generation to bits in the trenches and barren fields of so many countries. To do so would be to court global suicide.
You know how the story goes: of course we put ourselves through that again. In certain ways, the second world war was a response to the first one, even though nobody was still firing shots. The humiliations, perceived or real, that the Germans suffered in the reconstruction years immediately following the conflict directly contributed to the new hostilities that flared two decades later. We (the victorious Allies, not the United States exclusively) never intended to let Germany forget their role in precipitating a war that nearly tore the globe apart. The shell of a nation we forced into being following World War I’s end had a tragic excuse for an economy (people would push wheelbarrows of worthless currency around), had its global ambitions curtailed, had its international voice silenced, and had its internal affairs monitored.
A proud nation was forced to remember its crimes. And in forcing it to remember, we not only shamed it: we opened the doorway for resentment, for a feeling of persecution and injustice, for a desire for revenge. This was never our intent, and we certainly never would have courted the consequences of those decisions. But those decisions, so logical in a vacuum, gave rise to chaos when arranged in sequence. Our message – This can never happen again – faded. Only the mess remained.
That desire for revenge isn’t a logical response. The Germans did what they did. Yet they still acted aggrieved. And it’s that tendency towards self-blindness, towards irrationality, when confronted with evidence of one’s own wrongs that’s both so maddening and so important to consider. Heyen’s lines are broken not only because he does not have the words to describe what he’s trying to describe, but because we’re exceptionally bad at looking at things that shake our self-conceptions. It’s like looking through a telescope at Mercury; what you’re trying to see gets blotted out by the blazing sun.
We avert our eyes from the baby’s head, because it’s hard to stomach.
There’s a reason Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s model begins with denial and anger.
3. All We Have is This Chance Called Memory
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
The thing that always jumps out at me is that we’ve never had another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, or a Dresden or Tokyo, for that matter. Not just us, but any other nation. The technology for annihilating a city exists, has existed for decades – we used it four times in half as many years, including the atomic attacks discussed in Hiroshima – and yet we remain the only ones since the 1940s who were willing to level a city, killing however many civilians we could.
How do we square that with our self-conception? How can we say, however bluntly or obliquely, with words or with actions, “We will kill to survive,” and condemn other nations who commit wrongs they justify to themselves as necessary to ensure their own future? How can we justify our atrocities any more effectively than those aforementioned parties who would deny their own wrongs?
We avert our eyes from the baby’s head, because it’s hard to stomach, because seeing it forces us to fit it into a paradigm we built without it. We are compelled to justify it.
Franklin urged us to never ruin an apology with an excuse. We have apologized for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for Dresden and Tokyo. But we have always also given context. It was not enough to simply apologize; we had to explain to the world, and, more importantly, to our children, why we did these things.
Whether those explanations do, in fact, undercut our apologies remains up for debate. That’s not really the main point I want to highlight. Instead, I want to call attention to the thing that Eliot and Heyen grappled with, the issue that confronts our historians and our diplomats today: How do we remember? Why should we remember? Can we remember?
At this point, Hiroshima matters less for ending a war – or for ending lives – than in existing as something to be remembered. It irrevocably changed the courses of two nations forever. It announced to the world that the Americans would stop at nothing to survive – that we would kill innocents by the hundreds of thousands in order to achieve victory and still see ourselves as standing on the side of good. If that wasn’t the stated purpose of the attack, we certainly didn’t complain when it achieved that aim, particularly during the Cold War decades of tension and terror that followed. There’s a reason no nation has launched a direct attack on us since: Out of all the nations that built an atomic, then nuclear, arsenal, we’re the only ones who ever used theirs.
Yet we read books about history; it feels like the responsible thing to do. And we seem to learn, or at least try to learn, the lessons of the past. We keep building weapons, but now we avoid using them; we seem to have stepped past a line where we’d still be willing to level a city with a single blow. One gets the sense that if a nation was somehow foolish enough to engage us in unilateral state warfare, we would try to fight conventionally rather than simply turning their entire nation into a nuclear wasteland.
We get that sense, even though our history proves that we will kill, because it’s what our memories have made of us.
Having annihilated cities and civilians, we produce poets like Heyen and give them voices, uncomfortable as it is to listen to them.
Having suspended our normal moral standards long enough to leave innocent people burning alive, skin sloughing off their bodies, we seem hell-bent on ensuring that nobody – not ourselves, not anyone else – ever unbalances the scales of justice like that again.
This may strike some, particularly elsewhere, as a particularly vulgar form of hypocrisy.
I don’t see it that way.
For if Hiroshima is to matter, it cannot be simply as an end, an end to lives, an end to the world wars, an end to whatever age it ended: it must be a beginning as well.
It must be remembered. And, in remembering it, we must change, because even if we’re sickened by what we see, we feel the responsibility of memory.
4. Why Do You Stay Until You See Blood?
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
I’m really bothered by what Bradley Manning did.
Part of me wonders whether I should be.
Because it matters what we see when we look back, when we look forward, and when we look in the mirror. It matters if there are gaps, intentional or not, in our understanding. It matters if we deny our atrocities out of pride, or patriotism, or shame, or a feeling that they were, in fact, justified. It matters if we lie, or redact, or delete, or forget. It matters if we attach asterisks to our apologies.
And it matters if, having seen all that we’ve seen, we stay silent when it starts to happen again, when circumstances start to take familiar, terrifying shape.
It occurs to me, then, that perhaps the only thing more important than something like the Hiroshima attack is how we remember it, how we understand and define its causes and effects: what we’re willing to say, and what we’re willing to hear, and what we’re willing to stand for, and what we’re willing to change in the aftermath.
It occurs to me that perhaps the only thing more important than Doomsday itself is the echo.
+ I assigned one prompt last semester that read “If the cost [of honesty] is high, it’s OK to lie.” I wanted my students to consider the statement on an individual level: Should I lie to my family to keep them happy? If I make a mistake, should I push blame elsewhere? If my boyfriend or girlfriend will worry unnecessarily or lapse into paranoia unless I’m not totally honest about where I’m going or what I’m doing, should I be less than honest?
For our second semester, I want to raise the stakes a bit. Take our complicated treatment of the Armenian Genocide, for example. It clearly matters to people, one way or the other, how we recognize these events. A label won’t revive the dead, won’t restore the damage done to a culture – but it still matters. Yet our relationship with the country that doesn’t want us to recognize said events matters as well. Real damage and fallout would result if we pushed on this measure.
So I want you to consider this question on a more global, macro scale. Do countries have a responsibility to maintain their alliances, even at the expense of honesty and integrity? Must we be transparent with our allies, even if that transparency damages those alliances, because then at least those partnerships’ foundations rest on a bedrock layer of truth?
This isn’t just a question of “if you’re the head of state in America, do you officially tell the world that the Ottoman Empire – Turkey – is guilty of genocide if you believe them to be?”, but of other matters as well. Consider carefully.
+ Similarly, if we take Bradley Manning at his word, he sincerely believed his actions were patriotic – that his country had gone astray, and that it could only be rescued through honesty. In his estimation, people were unwittingly participating in, encouraging, or abetting tragedy and atrocity through patriotism, through belief that our actions were good and our motives were pure. In pulling back the veil of secrecy, Manning hoped to force its citizens to confront its actual deeds – not to rub their noses in all the bad things we’ve done, but to get them to have a more nuanced, realistic view of ourselves.
But he did so through indisputably criminal means. To our authorities, our diplomats, our military, our leadership, Manning did not help us see ourselves more realistically: he damaged our self-perceptions by releasing a bunch of information free of context, injected confusion where it previously wasn’t, and aided and abetted our enemies by doing so.
Two questions here:
+ Is the release of information regarding our actual activities an aid to our enemies?
+ Do we deserve to know the full extent of our nation’s/government’s/society’s aims and activities? Would it be better to trust others to decide which information is appropriate for you to know?
+ Is Franklin correct? Does an excuse, an explanation, a context, undermine an apology? Or is an apology without context even less appropriate?
+ Warfare, and the global backdrop behind it, has changed significantly in the decades following World War II. In fact, nowadays, it seems like most of the most vicious attacks on cities come during civil wars – the recent examples of Libya and Syria standing out as particularly relevant.
As I’ve alluded to before, the attacks on Dresden and Tokyo (fire-bombing), as well as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic-bomb attacks, occurred in a very different media age. Information wasn’t shared as widely nor consumed in the same manner. One wonders, in retrospect, how the present media/pop-culture complex would’ve responded to a World War, let alone the destruction of a city (and the innocents within it) or a Pearl Harbor-style attack by a foreign power.
Do you believe a nation will ever do to another nation’s city what we did to the four I mentioned above? If so, what circumstances could conceivably lead to doing so, particularly in a media age that captures and shares – and, yes, distorts – far more than it once did? Could any nation justify taking such a step today? Or have we indeed crossed that line after Hiroshima, rendering the destruction of an opposing city an obsolete tool of warfare? Are the horrors, in fact, unrepeatable this time?
+ Does a nation have a responsibility to remember its history accurately? Can we learn from histories we shape and share ourselves? Or do we depend on others’ interpretations of our histories and cultures to see them in a properly nuanced light?
Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces. Your post should be at least three seven-sentence paragraphs long, and punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade. Compose your replies carefully, and always remember to build your credibility - use proof, not hypothetical statements. Write the why for every what!
As always, you are not required to respond to every question.
For this post, written feedback for at least two of your peers is required! Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
As you develop as writers, your pieces should demonstrate both knowledge of writing as a craft and an awareness of how to profoundly express yourself. Practice writing not simply as students, but as creators; experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
Your main post is due to both the blog and Turnitin.com by 11:59pm on Thursday, February 13th.
Your feedback/replies/comments to your peers are due to the blog by 11:59pm on Friday, February 14th.
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers by 11:59pm on Sunday, February 16th.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
Blog Title: “Doomsday and the Echo,” Lovedrug, Everything Starts Where It Ends
Section Titles #1-3: “A Heavy Abacus,” The Joy Formidable, The Big Roar
Section Title #4: “Self-Starter,” Anberlin, Vital
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I’ll tell you the truth if you want to know it. But the question is, do you really want to know it?
I’ll gladly tell anyone who, what, where, why, and how I am. Actually, maybe not anyone. That may attract unwanted strangers. Although, if you never talked to a stranger, you never would’ve made a friend… Anyway, this is just me. I am merely one person. So what about my nation. What about the whole world?
As humans, we don’t want to be hated. We don’t want to be alone. We want to have friends, companions, and even acquaintances. But that can’t happen if we annihilate hundreds of thousands of them right? Right. So how hard should we try to keep them around?.. Literally.
In a way, we all need each other. Yet because we all exist, we’re all threatened by our existence. Maybe a simple call to Roivas Krad and asking him to bring us to salvation is the answer… It probably wouldn’t be a very well liked answer. So we continue to live, to kill and to die. But for what? Apparently it was to send a message. I don’t think it was a very good message. Especially when the only noise people could hear was “boom.” However, this is reality. This is the world we live in. So can two simple words, “I’m sorry,” fix everything? No.
Can a long, detailed explanation of why something was done in addition to “I’m sorry” fix everything? Well, it probably wouldn’t matter too much to those who went deaf from the explosions. So how do we fix this? How do we remedy all the wrongs of the past, shape the future well, and gift wrap the present? Well, part of the answer is “carefully,” and the other part of it is “together.”
We have to make sure this never happens again. If you never wrong somebody, you never need to apologize. But we’re humans. We’re idiots. However, “idiots are interesting, don’t you think? When they get desperate they exhibit a downright manic ability to come through” (Baka and Test). (You knew an anime quote had to come in at some point I’m sure). So let’s do it. Let Us come through. We all live on this beautiful world called Earth, and it wants the rent paid, in peace and harmony.
I agree with what you said. A simple
I'm sorry" isn't enough sometimes, and sometimes we need to take action to really show others we mean it. To prevent mistakes is impossible, and it's what makes us human, but to actually make up for it is what would make the world better. Your blog was really interesting to read!
Why did you put in "carefully"....
On a serious note, I can't believe you really did finish in fourth period... That's pretty legit.
While I'm reading your response, I kept on nodding my head! I agree on how we all have to work on it together to prevent the history happen again.
However, I do think sometimes a sorry is what we need, I agree on how "I'm sorry" doesn't fix everything but without an apologize, nothing will be fixed. Overall, I like your response, it inspires me a bit!
Your first line completely grabbed my attention. I agree that we as humans desire to be accepted by each other. It really is sad that we tried to apologize to the different cities that we destroyed, because in that kind of situation just saying 'sorry' won't cut it. It won't save the thousands of lives we took away, and it won't repair all the buildings that'll take millions of dollars to fix. Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed it!
Totally agree with you that a simple sorry doesn't do much. I really like how you started this, really made me want to read more.
I agree that you should be straight with people and that you need to tell them the truth if they want know. I like to be as honest as I can with people.
I agree that you should be straight with people and that you need to tell them the truth if they want know. I like to be as honest as I can with people.
Humans do make mistakes! I guess we'll always have to keep making those mistakes and saying those sorry's. We say sorry because we feel like it's the right thing to do. We also want to never do the same mistakes again. So, I guess an apology is the only way to go.
"It probably wouldn’t matter too much to those who went deaf from the explosions." Bryan I think u might of hurt the deaf peoples feelings. =(
I loved the beginning. It was just a total attention grabber, & the way you spoke so seriously & so passionatly about it was perfect. You made a great first comment & I agree with what you had to say to certain aspects.
Long as I remember
The rain been comin' down.
Clouds of myst'ry pourin'
Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages,
Tried to find the sun;
And I wonder, still I wonder,
Who'll stop the rain?
I went down Virginia,
Seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable,
I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals,
Wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder
Who'll stop the rain?
-Creedence Clearwater Revival
(Or John Fogerty if your hip enough)
Although I’d like to say that everyone deserves to know the truth, the truth is, not everyone does. Not everyone is burdened with the responsibility of many lives; therefore, not everyone deserves to know everything.
Despite my opinion, I do not necessarily believe that others should determine what I may and may not know.
To me, there is a line that cannot be crossed.
1984 is a mediocre example of such a line.
We live in a country that has successfully admitted its past wrongdoings and has accepted history for what it is. Unlike China, who is desperately trying to bury the Tiananmen Square Massacre, we have no problem telling all of our own about the Indian Trail of Tears, the Spanish American War, American Imperialism, etc. And that is something that I am proud of. It’s no secret to anyone that the government has its secrets, and I’m glad that we live in a country whose leaders are sensible enough to shelter us from those secrets and seek to find middle ground that serves the greatest good (yes, not the ‘greater’ good, greatest ).
That middle ground is to let us know what we can know, not necessarily what we must know.
But who is really to judge what others may or may not know for the sake of the majority and greatest good?
How is it that we can put our faith in a leader that we don’t really know?
How many of us really know Obama?
How can we cast our ballots so easily and put our faith into a humanoid figure that we’ve only seen on T.V?
We want so desperately to believe in a strong individual to serve our wants. Our optimism and desire for a brighter future , drives our faith; to have these leaders elected (not just at the national level).
“…desire for a brighter future…”
OUR future. We put our future in the hands of our own faith and not our own hands. We expect these leaders to carry our faith and yet, we also expect them to let us know how they attempt to reach our goals to ensure that they do it in a politically correct manner that doesn’t soil our own conscience.
How can anyone expect that of someone?
Who would want to be a leader?
Who will step up to the plate and face the audience, please the audience?
Who would want risk the sounds of their eternal jeers for their ephemeral cheers?
Good men through the ages, tried to find the sun.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder.
Who’ll stop the rain?
-Creedence Clearwater Revival
Oh man, this post is great. I met Craig sophomore year and I thought he was similar to me in not being able to write really well, thought-out posts. I kept saying "wow" as I read this post. Thanks Craig!
I agree that the poem in the beginning and the end is very nice. You explained it nicely in your blog and made me understand it better by the end. I like the example you used of 1984, as it gave me an idea of what you considered what is too much ignorance. In the beginning, you say,” Not everyone deserves to know everything.” … who does deserve to know everything? How is this so? You explained very well why we have optimism and faith, but are optimism and faith always enough? Is it good to rely on optimism and faith when voting and putting our trust in someone? Can our desire for wanting someone/something to believe in eventually hurt us? Because, afterall, it hurt the people in 1964.
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
― Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council
“A label won’t revive the dead, won’t restore the damage done to a culture (Feraco). ”
Label “it” anyway... because it is the truth.
With a bedrock layer of truth for a foundation, a relationship wouldn’t crumble as easily as one built upon lies. Having honesty in a relationship, any relationship, as well as trust, is better than having tension silently build in the background, where the only ending can be one of chaos.
Humans naturally crave the truth, we like knowing what we can perceive, it gives us a sense of power, but take it away and we can be as self destructive as a bomb. Lady Macbeth proves this so.
“People need to live their life with a clear conscience. When you want to walk on a straight path, sometimes you get yourself stained with mud. However, as long as we never give up, one day the mud on you will dry up and fall off.” - Sakata Gintoki from Gintama
(I told you Bryan I would use one.)
“I’m sorry,” alone, will never cut it.
Apologize anyway, but with an explanation, not an excuse.
There is a difference. It takes something special to admit defeat, to admit failure, for only when we make ourselves vulnerable do we demonstrate true strength, something the party lacks.
We are human, we are fallible beings by nature, but it is our choice to stand proud or cower in fear when it is time to pay our dues. Do you dare to stand by Beowulf and fight the dragon?
We have made mistakes in the past. Huge mistakes, mistakes so unforgivable, that we honestly don’t deserve to be here, but we here are - living. And because our lives were spared, we owe it to our past, and to ourselves when we look hard into the mirror, to live for a better future, to prevent atrocities like the ones we have committed from ever reoccuring, to make certain that history can never repeat itself. We will never be able to pay off this debt, but when facing that which we cannot defeat, we still must persevere and try.
We can’t change the past, but we can definitely make a better future - one where we don’t recognize any city because of a “bucket.”
I liked how you talk about the contradictions that almost everyone is taught to achieve, especially the first one. Before reading your blog, I never thought about all the contradictions we've heard from being successful to rebuilding something. I think that listing out all those contradiction made your blog really interesting.
The first quote you used is something I really love, it caught my eye right away! I couldn’t help but read the rest of your blog and I’m really happy I did. I thought you had a really good message at the end, and I liked all the first semester references!
I love your first quote from Kent M. Keith! It's so relatable and fits in well! I actually wrote that quote down after reading it because I like it so much!! Great job Jacklyn! This was fun to read and was really interesting. I was hooked from the first word to the last.
The blog you post this year won't be read the next.
Well, actually, we don't know that so maybe. Anyway, good job. Relating it with first semester stuff. But most importantly, good anime quote. I am happy to have read your post. It's the truth. Keep up the good work.
I really felt like you had such a strong beginning with those jabbing statements. And I also totally agree with you that we done such horrible things in the past and we have to lead a future avoiding those preceding events. Wonderful job and wonderful voice is in your words.
Your blog post immediately caught my eye, and I'm so glad I decided to read the whole thing. It was beautiful, each phrase making sense and making me realize that we all do these things unconsciously. We know that there are so many things in life that we can't overcome, yet we push through them anyways on that little chance that we can either make a difference in the world or hope that things can get better. Amazing job!
“… If I tell him about this mistake, it will bury my relationship with him forever.
-Uriel, there is no greater betrayal of your father and his principles than what you are asking of me. In spite of all my criticism of him, your father never validated a mistake because it was convenient. You know that.
~Yes, but he won’t.
-So what?!? It turns the whole system into a circus.
~No! It means that there are things more important than the truth.
-Like what? Family? Like your father, I do know something about cutting corners, about abandoning the truth.
~Enough with this truth! So much aggression and violence you hide under the word “truth”. I do not believe in this romanticism. You don’t seek the truth. You seek honors, just like other mortals. Such a terrible thing you’re doing in the name of truth. It’s just a prize. A prize, that’s all. It’s not betrayal of anything. It’s just a small, nice thing you can do for a colleague, if only you’d be a little flexible. Just a tiny bit. That’s all I ask of you. That’s all.”
I’ve often wondered what our government is up to. Sometimes I feel like a prole, not really caring. Other times I read things that have been leaked or otherwise unknown to the mainstream media (obviously I check if it’s legitimate) and feel like Winston.
Truth is a hell of a thing. It can be used in any context and you can bend it for your own needs and desires. You can hid it and show it at certain strategically intervals, to get whatever you want. You just need to plan if well.
So, what do you chose to do?
Many of you don’t know this, but there is a reason I moved to America more important than getting a better education. I moved here because my parents didn’t want the army to draft me. It’s unspoken of because everyone there knows it is inevitable, but because it’s unspoken of, no one here notices it. The Russian government is corrupt, dirty, and vile. The things they do and what the militia does to regular citizens is just disgusting. They get away with it. No one bats an eye because it is not their country, but more importantly, no one rebels because it is dangerous to.
Then I look at America and its own corrupt systems.
Let’s go back to July of 2013, when the Justin Carter thing was mainstream. You remember don’t you? A kid, 17 years old wrote “I think I’ma shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them lol” and was imprisoned for 6 months without a trial. The kid was in solitary confinement and on suicide watch.
It was a reminder of how seriously screwed up parts of America are. He was charged with “Terroristic threats” after commenting a rage post from losing a game of League of Legends.
So am I better off? Sure I’m not going into the army and the militia is less likely to beat me on the streets… But I’m still in constant danger and fear of making sure I don’t say something someone doesn’t like, nor I do something a cop might get angry about.
Who here remembers what happened to this kid? As soon as I thought of it I had completely forgotten about the outcome. I remember hundreds of thousands of votes and petition signing to get him out of solitary confinement… but no end result.
This is the point of history. We write things down and we keep the true.
Out of the estimated 400,000 people who petitioned his release, nothing changed.
It was only until an anonymous person paid his 500,000$ bail did he leave the prison.
So truth will in the end prevail… wont it? We have history and we have people who are fanatics to truth. But will it be the ultimate survivor? Since we’re all reading 1984, we know how easily history can be altered. We know how easily history can be erased and destroyed as with every destruction of a library of database.
What do we do in the name of truth? Do we let it slide for a greater benefit?
You can hid it and show it at certain strategically intervals, to get whatever you want
There are more important things than truth.
When you are talking about the Russian government, I had the same feeling with you but toward the Chinese government. And it is true that this world is getting scarier and scarier. Teenagers nowadays have crazy thoughts.
"This is the point of history. We write things down and we keep the true." I also hope this how history create but apparently in 1984, it doesn't work this way!
Clearing the Air
If you weren’t already aware, Abel and I wrote pretty controversial blogs last semester. We talked about a problem that he and I were forced to face because of his disregard of important information concerning a girl from another school. In the blog I posted, I talked about how I had been blind to all the things going on behind my back and how I felt guilt-free, because I thought I had ended it. I had given him an ultimatum. Talking to her and us breaking up or being with me and never talking to her again (classic jealous girlfriend move). He chose me, and I was satisfied knowing I wouldn’t have to deal with the situation anymore.
If only things could be that easy.
About a month after we posted the blogs, Abel called me in a frenzy. He sounded angry and conflicted. He told me that someone had posted a link to our blogs on her Ask.fm, and that she had read them and was really hurt by what we had said about her so publicly. In his blog he called her a “virus” and in mine I wrote about how happy I was to have her out of our lives forever. At that point I wasn’t necessarily angry that she found out, because I wanted her to know how much she hurt me; how she hurt us, but Abel was conflicted because he was sorry that she saw the blogs in such a negative light. But he couldn’t be sorry because he knew what that blog meant to me.
Abel asked me how things could be fixed, because there had to be a solution for all of us. Something mutual where no one would get hurt..again. So, being the sarcastic person I am, I jokingly said “Well it would be great if I could meet her.”
Two weeks later I was sitting across from her at a table.
I wanted an apology. I wanted her to say that it was her fault and that she was a home-wrecker, fully aware she wasn’t. I wanted her to admit to everything she had done and to all the rumors I had heard about her. I just needed her to say it.
But none of it was true. She did say sorry, but only for things she was truly sorry for. I appreciated her honesty and I still do. I never would have been able to forgive her if I didn’t have the context that she provided. She tied up all the loose ends for me, and gave me closure. I told her I could never hate her even though I said I did, because it would be unfair for me to judge someone I knew nothing about.
She gave me her explanations and gave appropriate apologies, and for that, I truly respect her. She didn’t make excuses and she didn’t cower when I practically interrogated her. She knew that she had made questionable choices and it wasn’t completely her fault either, but she owned up, and because of how I was raised she earned my trust. I am truly thankful for being able to get that time with her, because any other apology would never have meant as much as it did after hearing her side of the story.
This entire experience has taught me a lot about forgiveness. You can’t judge or have misgivings about people when you don’t know the entire story, because it’s unfair. I accepted her apologies, and she accepted mine. We are on mutual terms now, and that’s something I honestly never thought I would say. Context and explanations don’t undermine apologies, in reality they only prove to add meaning and provide sincerity.
I am sorry that you had to go through something like this. Although I did not read your previous blog and do not know the full story, I can say I am able to relate slightly. I am glad that you were able to find closure as sometimes people aren't so lucky. Sometimes, there is no chance for closure. Thank you for an inspirational post. I wish for the best.
Wow, that was truly more intense than I thought it was going to be. I'm happy that you found your closure and actually had the courage to even meet this girl in real life. Good job being a trooper and great post as always!
Your blog was really intense and powerful. I completely understand how you felt about the situation. And your blog shows how much we humans can judge one another so easily without knowing what the heck we are actually talking about.
Your blog was awesome, I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to reading your future blogs.
Maddie, I love reading your works and I love how you can get so personal with us sometimes. It really makes me want to be more personal with my writing. You are such a wonderful forgiving person and I honestly cannot wait to read more of your works! Great job!
After finally reading yours and Abel's posts from last semester I appreciate this post even more! I love that you are so open about your feelings and the way your thoughts flow into your writing is so beautiful! This is well written and very entertaining to read and I can't wait to continue reading your work. I was going to try to switch it up and comment on new people's posts but I couldn't help myself!! I'm drawn to your work!
Stay amazing Maddie!
I've heard about you and able writing about the same topic on the blogs last semester. ( i wasn't in SFHP last semester either) . The way you describe each situation with such details is incredibly intense. It's only the second blog this semester and I'm already loving your writing.
Keep up the great work!
this is such a great post! I'm glad that things got resolved and you and Able are so great together!
Thank you so much for your honesty. I really appreciate you sharing such a sincere thing with all of us. It was really nice to read about something that relates to the topic at hand. It ties in to other people apologizing as well as the person being apologized to doing the same. It gave me a new perspective and the variety of topics for a blog.
Similar to everybody else, I am so drawn to your writing skills and the fact that you were so candid and honest with us. I know that overcoming the initial hurdle was already hard enough, and dealing with it once more must've brought unwanted feelings and tensions to the surface. But your relationship with Abel is so mature and I am positive that you two will prevail despite setbacks that come your guys' way. You both know how I feel about you two, and I love y'all so much!
Great post, Madddiiee Bruce!
I really love your post, It's so relatable and definitely something that happens when your in high school and a young adult. I hate that it had to happen to you but if anything I'm sure it made you stronger. Very well written!!
Maddie Bruce !
Just wow. I am so amazed & in love with you right now. We've gotten to know eachother this year pretty well & I feel like I have to keep reading your blogs or else I wont keep up. Yoy are just so strong to be able to do this because I may have guts but I dont have the lady junk to do this. I have just gained major respect for you, well more. It's amazing to see how much you've grown & changed in a couple of months. I saw how this affected you but you learned to overcome, & it shows who you truly are.
Ever since we were little, our parents, our teachers, and other influential people have taught us to always be honest. Yet when we are always honest, it can occasionally be interpreted as disrespectful or just plain insulting. Just what are we supposed to do? Essentially, there are two solutions.
- tell the truth and possibly hurt someone’s feelings
- to tell a lie and be morally wrong
Now, let’s apply this to the nations. As most people know, our nation, the United States of America, is sworn to provide personal security and liberty:
-not to be injured or abused
-freedom to assembly
-freedom to speak, and so on.
However, for a nation to provide these liberties, it has to take into consideration the other nations in global politics today. Other nations, whether they are weak or strong, still have a significant impact on how our country will react to a situation for the benefit of the people and the nation itself. Today, the world is an intricate web of alliances and enemies based upon the circumstances during each time period. Each nation provides benefits to another, even if there are conflicting perspectives on a nation’s actions or ideas.
If there are conflicting interests and ideas, why do the nations maintain so many alliances? These alliances are the nations’ ways to protect their people; a more concrete method to ensure that their citizens are protected from foreign threats. If we take alliances such as NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, into consideration, it is unlikely that all 28 countries were in agreement with actions taken during World War 2, yet why were they willing to overlook their differences and work as a single unit? These countries, including ours, took into consideration the benefits they received, which clearly outweighed behind-the-scenes differences. By ignoring those differences and being dishonest about one nation’s view of another, it essentially creates stronger bonds among these countries. During World War II, it was those alliances, which led to the defeat of the enemies, and in return, protected many nations from Soviet attacks. By protecting themselves from these attacks, they are also protecting their citizens, the people they are responsible for.
At the expense of honesty in a nation’s perspective on initiatives, actions, and idea, a nation is able to better protect itself and its people from harm, which is one of the many responsibilities a nation is accounted for. Although there are times when “honesty is the best policy” (Benjamin Franklin), there are times when a lack of honesty or integrity provides benefits which are almost impossible to achieve with the truth. In order to maintain peaceful relations with other nations, sometimes it is inevitable to fib or go back on an agreement because the outcomes of these actions would be worse if we told the truth. For the U.S., sometimes it is necessary to exchange honesty and integrity for alliance because these alliances could potentially create an environment for the nation to accomplish its constitutional responsibilities to its people.
"Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty." -Plato
Of course, throughout life, people will say that honesty is always the better choice, but do they mean it ? Are they willing to risk what is essentially creating their current comfortable environment in order to base all partnerships among nations on credibility? What is more important… a larger chance of surviving a war through alliances and lies or to be honest and risk dying ?
I would rather survive …
Indeed the examples you give are interesting and in fact have a point. Countries overlook one another's faults in order to win the war. However a statement in your piece is fundamentally flawed, that is to say, how you described "ignoring differences" is the same as "being dishonest." If I were to see you one day wearing a ridiculous shirt, I would think you were a funky girl. I would think this to myself, but I would "ignore the differences" and assume you are the same person underneath. So...does this deem me dishonest? To be honest is not to blatantly say out loud whatever comes to your mind, but simply not misleading or showing false expressions towards one another. Alliances are built on a system of trust. Of course everyone will have their differences but overlooking those differences does not make them dishonest, otherwise all known relationships at this point would be "dishonest." Think about your friends; I doubt you guys all agree on the same things, yet the bond you guys developed is not one based on dishonesty; the same principle applies to the country alliances you mentioned.
If course you would argue that dishonesty plays a bigger part in the world. This, in fact, is true and you even supported it with a quote from Plato:
"Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty." -Plato
However you have to take into context WHY Plato said this. The quote you provided was from his book called The Republic in which Socrates attempts to define what justice is.
The context is as follows:
"They say also that honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty; and they are quite ready to call wicked men happy, and to honour them both in public and private when they are rich or in any other way influential..."
So it is NOT Plato's actual view that dishonesty is better. He is talking about justice in The Republic. One of the objections is being put forward that there is no genuine justice in the world because those who are corrupt appear on the surface of things to gain more than than those who are honest. And this makes sense; without dishonesty there can be no justice similar to how there can be no light if there is no darkness. It is even more important to note that he is NOT saying dishonestly is more profitable.
And throughout life, people do say that honesty is always the better choice. You ask, "do they mean it?" I say, "why wouldn't they." If they really didn't mean it, then why teach us at all. Why waste the time and energy to stop you from lying to others, why waste the time and energy to stop you from shoplifting your favorite toy from Toy's R Us, why waste the time? There is one major reason: to create a better world. Our parents have gone through their entire lives and have gone quite accustomed to how the world works. Despite how profitable corruption, deception, and theft may be, parents still teach their kids to be "good."
And you ask "What is more important… a larger chance of surviving a war through alliances and lies or to be honest and risk dying?"
And I'll ask you "If you lived in Oceania and had a chance to change the world for the better, would you take that chance?"
Indeed you can always “play not to lose”, staying safe in order to *survive*, but unless you “play to win”, you will have not *lived*.
If I could nominate a comment, I would nominate this one. Nice counterargument
Anita, you are right. Sometimes there are occasions when it is necessary to lie: to comfort others, to be accepted and to protect oneself. And when people's life is at risk because of of their morals and beliefs, many will choose to survive. So what is the point of upholding our moral standards?
Well written Anita. Your post creates a debate that many people have a hard time with. There's always a sacrifice when we make choices right? I guess we have to pick one side and hope the other won't be too damaging. Great post Anita!
There are a lot of different levels of apologies in my eyes. I’ve spoken all those various forms to different kinds of people in the past, and sometimes I have been sincere with them and sometimes I haven’t.
There’s those certain insignificant moments, where you accidentally bump into someone, or when you interrupt a person in conversation, or even spill food all over them, that require a small apology. The kind that reflexively slips past your lips to showcase that you didn’t mean to do a wrong. Your involvement was an accident, and apologizing means that you’re acknowledging it.
Then there are those bigger moments, like forgetting to take out the trash or forgetting to pick up dinner that needs some kind of explanation. Not one that drags on and on, but just a small reason. Some kind of justification that may or may not be answered with a punishment.
Finally, there are the apologies that need to be responded with an in-depth explanation. Why you would cheat on your girlfriend/boyfriend, why you didn’t study for a test, or why you’re failing a class. The one that takes minutes to explain, the time stretching out as you try to give context for your reason. Simple one-worded explanations aren’t enough, because backstories help to support your decision. They take the longest but it’s easier to swallow since everything is already listed out to you.
In certain events, saying ‘sorry’ is all someone might need to move on with the rest of their life, but sometimes saying ‘sorry’ just isn’t enough. There needs to be reasons to justify why an apology would even be necessary in the first place.
When it comes to apologies, and the explanations that follow it, there should be a balance between the two.
To apologize with enough contexts to understand why that person is cornered in the first place.
And to explain without fading and drawing the apology so far down the road that we forget it altogether.
It’s hard to keep that balance. Sometimes we’re so caught up with what we did wrong that it’s almost impossible for us to even admit that we’re wrong. Sometimes we’re so caught up in guilt that we hardly even stop to consider that perhaps explaining why we did what we did is the easiest way out of that guilt.
But we're still trying, and doing our best to understand.
I totally agree with how there are many different types of “sorry” and the type of explanation that is often attached to it. And people do feel obligated to apologize, because that was how they were raised and taught. When someone doesn’t say sorry, it’s almost like expect it, because it’s rude when they don’t. But I wonder is it better to get an apology with no meaning or no apology at all.
I totally agree with how there's so many different messages hidden behind the word "sorry." People get the reflex of apologizing to small things like bumping into someone in the hallways or things like spilling food by accident. But sometimes, a "sorry" isn't enough for a person to get on with their lives.
Many people cringe when they think back to the dumb and naïve things they’ve done in the past. Maybe it was liking a guy or girl that was completely wrong for you or spreading a rumor about someone just because you didn’t like them. Or on a bigger scale maybe you got involved in a war that cost millions of people’s lives, people that you don’t even know.
Of course for that last one I’m talking about our country, our country that we should be proud of because of our independence and freedom. And yet, when we look back we see the amount of blood that has been spilled on our land, the corruption and scandals in the government.
Some people try to turn the other cheek and only look at the bright side of things. They ignore the past to move on to the future. But to what kind of future? As we go through life, mistakes and setbacks shape the person we are and the person we become. Each hardship leads to a lesson, each trial to new knowledge. In terms of our nation, wouldn’t it be better to remember everything instead of pretending all the bad or embarrassing things never happened?
In the fairytale stories we’ve read when we were younger, there’s always a problem and a happy ending where the girl gets the guy and becomes a princess. Or one even more recent, where the girl has to deal with the fact that she has ice powers but in the end she learns to control them.
What do all these stories have in common with the real world?
In every single one, the characters learn something. Be who you are, get out of your comfort zone, experience the world. They hold no shame in their flawed past and instead treasure the past and present person they were and that they’ve become.
It is how the country changes over time that is most important. So yes, we should remember every detail of what our country did and engrain it into our minds. Because isn’t it better to look back and see how far we’ve come instead of looking back and seeing how nothing has changed at all?
Outsiders can tear you apart, criticizing every small thing you’ve done and saying how you ruined their lives. But they don’t know. They don’t know what you are thinking inside. Who are they to judge you when their past might be just as bent as yours?
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” - L.P. Hartley
Don’t forget what led you to where you are now.
I agree with you. I, too, believe it is important that we look back at our past and see how much has changed and how much we've accomplished or have yet to accomplish. This was well written. Great job!
I really loved this post. Especially the end.
The words resonated with me.
Don’t forget what led you to where you are now.
Sometimes i feel like i forget just so i dont have to think about it. It's easier to look at the present and look towards the future when you didnt enjoy your past.
But every now and again you get reminded of your past, or you do something that reminds you of your former self.
It better to not forget, just so you can look back and change for the better.
What’s so bad about swallowing your pride and apologizing?
If you know me, you probably know that I’m not the type of person who likes making excuses for herself. I don’t like giving people excuses. When I’m apologizing to someone, all I really need to say is “sorry.” If they need an explanation for what I’ve done, that’s when I explain to them what happened. Personally, I don’t think excuses will get you far. Excuses are for people who don’t want to get things done.
I guess the most annoying thing to me is knowing when someone is making up an excuse. The one that I often hear occurs when I ask my friends to go running with me. I schedule running dates with my friends, and when time comes to run, they always have a reason to not show up. I don’t know why people feel the need to come up with excuses. It’s like come on man! Own up to your apology! You don’t need to give an excuse to anything. If you don’t want to go running because you’re lazy, then tell me you’re lazy!
I don’t like excuses because they are just justifications for doing something that is wrong, or not approved of. Excuses are just cover-ups. They are the tools of nothingness that people use to build houses of lies. They get you nowhere, and people who use excuses specialize in doing nothing. I don’t like excuses, and I would much rather have the truth. Excuses are always bad; if we had “good excuses,” they would be seen as explanations.
That’s what I like. I like explanations.
You would probably assume that excuses and explanations are the same thing, but they’re actually really different. I like explanations because they aren’t full of baloney. I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as a good excuse, but if it were truly a good excuse, it would be an explanation. The real difference between an excuse and an explanation is the intention that lies behind it.
An explanation isn’t an easy way out, an excuse is.
I totally feel you about what you said about people making up excuses--it's complete BS. You brought up a good point about people making up excuses when you said "Excuses are for people who don't want to get things done."
Your point of view on this idea was astounding. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Great job!
Catherine I absolutely agree with you! I dislike it when people say they're sorry and then make up some lame excuse to cover it up. I can't wait to read more of your works in the future! Good job!
Excuses are annoying, and no one likes them. Explanations are beautiful and honest, and people like honest. Honesty is what helps you gain trust, but I'm sure we've all done it-- made excuses to get out of something.
I love your blog. I especially agree with what you had to say about excuses being different from explanations. I agree. I think that explanations can give an apology depth, but only when they add to the feeling of being sorry.
Wow, you made several really great points! I never really considered how an excuse can be so different from an explanation when it comes to apologies. I would like to think that explanations provide more of a context to one's mistake and allows the other person to understand their reasoning behind what they did. Explanations should be given even though they won't necessarily justify one's mistakes at all anyway. That's why people should both apologize and take action in actually trying to better or correct their mistakes.
I understand how you feel, I don't want like to make excuses either. When I really don't want to do something I would just say no and not making excuses. Making excuses is kind of like lying, that's what I personally think. I like your blog, total empathy on it.
Our nation is like family. Cliché, right? I don’t mean it in a relational sense. I mean it in a metaphorical sense. The government is our parent and the citizens are all the children being looked after. The children, at least in our democratic country and in the families I’ve come in contact with, have a say in what happens within the family but the final decision is made by the parent. The parent has to protect its children and decide what is best for the future of the family. Parents, as we all know, sometimes lie to the children for what they think is their benefit.
The Tooth Fairy.
Don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny debacle of 2000 when I caught my mom hiding the colorful eggs in my backyard.
All lies told by parents to their children. As far as they were concerned, these were all white lies that would give their kids a happier childhood full of mystery and fun memories. For me at least, they were right. It took a while to get over the fact that Santa Claus wouldn’t be coming down my chimney for being extra good that year and that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t magically slip a crisp five dollar bill under my pillow to replace the tooth that she would add to her collection in her tooth castle nor would the little leprechaun continue running around my house because in actuality it was a little doll my mom would moved every time I turned around. Once I did, however, I was able to realize all those little lies WERE for my own good because they gave me a great, fulfilled childhood. It took time to realize it but I did.
I realize the government’s lies are more important than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny but, in a way, the same thing goes for the decisions they make. They may keep things from us now but it’s because they think they’re doing the right thing and protecting us. Once we look back on the situation we’ll hopefully be able to look back at it the same way we look back at the fantasy characters of our early childhood. Not as something bad, but something worth the lies no matter how big or small. The good of the people is something the government takes seriously.
What if our parents had never given us the opportunity to ever believe in the different holiday characters? Life as a kid would have been dry and we’d never have the opportunity to have an imagination! Some lies are for the better and we should trust that the government has the wellbeing of our nation in their best interest.
This is pretty good! I mean not pretty good, it’s really good. I really enjoyed the extended metaphor that you used throughout your blog. I never thought about our government as a family. It never really came to me that our government was kind of like the family. I like how you related your parents lies with the lies our government gives us. I thought it was cool how you were able to talk about your childhood and the Easter egg incident all while keeping your blog about your main point.
I agree with mostly everything you had to say about our government but there is one thing that I need to disagree on. “The good of the people is something the government takes seriously.” I disagree with that because I feel as though we don’t necessarily know what our government keeps from us and what they tell us.
Other than that slight disagreement, I really liked reading your blog. It’s really cute and interesting.
Great job Sarah.
I can tell that you’re getting the hang of this class. I’m excited to read all of your other blogs!
I love how you connected it with something so casual like our holiday characters. It flows very smoothly and I totally agree with you! Good Job! I enjoyed reading your blog, it was very interesting. Don't worry, I caught my mom slipping money under my pillow. There goes my tooth fairy, haha.
What a great a analogy! But, what if the truths they're hiding from us oppresses us in some way? Or involves the slaughter of innocent lives? Should the government have the right to hide these facts from us? One of the greatest challenges of growing up seems to be negotiating the question: “What fictions/embellishments are useful?” and which are personal traps or political cover-ups? What is really true and not true? I think you have given us something to wonder about!
I loved this, Sarah! Creating a metaphor between childhood and the government made your idea easy to understand. You post was so enjoyable to read, and your formatting made it an easy read as well.
I found a bag of teeth in my mom's sock drawer when I was 7, and I was mortified! I eventually got over it and realized it was for my own good, so I understand where your'e coming from.
I've really enjoyed your first two posts, and I can't wait to read more of them!
I really love how everything tied together in your post, I kinda was like whoaaaa who gets five dollars under their pillow for their tooth??....but seriously my parents should have put that much. You know how to turn something so complex and insane to something simple and easy to understand.
I really loved how you used the holiday characters as your examples. It was fun and interesting to read! Great job!
So true! Sarah, growing up I always believed a white lie here and there never hurt anyone. I mean I would lie about doing homework, when in actuality I never did it but, all I wanted as a nine year old boy was just to play in the backyard. White lies are no harm in my book, at the least they are beneficial in my opinion.
“With great power, comes great responsibility” – Uncle Ben.
We now live in an age where knowledge is power, and if power results in responsibility, then knowledge results in responsibility. That responsibility is rested solely on the shoulders of the leaders of the nation, of those who know all. And you may ask, “What is the responsibility?” Well, that responsibility is to keep the citizens of the nation safe while determining the best possible solution between equally bad situations.
For example, the leaders of United States refuse to plainly state that they do in fact deem the Armenian Genocide a genocide. Before they took hold of power, they recognized the genocide; yet after they came into power, they no longer expressed their opinions. Why don’t they just officially blame the Ottoman Empire? Why don’t they just give them the cone of shame? It’d be really easy to just say, “Hey Turkey, your ancestors really messed up on that Armenian Genocide huh?” This way the Armenians would be happy that we finally labeled it as genocide and we would be able to build our relationship with Turkey over honesty and integrity right? Maybe.
If there’s one thing to learn from all those history classes, it’s that history tends to repeat itself. If we shame someone, or a country for that matter, too many bad things tend to happen. Look at what happened after WWI. Germany was shamed to the point where they bred hatred, and after their hatred grew, WWII happened. If we were to shame Turkey on the genocide, what’s to say that the same hatred that was in Germany wouldn’t arise in Turkey? Sure they might not go to the extremes and go to war with us, but what’s to stop them from severing all connections with us and allying with our enemies? The answer is nothing. And that is probably what will happen as soon as we push the blame onto Turkey. Maybe they wouldn’t openly sever the alliance but they could always sneak behind our backs to betray us.
What outcome do people really expect from forcefully labeling the genocide “genocide” anyway? An apology from Turkey for what their ancestors did over a century ago? Say that an apology is given by Turkey, what do the people gain? Do they get a placard that says “Turkey apologized!”? In the end that apology is really just nothing but words. Besides, how would we know if their apology is actually genuine and not something fake? Now I’m not saying that Turkey shouldn’t admit that such a thing like the genocide happened, but if they refuse to see it themselves, why force it when the risks are high? Change comes from the inside. We shouldn’t have to risk alliances for honesty when the cost for honesty is too great.
Great job with the transitive property going from knowledge to power to responsibility. I also believe that they all relate to each other. Unfortunately, history does tend to always repeat itself. I admire how you are critically thinking about the genuineness of an apology, it makes me wonder too!
In early 2010, Bradly Manning leaked government documents to WikiLeaks. This erupted into a nationwide controversy which revealed materials including videos of the Baghdad airstrike, and the Granai airstrike in Afghanistan. Included in these files were U.S. diplomatic cables, which brought to light Army reports that are known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs.
The question is, however, was this action necessary. Did the public need to know about the Iraq War bombings? Did the public need to know about the deaths of unknown people overseas? Did the people really need to know international affairs? Was what Manning did wrong? Some people, including the government, think so:
“But [Bradly Manning] did so through indisputably criminal means. To our authorities, our diplomats, our military, our leadership, Manning did not help us see ourselves more realistically: he damaged our self-perceptions by releasing a bunch of information free of context, injected confusion where it previously wasn't, and aided and abetted our enemies by doing so.”
Despite released videos of bombings and deaths of hundreds and thousands of innocent lives, documents detailing the systematic overtake and destruction of lives, and pictures showing every detail of government operations, many argue that all this information is, “confusing” because taken way out of context, aids the enemy, and (most disturbing of all) therefore irrelevant.
Because who cares right?
People don’t need to know if a few reporters died because they were mistaken to have carried a RPG.
People don’t need to know that 150 innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, including farmers, chefs, and drivers, were held for years in prisons without charges.
People don’t need to know that Mohammed Sadiq, an 89-year-old man, and Naqib Ullah, a 14-year-old boy, suffered from fragile mental and physical conditions in the United States' Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
People don’t need to know the government tortures its war prisoners based on assumptions of threat based on flimsy associations.
Because who cares right? These people don’t matter to us. As long as we are safe, they are irrelevant.
"We die to stay alive, we’ll kill to survive."
The Receiving End of Sirens, The War of All Against All
Is this how low we have sunk?
Even now beneath the clean window panes of the White House, past the prized monuments that represent our country, and behind the fancy suits of the smiling politicians lie dark secrets never revealed to the public. Mass genocide never made clear to the public, government action never agreed by the people, and “investigations” with faulty reports.
I argue what Bradly Manning did was right.
What Bradley Manning gave the people in those documents was information and knowledge, and therefore, power - the power to change. The very same power Oceania attempts to suppress. How will we use this power? Will we use this power to make right of what is wrong? Will we use this power to stop the government from exploiting others for the sake of our prosperity? Will we use this power to hoist up the voices that have been silenced for so long?
Will we use this power to dare disturb the universe?
"Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility."
I am glad Bradly Manning chose to shake the universe. I am glad Bradly Manning chose to make known what is meant to be known.
Let it be known that the suffering of Mohammed Sadiq and Naqib Ullah is the action of a government that has deviated from its morals.
Let it be known that 150 innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, including farmers, chefs, and drivers, were wrongly held against their will is a violation of human rights.
Let it be known that the torturing of the innocent is NOT human.
Let it be known that despite our wrongdoings, despite the lies, deceptions, and broken promises, we will continue to fight for others.
Let it be known that at times when the government has lost its way we will intervene.
Let it be known that we WILL take to the streets, that we will not stand silent against such evil actions.
Let it be known that we fight for humanity
Let it be known that that we fight for each other.
Let it be known that I fight for you.
The moment we stop fighting for each other, that's the moment we lose our humanity.
Adrian Helmsley, 2012
Haha Alex, this post looks so cute because of the format and such. xD I haven't read it yet and I'm like dying of cute just what. Ahem, anyway. I compliment your easy to read, clear, and aesthetically pleasing layout of your post.
Interesting, I wonder if that paragraph you quoted was Mr. Feraco's opinion, but this is fascinating! It's fun to hear a disagreement because now you have to explain why, and those are always fun to read. ^^
I hope we all care about that pain inflicted upon others. xD That repetitive part of the sentence kind of made me want to hug the screen and go "WE DO CARE ;w;"
but I agree with you on that this information given to us gives us power to instigate change. I'm curious though, if I showed you a video of some military official killing an innocent kid, what would you do?
I like how you ended so optimistically and strong as well. ^^ I shall fight for you too Alex. :3
I TOTALLY FORGOTTEN OH NO. IT'S BEEN SO MANY YEARS SINCE HE TOLD ME. OKAY I REMEMBER NOW. THANK YOU ALEX!
Nice use of repetition to make your point.
I agree that knowledge and information gives us the power to change. Manning's knowledge of the government's doings was able to bring awareness to something very wrong that should be changed. The public should know the truth about their nation's wrongdoings as well because those people who were killed or tortured DO matter. Possibly innocent people dying and suffering for an unknown reason isn't something trivial that can be ignored. Thus, I think transparency in the government is important.
Overall, I thought your post was really strong, and the message in the end was empowering: that we are united for humanity and the truth.
It’s really surprising to see how difficult it is for a person to admit that that he or she was wrong without defending themselves. Not to be hypercritical, I’m sure I do it too but it’s so easy for someone to say “sorry”. After all, its just a five letter word that doesn’t take much difficulty to pronounce or utter.
I guess politically speaking, America didn’t literally say “I’m sorry” for destroying two cities and probably causing several decades or centuries of disease.” Instead America kind of silently murmured the apology by making sure to document the events in textbooks. Yet in each textbook (or those that I have read), there is always that hint of a hidden context saying:
“We only did it because we had to. We only did it because more lives would have been lost had we not destroyed those two cities. We didn’t know that it would cause destruction to countless of lives in the future. It was our first time dropping a bomb with that much TNT...”
It’s almost childlike. “They started it!” So again we are repeating the same things, except on a more grander scale and for bigger “mistakes”. It’s a “they started bombing first” instead of a “who pushed who while waiting in line to go on the swings during recess”.
And when looking at it in that perspective, it can be insulting or undermining. It’s as if we are treating this matter as if it was a children’s fight. I mean...we are responding to it in kind of the same way.
Yet it is also insincere if we just reply. “Sorry.” You get responses like “That’s it?” and “That’s all you have to say after everything that’s happened?” (“after all those lives that were taken away in a matter of seconds?”)
Perhaps that best way to sincerely apologize is to say “Sorry” and explain what was done that was wrong instead of why the mistake happened because ______.
But that opens up a new question on whether the apology was true or was it said based on how it was “supposed” to be said. Was it said to spare the other party’s feelings and hopefully not cause resentment? Or was it said because we truly meant it; that if this situation happened again we would not have dropped the bombs.
There are so many ways to decipher and analyze an apology. Is there ever a correct/meaningful way or are all apologies fake in some form or the other? I’m not sure I know.
I thought the same way! Apologies can be hard to figure out because you don't want to sound like you're fake but you also feel like you should explain yourself. I guess it all depends on the person and what they think. I like how you left the question open ended so that there isn't a right or wrong answer to this. Nice job!
Chloe, I agree with you. I think that we all secretly want a reason because sometimes sorry isn't enough. We want them to tell us why they did what they did. However, sometimes their excuse is just undermining and destroyed the whole apology in the first place. I also believe that with people today, we expect so much out of people that we get so upset when they don't live up to what we want. We then get mad or look at them differently. Sometimes, we just have to lower our expectations. Our over-thinking ruins everything.
A Short Story
The line stretched all the way to the butcher’s counter and passed by the showcase of meats. And George Daniels stood at the end of it. He shifted uneasily in his sneakers and adjusted his jeans; he could never sit still anymore. The clamber and chatter of the people around him was a soup of sound that mixed with the dull, flat tone in his ear that never gave him any silence. A headache was coming on.
It had been roughly a year ago when he returned home from the Middle East. He had had a headache similar to today’s when he boarded the plane that would bring him back. He still awaited the feeling of relief that he had so anticipated then. The events were still terribly memorable to him. Too vivid were the twisted faces of his comrades as they fell, their chests boiling over with bursts of red whilst the cries and shouts were muffled by the roar and echo of automatic rifles. Too calm was the moment in the HUMV before the IED tipped it like a cow, the body in the shotgun seat getting thrown to the side and the gunner being propelled from his turret. He remembered the simultaneous crack of metal, glass, and bone, the sound piercing the reverberating explosion.
The cashier up front had dropped a glass bottle, and the crash made Daniels jolt. For a split second, all other sounds ceased and a for once he heard a flash of silence.
“Sir, are you alright?”
He turned to his right, and there stood a young women and her child. The little boy was seated in the chair of the cart. She doesn’t get it, he thought. She doesn’t understand. But why should she?
“Yes, thank you,” he replied, “I’m fine.”
This is super creative and extremely well written!!! You did a terrific job in capturing the emotion and setting up your story. I had originally wanted to write something like this, but I lack the skills to produce something as aawesome as this! I'm grateful to have found this story in a sea of words. I look forward to your blogs to come, keep up the great work!
Oftentimes the truth is so difficult that it is impossible to reveal. I believe you have captured that beautifully, both as an individual example and as a warning to those who may be tempted to reveal the “whole truth” and expect to be understood. I believe your post also gets at the difficulty of living in the midst of a horrific truth—the nightmare of living such a reality for the individual, the difficulty/impossibility of unburdening yourself in any casual way, and the amount of personal stress for the person involved in the situation that you have evoked in your story.
This is such an amazing short story. Like Jacklyn said, you really captured such a strong emotion. Keep this up! And by the way, we haven't talked in forever and I miss you. Anyway, keep making blogs like these Alex!
Your style of writing is very unique. I've never seen a blog written in the form of a short story. It was very eloquent, and I understood what you were trying to get across. Great job!
Super creative! You really captured the idea of a soldier with programmatic stress disorder, well done. Stoked to read more of your work.
We all have friends.... well, rather people we can call friends. What makes up a friendship though? In the past I used to think that it was just knowing the person that made you friends with that person. Now I realize that there's a deeper meaning in friendship.
You know that person. So what? Does he or she know you? Does he or she have something in common with you, hobbies, favorite foods/drinks, favorite books or favorite movies?
You guys now know something about each other. So what? He knows what your favorite food is. Does that mean you're "ready" to be friends? No. It doesn't.
You guys then go farther by telling each other more about yourselves. So what? He knows a bit about your family and about your life. Did that make you friends yet? Depends on what you told each other about yourselves. If you told each other about something you don't normally tell people, awesome. You're friends now.
There it's a huge borderline between knowing something a normal person will tell you and knowing something a normal person wouldn't normally tell someone. That's what determines if you're friends. Trust. Yet, trust is a complex idea.
You're friends, so you trust each other. You guys start telling more about yourself through your new trust system. But do you guys tell each other (*everything*)? No you don't. Your deepest and darkest thoughts are itching to be talked about, but they're so perverse that you ignore that idea of telling your new friend (*everything*). Trust can only go so far. No one person completely trusts anything or anyone.
As with everything else, friendship can come to an end. You guys argue about something particularly interesting to one of you but painful to the other. You guys say sorry but don't truly mean it because you are in the "hate" stage of your argument. You grudgingly accept each other's apologies and start calming down. Then you full heartedly apologize and start talking to each other again; however, something has happened between you that can't be changed.
You realize something is missing as you talk to each other. There's now a gap between you that wasn't there before. A gap that took you two a long time to close is now reopened.
Why does trust exist then? It’s so useful, yet so paradoxical. Trust is the upbringer of greatness yet also the downfall of it. For me, it took the trust of one person to bring me down so low after bringing me up so high. Is an apology even acceptable after all this? Trust….apologies….they’re all words that mean so much yet so little. Without having trust and giving apologies full heartedly, they’re just words. Words that exist in the meaningful world that we exist in.
" This city is dying, you know ?" This quote said by an actor in a Hong Kong drama - "When Heaven burns ". This drama isn't like those Korean dramas, it is a drama that reflects the history of China, the real history of China’s political and government. This is the first Hong Kong drama that got blacklist on radio , television and films in China because .... it is just because it is China. In 1997, when Great Britain gave Hong Kong back to China , this city is dying. According to the history, before 1997 , Hong Kong was a free, clean and safe city. We had our own freedom, traditional, cultured, food, language and governors that are nice but not fake. Compare to the Hong Kong right now, what happen ? What happen to this city ?
" This city is dying, you know? "
Everyone is trying to save this city because they want the old Hong Kong back. It is the history that will change our future, that will motivate us to make Hong Kong alive. The old Hong Kong was a beautiful city full of "Hong Konger" and English, not Mainland Chinese. People were either speaking in English or Cantonese, not Mandarin. The street were full of restaurants selling food that you can only eat it in Hong Kong, not full of gold jewellery shops. The streets, subway stations, buses were clean and peaceful , but now…
This city is dying slowly.
Hong Kong nowadays is full of Chinese, not real "Hong Kongers". Due to the one child policy in China, a lot of Mainland women came down to Hong Kong to give birth. The public hospitals don't have enough room for Hong Kong citizens and they have to pay extra to go to the private hospitals to give birth. It is our Hong Kong citizen’s, and not mainland Chinese, benefits to give birth in public hospital. These Mainland Chinese stole our benefits, our rights, our freedom, our public hospital, our city. Hong Kong is like a shelter for them. There will be a day that Hong Kong is full of Mainland Chinese.
This city is dying faster and faster.
However, the truth is Hong Kong is no longer a free city. We are under China; we were under China, the Communist. Why are we fear of China ? Their history, the real history. What did they do? Just read 1984 and you will know what China did. It sounds scary right? They want to change the histories of Hong Kong. Lately, they even want to take away our official language - the traditional Chinese. We protest. We protested everything, but the government never heard our voices.The only reason is because our Chief Executive is also under control of China, the governors of China. We called him a spy of China government.
That’s why this city is dying.
We need to remember how OUR Hong Kong looks like in order to make Hong Kong as a HONG KONG. We are fear, we are afraid that one day...there will be a day that Hong Kong is China. We lost our histories, our freedom, our traditions, our cultures and our way to live. We want a free city. We have to speak out our thoughts. We need to think back the Hong Kong before 1997, to remember the Hong Kong before 1997. 1997...
As I’m reading 1984, I had a thought - “I hope it won’t happen to Hong Kong or I will write a book and title it 1997.”
According to history, Hong Kong and China are not the same.
[SUPER BIG-BROTHERY EDIT - Sorry, Lil - it's not my blog, it's the school's, and that link cannot be on here. I had to delete the rest of your post because it wouldn't make sense. If you'd like to post a different ending, make a reply to yourself and I will replace this message with it. - Mr. Feraco ]
I wish I read your blog before Mr. Feraco did his BB move!
Regardless, I liked what I read. I can genuinely feel the anger rushing in your veins as you pounded on your keyboard this story that I'm reading right now.
(I also agree on your part about the traditional Chinese. There's so much meaning behind each Chinese character that it's a form of art. I dislike simplified form completely.)
My father is from Mainland China, so I guess, that makes me 'Chinese' (American-ized. I felt the difference when I visited China).
And, my dad's old... extremely old. He was born during war-time. He told me stories of the Civil War that took place in China when China underwent a government change into the 'Communist' Party we know today. My Family underwent a drastic change of life because of that. They took my grandpa's possessions and made it a property of China. My Family, in turn, adapted the change because their life was on the line. (And, they had a big family at that time. They could not sacrifice each other for a personal belief they held.)
Yes, my father, a born-and-bred Chinese man, hates the government.
But, nonetheless, it's was still his home. His family was there. He grew up there. And, for the sake of it, he had to adapt to the situation.
But, my dad's the type who practiced the 1st Amendment like no-tomorrow. He was born before the government began their early-age brain-washing program. So, he had opinions that differed from the government. He didn't like being hushed either.
So, when America finally opened its doors to China, my father filed immigration files as soon as possible and sold everything he can to get through with his fees.
When he arrived...
he loved it here.
And, even today, he's denouncing the Chinese government.
But, even today... he longs for home.
It's a conflicting feeling, really.
He's aware of the corruption within the government and ironies they hold. But, he can't hate the China overall because the people in China and the government are two separate things.
You mentioned, before, that China doesn't listen.
There's a disconnection between the government and the people, so the Government's representation of the Chinese people is off by a lot.
Instead of listening to the people, China's government tries to change the people's belief through threat. They've already began through the youth and influenced their education systems, and the old is dying or either leaving (or left to Taiwan).
There are people in China still escaping the policies and beliefs impressed upon them because it's not fair to them.
For some, they escaped to Hong Kong to get a better life.
For my father, he escaped to the U.S.
I think... 'Hong Kong is dying' because of overpopulation in general, not really because of the Chinese people themselves, like how New York is.
Of course, I don't know the situation entirely to make a judgement like that. I'm only assuming on the information I know.
Maybe the rest of your blog explained it further, and I was too late and missed it.
In foreign policies, I may be ignorant.
But, in people, regardless of what culture it is, I know each one of them is trying to get a better life for themselves because life is a one chance deal.
And, I really hope one day, someday, that people around the globe will live in a place they can call home without the feeling or need to escape.
Does my butt look big in this??
This is a commonly asked question by woman.
If you’re a man this is the hardest question to answer.
Do you say yes because it does look big? Or do you lie and say no so you don’t hurt their feelings?
The tricky part is knowing whether or not they want their butt to look big.
When we lie I think there are 2 different reasons why we lie
One- We lie because we don’t want to hurt the other person's feelings
Two- We lie to benefit our best interests
Honesty is the best policy! Indeed it is, we should know this from trial and error.
-Mom! Can we eat ice cream and cookies for breakfast???
This is pretty much a daily conversation to have in a household. (Maybe not exactly asking to eat ice cream and cookies for breakfast but same concept).
When we are told “No” or something we don’t want to hear we would like or even expect an explanation.
I feel as though an explanation after an apology is the same way. We want to know the reason why they did what they did since it was so wrong they felt that they have to apologize for it.
I also feel as though you really shouldn't apologize unless what you did was super horrible. If its a small apology you shouldn't drown it with explanation. Most of the time we long for closure in bad situations, as humans we want to know every little detail and everyone's motives.
In our society and even in America we should always be honest and do whats in the best interest of the people. If America is associated with God, as in the pledge, we should stand for honesty. LIES equals SIN. I’m not going to get all religious or anything but I think that it's unhealthy to keep important information that is damaging to people or things. Honesty is the best route to take, yeah it might hurt plans or people but I know it’ll save some things and be a learning experience in the end. I don’t think we should punish people for doing something that’s right, that is just unfair. Like with Bradley Manning, I think he should be innocent. He was doing the right thing to show America has flaws. It seems that we can’t put aside our pride as a country and fix these things we obviously do wrong. It would have been a different story if he wanted to take down America, but I believe he doesn't.
I could not stop laughing at the first part of your blog because it is soo true ! Everyday one of those questions is asked my someone in my family or by friends. I also agree all the way on your beliefs about lies. You explained it perfectly(:
When I first read it I was confused and thought it was funny...then I read the rest and everything made sense. Honesty IS the best policy. I too agree with what you believe on lies is true.😃
the beginning is so funny and true. I love you post because it is seriously what happens and is so true.
YES that is a hard and annoying question to ask a guy. I agree with the fact that we ask why when we are denied something we want. We want an reasonable explanation to why we cant get the things we want.
I really like this comment, i have wondered to myself when some people lie to me i'm like why just why, and whats worse is that they didn't lie about something big, they just lie because they feel like it. Or to get me mad ,great post.
To be honest, government issues and history are all just a mumble jumble in my tiny little head. When people talk about current events or just anything related to politics, I stand there with my head tilted wondering what to say next to make myself sound smart.
But, what I do know is that the government doesn’t necessarily tell its people the complete truth. With the growing development of technology (like how fast people tweet or post statuses), it is difficult to hide something so big from so many people. It’s already easy enough for people to pass on a message from person to person. Imagine how fast a message can be sent through social media. If someone tried, I believe that a message can be sent across the globe in less than an hour. Aside from that, I realized that the government does tell the truth, but doesn’t necessarily tell the complete truth.
When you were little your parents tell you to never lie, tell the truth and nothing but the truth and the whole truth. You just nod your head really fast then walk away hoping you don’t need to endure another one of those lectures. But do you actually tell your parents the truth? And if you do, do you tell them the whole and complete truth?
Then, how do people expect the government to tell the whole and complete? The people in society are like the parents expecting to receive the complete truth.
But is the whole and complete truth “good” to know?
I don’t think so, because if the government did decide to tell us (the people) the whole truth, it would be chaos. People would disagree, protest and even revolt. I think that government hides information to keep their power and legitimacy, so the people will respect them. Because sometimes the whole and complete truth can hurt.
It can hurt really bad.
I'm glad I am not the only one who feels completely dumbfounded by politics. I agree that if the government did not choose with discretion what to reveal and not reveal to the public, there would be chaos, but it still bothers me knowing that there might be something in that hidden portion that may really affect our lives.
Craig Chao said that we live in a country that has admitted its wrongdoings such as the Trail of Tears and racism towards minorities.
I’m in the same boat as Craig when I say that I’m proud of my country for acknowledging and teaching these things to younger generations. However, I don’t have an opinion on the government keeping secrets from its own people.
Who am I to say that exposing secrets is in the best interest for the citizens of the United States? I can point to incidents that have been exposed but haven’t really had a major effect on us citizens.
An example would be the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War where U.S. soldiers massacred innocent Vietnamese soldiers. Participants in the massacre were later charged with war crimes. Exposing this incident didn’t harm anyone.
But there are things that the government simply shouldn’t share such as the picture of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse. We simply don’t know if exposing that picture would endanger us. We don’t know if it would abet our enemies. But as an individual, I want to know everything that this country has done. I want to see everything no matter how bad it is. I want to know the truth. However, I don’t know how I would react to seeing things I do not want to see, which I’m sure would pop up if I somehow knew the truth to everything. To sum this paragraph up, I simply don’t know what I want to know.
I tried looking for a quote that would match my idea that apologies are needed and important, but then I couldn’t find any. Many of the quotes I found spoke of how unnecessary apologies were and how they are so overused. I agree on half of that statement. Apologies are overused; so overused that the words, ‘I’m sorry’ start to become a blur as I hear and say it about fifty times a day. But then there’s the other half. Apologies are absolutely essential. I feel as though people don’t realize the impact an apology can make when truly meant.
Apologies are the truest, most innocuous and most modest forms of poetry. It is the light that guides us to trust, love, and warmth. To be able to apologize and really mean it, one must take down their translucent walls, built up by pride and prejudice, and open up their heart and pour it out. A sincere apology is one of the most difficult things to produce and present. Many apologies are doubted with clouds of excuses. Sometimes these clouds overshadow the warm, brightening intentions of apologies and leave it almost impossible to make out. Apologies clean, mend, and strengthen the foul, the broken, and the weak.
However, I, too, am guilty of turning this beautiful ode into a broken record.
“I’m sorry.” “My apologies.” “Forgive me.”
They just turn into an echo, just a replica of the actual thing. As the chain continues and the sound fades, so does its value. The meaning is lost in the tunnel as it bounces off the walls and eventually vanishes as it is touched by the light at the end.
But, I quote these words:
“The sincerest of apologies has no echo,
for it is not shouted into a tunnel or well.
It has the purest of intentions, yet it can bring so much pain.
It contains so much love, but is brought out of hate.
It takes so much courage, yet leaves nothing but vulnerability.
Nothing is as complex, contrast, pure, meaningful, and beautiful as
the Sincerest of Apologies.”
I understand what you're trying to convey, but I think even a broken record type of apology is better than none at all. As long as it doesn't have an excuse tacked onto it...
I completely agree with your quote!
Crystal this was so beautifully and well written! I completely agree with you, there’s nothing that drives me crazier than an overused apology and no action to prove that they mean yet what they say. Yet no apology, no matter how insincere, almost seems worse. You’re last quote wrapped up your post perfectly!
I agree with you that apologies are mostly excuses but i also believe that without an apology, i believe you would leave situation in a worst state then it is. I believe that apologies should be said only when the person actually feels sorry.
Whether you want to believe it or not, many people do not want to know the truth. There are more lies in the world than truths, more hidden information. The truth is ugly, do you really want to known the truth?
There are people who know the truth and don't do anything.
During World War II, countless numbers of people (including many people in the United States of America) knew about the brutalities suffered by innumerable people in the Holocaust. People knew the truth and they did not do anything (especially in America). There were a tiny fraction of people who did help the refugees, but then again, it was a small number of people. If the whole world was seemingly oblivious to something as all-encompassing as the Holocaust, why wouldn't admitting the truth ignite action in people? The main goal of the Allied powers' agenda was to conquer Germany. Freeing victims of the Holocaust was haphazard, happening only when they came upon the sufferers. There may have been those who gave the Holocaust a thought but many people were obviously too preoccupied with their own business to take action. So, does it really matter when hidden truths are exposed even if—for the most part—people choose to ignore the facts that are already in plain sight?
There are other people who know the truth and are willing to lie to protect people.
Besides the idle group of passive people in the world, there were active, contributing members of society who helped give refuge to the victims. These kindhearted people risked not only their own lives, but their family's lives too. If questioned, they had to lie to the Gestapo and other government officials. In this case, is it acceptable to hide the truth? This obviously depends on who you ask. Lying to the authorities to save lives should not come at a price; these shelter-givers are protecting people who were forcefully hunted and oppressed. The matter of telling truth or lies depends on the situation and can be perceived and therefore reacted to differently by each individual. But in protesting people from the authorities during World War II, if one lies to protect unfortunate victims, can be a good reason why one has concealed the truth.
There are people who deliberately lie, revising history to portray themselves in a better light.
Those who are revisionists and deniers of history refuse to admit the Holocaust happened, denying the occurrence of industrial-scale genocide. Many of these people reject the past because they know the Holocaust was a crime, and they were guilty of participation. They are lying to others, and perhaps to themselves. Similarly, in 1984, the Party creates a whole department whose sole job is to redact information. This is done so to make themselves look noble to the mass of people. But don't their citizens deserve the truth? Winston seems like the only person invested in finding out the truth. In a totalitarian system, it is not evident that the citizens should know the truth; they may be more content with their current state of ignorance.
These matters are complex. As Elie Wiesel wrote in his book, The Judges, "Which is better, truth that is a lie or the lie that is truth?"
I agree with what you said about people lying because they want to hide their guilt. A lot of people are worried about their pride and in the case of the genocide, most people wouldn't want others to know they were involved in it. I liked how you also talk about the other side of people. The side where they lie to protect others.It gives you a different perspective on things. Great job on this!
Does a nation have a responsibility to remember its history accurately? Well, only if the country in question intends to teach their children the values of honesty. I believe that every nation should be required to record history as it had happened. I say this knowing that everyone’s perspective and interpretation of history will differ based on their own background and previous knowledge. There is no intention of drowning out biases. Biases are what makes history, history; (they’re also what makes history exciting). But at the end of the end of the day, there is a huge line of difference between biased writing and plain out inaccurate descriptions. Biased writing is like buying a preowned shirt described as “awesome” while inaccurate description is like buying a preowned shirt described as “new”. Anyone seeing the “new” preowned shirt would be angry upon realizing, likewise, anyone reading inaccurate history should be invariably offended.
While there is doubtlessly value to the history a country shapes and shares, there are also countless blind spots within. In the less than idealistic world that is ours, patriotic historians are quick to cover up the ugly past of a nation. If not completely covered up, undesirable pasts are often patched to the degree of lesser evil. It is easy to believe what a history textbook records as true, but one must take note of censorship. As a child, our history books covered the same events, as we grew older, we learned in more and more detail. History became clearer to us as well as sometimes... less honorable.
I remember a time when none of my friends understood my particular action. It had seemed painfully obvious to me why I had done what I did. I saw it as perfectly reasonable and understandable. However, no one else was able to see it my way. When the misunderstandings cleared up, I heard my friends’ views, I was able to learn more about myself and others. Thus, I believe that it is necessary to seek multiple angles of one subject-- history and culture included. Reading books on historical events created by other countries may offer new insights and a more proper, wholesome idea of what had actually happened. In any case, it is important to do research and fully explore history in order to reap the maximum benefits from it.
At a young age, we have been taught to give an excuse with apologies.
Getting in trouble with your parents when you come home late and you say sorry in shame. They ask you why you were out so late; you would have to explain.
Missing a day of school, you have to return with an admit slip with an excuse to avoid getting a truancy.
Getting pulled over by a police officer and you apologize, after he/she asks you why you ran a red light.
Being late to a date, and explain that there was traffic on the way.
Excuses show our weakness because we are afraid to hurt another’s feeling. We have been taught to give apologies to dodge further punishments, guilt, and emotional pain.
We apologize to be accepted by our society. That one second word can make a difference to a person’s day if you accidentally bump into them in the hallways. Without a “sorry”, they feel offended and you give an impression of a rude person.
Having no explanation following an apology seems wrong.
It is only a norm to apply reasons with our own apologies to be accepted. How can you not put an excuse after an apology if you have been taught as a child? Now that we have done it frequently, the phrase “sorry” is virtually meaningless once we use it often. That is why there is a phrase “sorry not sorry” (fbookers/instagramers know this phrase).
“If we can go back in time to change our mistakes, it hurts like a mother”; but who would actually do it for the little things (Feraco).
Many people would agree for Benjamin’s “never ruin an apology with an excuse” but in reality, we apologize with an excuse automatically without even knowing.
Well written and some cool advice that i never even thought about, i have much to consider when it comes to apologies and excuses how they impact one another and how big of spalsh it makes.
Nice post Diana!
I honestly agree when you say "we apologize with an excuse automatically without even knowing". We go through lives making mistakes and are taught to apologize, but we never consider putting emotion into our apology. We just say some random excuse that can "hopefully" get us out of trouble.
Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past .
Actions speak words, but words don’t create as much impact as one’s action.
It’s not okay to just say “Oh, I’m sorry,” after a wrong doing. It’s NEVER okay.
When you make a mistake and hurt anyone in the process, man up and own up to your mistakes and apologize sincerely.
But, we humans can’t just do this with ease. We are all stupid creatures of the earth.
I have a really good friend who lives 20 minutes away from Arcadia. I’m not going to be descriptive or mention her identity or anything else about her. But recently, like about a month ago, she went through a family crisis.
Everything fell apart—the world had shattered right in front of her eyes.
I don’t want to explain what exactly happened, but what resulted from it was really messed up. Her father went to jail for his wrong doings, and her mother went to the hospital for 3 weeks.
For the past month, she was a lost soul—she didn’t know what to do. She was so sad it was unexplainable, but at the same time I knew what she was going through. I felt her pain and agony and her emotions hit me hard—it got to me. I was there for her the entire time, doing what I could to help her in any way possible. It helped, but not that much.
She told me that the only thing she wanted is for her father to change—to stop gambling and drinking and doing everything a family wouldn’t want their father-figure to be like. She wished that her father would be a loving and caring father instead of being an abusive and horrible father.
She just wanted to be loved by him.
Last Sunday, her mother was released from the hospital. She was healed physically, but both her mother and she will never be healed mentally.
They will always be mentally scarred for life.
If her father changes his acts, that will be the key to fixing everything, the only way that will show her family his sincere apologies.
A simple “I’m sorry” wouldn’t mean anything if just spoken. It takes far more than just 2 words to fix everything he has done to my friend and her family.
Words don’t speak , actions do .
Jason, your blog reminds me a lot of The Guy Code, a show on MTV. Word brotha, actions speak, mouths do not.
Most people lie to get out of tuff situations or to trick people into making them look a certain way. For example, when a kid eats a cookie before dinner and their parents ask “Did you eat the last cookie” and while the kids face is still stuffed he answers “Nu mum”. The kid knows he did something he has the sliver of hope that maybe his parent will believe him.
Lying is a defense mechanism in the human instinct. When you do something wrong the first thing you feel is to lie to the other person. However there are reasons why we lie to others. We fear punishment but lying only makes it worse. People know this but they still lie, they even tell other lies to cover up the lies they made.
The government has an abundance of secrets that they keep to themselves. The government says that they do it for our own good but, some people think that they should be aware of what happening to their country at all times.
Great work! I completely agree with how, most people use lying and excuses as some sort of a defense mechanism to protect themselves. Like everybody else, no one wants to be in trouble.
This report of Bradley Manning reminded me of that of Edward Snowden, a former CIA agent who had also leaked a number of top secret documents to the media. While both are highly criticized by the American government, there are also supportive voices in the public. Some say that since the government is of the people, by the people, for the people, people deserve the right to know it in full extent and they are patriots while others say that their actions aid our enemies and betray our country.
It is interesting that some people think that the leak of our top secret will aid our enemies. Who exactly is are our enemies? Is it Iran, which publicly supports terrorisms and wreak American’s authority? Is it North Korea, which is still a communist country and threatens the world safety? Or is it China because of its growing global power and its human rights violations?
Are they America's enemies due to their different political positions and increasing power that imperil America’s world power status? I say No.
America’s greatest enemy is not Iran, North Korea or China, but itself. The American government who tramples on its citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights is America's worst enemy.
“"Lying is universal--we all do it; we all must do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously”- Mark Twain
Lying is, indeed, unavoidable. People often tell white lies to service their own interest and ease with others. Students sometimes lie about their grades and employers lie about their working processes. Although these are not honourable actions, they will not cause major problems. But there is a degree of lying. To me, it is not acceptable when the government lie to us and spy on us in the name of “protection”. It is not acceptable when the government denies our constitutional rights. I still remember President Obama’s promising smiling face, full of hope and confidence, in his first meeting at the White House: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency. Not everyone needs to know our government completely because no one should be burdened with the responsibility that comes with the knowledge. No one wants to have that sense of complete helplessness when one is powerless to reform one’s country. However, people deserve to know. As a citizen, as a part of this country, we deserve and should pay close attention our government.
I believe that the leaking of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden is not used to aid our enemies, but to increase the awareness of Americans and bring positive changes to our country.
I agree that Bradley Manning's action was not done on the purpose of ruining the country, he is braver than Winston is 1984, he is dare to share what he know. through his action, I am able to America done a good job of giving the freedom of free speech until the point Manning got his punishment. It is because the freedom that the government give to his people made Manning have the gut to 'leak out' info of the military. However, in the end, government is accusing Manning is guilty by doing so. I felt a sense of being lied to when I think about it.
Believing; it is the reason mankind cannot come to terms and agree. It is why we fight, and kill each other for what we both see as the truth and way. Whether it is religion, morality, or policies of countries, we all have our own interpretations of what is right and what is wrong; what is the truth and what are lies, what is Maya and what is Satyam.
If we all have our own split ideologies, somebody has to be wrong. Not every religion’s God can coexist with each other. Not every government is equal. Not every person is guided by the same virtuous standards as the other.
A lot of the reason we follow in certain beliefs is because of the family we are born into along with the cultures we adopt with them. My grandma is a hard core Catholic from Guadalajara. My mom was raised Catholic but now she is a faithful Christian woman. My dad was raised Christian but now he says he would follow in the teachings of Buddha if it came down to it.
I dressed up for church on weekends. I went and sang and raised my hand as a child in my kids’ classes. To me it was always more of a concert than going to church but that is just the place we go to. I was baptized when I was born, and my mother told me the way was to follow Christianity. Eventually I started to realize that not everybody followed the same religion. When you are a kid you don’t know anything. My mom told me how it was and I accepted it. I knew my mom was not the smartest person in the world, though at the age it kind of seems like it, but it seemed like there was no way she could be right with all the other ideologies in the spectrum of our human belief system. I could never accept the bias, even at such a young age.
There is truth and there are lies in this world, and that should not allow for much gray area. When there are so many different options and ideologies it is difficult to tell what is true and false. So many sound so appealing. So many seem real but there only can be one truth. There may be a lot to it, but there is only one exact way. Sometimes a lie is spread so vast and accepted by so many that we perceive them as reality, but we cannot be that gullible.
We need to question authority and figure things out on our own. If we let people teach us everything they know then we are just building up a bunch of empty knowledge without the wisdom of experience to back it up. We cannot let others tell us what is right and wrong. It is our own responsibility to make decisions and in the era of technology we have all the information at our fingertips.
When I was little, my dad told me all about the Chinese and South Korean communists and what not. He told me that they raised their children in schools to brain wash them into thinking we are the enemy. He said they would fill their minds with lies to get them to hate us. I accepted it then but now that I look back on it, isn’t that what we do?
The government requires all children to go to school and they construct curriculums to teach us whatever they want us to know and our whole lives end up depending on how well we do at these academics. As a part of competition and keeping up with grades, we have no choice but to accept the information as truth without question. How do I know our government’s not the one that is sabotaging us into thinking we are free so they can build up their military and take control of the planet?
We have the ability to write and edit our own history how we want to teach it. Maybe the communists are actually the good guys. I highly doubt any of this, but there is no way for us to tell for sure without seeing the situation for ourselves. We just take the news headquarters word for it. What if the news is being lied to? They just tell us what they need to, to get good ratings anyways. Our beliefs rely on the trust we have for others at sharing true information. It is possible that we are getting drawn into illusions so that we are too distracted to see what is going on under the covers. Our government could rewrite history books and feed us lies like Big Brother if they saw reason to. They are just more powerful than us.
Ever since I found out that the Santa Claus did not exist and that Thanksgiving tradition was a bunch of crap made up to make us seem like we were nice to the natives I have not been able to blindly accept information. America they say, the land of freedom and liberty was also created on the foundation of slavery. The hearts of justice, escaped the wretched hands of Great Britain’s control to start Puritan colonies where everyone can live freely, except if we think you’re a witch then you will get burned at the stake. They envisioned this beautiful land, from sea to shining sea. I do not know about you, but that sounds like means of an empire to conquer an entire continent. The “Home of the Free;” actually it was not free we just killed the natives and stole it. We are gangsters.
These slogans are almost like a form of propaganda to make us seem less guilty than we actually are. Our country has a lot of great attributes but we must accept that our path getting here is tarnished and full of hypocrisy like any other countries. I feel like I have been lied to, but there is never a way to know. Our government only tells us what it needs to.
I think we are entitled to knowing any political or military agendas that wont threaten our safety as citizens. The idea of popular sovereignty states that the government was created for the people, by the people. They just cannot use “terrorism” as an excuse for everything.
There has been one big terrorist attack since I have been alive but our military is constantly sending drones to patrol the Middle East. A study done by Stanford University says that of some 3,000 casualties in Pakistan caused by drone strikes from 2004-2012, only 2% of those strikes killed the high level threat targets they were aiming for and the rest that died were civilians. How would you feel living under the constant threat of being bombed? The hum of hovering drones fills the air day in and out and leaves Pakistanis with terrible anxiety. It makes me wonder who the actual “terrorists” are. If we are willing to kill innocent people to protect ourselves then who are the real bad guys here? A whole nation of people cannot be held responsible for an attack performed by a single group but we punish them nonetheless.
This 1984 book seems like it has government down pretty well. They distract everyone and get them sucked into a virtual life of telescreens also known as IPhones. Everyone is too anxious to be judged that they won’t even talk to each other. The NSA can listen in on our conversations and scrutinize our private lifestyles. The media, laws, military, and big corporations virtually run everything, which embody the four ministries. In places like Pakistan, bombs fly out of nowhere to strike citizens. It seems like the standard of humans gets lower and lower while the dumb reproduce on accident to create multiple offspring and the wealthy spend their whole lives working so they never have time to pass on their genes.
There is so much going on in the world, and I am witness to so little myself. I hardly know what to believe.
Very nice post. I disagree and agree on some things though. I don't think our school system can be equated to the brain-washing that communists perform in their schools. Our school system is very flawed as it is counter-productive in its goal to make us ready for the real world and instead making us reliant on teachers and specific and perfectly detailed instructions.
But I agree with your thoughts on propaganda and how the bad acts of our country tend to be very hidden. But what can we expect? All realistic governments are going to have problems like these because the government has to have enough control to restrict the citizens but give them enough freedom to where they are happy or at least won't rebel. In 1984's case, Freedom is Slavery.
So I'll end my comment with this. Just look at the upside and realistically where our government can be and what we can do to achieve that. Compare our government to that in 1984 and although you see many subtle similarities, there are a lot of striking differences. We haven't hit that time yet.
And now, finish reading the book please
What is the duty of a country's government? Is it to protect its citizens at all costs, or is it to completely transparent and reflect the will of the people?
Is the truth worth it?
The answer is truly difficult to find, and people's opinion will differ as they always do. So as to answer this question you must rephrase it.
How much truth can we afford?
This is the questions that governments must answer, and looking around the world, each nation has different answers also. For example, people in the People's Republic of China, in light of its name, knows very little of their country. While here in the United States we know quite a lot, we even get to elect people to represent us. We would like to think that we know everything about our government, this is why we get very angry when we find out that secrets have been kept from us.
It is very easy to ask for truth, but it is not so easy to provide it.
We are in an age where information is power. It is no longer about who has the stronger weapon or army. We posses enough firepower to wipe out an entire county should we choose to, yet we do not posses any ability to stop other countries should they choose to do so against us. The things protecting us is the fact that the other country knows that we would retaliate before they can completely destroy us. Freely giving information away is like giving the enemies power over us, it provides them with security while we lose all of ours.
Releasing information will aid our enemies.
In a perfect world there would be no need for secrets, as we would not have any enemies. However this world we live in is far from perfect, we have enemies and we face very real threats. We come together in response to threats, that is how the first groups and communities formed. Complete freedom is something we gave up in exchange for safety, that is why we follow rules and laws. We expect protection in return.
Everybody has secrets.
We protect these secrets to protect ourselves, be it from embarrassment or actual physical harm. Why should a country not be able to keep secrets too, especially when it is for our very own protection. Double standards are simply selfish thoughts, they will not be able to create a better world, they only serve to make our current world look worse.
Look at yourself before you look at others.
Richard I agree on how you say that it is very easy to ask for truth, but it is not so easy to provide it. People get angry or feel being push out when other hide secret from them, it is easy to ask "why you keep it from me, am I your friend/closet partner?" , but it is not so easy to simply being open to an individual, people struggle so hard before they ever decide to tell other their secret. Therefore, I also agree with you that we should put ourselves into others shoe? Not simply be mad because there is secret but more understanding that other individuals are humans too.
That was really good. At first I skimmed over this on Thursday, but then I decided to read it in-depth today. I liked how well you linked everything together, paragraph by paragraph. Everything flowed really well and your formatting (bolding the transitions) helped make things very easy. I like the points that you made and you are right, why should we allow double standards? Overall, again, great post!
I really like how you presented each question and the answered it, Richard! I particularly enjoyed how you connected everything back to our interests. I'm really glad that I decided to read this post.
We say we want the truth, and to some extent we really believe we do. If you ask your friends or your parents how you look before you leave the house in the morning or before you go out, you just expect them to tell you that you look fine without even really thinking about it. But if for some reason they tell you “this or that is a little funny” or “you know.. that looks a little weird today”, we get offended almost resent them in the moment for not sparing our feelings and being nice. We want to be told what we want to hear, without it distorting the truth as much as possible.
The same goes with society’s relationship with the government. If the U.S. government one day decided that they no longer wanted to publicly announce any information regarding anything relating to them or the United States as a whole, we’d be enraged. We don’t want to be left in the dark, nor is it fair that we are. We find comfort in knowing what the governments intentions are or knowing what big decisions their on the course of making that might affect us. People like sincerity, and honestly offers that.
Yet at the same time, if we know too much of things that were better left unsaid, the truth sometimes gets tainted into something negative and raises further questions about intentions.
Honesty really is something important to me, and I try to be as honest with my mom as possible. Yet when I go out or have plans, I know there’s certain details I need to leave out or change to get what I want. Even if my intentions are good and pure, if I tell her I’m doing something that includes one detail she’s unsatisfied with, her imagination runs crazy and she thinks I’m up to the worst. So I’ve learned how to be as honest as I can without putting ideas into her head that cause her to think I’m what’s wrong with today’s youth. Sometimes sugar coating is necessary.
In that same way, if we were aware of every corrupted and wrong doing that our government did, it’d be the downfall of it. We’d resent them for what they do and no longer support them. We need structure and someone higher than us to keep that order, otherwise it’d be complete chaos. So our society works because we follow the rules those people set for us to live in a stable environment and give them money to ensure we’re safe and have what we need to function properly.
If we knew every dishonest intention behind the cause of a law, we’d be blind to how they help us and instead see the unfairness, and stop obeying the rules. If we knew where every dollar of the tax payer’s money really went, we’d be furious and left feeling like our money is wasted on a purpose we don’t support and stop paying them, sacrificing the protection and benefits it really did buy us.
I believe people need to be honest and genuine, and in no way am I saying lying and misguided intentions are okay. But I know at the same time the complete truth can sometime cause more damage than any lie could.
Sky, I totally agree with you with you said how we want to hear what we want to hear even though it may not be the truth. I think it is so hard to expect the whole truth and nothing but the truth but be conflicted into having that person say what we expect them to say. Our expectations again, outweigh reality. This is why we are never truly happy.
I loved your example with your mommy because I know it is so easy to just say "I'm going out" and have her worry so much.
I loved your post, good job!
+ Do we deserve to know the full extent of our nation’s/government’s/society’s aims and activities? Would it be better to trust others to decide which information is appropriate for you to know?
+ Is Franklin correct? Does an excuse, an explanation, a context, undermine an apology? Or is an apology without context even less appropriate?
In life we cause problems and hear about conflicts in seconds. The media became sharks and feed off of any story that they can get their teeth onto, like school children at high school. They don’t think about the consequences of their “reporting”, to me now media seems to have gone too far with many of their stories that are released to public. “Yes” reporting on situations is crucial for Americans, but some things should not be reported to the extent as other conflicts that seem to arise around the nation.
What I mean about “not to the extent of others” is depending on where you live, and what happened? Like for most of the school shootings, we hear about “the shooter” and they say his/her name all over the media, which will make them be remembered throughout history for the catastrophe that they caused. Instead of being “a person” who shot many innocent civilians in broad daylight, to not have their name remembered for the future to come, all that would be remembered is the code names that we give for each shooting.
The area where anything happened like a shooting, bombing, to even some sort of murder should be within the area where it happened. My reasoning is that the people in those areas have the full right to know what happened, instead of announcing it to “everyone” in the whole world almost. These “murderous fiends” we call them, but we still put their name in a paper for them to be remembered.
Articles in the media should only have achievements of Americans that deserve it, Like the Army for example. They fight for us, protect us, and even die for this country for us. People who did altruistic behaviors should be remembered, from sports to even being hero on the street to some random person. Even though altruistic behaviors are probably selfish and very abstract to the human mind to know if it “is”.
Even though I say all of this, I am biased against the media, so I am not completely sure what “should” be in the media or “not”. I would want people to know themselves which stories should be limited or strengthened, because we all know that the media is never accurate, even when it trying to be.
Okay one of the questions are not suppose to be there. So it's just the question dealing with what I talked about in it...
“A person is intelligent, its people that are dumb” –anonymous
Although blunt, the person who said this has a good point. I mean think about it, you have all seen groups of peaceful people suddenly go crazy over the most trivial things. I have seen huge fights break out over a controversial call in a soccer game. Could you imagine the kind of reaction there would be if the U.S Government suddenly gave up all of its secrets, and told the American public everything? Just imagine the chaos that would ensue.
Personally, I would love it if the Government told us all of its secrets, but I don’t think the public is ready for it. There are probably dozens of documents that are hugely controversial, and there would be riots if those things were put out for the public to use. Unfortunately, the much over used quote, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!!!” is true in this case. People as a whole, cannot intelligently and rationally think through all of the secrets that the U.S has.
How many of you guys have had this awful experience, MOM: I want you to apologize right now. YOU: Ugh, fine, I’m sorry. PERSON YOU APOLOGIZE TO: What are you sorry for? We have all been in this position, and I am positive that every one of you hates it. You know why you’re sorry, they know why you’re sorry, but they make you say it anyways, and it’s very annoying! Although it’s a pain, it’s actually necessary, if you apologize for something, you should give it context. An apology without context is essentially useless, all you’re saying are meaningless words, when you give context to something, people understand, and will hopefully forgive you.
These small things matter, whether it be as a nation, or an individual. I mean seriously, World War II might not have happened if somebody had just apologized…. Just saying...
“Three things that cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” –Buddha Ever had a friend not tell you the truth until it’s too late or at the wrong time? Well, that’s exactly what happens with our nation’s/government’s/society’s activity and plans. Us humans should be able to know what’s going on around us at all times with no missing detail. That’s what the news is for right? The news is suppose to provide us with the answer that needs to be heard, whether we like it or not. However, that’s not always the case because there are always important details that we miss out while watching the news. Same thing goes for teachers and students at school. Sometimes, teachers don’t say what needs to be said, and then sooner or later when you’re in the next level class or taking that same course in college, new information comes up that you were suppose to learn from your previous teacher.
We shouldn’t trust others to decide which information is important because we might learn useless information or we might not learn something that will be really important in our future. There is a difference between wanting to hear and needing to hear. We should receive information that we need to hear, whether good or bad, because knowing the truth will have a greater impact on our lives.
Us humans should know what’s going around us at all times because our surroundings influence our words, thoughts, actions, and decisions. However, only knowing what’s going on present-day isn’t enough; everyone should be capable of remembering their society’s/nation’s history accurately. Obviously, the Jews are going to have a better sense of what happened during the Holocaust than we do most of the time because that event had a major impact on their life that still haunts some of them today. The events that are worth remembering are the ones that had a huge impact on your life and your society/nation. However, no matter if we learn our history from our teachers or by reading history textbooks, there is no way to prove that it happened. For example, how can we prove that George Washington existed? How can we prove that the Great Depression happened in the 1920’s? How can we prove that this year is the year 2014? For all we know, all of this may be falsified information made up by the people from the past. The only people that know that these events happened or that these people existed are the ones that lived in those moments. The problem is that either these people lie because they don’t want us to know the truth or we can’t get a hold of these people because time flies by fast.
Historians are still debating on what actually happened in past events because it’s so hard to find out the truth. What good is knowing your history if all you know is false information? In the book 1984, nobody knows what happened in the past because the Inner Party exterminates their thoughts and fills their minds with falsified information that keeps everyone guessing on what actually happened. There’s a reason why Winston puts everything he writes and types into the Memory Hole because it’s used to destroy memories and events from the past so that no one gets a hold of them.
Who knows if we will ever find the truth to some things that happened before our generation? Until then, the only thing I can tell myself is to absorb every piece of information about history as a perspective and not the truth because everyone has different views on what actually happened regarding the events in their lives.
Haha, Bezan! ^^ Nice start with a quote!
I like how your argument at the beginning starts off clearly and straightforwardly. :3
Although, with the teachers example, I think sometimes teachers may accidentally forget to teach something. xD but now that's interesting, if someone unintentionally withholds information, is that still a bad thing?
true that we never know whether an event in the past has actually happened, but we can never know the exact truth I suppose, only something perceived by some human xP
but yes, I agree with the last sentence, to take information with a bit of suspicion. xP
Apologies are made every day. “Sorry, there was traffic on the 210”, someone’s excuse for being late to work. Maybe if the person was motivated to get moving earlier they would have made it on time. Will the excuse grab back the 45 minutes that were gone? No. Actions soar above excuses.
“The Shortest Answer is Doing”~ Lord Herbert
Excuses aren't what people want to hear, yet there are excuses for everything. The world doesn't thrive off excuses, it benefits from movement and action.
Humans are humans and will continue to make mistakes, nobody is perfect. It’s the mistakes we need to learn from to grow as a person and learn. Instead of making excuses as apologies, learn from mistakes. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
After bombing a country, an excuse would be that we didn't want to lose any more of our soldiers. A simple sorry wont being back the millions of lives lost. We as a country need to correct by mistake by aiding that country and making sure incidents like this don’t happen again.
When it comes down to apologies, the only way of making things right is taking action and going beyond the excuses.
“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.” ~ Alfred Alder.
When it’s said and done it’s the movement one strives to take to exceed. What are you going to do become the better person? Are you going to continue to live life with multiple excuses for your actions? Or are you going to go beyond the weak action called an “excuse” and be the greater person to not only yourself but to society as a whole?
The choice is yours.
Marcel, great post man! I agree with you that actions soar higher than excuses and that we need to stop making an excuse for everything and just accept the fact that we made a mistake. Also, I really liked your first quote; that pretty much summed up your entire post. Good job!
“Different people remember things differently, and you'll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.”
My dad has an impeccable memory for everything except names. He knows the life story of the majority of the congregants that fill the church he preaches to on a weekly basis. He knows what their children are doing with their lives and what their own childhoods were like, but he often mixes up their names.
It seems innocent enough until he is officiating a wedding, funeral, or baptism. He butchers people’s names. I can’t begin to count how many times he has been corrected during some of the most important ceremonies of people's lives.
My dad’s sister has an awful memory. When she talks about it, though, she usually references it in a positive light.
She is not bound by the past.
Good things slip down into the memory hole, but so do bad things.
My dad and his two sisters grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My grandparents were often angry and irresponsible.
They grew up with almost no stability.
My aunt remembers this, but she doesn’t remember it in the visceral way that my father does. She is able to interact with her parents with only slight exasperation at their behavior. My dad doesn’t have this luxury. He still sees his parents the same way that he did when he was a young child.
He is Winston, clutching that piece of condemnatory proof, and never dropping it into the memory hole.
Today my aunt cares for my grandparents. They live in an assisted living community two blocks from the school where she teaches. She drives them places, coordinated the clean up of their home, and helps ration the money that they have to live on. It is a stressful job regardless of hard feelings. They are not easy people to deal with.
Just because my aunt doesn’t remember the same past that my dad does doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The past is not erased simply because an offending memory is cast into the nearest memory hole. It still exists in Mr. Charrington’s old shop. Pieces of it are still embedded like glass in the mind of the old drunken prole. The past lingers even as the memory hole threatens to suck it under.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
My dad has connections to the Armenian Church in the area-the vast majority live here because their families escaped the genocide. They don’t shy away from discussing it. In fact, they hold services that showcase images from the time. They talk about the hurt and injustice, but more than that, they talk about God's faithfulness even in the darkest of situations. It is an amazing testament to their faith.
The Armenian Church has grown because they are willing to look this tragedy in the face and praise God for His goodness. Their families were murdered, but instead of hiding from reality, they use that pain as a witness to their faith.
I honestly can’t say how I feel about The United States’ official policy on the Armenian Genocide. My gut instinct is that it should be recognized. When I couple that instinct with the knowledge that it could lead to a serious fallout with Turkey, my gut reaction weakens.
The nation that needs to do the recognizing is Turkey. Only they have recognized their error and sought ways to ensure that it does not happen again, will complete healing be an option.
There is nothing that we can do to change what happened in Turkey 100 years ago. We do not have the ability to bring back the dead, but we can honor them. We can honor their legacy by teaching students how to stop swirling around in the cycle.
The Armenian Church has found healing through talking about what happened to them. It is time for us to join them-whether as a nation or as individuals.
My aunt knows that she doesn't remember things in the same way that my father does. Sometimes it means they take a step back and realize that they have different perceptions of the same events.
Memory is a fickle thing, and for some, certain events leave stronger imprints in the brain. Although we don't have the same capability to remember, we share the same burden of remembrance.
“The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”
-Rafiki, Disney’s The Lion King
I really like the quote you ended with, i honestly live by that quote everyday and it motivates me to keep going.
Almost all of the time, I give people a second chance. Probably because nothing so harsh, such murder of my family, or betraying of my trust has ever happened. I’ve held resentment for people, but the grudge has always been ephemeral and I forgive - - - . - - - - - -.
But not that very last part.
The memories of that horrible day when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were obliterated along with the people who lived within the radius of the blast. Our actions have been pardoned, but we don’t cease to remember the day and the lessons learned from it. We haven’t launched weapons of mass destruction from then on forth, and currently, we are close allies with Japan.
One of the hardest things for me to do is admit I was wrong and ask for forgiveness and help. The first reason for why is because I can be a very prideful human. It hurts my pride and ego to admit that I am wrong. My family, mainly my sisters and father, have labeled me as “dependent”, saying that I can’t do anything by myself. And everything I try and do something on my own, and fail, they scold me for not asking for the help that I blatantly need. I just want to prove them wrong. The second reason is because I’m scared of criticism. Until this year, my life has always been about doing well in the eyes of other people. My goal was always to meet their expectations, and if I didn’t succeed, then I felt like a failure.
When my sister came over, she asked me whether the deadline had passed for Rutgers University and if so, if I had turned in my application. I lied and told her that I had submitted the application on December 1st, which was the deadline. Then, she told me to send her old boss an email about me, since he would help me get into the University.
I gulped. I knew I was in trouble.
A couple hours passed midnight, I decided to send her an email, explaining that I had lied, telling how I was scared and why I was scared. Here is one of the paragraphs from my email:
“Most of all I was scared and still am scared. You asked me how would I be able to survive in the real world when I can't even take criticism from you? Your criticism and anger hurts more just because I hate the fact that I'm letting you down. The problem is that whenever I try and meet other people's standards, I always let them down and thus let myself down. This is just a problem with being dependent upon others for help. I take everything you say to heart and I hope you know that I really do listen to things that you say and try to accomplish the things that you ask of me. Another problem is that you associate your own success with my success. If I fail, you fail. Why do you put that burden on my back?”
That morning, I feigned sleep in hope that I could wait out the storm and talk to her after she had come back from her morning/afternoon Starbucks run. She knew this and told me to wake up right before she left. I read her email and her last paragraph said this:
“Why don't you do something so well that I can't criticize it? I've been looking for that... again and again and again. I don't want to criticize you, but Mom and Dad aren't really telling you what you need to hear. So I play that role. So make me proud. I'm waiting for it. In the meantime, I'll stop yelling because you clearly don't want me to care.”
My sister is a great person, a loving but albeit a tough one, but I’ve realized that I don’t have to try and please her. It’s my life and I get to call the shots, whether she likes that or not. From the wise words of my middle school counselor, “You are the only person that you need to please. Not anyone else” (paraphrased because I can’t remember the actual quote).
Thank you for that second chance. I’m hoping that your sun smiles and shines brightly upon the path that I choose to take.
“Cause you've been hurt before
I can see it in your eyes
You try to smile it away, some things you can't disguise
Don't wanna break your heart
Baby, I can ease the ache, the ache
So let me give your heart a break, your heart a break”
-Demi Lovato, Give Your Heart a Break
I can really relate to this post. For most of my adolescence, I tried my best to live up to my parents' expectations. Only a few years ago did I realize how unrealistic they were. I began to forge my own path, rather than listen to my parents. When I need guidance from time to time, I look to my sister instead. I value her thoughts and opinions most, like you do with your sister.
Enemies: a person(s) who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
I got this definition from dictionary.com, aren’t enemies the greatest? Wasting energy and time on a person who does not even like you or vise versa. Sometimes it’s a legitimate reason, a horrible reason, or just no reason at all. In high school it is hard to avoid getting an enemy, it’s pretty annoying if I must say. Some of us don’t ask for it and mind our own business and still all of a sudden you find out someone doesn’t like you. What?! Why?! If you specifically know why then that’s your fault for doing something that gave that person a reason to turn against you. For those of us who don’t do anything honestly those people who hate you need to find someone else who can give them a reason to. Again it’s a waste of energy and time.
It’s inevitable that we don’t want anything that can be used against us or any secrets to get to our enemies. In general we try to keep them from knowing anything about us. So to answering the question, “Is the release of information regarding our activities an aid to our enemies?” YES. Let me share a little story, so this girl who didn’t like me, let’s just say for a dumb reason I had no involvement in, found out I was a cheerleader at Arcadia High School and decided to take a visit to one of the football games and sat right in front of where I cheered with her friends. All they did was talk among themselves, kept pointing at me and staring. Of course I had to keep smiling and just try to ignore it but it was a long night of awkward ness and feeling completely uncomfortable.
The more someone knows about you and the things you do and like or dislike it’s easier for them to target you and try to figure out ways they can get under your skin or bring you down. This is how it is in our social life and also globally. For example other countries that don’t like the U.S try to find out how everything runs over here and know about anything important going on in the U.S. For those of you who remember the bombing in Boston or 9/11 those people had to know exactly what was going on. The bombers had to know when the marathon was going to occur and where they can set strike. The terrorist had to figure out what buildings are important to us, what flights they had to take and when would be the right moment to bring us to a shock. So yes I believe that enemies knowing information about our activities and lives aid them.
Hey Karissa, I really liked your little story and it must have been hard for you to get through that night. Also, I liked your reference to the Boston bombing and 9/11. I totally agree with you that our enemies can figure a lot about what we are doing and then start to attack us in any possible way. Good job!
I sometimes wonder why people put so much effort to hate us. I find it kinda funny that some one who doesn't like you will use so much of their effort and time just to make you feel bad. Having enemies for now reason is like having a dead parrot. It benefits no one.
“Ignorance is strength.” – George Orwell
They are some things in our lifetime that are best kept quiet. Whether it’s frightening or useful, it’s sometimes just smarter to keep quiet. The world doesn't need to know.
As humans we naturally trust and put our faith into things. People born and raised or people who just caught the last boat from whatever country come here and accept our ways of life. Our way of life as in letting a government and a president carry out our lives. They put laws and restrictions and keep us safe.
The government is called our government for a reason. They know what’s best for the rest of the nation to know and what not know.
There’s this special bond that we have with our government, we trust in them. They may feed us lies and cover ups and we not appreciate that all the time, but in the end, I feel like it’s for the best.
Think about it.
All those mistakes our country and other countries made. We keep that quiet because what everyone did was shameful. We learned from those mistakes and take one step closer to a better world, hopefully into the right direction.
All those terrible things we did to other countries. Sure, we may have looked like monsters, but maybe in the end it was to save more lives than it could’ve caused. The government keeps that quiet and lets the textbooks teach us silently, hoping people will understand and learn from the past. Like honestly, how would the government just say “Yo, we’re sorry for how this war turned out but in the end it was cool, I guess?” And how would we react? Pretty sure, society would go haywire and give everyone a hard time. The government keeps it quiet and in the end society plays their cards right and we keep calm.
What if suddenly on the news the government confirms that aliens really do exist and we all die in like twenty years? The U.S would just literally turn into a bunch of babies. We would all just freak out. They keep it on that kind of stuff on the down low for the greater good of us. If we’re going to die to aliens in twenty years, then the government knows to keep it quiet for now before we jump to conclusions and handle it differently. They’re smart. You have to let the Queen Bee stay in charge otherwise the hive falls.
Letting the world know what’s up is like letting the world set on fire.
A last fire will rise behind those eyes
Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie
Immortal fear, that voice so clear
Through broken walls, that scream I hear
Cry, little sister - Thou shall not fall
Come to your brother - Thou shall not die
Unchain me, sister - Thou shall not fear
Love is with your brother - Thou shall not kill
-Gerard McMann from the Lost Boys
Listen to this song. It’s honestly so good.
In all honesty though, now that I think about it, our government is kind of like the Party except we’re actually happy and have this thing called freedom while staying controlled.
That song was pretty good, but I'm not sure I completely agree the government hiding things just becuase its shameful to the country. I think a government should have integrity and be able at least own up to their mistakes. But then again, I'm not informed enough about our government; how should I know how it should work?
Perhaps We Are All Holograms Projected By a Black Hole
Part 1: A Desire for Acceptance
Sometimes, I look upon life in a more cold and factual way.
Such as, is our existence really that meaningful?
After all, we are nothing compared to the scale of the universe, and the existence of humans hasn’t even taken up .00001% of the time of the universe. We’ll all be gone one day, with our existence meaning nothing as time and space distort our traces.
Or will it? Perhaps this is why we try to live a life with meaning. We want to be accepted and acknowledged and remembered. It means our existence would indeed mean something in the end, even if it is still insignificant in the whole passage of time, because in the moment, we would have mattered.
A nation has a burden of supporting these people, and helps add onto that meaning by holding memories and traditions to indicate a collective background and identity. When taken as an entirety, a nation sometimes seemingly acts as a human itself. It wants to be acknowledged and accepted, perhaps ultimately free to run its own version of a happy meaningful life as well.
That’s why memory is so important: it defines and describes a person, group, nation, and gives it color. Achievement, sacrifices, injustices, everything, they only strengthen the foundations, and are a starting point and base for the future self or future members to build upon. They are the events that allow the continual existence of this entity.
When another nation doesn’t acknowledge nor accept its existence, that’s where conflict ensues.
Unfortunately, in that arrogance, we forget how much greater it is to love.
Part 2: The Need for Friendship
At least, relationships between nations now seem better than they were in the past.
Previously, relations depended more upon the leaders, and there was also a blatant disregard for human life. Now, the government allows nonviolent expression, and killing is no longer easy for even one life can evolve quickly into a great conflict, especially with our communications technology and the greater desire to keep people alive.
But in a world that is becoming more interconnected, we need alliances. There are people of mixed ethnicities, who identify themselves with more than one nation. With the internet and communication technology, civilians like me are able to contact and bond with those of other countries, and suddenly I care about respecting their culture and lives. With better ways of connecting, any animosities between countries become more of an inconvenience.
Besides, if we shoot to improve human life, to fight against death and suffering, to come up with possible solutions for looming problems, the collective effort is so much better. We can see the effects of such a friendship in the success of the European Union, because by banding together the economy has flourished and they help each other, making sure that human rights aren’t violated so its inhabitants can live peacefully.
Part 3: Truth and Trust
Yet as friends, there is a need for a certain trust and reliance on each other.
I don’t believe trust necessarily entails being truthful, or a need to relay all information. Whether or not to do so depends more upon the circumstances, but with trust, it is an understanding that decisions are made in consideration of all nations, even if information is detained.
After all, sometimes, a nation would still have to be adequately wary of each other. There are constantly people within a nation, like Manning, who would find the system unacceptable and would do what they consider right in order to incite change. Opening up too much would make a nation weaker and more susceptible to attack.
Yet, I think it is sufficient that a country is considerate of other countries, and prove that as a whole it wishes not to pose as any harm, hopefully showing more of a desire to love and get along.
Part 4: Remembering the Past to Improve Relationships
In order to improve those relationships between nations and groups, it is important to remember the past, such as acknowledging and studying Hiroshima and the Armenian Genocide, because it shows acceptance, and gives people an understanding of the motives of all parties for doing their actions.
For something like Hiroshima, I find that it is not only important to consider the deaths of the city inhabitants, but to consider it in a greater context as well, such as why the US president decided to employ the bomb, or all those deaths that had been caused by Japanese hands.
These lives are important to remember, because they have been lost in order to better our lives now. Whether or not it is morally right, I feel is subjective, but by understanding the reasons of the actions of all sides, we can better accept its passing, care for the ones in need of such, and analyze ways to deal with any similar situations that may arise in the future.
Thus, too, apologies are considerate because it shows that a nation understands the harm it has caused upon another.
The past thus acts as a way to share understanding and acceptance.
Part 5: Pondering the Past and the Truth from Within
But what about within? How much should people know about atrocities done throughout history by their own ancestors? Or the flaws that exist in the government?
Again, I believe it all depends upon circumstances.
If the people do not know, they are able to live with faith placed upon their governments, happily living, believing things to be done in the best interests. Yet, the government of a nation is just as flawed as any ordinary human, and the citizens are there to help observe and better the system.
So information should be given with wisdom and moderation. There’s no need to distort people’s view and make them feel hopeless about their own government and people, otherwise they may be carried away with their emotions and assumptions, creating chaos and more suffering where there doesn’t need to be.
I can’t help but to think of Gorbachev, the last president of the USSR, because I respect his desire to give his people more freedom and allow them to see the truth of the atrocities that had been done in the past under Stalin’s reign. Yet, I ultimately wonder how great of a decision that really was, or whether there was a gentler and better way of educating the masses, because it is this information that caused chaos as people lost faith in the Communist Party and their own government. This chaos thus ended the USSR, and created more instability and problems as the government was no longer able to help its citizens. Also, I can’t help but to imagine the horror of an old lady as she learns of the news that her husband or son may not have died nobly for his country, but was actually tortured and sent to labor camps during the purges. If she doesn’t ask, I’d prefer she not know and instead die in peace.
So, with that said, the reason why I am bothered by Manning’s actions is because I feel as if the consequences of his actions are more unbearable. Not only will the enemy gain from what he leaked, by using that to incite anger within their ranks against the US, but that I don’t believe citizens themselves react in the smartest of ways, and the citizens of the US may rise up against their government and create internal problems as well. This internal and external conflict, suddenly against the US government could cause chaos and dissolution, such as in the USSR. (Yet, even if such a thing happens, it is not the end of the world, and sometimes it could be better that way.)
It would be more effective if Manning thought over the consequences of such actions. He could give a speech with a better context and reasons for his anger, as well as his proposals for making change, because it helps to suggest solutions as well, to make things not look as hopeless, so people would not lose faith in the government.
Ultimately though, I do consider Manning’s goal to be positive, he wants to save those lives he so saw killed in front of his eyes, so I applaud him for making a move. Even in a stable and happy nation, there still exists evil and killing, and so people like Manning are still inevitable. If they rise, they can be dealt with, but it is also important to accept and not ignore such messages.
Part 6: Let the Future Come
So certainly, there are some forces that we cannot fully control, but pain too gives meaning to our existence. Yet we still do fight, as we struggle to get along better and minimize suffering and deaths.
We exist only once, and then we’ll all be gone forever. What we do now may not be meaningful when we are lost and gone, but in the moment, it doesn’t hurt to love and fight to help each other shoot for the life we desire, acknowledging those that have lost their lives in this struggle so we can continue learning and living a better life.
You did a great job explaining your examples (USSR and Gorbachev) to back up your position and addressing different challenges nations have to face.
I liked the part where you suggested alternatives that Manning could have taken instead of leaking out classified documents. After reading your post, I now see that proposing changes to the government was possibly a better option for getting his opinion out to the public. The citizens' input and even Manning's, can help fix certain flaws in the government.
Me and you are part of the 317 million residents of the United States. Everyone of us grew up with the notion of possibly being president, but as we grew into being young adults we realized it was no longer possible. At this point, we know the odds of being president are higher than those of being in a plane crash. Everyone of us still tries to individualize ourselves, though. We all want to preserve our identity as humans in a society where names usually attribute individuality and freedom. We want the right to express ourselves freely and without any hesitation to submit our thoughts. Recently though, documents released by WikiLeaks have posed the question of what the government is doing with their control over different mediums of communication.
Although it’s safe to say that most monitoring programs by several different government agencies like the NSA, CIA, and FBI are in use to counter terrorism, a large portion of the general public seem to disagree in the activities of our government. The NSA was cited as saying that the monitoring was only secluded to important and potentially malicious people, but many of whom could quite possibly be American citizens that the government tries to protect. This makes the jobs of our government more difficult when they acquire multiple forms of data to deduce if anyone is a potential threat. How could they know how to act when they don’t know what they need to act upon?
“ My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them .”
Edward Snowden in the past year has been both praised and criticized immensely, but he is still a very important figure in our society. The principles in which he based his reasoning in releasing classified documents really show why he is still a prominent figure in any society. Snowden believed that the public had the right to know about government surveillance and its effect on our people whether innocent or not were still being monitoring. He knew exposing these documents, some of which actually severed ties with countries, was for the greater good. He knew as the program grew, it would eventually cause more harm than good. I strongly support Snowden and his efforts to expose these programs to the public. He chose to tell the truth in what our government was doing. He wanted the public to not be left in the dark with our backs turned to know that we the people were being spied on.
Freedom when controlled improperly is ineffective and sheds a bad light on the people who hold power whose jobs are supposedly aimed toward protecting those basic rights..
I completely agree with you Leo, security is nothing without our freedom. What Edward Snowden has done may be a crime but I suppot his effort to try to raise awareness of the government agency's immoral activities.
Humans are such fascinating creatures sometimes, we want to do what's right yet we do so many wrongs. We want to stand for what we believe in, even if that means hurting other people. We make mistakes, but sometimes we don't like to admit we do. Humans are essentially the fundamental example for the word 'hypocrite.' Yes, I'm going to say it; humans are hypocrites. We say we won't do something, and then we find out we made a mistake. The mistake is doing something we said we weren't going to do or not doing something we said we were.
"I'm going to study tonight and get a good grade on my final"
That didn't happen.
"I'm going to not procrastinate"
That didn't happen.
"I will make sure I fold the clothes before my mother gets
That didn't happen.
"I will never hurt you"
That didn't happen either.
That one hurts the most.
This past week, I told someone something I did in the past. It hurt him. It was something I didn't want to do, or at least I told myself I wouldn't. I did it anyways, and what hurts me the most is knowing that no matter how many times I said I was sorry, no matter how many times I apologize, it will never be enough. Even though he told me "it's okay," I know it's not. I know that what I did was wrong and nothing in this world would ever justify that what I did was okay.
Sometimes apologies won't be enough, sometimes saying "I'm sorry" won't cut it anymore. It starts to become redundant but we still say it anyways. It's an instinctive reaction for the small wrong doings and it's a gut wrenching guilt for the more complex ones.
Apologies are necessary, and they don't make you look weak. If you know you did something wrong, man up and admit you're wrong. I respect someone who has the guts to say, "what I did was wrong and I'm sorry," compare to someone who knows they're wrong, but refuses to acknowledge the fact that they are.
It's time to apologize, it's time to want forgiveness. It's time to be human. It's time to admit that we're not perfect, and that we never will be.
I totally feel for you. I hope that your friend eventually gets over it and accepts the fact that it happened and you have no control over the past. I know that you regret what you did or feel terrible inside because of how you made him feel. It's okay. I know this is cliche but you're only human. If you know you're wrong and you came down and sincerely apologized for what you did I am sure he will come around. Don't worry! I enjoyed reading your concise blog, good job!
I totally agree with you and I think if you know you did something wrong, the best thing is to apologize. And to the person that you hurt, even though he may have forgiven you fully now, I think that in the future he will eventually forgive you entirely. I'm sure you are genuinely sorry for what you did and he will soon see it if he hasn't already.
It was a sunny afternoon in Annapolis, Maryland. Laughters can be heard from the Quiet Hills Park. Teenagers were playing football, children were climbing up and down in the playground, and adults were chatting warmly with each other.
A mundane man with tired looking eyes walked up a hill. With white medical gloves on, he meticulously removed the cap of a bottle containing white powder. With no hesitations, he released the powder in the direction of the park.
18 hours later. The people at the park died of lung failure and blood lesions. Soldiers and FBI agents soon flooded Annapolis because anthrax poisoning caused the death of those civilians. The government was under great pressure because there was no antidote for this unknown strain of Anthrax. The whole city could potentially be wiped out by one person.
Despite the great danger, the government issued a media black out. The public couldn’t know about the biochemical attack because a mass exodus mixed with group panic is just as deadly as the anthrax.
After days of investigations, the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI was able to track down the man with the tired looking eyes. He was caught with a bag full of light bulbs filled with the deadly white powder. His tired looking eyes brightened up with frenzy as he unravelled his plan of spreading the poison by smashing the light bulbs at the subway station. Fortunately, the man surrendered and the antidote was also discovered.
The anthrax and its antidote were carried into a dimly lit room filled with thousandths of identical metal boxes by a military personnel. The anthrax and antidote were sealed into a metal box and stored away. Civilians never heard about this anthrax attack, or about the thousandths of viruses before.
“Who knows what else is there?”
The story above is just an episode from Criminal Minds, a TV series. My initial reaction after watching this episode was fear. I feared because of how realistic this work of fiction is. I feared because it closely resembled 2001 anthrax attacks.
Which is why I believe that we do not need to know the full extent of our government’s activities. Protecting our nation is a full-time job, and government officials depend on the citizens to stabilize this country. If we are constantly worrying about everything that the government does, we wouldn’t be able to focus on our daily activities. As a result, education, economy, and civil society would be neglected.
To avoid that kind of turmoil, we elect the officials that we believe will act in the citizen’s best interest.
I really enjoyed the story you added in the beginning. It had me at the edge of my seat and I thought you were telling a factual story. I agree with you in that probably more than half of the things hidden from us by the government are better left unknown. It always sounds really terrifying to think of what kind of things they could be hiding from us. Good job! Your post was very exciting to read.
Hey Gina, I agree with you that people don't need to know all of the government's moves. After all, we, the people choose those we think are capable of handling our nation's chaos that we should trust them.
I googled Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s model. It is a model for the way people grieve and deal with loss. It does in fact start with denial and anger. Two quite opposing feelings. When you deny something, you refuse it. You disengage, you separate. Much like a baby who closes his eyes and covers his ears when he hears a sound he doesn’t like, willing it to go away, until it does. Anger is a blatant recognition and yet, frustrating disappointment in something. But in order to be angry at something, it does in fact have to exist. More than exist even, it has to impose something on you. Quite different than how we approach something while we are in denial.
The one thing that denial and anger have in common, however, is their stagnant nature. Neither gets you anywhere, and on really unfortunate cases, you end up taking steps back. So when presented with an issue, problem, unsettling image, our natural response is to run as far as we possibly can from it, then come stampeding back with a knife attempting to stab it to death. Let’s take the baby’s head for instance. When first mentioned in the poem, I felt myself purposely repressing the image of it, the connotation, hoping the line would pass quickly. Then Heyen keeps repeating it, bringing it up, over and over, and just when you’ve managed to run far enough away from it to forget it, there it is again, in your face. I started getting frustrated, angry. I get it, baby’s head, can we move on please? But the thing is. You can’t. You can’t just close your eyes long and hard willing Hiroshima or the Trail of Tears to just go away, because they won’t. They are permanent blood stains on the American Flag, bottom line.
The next natural inclination is to bargain. We are naturally inclined to maneuver our way out of something. This is after we decided to actively engage, just one step above. It’s like the boy who goes to talk to his crush, gets close enough to smell her enticing perfume and see the color of her perfect eyes, and just mumbles an excuse for coming so close to her and stammers back to his seat. We make excuses and try to level those excuses with goods, services, things of value to make up for whatever is happening. America is bargaining with Turkey. If I just stay quiet and keep good relations with them, they’ll change, they’ll admit it themselves. I’ll give them what they want, so that I don’t have to face this anymore. Bargaining is almost like forcing the ball into someone else’s court as suggestively as you can, just so that you don’t have to worry about serving it.
Depression quickly ensues as one realizes that their attempts at bargaining are futile. We disengage, again, continuing the natural fluctuation that occurs when trying to change something unalterable. In the first part of 1984, we see Winston struggling, stuck in this stage. He has gone through his coping with his realization of hate for an all ruling party, except he can’t seem to move past feeling helpless (but we are just talking about the first part). Depression is essentially feeling helpless. After trying to convince and talk up our situation, we just sit and stare at it, with no more motivation to do anything about it. But this is where depression turns into something that isn’t as bad as it seems. Depression allows us a good long look at where we are. Before, we were too busy running around, escaping from, engaging, trying to mold our situation, all in vain. The opportunity to actually understand where we are is probably the biggest gift of all in this whole process and it leads us to our last and most important step.
Our journey fades out with a lesson about acceptance. This is the final stage, but it never ends. Acceptance is a lifelong experience that changes and evolves because life changes and evolves. This time we aren’t dancing around the issue but dancing with it, allowing it to become part of us. Acceptance doesn’t mean approval and it doesn’t mean that the situation has actually changed at all, it simply means that we can understand and register and are willing to reunderstand and reregister whenever the circumstances change. It is the flawless connection of each of the above steps that gives us this opportunity. When fitted together just perfectly we can see through just the right lens, then we can see our way out.
That was honestly one of the most interesting pieces I have ever read. To be honest, I never saw it in that perspective. Having anger and denial be on the same line. It is really similar and after reading your blog I can see how related to each other it is. I loved all the examples you use with your idea; it really further explained what you meant. I completely agree. No matter how much we try to forget that baby head it will keep coming back. You can hear the word baby and it can bring back the memory. It's not something you can "will" to go away. Even accepting the fact that it needs to be acknowledged won't make the guilt go away. It will always be there because it was done. "What is done is done".
I remember as a kid, my parents would always say, “Go to your room and don’t come out till you’re ready to apologize…” for whatever it is that you did wrong. (The key word being: ready) I would always come out of the room after crying furiously for about three minutes with my blood red cheeks all puffed out and say, “I’m sorry,” in the bitterest way possible. Don’t lie, you did it too.
But what defines ready?
Because the kid that still has their fist clenched and adds a “Hmph” before their apology definitely is not ready to apologize.
To this day, I can still find apologies coming out of my mouth starting with,
“I’m sorry, but…”
But what? Why am I apologizing if I still think I am the correct one in the situation? I obviously can’t process the fact that I am in the wrong, and that I made a mistake. I’m bitter and I’m not willing to think that I’m the less-human person in the situation. But since when is being wrong make you less-human? For what it’s worth, it makes you more human. We make mistakes, it’s what we do. When we make excuses for our mistakes, that’s when you stray from humanity.
An excuse attached to the apology, where’s the sincerity in that? The idea of an apology is the full acceptance that you are wrong and is willing to admit to your mistake and own up to it. So when you make an excuse for yourself, step back and think “Am I ready to apologize?” The answer is probably no. Save the other person some time and anger, and wait till you can accept the fact that you are wrong.
Apologies aren’t meant for people to explain why they did something wrong and why it is that others should forgive the mistake. They’re meant for people to realize that we are indeed, human, and we make mistakes everyday.
Never make excuses for your mistakes, accept them before you apologize.
I think we add "I'm sorry" before we say something we think is rude or too blunt because it might be rude or too blunt (LOL OOPS), and we're afraid we might hurt some feelings. I know I'd be scared to say something I think may be out of line. That's why I add a stupid "I'm sorry" before I say anything else. Maybe that's how you feel. If not, sorry.
Cat, I can relate to your post so much. I always find myself saying, "I'm sorry, but..." and I always defend myself thinking that I'm not the person at fault. I'm very stubborn and apologies are hard for me...
But over time I've learned what you've learned. I've learned to wait while I try to full accept that I am wrong.
"The idea of an apology is the full acceptance that you are wrong and is willing to admit to your mistake and own up to it."
I loved your post.
SORRY, I'M NOT IN THE CLASS ANYMORE BUT I CAN'T HELP BUT CHECK IN!
Although we, as humans, are commonly hurt by lies and secrecy, is it really better to know the truth?
As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.”(Or in the case of 1984, “Ignorance is Strength”)
Perhaps the less we know, the happier we are able to live.
Most people would never attach positive connotations to secrecy. I’m one of them. Although I do recognize that at times, it is indeed better to be kept in the dark; my morbid curiosity never really accepts that. I have found some way to hurt myself emotionally throughout my whole life because I refuse to back down.
I refuse to not know.
I refuse to not see.
I refuse to not hear.
I refuse to just accept the fact that a new piece of information would hurt me, when it always does.
There are times I ask myself:
Why did you ask?
Why didn’t you just drop it?
Haven’t you learned already that pressing on only makes the situation worse?
It is so easy to ask “why” without thinking of the consequences that follow.
However, being on the other side of things isn’t easier either. We all hide much of ourselves in fear of breaking the status quo; in fear of hatred from the ones we love; and most of all; in fear of ourselves.
I once trusted somebody. I trusted him too quickly and I made the mistake of revealing too much about myself in a short amount of time. Call it the honeymoon phase but I think I ended up scaring him out of it.
Finally, I could rid myself of the fears of scolding or judgmental glares like the ones I received from my family members whenever I expressed myself in certain ways. I was tired of changing to fit their needs. I was ready to be accepted.
I was wrong.
I was foolish.
I showed just how much of a crybaby I was and just how depressing and pessimistic I could be and all of sudden the words I heard went from, “I love you the most!” to “I’m ashamed to be seen with you.”
To this day the same questions still haunt me.
Would things be better between us now if I had just concealed myself a bit more back then?
If I hadn’t complained so much would the distance between us still be so great?
I found out too late that I couldn’t take any of it back. It was a seemingly endless cycle of annoyance and pain. The impression was set and I couldn’t erase it no matter how hard I tried. Just how do you respond to, “I’m not lying to you, I’m just not telling you certain things because you overreact” without worsening the situation?
The complications that came from being truthful were as disgustingly painful as gaining knowledge about a fact I could’ve died not knowing.
I’m just a hypocrite.
I hate the thought of being lied to by a loved one but at the same time I feel that it is necessary to do so in certain situations. In the end, it’s all situational. Even if you weren’t putting up a fake personality, there would still be certain things you wouldn’t want anyone to know. I still don’t want anyone to know certain things about me. I just might be sent to the therapist.
I guess my brain is familiar with the concept of doublethink. Too familiar.
I believe even if we did deserve to know the truth, we would end up not wanting to. Who knows what horrors the government is hiding from us in order to ensure protection? But then again, what are they hiding from us in order to control us? I personally wouldn’t want to hear the answers to these questions. Although I don’t view governmental cover-ups in a positive light, I wouldn’t want to be living in fear of spies and genocide either.
I have heard many apologies and I have given many apologies.
I wonder how many of them were genuine.
It is too easy for anyone to mutter a simple word and expect the situation to fix itself. At some point in my life, it was hard for me to apologize, mainly because I was unsure of how to properly apologize. I was unsure if I even deserved to in some cases.
Although a bit negative, I believe apologies were created as a form of consolation. Even if there was an apology afterwards, the deed would be done. There would be nothing to ‘take back’.
I realize that apologizing has become an instinct for everyone. Even if it wouldn’t change anything, a “sorry” can easily slip out at any time: when you bump into someone in the halls, when you trip someone on accident, and maybe even when you elbow a stranger in the ribs. Chances are, unless they are your friend, you wouldn’t be seeing them again let alone frequently. So why apologize, especially to someone you would never be seeing again?
The answer is, it has become an instinct; a habit.
That is, until you meet that one person that replies with, “You don’t mean that.”
Once I experienced such an encounter, I began to think, “Yeah, I guess I don’t. Or do I?” I was completely shut down and confused; suddenly reduced to a silent, guilty-looking blob by just a few words.
It was then, that I began to question how such a worthless word could mean so much.
In the end, I think it all comes down to context.
There are many empty apologies out there that don’t deserve to be called or even compared to genuine apologies. They’re just excuses after all. I’m sure we’ve all made some throughout our lives but hey, ‘old habits die hard’ right?
It always irks me to receive a plain excuse but these excuses allow me to treasure apologies even more.
I wouldn’t mind receiving any apology as long as the person in question realizes their mistake and doesn’t just try to cover it up with an excuse.
The opening quote is great! Love the reference! I also really love this piece. Even though it was longer than others, I was really engaged in every word. I understand the difficulties of wanting to know too much, also. However, I think that if I were given a choice to know government secrets or to not know them, I'd choose not to. I don't think I could live with all that information inside of me. Great work!
Cindyyyyyyyy! I loved the strong presence of you in this blogpost. Thank you for sharing something so personal! In addition, your transition from your thoughts and feelings to a more general topic is really smooth.
Cindy, as I was reading your blog, I could feel a lot of the emotions and thought that you put into it. You should watch out with submitting a blog in the midst of all these emotions. Readers do not have a strong background of where it is all coming from, and in a few years, perhaps you may not either! I liked your blog, but it was tricky to follow! Give it some more time next time, your work will be great!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” - The Declaration of Independence
There are points in history in which we either glorify a moment of time to become embedded in the memory of those to come in the following decades, or simply degrade it into nothing.
We are told to remember the beginning of our country as people standing bravely to defy the tyrant King that was bellowing them into following his rule of injustice.
We hear their struggle to gain that small ounce of independence that pushed them to give us this free state of being which we indulge in today.
However, we must be able to recognize that they were in fact not all morally intact when it came to founding this nation and the rights in which our society upholds today.
More than half of those men stood for the right to own slaves.
They at a point refused to accept this Declaration of Independence because it threatened their way of living at that time, they were willing to gain it for themselves but not for African-Americans.
The men that went down in history for fighting for a cause that built up all we have today aren’t meant to be all that amplified when they teared it down for their selfish necessities as well.
I understand that most of you will see this and think that most people remember those men for everything they did, even for being slave owners.
I do not neglect the idea that most of you are aware of this fact but yet we see these people as some of the most outstanding figures in American history. We push away the fact that they did indeed have impeccable morals that when coming to the right of independence for African-Americans they refused to accept them as people being just as unjust as the King of England at that time.
I refuse to admire most of the men that signed their name on the Constitution because in the end they went against what they were most fighting for.
It’s downright outrageous.
The first historical event I remember, for myself, would have to be 9/11.
I remember seeing my father’s trembling lip as he watched the towers fall on national daytime television.
I remember the fear in my mothers eyes as she refused to take me to school that day, always making sure she knew exactly where I was.
I remember feeling upset because someone had tried to ruin the beautiful country that I loved.
The land of the free was attacked, someone destroyed our home, but they had their reasoning.
Just as we did with Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Its still a terrible, sad feeling that bubbles in my chest just thinking about everything that America has fought for because I love what we’re supposed to stand for.
I do believe that our country has an obligation to remember itself for what it once was, just as we all do. For us to say that the men that founded us were outstanding men, is wrong.
I know most of you recognize the facts but there are people out there that refuse to accept that we were born and grew from being a Constitution just as tyrant as the King.
We were no different, but we have to see it in order to let there be change.
I see America for what it is.
It is a nation of opportunities.
Whether we choose to see our history as a learning point for what direction to try and push our country towards or letting ourselves make the same mistakes until we can learn is up to us.
We have to stop being blinded by that red, white and blue flag that waves in the air because at some point if we stop fighting to be better we wont have anything to fight for at all.
Most of you may not agree with what I had to say, but there will come a time when you will not agree with a part of history and you will understand my frustration.
We must be honest about where we came from in order to let others see our home in a better light, even if its just for ourselves.
I agree with you Janine. People must understand where others come from, or in a different perspective to objectively decipher any event that has ever occurred throughout the past generations. People make mistakes and that is the reason why we record history, so we can learn from our errors to continue to strive for a better and more peaceful future. Great Job!!
Exactly four years ago I was betrayed by the people I trusted the most. It was freshman year and Orchestra was going to have the Florida Spring Tour that year (it only happens every four years). I remember around October Mr. Forbes and Ms. Chen talked about the tour for the first time and how we can select our roommates for the entire week. That same day my friends and I (friends A, B, and C) decided that we were going to room together. Everything was going well until February, when I was walking with friend D to the Community Center for volunteering. She asked me whom I was going to room with and I replied, “friends A, B, and C.” We all knew each other so I thought it was not a big deal if I told her. After I got home, I was watching Glee and my AIM screen popped up. Friend B told me that she was really sorry because friend C just told her that we couldn’t room together anymore. Friend D is now rooming with them. I was really hurt because friend B didn’t even stand up for me. Also because friend C didn’t have the guts to say “No” to friend D. Basically, the people I thought were my best friends easily replaced me without even thinking how I would feel. It was the first time I was betrayed by my closest friends. Luckily, friend A was the only one loyal to me and we ended up rooming together along with two other people. The original group eventually split up.
A month before the trip, friend B finally came up to me and apologized. We talked it through and we were glad to finally end the awkward glances in the hallway and the tension between the two of us. Once the Florida Tour came, we had lots of fun but it was filled with dramas with other people as well. As far as I can remember, freshman year was probably the first and only year I had drama in my life. But now as I look back, it was all worth it because it taught me different lessons about life and how to deal with people.
It wasn’t until last year (2013 of junior year) when Friend C and I finally talked. Due to our mutual senior friends, we started conversing again. When our senior friends would hangout with me, they would take her at times too (they didn’t know what happened between the two of us). She felt iffy when she would see me because she knew that she was the one that hurt me. But it was then that I realized that she was trying to fix our friendship. I noticed that she changed a lot since freshman year and she had a different reasoning behind her actions. She was having problems and I didn’t even know about it. I gave her another chance and now I am glad to say that we are finally on good terms again.
This experience taught me to be more patient and understanding. Forgive but never forget. If one forgets, someone else might do the same thing to one again. I learned not to judge people right away because you’ll never know the battle they are going through. I also learned to give everyone another chance; you’ll never know when you’re the one that will be asking for it in the future. I accepted her apology without asking for an explanation. I understood what she went through and I believe that explanation is not needed. If one forgives, one must forgive completely and whole-heartedly. It takes guts and confidence to apologize and admit you’re wrong. I fully accepted her apology and I am glad I took the time to listen to her.
First, I am sorry to hear your story of betrayal, and I hope that you can get pass through that gap. It doesn't matter what others are thinking, the only thing that matters is yourself. I know selfishness is not the "right" thing to do, but sometimes when humans have to survive, they can only care about themselves, ok a little off topic. Anyways, Learn from the history, and never let that happen to you EVER AGAIN!!!! Being betrayed is not a good feeling at all, especially... never mind, history can always be covered by the time, and once everyone forget, just let it go...
A painful, yet a touching post as well!
I think that trust and apologies go together often. The people that we trust most tend to hurt us the most easily. And when they apologize for what is they did, we take them and become friends that talk again.
A lesson well earned and hopefully you'll remember it well when choosing new friends in the future!
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse” – Benjamin Franklin
Excuse vs. Explanation
Excuses are created on the behalf of one’s selfishness to avoid consequences. Sure, anyone can continuously create an excuse only to benefit themselves, but eventually their honesty and trust will be meaningless . Yes, excuses are misconceptions, but explanations can help clear up misconceptions with concrete facts. Providing legitimate evidence will help gain true honesty.
Now, is honesty always the best policy? In my eyes, honesty has always been the key factor of trust.
I learned the hard way. When I was a young curious boy, I would notice my mom wearing a unique purple necklace whenever we went out. It was a small clam- shaped necklace that reflected the moons glare at night. My mom always looked “cool” when she wore it. I was jealous. I also wanted to look “cool” . I didn’t have a necklace of my own so I thought to myself, why not just try on mom’s necklace?
A few days later, my mom fell asleep on the couch. It was the perfect opportunity to try on that necklace. I ninja hopped into her bedroom and found it lying on top of the drawers. I tried putting it through my head, but it didn’t work. The necklace length was too small. I repositioned the necklace and attempted once more with more force. It snapped . I thought my life was going to end early. My mom’s favorite necklace had snapped and it was my fault. I panicked and hid the necklace under a pillow hoping she would never find it.
Instinctively, I created different excuses for the different kinds of scenarios. When she found out about the broken necklace, I gave her one of my prepared excuses, but of course, it only added to her anger.
If instead I came out with the truth before she found out, would it have ended differently? Possibly.
But any outcome is better creating an excuse to cover up a fault.
I like the story you used to support your answer. I agree with the opinion you have, but sometimes when you follow your apology with some sort of fact after, it seems to weaken the "apology". I totally agree with you but I think it depends on what happened, like in your story if you were to say you are sorry without an explanation there would be some sort of mischievous outlook on why you did it.
That was a good example story to base your excuse vs. explaination! I do agree that there is a difference between them. I think that explainations help clear things up. Great job on your post!
“Where are you from?” “From Burma.”
“Bahama?” “What is that?” “In which state is it located?”- these comments I usually get back from people.
“Burma isn’t as small as Singapore or Guam but daddy, how come people don’t know where Burma is?”
“Are people just bad at geography?”
In fact, Burma(Myanmar) was isolated from the rest of the world from 1962 to 2011. No wonder people don’t know where Burma is; even I don’t know the history of Burma vastly. I had to take history class for three years in Burma.
“History? No, thanks! It’s all about how each kingdom was glorious and undefeated.”
The history textbook doesn’t contain anything after 1962 where the military junta started. I never heard adults talking about politics so, I didn’t bother to be curious either. I didn’t know what democracy is, what it is like to tell out your opinions, how it is acceptable to make mistakes or fail. We celebrate “Independence Day” but I didn’t know what independence really meant. All I knew was I had a free day from school.
“Learning history is like reading stories. Have fun with it,” said Ms. Moore.
This sounds nothing deep and enlightening but it was for me. I do love reading history now. Just after taking US history class for a year, I feel that I know more about US than Burma. The US passed through the Revolution, the Civil War, the world wars, the Cold War, both Korean War and Vietnamese War. Even though other countries have gone through challenges such as the revolution and the world wars, what is significant about US is that the nation doesn’t hesitate to admit its own good and bad deeds.
Despite the variety of ethnic or religious diversity, America is no doubt more tolerated than other countries. Every human is regarded as a human; no slaves, no two-third human. The disadvantaged have special treatment and opportunities. Everyone has rights to claim their freedom. America wasn’t built within a day. These rights didn’t evolve within a day either. How could this happen to America? Histories do shape us after all.
I have lived in US for three years already. I have seen people posting government corruption on Facebook. I have seen individuals’ criticism on the government. Yet, I don’t have my own voice in class discussions. I tend to accept others’ opinions maybe because I can see their point or it’s just me who don’t know how to oppose. Not everyone is always right but I was brought up to obey everything and not question about anything.
We should be thankful that our perception is alive and unrestricted in America. We deserve to know what the government is planning but we shouldn’t feel betrayed when the government doesn’t notify everything. After all, we, the people choose those government officials by consent, don’t we?
Sandra, through your words I can see the difference between Burma and America. I am very impressed by how you said history shaped America after. It just touched me to think how U.S. for no sure made mistakes like any other countries, but U.S. is willing to accept the fact that the government is not perfect, and it is willing to change for the sake of better life for citizens. It is like it keep failing but each time it get up from where it fell, and be better than before.
The public has become enraged by the release of the information and the process that the NSA goes through and the ability that it has to wiretap on anyone’s phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. I understand it violates privacy and personal information, but if you think about it closely, why does it matter?
Why does it matter that the government is storing or listening to everything you say? Do you have something to hide? If you do then, that obviously means that there is something suspicious going on. But, if you are just a regular citizen talking about random things like shopping, school work, or relationships, then why should it matter that “they” are listening? I understand that many people might argue that there is personal family information that they want to keep secret, but honestly, I do not think that the government will really pay attention to that. Every single family has its secrets and the government understands that they are not going to publicize your information or tell the whole world about it. It’s just being stored.
As for safety reasons, the NSA does help track down top murderers and terrorists who intend to harm people from any terrorist attacks or incidents. This may be why terrorists are found so quickly. The NSA’s procedures are one of the reasons why the U. S. is safe. The U. S. is lucky to even have such software that could carry out such extensive high-tech ways to track down the bad people and keep America safer. Other top countries, such as China, also have similar systems. But for smaller and poorer countries, it is something that the police or governments only dream of having.
When I think about it, if the country that I grew up in, Honduras, had this type of high-tech software, thousands of people could have been saved from kidnapping and murder. In my perspective, this means that some of my very own classmates, friends even, would have gotten saved. I wish that the government in my former country had a team like the NSA. I am bitter that some of my friends could have been saved. The memories of my classmates going through atrocities or morbid incidents make me feel sick to the stomach when I consider the alternative. If the Honduran government had an NSA team, then they could have found the kidnappers and tracked down the gangs that were behind everything. It is just frustrating how all the unknown kidnappers could not be found. Even now, they cannot be found. People who have done terrible things are getting away with it because the government of Honduras has no ability to attain such information. That is why there are so many killings, kidnappings and assaults going on even today. It’s just terrifying to think that those people might be the same people doing it over and over again and getting away with it. I just cannot express the hatred that I have inside me towards all these evil and sick-minded people who have the opportunity to keep on doing these horrible things without getting caught. I just do not understand.
Why are people looking at this issue in a negative way when it is benefiting them? The whole privacy thing is understandable, but sometimes there are things that people have to do in order to protect one another. Sacrifices have to be made and if it means that I have to sacrifice the government wiretapping into my conversation with my mom to pick me up or even my friends about some school drama or shopping plans, then I wouldn't mind.
Hey this is a great different perspective at looking at what the NSA is doing. It might make me rethink my own opinion.
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” – Benjamin Franklin
Does giving an excuse justify your mistake? Or is giving an explanation even appropriate?
I agree that you should not ruin an apology with an excuse. If you give excuses with your apologies then you’re not really feeling sorry for your mistakes. You’re probably just apologizing because it’s the right thing to do. But, if your apology is sincere, then you do not need excuses.
When you apologize to someone, you should really mean it. Giving an excuse cannot justify what you did, but at least an explanation might help convey your feelings of regret. But, just an explanation is not enough. You need to prove yourself and show that you really are sorry. You can’t just do something wrong to someone and then go up to them and say sorry and expect everything to be okay. It doesn’t work that way. If you made a mistake, you should show your sorry rather than just saying it. “ A stiff apology is a second insult… The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.”– Gilbert K. Chesterton
Never apologize if you don’t mean it and never fake an apology. Saying sorry means regretting what you did. If you don’t regret it, then you’re not sorry. All apologies don’t require an explanation. An apology without an explanation is still appropriate. But, explanation or no explanation, it really doesn’t matter. Your apology just needs to be real and sincere.
“ A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable.” – Robert Fripp
That was a good statement about giving excuses and explainations. I also feel that explainations clear up any complications. I also agree that apologies are meanigless if you have an excuse because that would ruin its sincerity.
If you are working at the hospital and you are working with a critical patient, do you tell them or do you give them some hope to keep them going?
If you had an affair, do you tell your spouse because they need to know or should you hide it not to hurt them?
When someone asks you if they look good in a new outfit or a new haircut, do you lie to not hurt their feelings or do you bluntly tell them the truth to help them?
I was taught to always tell the truth by everyone I knew. They all said telling the truth is the best thing you can do. Lying or keeping the truth away from someone always leads to someone getting hurt. However, after living for about 17 years, I have needed to lie countless times to protect someone. Some of you may call me a liar and think that I condone lying, but its the opposite. I think that people who always lie are bad people, but at times I believe lying is a necessary evil. Sometimes telling the truth does more damage than not saying anything at all or doesn’t benefit the other person. Now obviously it all depends on the situation.
But the question is when is it ok to withhold the truth?
Most people would say never because they were taught that way like I was and lying goes against their moral code. If you think that way, then I ask you this. Has there been a time where you told someone the truth and see that person’s face change expressions instantly? You see all their happiness drain from their face. It is as if you took their whole world and crushed it.
I have and I regret it.
It’s so hard to decide on what choice to make. The feeling that I get when I have to tell someone bad news nearly kills me even though I know it’s for the best but facing someone who has had their reality destroyed because you told them the truth is just as bad.
Should that person be told this?
Or should they find out by themselves or not know at all?
There’s no definite or correct answer for these questions, but everyone has to make that choice.
I can totally relate to what you are saying because I have also been in your shoes before. I was also taught to never lie and always tell the truth but there are times when lying is needed to protect the ones you care about. Overall, I like your post and can relate to what you wrote.
Most of these fun, little “white lies” turn into sadness when we find out they’re false.
In 1984, no one even knew if they got the real information. Others decided what would be announced to the citizens of Oceania. As a result, people are ignorant. Yes, “ignorance is bliss”, but so is knowledge. Being ignorant to everything leaves no room for growth. It’s exactly like translating Spanish homework. When you’re copying all of your sentences into the google translate box, life is easy and wonderful. You all of a sudden seem to trust google translate more than you ever did before. It’s not until you show up to school the next day and realize that google translate was not 100% accurate, but more like 70% accurate. You show up to class and realize how behind you are compared to everyone else who actually did their homework and expanded their brains. Was it really worth it? To spend 15 minutes in “blissful” ignorance but the rest of the chapter in agony? To spend the first 5 years of your life in awe of Santa clause, but the rest of your life extremely saddened by the fact that no one will be coming down your chimney bringing you whatever you want? Being jealous for the rest of your life of all the children who are happier than you because of their ignorance? Can you remember the moment you first realized Santa Clause wasn't real? Was that empty feeling and the rest them following up until today equivalent to the happiness you felt the first five years of your life, or are they more extreme?
If we never believed in Santa Clause, we’d give thanks to our parents and relatives for buying us these gifts. Government sugarcoats many things, in a way, and it usually doesn’t bother me, or anyone for that matter, until we realize what they were actually doing, and how different it is to what we thought they were doing.
It’s impossible to stretch your mind when you know someone else will do the thinking, decision-making, and translation of information for you. Where do we go from there? The Information will not be an exact translation. Similar to the game telephone. We all deserve to know the full extent of our nation’s/government’s/society’s aims and activities bluntly. It is our job to translate it for ourselves, not the government’s. We should be able to choose how we are affected by these things. We choose how they help us grow as people. There is nothing wrong with having too much knowledge- just so long as we do not allow what we know to affect us negatively.
In the modern society, common people like me and you are becoming more and more unknown to the truth around us. Why? because the government is keeping us from knowing the truth. You might think it is bad, but the way I look at it is completely different. The thing we are not told are probably the things we should not know.
What is the point of knowing there are Aliens locked in Area 21? So we can take our child on Saturday morning to visit them for fun?
What is the point of knowing that breathing air is actually the cause of 98% of the disease? So we can stop breathing and will be healthy forever?
What is the point of knowing that how president really get elected is really depended on which candidate spend more money on their campaign?
What is the point of telling a 2 years old that his dad died of a car accident yesterday?
I think there are things out there that most of us don’t need to know, the less you know the less trouble you will have.
One day I was watching video on Youtube and I came across this video about how chicken nugget is produced. I saw how disgusting it is and it only made me not wanting to eat chicken nugget anymore. The result of knowing how chicken nugget is really produced only changed one thing, the food that once tasted delicious never felt as good again.
So do we always need to know the truth? I believe we don’t, just know what we know and it is fine to not know what we don’t know. The truth might be good but can also have negative affect sometimes, so the less you know the less likely you are going to get in trouble.
I agree with what you said, sometimes I think not knowing is better than knowing... But then again, sometimes you just want to know
“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.”- Edmund Bourke
Why should we know our history? What’s done is done and there is no need for it in the future. I do not remember hearing about Physical Therapists needing to know their history. I have asked questions like, “Why do we need this?” “How is this significant?” many times during my years as a student. And I never got a clear enough answer. Usually they told me it’s just important or it is in the curriculum guide. As I got older and analyzed things I found out that it benefits us mentally by telling us who we are and where we came from.
This is just me, but I would like to know who the men and women are that came before my time and helped created the modern world. Topics of history creates conversation, it can bring people together or apart. It is powerful. It may be true, it may be not. We need our history more than it needs us. In fact, we do not matter to history anymore because it is of the past and we are the future. Our nation must protect our history. To educate us, to influence our future decisions, to give us a chance to change, it will always be there.
It should be the nation’s responsibility to remember our American history. They are doing a pretty dang good job with all these days and events that happen throughout the year honoring the historical events and people of America. For some people, including me, I have to learn my cultures history too. Since I live in America and have been Americanized, if I never listened to my parents or grandparents I would not really know of my culture. Soon the culture in the family will die if me and my relatives do not pass it on to our kids.
History is valuable, just like the present. Although we can change our future we cannot change our history, it is frozen and must keep it the way it is and remember.
I like your post and agree with you that history is important and must be remembered. And I can relate to what you wrote about being Americanized and trying to learn about your culture from your family. I try to learn all I can from my grandparents about my culture and history.
I really like this post, nowadays i see that most people dont even know what 9-11 is and thats sad. History is who we are and were we come from, how will we know where to go if we dont know where we been from, thankyou for this post.
“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”
-John F. Kennedy
Without history we wouldn’t know our past and what we started off as. Without history we wouldn’t learn from our mistakes and what works best. We learn that our mistakes have consequences so we try not to do it again. We have come such a long way and to think some people don’t even know what has happened in the past. Without history we wouldn’t know what people went through and fought for to create what we have today. It’s important that people learn about history, know what people sacrificed, and how things evolved over time. We depend on others to learn about history, culture and where our family came from. I feel like we learn about history the way someone else interpret it. How they lived and learned about it. Every little detail of history should be remembered, not just the big ones.
I totally agree with you. We depend on our history. We do learn from other people's mistakes in order to prevent it from happening again! I liked your insight on the matter, good job!
By the time that I was aware of people taking easy advantages of me, it was hard for me to forgive people. I’ve always hung onto the past and I’ve held grudges against those who had left bad impressions on me. But as time goes by, things change. Apologies are easily accepted, forgiveness are easily given, and it lets go of the heartstones you have inside.
There’s a million possible ways to apologize. When you accidentally bumped into someone in the hallways, or spilled your food on someone’s belongings, it all required a small apology for one another. Then, there’s the kind of situations where you’d need more of an in-depth explanation that a simple “sorry” probably won’t be an excuse of. Ones with events such as relationship conflicts, failing a class, and even car crashes that led to murder.
But things like that happen every minute. Even if sometimes, an apology won’t cut it. There’s no predictions of when or how things happen, it just does.
And sometimes, it’s impossible to be honest in certain situations to be sorry. “Sorry” can easily slip away our lips and sometimes, it doesn’t carry on with the true feeling.
Sometimes, saying “sorry” isn’t enough.
It’s hard to balance it out, but sometimes, the sun shines better with a positive attitude. People make mistakes. It’s bound to occur. Mistakes happen, and apologies are bound to be said. Everyone deserves a second chance. It’s little mistakes that change us.
It’s what creates the image we have now.
“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” -John F. Kennedy
Words can be interpreted in many different ways.
To me, it’s the way you say it; not the words itself.
An apology is only as sincere as the person telling the truth. Your apology should only be supported, not excused. An excuse is just pointless, might as well have not have said it.
I think apologies should only be told when you mean what you say. You wouldn’t want someone to apologize half-heartedly.
I believe that if you know what you did was wrong, then it is perfectly fine. Once you ask why, that apology just became useless to me.
“Sorry” is a promise you make saying that you won’t do it again.
I find confrontation truthful. It’s the way you can read the other person’s face. It’s the way their eyes look when they apologize.
I don’t need a paragraph, I need a look.
I just need the truth.
An apology without meaning is just
I completely agree with you, Alyssa! An apology is meaningless if the person apologizing doesn't mean it. Just like you, I always want a truthful apology, otherwise, I don't want an apology at all. Great post! I look forward to reading more of your work!
I agree with you Alyssa! Personally I believe that an excuse means that the apology is not sincere because the person giving the apology feels the need to defend their actions, rather than accept that what they did was wrong, which ultimately ruins the apology.
I agree with Alyssa. I liked how she said that confrontation is truthful. You want to see the person's face when they apologize instead of reading an apology. You should be able to see if their apology is genuine in their eyes. Great post Alyssa!
Alyssa! Reading this I was thinking that this was going to be short and sweet, but as I was reading I realized there's a lot more emotion to this then just the exterior. I just wish you had elaborated more in detail.
“There's always another story. There's more than meets the eye.”
― W.H. Auden
Warping back to my child form from my fuzzy memory as it is, I do remember certain enlightening aspects that I can go into major detail. Like how it was absolutely mandatory to listen to your parents, to receive advice but never really use it in the long run, and school. School was probably was the biggest opportunities in my life considering most of the time I’ll be surrounded by these type of people for a while, but I’m okay with that because we can choose these types of people to be in our lives, certain people. Some people, more often than others, tend to shrug you off showing that they do not want to talk to the opposition. As a person it is important to acknowledge certain events in your life, you are your own director, script writer, stenographer, etc. and you have to tell your story form what you experienced, or at least you don’t have to. I remember a time where I was in 1st grade and our class has going on a trip, this trip would be actually the whole school jumping form classroom to classroom to see our artwork or creations, I remember there were some amazing things to see, although our standards as kids were probably significantly lower, as they hung on the thin strand.
I would like to tell myself that I did a good job, I cannot officially tell you
I would like to believe others liked to do this, I cannot officially tell you
Where there people who admired mine? I cannot officially tell you
I cannot determine what I was thinking at the time because it was 1st – 6th grade, there were significantly moments where people liked my presentation at my desk and I was talked to that day a lot, there were more questions asking, “How’d you do that?” that was probably a day that I tried my hardest to show people what I am capable of and I didn’t know It presented more than I thought. I choose to remember my memories and which ones I hold dearest to me. These are certain things I will hold dear to myself and keep with me when I finally walk out the door, my achievements.
From these frivolous events to astonishing deaths which no one would ever expect to remember what goes on in our minds in every detail. It is even said in emergencies you do not remember specific details like colors, i.e. like describing a crime scene (Thank you Mr. Jones.) Since I don’t remember the things I did to have done such a good job in presenting the artwork but I somehow pulled this rare feat off, and I do remember it quite vividly. I just held my hand out and caught myself to do these things I thought I never could have done. I did capture a moment worth saving in my memory hole and I would hope to revive it in some way.
I do believe there to be a reason for everyone to remember a certain memory, especially for it to be done in committee. If it helps to remember them, we remember what others say about it and they would describe it. We have to be courageous and share what we feel and even if you want to go bizarre, however not recommended because you’re essentially erasing what actually happened with a false substitute and you forget what might have actually happened by exaggerating it, it’s not like someone will know what actually happened, but you are responsible for you we are responsible for what we remember and to present it as accurately as possible for our justification. And we can learn from what we say to shape for healthier future, I mean….. How do you know my story is true? (Hopefully you get the picture now and note where I go with this).
“My dog ate my homework.”
The cliche excuse for forgetting to do your homework.
“I left it at home.”
“I couldn’t print!”
It’s like what Mr. Feraco said on the first day of our second semester in his class about being tardy. If you were really sorry, you would’ve ran. I was nodding in my head in agreement.
My thoughts on this question are based on my experiences. I think I mentioned before that my dad is tyrannical. Whenever he got angry at me for something, apologizing never worked. It was always, “If you’re sorry, then why did you do it?”
This was all before my parents divorced, of course. Now I don’t see him often enough to get angry at me.
When I was much younger, I learned that apologizing is good, even if you don’t mean it. I learned and unlearned that every I went to school and came home because it was what my teachers have always told me, but when I came home it wouldn’t work like they said it would.
Usually, when someone apologizes, an explanation of some sort follows because we think a “good” reason will give a lighter consequence. But how many times have those excuses only made things worse?
There’s no “right” way to apologize. Sometimes even uttering the word “sorry” makes everything worse, but what can you do? If you can’t say it, then what can you say? You can’t apologize with an explanation, but you can’t apologize without one either.
This just adds to that whole humans-will-never-be-satisfied thing. We want an apology, but when we don’t get it in the way we want, we punish them. Even the sincerest of apologies may not be able to fix everything.
I love how you refer to Mr. Feraco's believes, and I agree with how people always use excuses to cover up their mistakes. Excuses are called excuses because they are excuses. No matter what, if you try to explain yourself, it's an automatic excuse. I know I am being a little absolute, but... it's somehow correct right?!
It's a little sad how untrustworthy humankind is slowly becoming that everything following an apology is just an "excuse."
So It’s clear that people are borned to lie. They don’t need to learn this ability, this super natural power. The world is not this world without the existence of lies, and it’s not possible for people not to lie. To be completely transparent to others is the stupidest idea in the world, since everyone can betray you five second later. Even the family can betray others, who can be trusted? Not even that, ourselves can betray ourselves! Pull out the vision from the individuals, and look through a wider pipe, we can see that lies are all over the world. Nations need lies to maintain the bond between each others, Government lie to it’s citizens to keep them from dangers, and Citizens lie to each others that they are living a Good LIfe. It’s not just a matter of, “Shouldn we lie, or should we not?” or, “Is lying necessary, or it can be prevented?” It’s part of our lives, and it’s the only part that no one can ever abandon.
So for the first question, “Is the release of information regarding our actual activities an aid to our enemies?” This remind me of Pearl Harbor, well, maybe it’s talking about this. I don’t care who’s false it is or will anyone feel guilty after the attack, but Japan had done a noble job, noble yet stupid. People always tried to feel better before or after the crucial actions, and that’s why the Medieval Time people, especially the Knight would tried to be fair and noble. No one likes to carry the guilt over their lives, so they tried to make everything “fair,” and they did stuffs like yelling out names before any actions, let others do some more moves before the games, or giving hint in the game. Everything has to be “Fair” in this unfair world. If people do care about other’s feeling then stop making wars! So is giving out information an aid to enemies? If it makes us feel better, then sure, It’s “fair” anyways!
For the second question, “Do we deserve...” People should shut up now! No one deserves anything they aren’t suppose to know. Sure, it may be better if we can control our own life, but our life has been set. WE WILL HAVE TO WALK OUR LIFE JOURNEY AND DIE AT THE END! Our life path was hidden at the very beginning, and people can’t control their life whatsoever, why bother trying to know more information that may destroy their whole world? Despite the reason I just wrote down before, let’s say, If, and only If, someone(or the government) tell us that our economy is completely ruined, and we will be taken by China next day. Can we do anything? No, except that we want to start a war, maybe it can turn into a World War III, then the whole world can be cleaner and silencer. It’s always ok to be lied to, if it’s a lie that someone doesn’t need to know.
The last question is funny, it brings us back to the question of, “Should we study History? Why should we study History?” There is a absolutely “Right” answer, “We can learn from our mistakes!” Can we? or would we make the same mistake over and over again? Let’s talk about the first point, ‘Does a nation has to remember it’s history accurately?“ I would say no, it’s not necessary because even without the exact history, people still believe and live on their lives. “Only winners wrote the history!” There must be a reason for this quote. It doesn’t matter if the history is correct or not, it’s just the matter of how we can get out of it, or else it will just be pages of nonsense words, with some interesting facts.
Everybody starts off neutral and accepting.
The sun is shining, and the weather is serene and tranquil. Of this day, life is in its purest form, neither good nor bad, neither of justice nor discord. Everything is still and the atmosphere is at the mercy of foreign influences. However the clouds of corruption are approaching. The sun is now covered and life cannot grow without the positive rays of the sun. Plants and life are not sprouting and are being eaten by the soil.
Like the tranquility of life, a child just as pure. When a child is born it can be undeniably understood that it is the creation of the parents. But like every creation, it has to start off innocent, uncorrupted. However, being a blank page, anything can be written. With today’s youth, corruption is just around the corner whether it originates from the parents or other people.
But when a child becomes self-conscious and intelligent of his/her actions, it is up to them whether they come to realize their placement.
The duty of youth is to challenge corruption. –Kurt Cobain
Nice quote at the end, but I must disagree with your statement on life and it's purist form. Life has but two purposes, to survive and reproduce, and in order to do so we will have to bare our fangs. The world is not perfect, not all things can coexist.
"I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant."
The nation should have a moral obligation to maintain history accurately. We have faith that what we read in the history books is true, but really, we have no way of knowing for sure.
It can be altered by anyone who is in the right position in my opinion. Facts can also change. I remember seeing a history special junior year about the Boston Massacre. It was originally depicted as an aggressive armed militia firing at unarmed innocent civilians. The site where It is known to have taken place is now marked by a cobblestone circle in the town square. The history special reported that apparently the civilians in the crowd had in fact been armed with different types of weapons, and it is unclear of how the whole situation had erupted. It also pointed out that the cobblestone is not even the correct spot, and people are mindlessly glorifying this random area. Then again, how can I trust these newly found facts just because "experts" have researched it. We all have faith in the government, and that they only want the best for us. But how much of what they tell us is true? In this circumstance I believe it is important for people to know the whole truth.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
i totally agree with you kyra
there are so many depictions of our history and soon barely anybody will know the real truth. great post!
I like the quote in the beginning. And I agree that it's better to know than to be ignorant. And it's scary to think that we have no idea if the history that we're taught is actually true. How can we trust anything that we're told because everyone has their own perspective?
Do we deserve the right to know everything our government knows? Yes.
Do we NEED to know everything our government does? No.
Do we benefit from knowing things that the government wants to hide?
It’s something that we really need to ask ourselves. Why learn the truth if the truth hurts more than a lie? Of course, on a personal level, secrets and promises are all things that we can decide for ourselves and more often than not, those minute situations will impact the world very little.
However, now we’re talking trust and promises on a national level and we are guided and protected by a body of government that has sworn to protect us under any circumstance. So does it matter how we’re being protected, or does it matter that we’re being protected? We view America under the assumption that it is almighty holy and good; That our country is flawless and upholds the international community to a standard of peace. And even when we hear about our country engaging in war or military acts, we are informed that it is for the best and it is to maintain justice.
We don’t want to hear about how our military members currently in the Middle East are holding terrorist captive, torturing them throughout the day simply to extract any information or intelligence that they may or may not know. We don’t want to hear about how we massacre Middle-Eastern weddings leaving men, women and children laying in the rubble. We certainly do not want to hear the international community’s opinion of us when we are labeled as the only country selfish and brutal enough to drop a bomb in a heavily populated area for the sole purpose of saving time.
We don’t like to think about these things because it poses as an insult to our country and we can’t bear the thought of being apart of a something to heinous and heartless. American citizens want to associate themselves with the peaceful and patriotic side of our nation and not the ruthless, barbaric other half.
So this brings us back to my original question: Does knowing any of this benefit us? I’m going with Ronald Reagan on this one. “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.”
I say this because of the society and world I observe today. People don’t care about anything until it truly gets personal and connects with them. Just like how teenagers don’t view driving under the influence as an issue until they get into a crash, Americans don’t care about what the NSA does until they learned what their actual role was. This is the reason why people are more passionate about specific actions the government performs in comparison to others. (i.e. a mother may be more concerned about health policies the country has set forth while a farmer or business owner focuses their attention on legislations affecting the economy).
How does this relate? Once we receive this information, what do we do with it? Let’s hypothetically say that our government was hiding the fact that they were conducting secret missions in looking for extraterrestrial life with the intent of finding a life outside of our atmosphere. Now there will be a mixed reaction from a group of people. Some will argue that this project is good and will move on with their life. Others will state that this is a waste of money and the government should be focusing on current problems instead of hypothesizing for future ones. The rest, which is about 98.9% of the population, won’t have an opinion and continue to move on with their life.
Because the project doesn’t affect too many lives, there is less of an incentive for these individuals to care about this secret. And since there isn’t enough people to care, there can never bring about change.
My final conclusion is that as much as we hear that our government is keeping secrets from us, keeping us under a veil of ignorance has proven to work very well so far and if the government continues to operate as they do with as little citizen interaction/conflict as possible, America should continue progressing at the decent pace they are going down.
It’s in the end, for the better.
What do you remember that defines you?
What do you wish you could remember that’s slipping away or already forgotten outright?
What are you most terrified you will forget?
I agree with the argument that we do deserve the right to know what is going on in our government.
I agree that we don't need to know everything our government does
However I do agree that knowing some of the things the government wants to hide.
Indeed "We don’t want to hear about how our military members currently in the Middle East are holding terrorist captive, torturing them throughout the day simply to extract any information or intelligence that they may or may not know. We don’t want to hear about how we massacre Middle-Eastern weddings leaving men, women and children laying in the rubble." However it must be known that what the government did is a violation of human rights. It is here that citizens need to speak up. It is as you said that the government has a duty to protect its citizens from whatever danger. However when this protection starts to cost INNOCENT lives, this is an indication that the government is doing something wrong. It should not cost innocent lives to protect ourselves.
And it is true that most people will not care about anything until it truly gets personal and connects with them. However in order to establish this connection, there has to be some kind of evidence or proof of an even significant enough for people to connect with. Bradly Manning did such as thing. By releasing reports about the secret torturing, inhuman imprisonments, and deaths of the innocent, he connected the lives of people who will never meet. It is hard to be indifferent towards, let’s say, a photo of a boy crying over the dead body of his mother. Why is this? There is something fundamentally in all of us that connects us to each other. Perhaps the best word for this is sympathy. We literally feel for the other person.
You argue that there is less of an incentive for these individuals to care about this secret. And since there isn’t enough people to care, there can never bring about change, yet how can we care about something we don't know about? In order to care about something, someone has to bring that subject to light. Bradly Manning brought the truth about the Afghan wars and Iraq Wars to light, and we in turn, responded quite eccentrically.
So do we benefit from knowing things that the government wants to hide? Yes we do. While the government has a job of protecting us, we have a job of making sure the government is doing the right things. It's the fundamental principle of democracy along with Locke's social contract.
I also just want to say that the government right now is searching for extraterrestrial life and doesn't bother to keep it a secret. The project is called SETI and has been going on since 1995.
Her graduation party was scheduled for June 2, 2012. She was set. She got accepted into Westmont College and was ready to embark on a new journey without any setbacks. She didn’t understand where I was coming from when I told her I could no longer attend the party. It sounds trivial but it was far from it in her eyes.
To break down the timeline it was 2 months after my dad’s death, 1 week before finals, and I still had a lot of catching up to do. My grades were slipping and it was imperative that I did well on my finals in order to make sure they were where they should be. I was still adjusting to all of the changes and needless to say, I was overwhelmed…I was on the verge of a breakdown nearly every day.
I remember laying in my mom’s bed watching TV and I decided to send Alexis the text. If I remember correctly it went a little like this:
“Hey Alexis! I hope you had fun at the senior rafting trip! I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be able to make your graduation party this Saturday. It’s been really hard for me to get myself together since everything has happened with my dad. I’m falling behind my school work and I really need to pull up my grades so I have some sort of a chance for college. Things are coming down to the wire and I can’t afford to risk anything. I am so so sorry but I truly hope you understand.”
I thought it was a rational reason. She didn’t.
“No, Julie. I don’t understand. I can’t believe that you would miss out on one of the most important days of my life. It’s completely selfish of you. Not only am I graduating from high school but I’m also getting baptized and giving my life to God. I know that you’ve been going through a lot. I’ve prayed for you and your family every single day and I cried tears for you. And I don’t know what you’re going through because I haven’t had to experience that. But I was there for you and you should be there for me.”
I was speechless. My jaw dropped. I read the text over and over again trying to convince myself that a “jk” would magically appear at the end.
How was I supposed to respond? I was livid. She was right, she didn’t know what I was going through. It was hard to go through the motions and then gather myself to go out and put on a happy face. Let alone go to someone’s graduation party where her dad was there ready to celebrate with her and walk beside her during this chapter. I no longer had that luxury, privilege, or opportunity. It was taken away from me.
“I’m sorry but I have to take priority with myself. I can’t afford to fall behind, this is my future. I need to do catch up and not fail my classes. Your future is set, but mine is still in the making. You are going off to college and it’s being paid for. Your dad is going to be there, mine isn’t. You don’t understand how hard this is for me. More ways than one. And I can only hope that you will understand where I’m coming from.”
She tried calling me after replying with that text. It was almost an automatic reflex to press the ignore button—I didn’t question it at all.
You would think that an 18 year old/newly graduated senior from high school would understand a 16 year old sophomore who is going though an extremely difficult stage in life and is worrying about her future. False. Don’t give too much credit to people.
It took me a long time to accept her apology (and that was long awaited). It took me an even longer time to forgive her. I remember skipping a month’s worth of communion at church. I couldn’t gather myself to forgive her and let alone take part in communion as Pastor Tate invited the congregation to participate. “Now come and join us as we eat the body of christ, broken for you and drink the blood of christ, that was shed for the remission of sins.”
But to have an apology was some sense of closure. She finally came to realize that she crossed the line and it was assuring to know that she knew she made a mistake.
Unlike Alexis, Turkey doesn’t quite “understand” the mistake they’ve made. I am proud to call myself an Armenian and I’m proud of how we have managed to preserve our vibrant and delicate culture. But we don’t have that closure due to Turkey’s ignorance. It’s disappointing that nearly 100 years have lapsed and nothing can sway them to admitting their wrongdoings.
When I was in 4th grade I traveled to Armenia with the Armenian dance group I was part of and we visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial on one of our days off. It was heartbreaking to say the least. It was heartbreaking to see the pictures, videos, exhibits, and memorials that stand in place of the millions of lives that were lost. An apology from Turkey may not bring my ancestors back to Earth, but it may bring us Armenians closure.
It’s amazing how an apology or merely recognizing the mistakes you’ve made can change a situation around. A little gesture goes a long way.
And I’m disagreeing with One Republic on this one, it’s not too late to apologize.
This post is awesome! Or should I say plusgood (I'm getting really good at Newspeak). I love the connection that you made between a personal apology and the importance of an apology to the Armenian people. Super well written and well thought out!! I love it!
I love this so much Julie.
And like what MacKenzie said, I really liked how you were able to connect your main points. It was really sad to read about how Alexis acted. It made me sad because I know the type of person you are and I know that you would always put others in front of yourself. It really sucks to hear that the one time you don’t put others in front of yourself, it ends badly.
I also agree with what you have to say and how it is never too late to apologize. My friend and I had a falling out a year ago and I’m pretty sure that I’m the reason why. Anyway, I realized that I made a terrible mistake and I apologized a month ago. It took me awhile to apologize, but I finally did and I’m glad that I did. I think things between us are going to be better for us and we’re planning a hang out soon.
You’re blog was great, and I’m glad that I came across it. You never fail to amuse me Julie, I love every single one of your blogs. You did an excellent job!
Hey Julie! Thank you for sharing your story. Your organization is great! Everything flowed nicely. In addition, I really love the combination of the actual dialogue between you and your friend and your thoughts about it. So I understood your point of view clearly.
Julie I really like your post. I like how you used an experience to demonstrate what you are trying to convey. I'm sorry about what happened and how she responded but I hope you two are okay now.
One day, my little sister, Doris, brought home her quiz from school. She got an F on her quiz. She was very brave and handed it to my mom. My mom was shock, but not very furious. (Probably because elementary grade will not go on transcript). My mom sat next to Doris to analyze what and why she did wrong. From the way that Doris was sitting I could tell that Doris was very uncomfortable of looking back at her quiz. She was embarrassed and wanted to hide it as soon as possible. My mom found out that Doris chatted with her classmates when it was time for her to read, so when it was time for quiz, she did not know anything. After a lecture from my mom, Doris learned her lesson. One day at dinner, I asked her why she got some tiny green marker marks on her uniform .She said her friends dotted it on because she did not talk to them because she was paying attention in class.
The F Doris got on her quiz made her realize her problem and shape her to be a better student, and a better person as she grows. She learned that she needs to treat her works seriously and to use her time properly. It is hard for me to investigate my failure, to admit that I am wrong, and other people are right. Then, it may be even harder for people who hold political importance to admit nationally that they made a mistake. It is hard for China governors to hear their people criticize their decisions; therefore they blocked people from accessing tools such as Google and Facebook. It is hard for Big Brother is 1984 to claim that he is incorrect, so he requires the department of record to change his prediction before the news is publish. They do these things, so they do not need to make apologize, to face the destructions they caused.
Well, even if they apologize, they will not make what is already bad better. Once the glass break, water will leak from even a little crack. What matter is how people do with those broken glass. If they just left it there all around the floor, somebody will get hurt. It is troublesome to clean up, but it is worthwhile. People cannot change what they had already done, but they can change how the ripple effects play out. America cannot return an intact Hiroshima to Japan, but America can make sure they will not destroy another.
What matter are the ripple effects that the rock made after.
Esther, sometimes, there is no such thing as right or wrong. We all make certain decisions because we think it is right to do. It may be right for you but wrong for me. That’s the way it is but I agree with you that if one knows he does something wrong, he should admit it and fix the problem just like your broken glass example.
Explanations. Excuses. Apologies.
We’ve all heard them some time or another throughout our existence.
We’ve heard so many explanations, that we’re used to them. For the most part, we have been given explanations for almost everything. Society, and everyone in it, whether it has been an individual or an organization, gives us explanations for basically any mistake or mishap, so as expected, we feel the need to give explanations as well.
My mom has always told me, “You don’t owe anyone an explanation. It’s none of their business.” It’s true. In actuality, you don’t owe anyone anything.
That all depends on if you want to last in society though. If you want to keep your friends, maintain relationships, and make peace, you might NEED to give an explanation.
An explanation is okay, but an excuse is not. It takes all the meaning out of the apology, by justifying, or trying to justify, what you are apologizing for.
Excuses tend to make people even more upset anyways. They have a way of making the problem worse, and ruining the apology.
The apology ends up drowning in the excuse.
If you’re not sorry, don’t apologize. There’s no point in being dishonest by apologizing if you feel like you aren’t in the wrong. Most people can see right through a fake apology anyways.
Explanations. Excuses. Apologies.
They’re all very complicated. They all come with terms, and every person perceives them in a different way.
Some people might expect an explanation.
Some might just want an apology.
You just need to just figure out how you feel about the situation, how the other party involved feels about the situation, and figure out how the situation needs to be fixed, or if you even want to fix it at all.
And then go from there.
Simple but to the point.
I feel like many in our school... maybe even society as a whole needs to grasp this concept better.
Figure out what needs to be done, and what you want to do, and proceed from there. It's logical and leaves room for your own input.
Most of the itme its best to do what is best for all, but sometimes you need to let some emotion out. Sometimes you really need to stand your ground and say "This situation has gone on for far too long, and i no longer care for it. It doesnt need fixing, it needs leaving."
People just... always do what is socially expected of them
It's a bit dull isn't it?
Nice post Victoria,
Your blog is my typically conversation with my parents I feel like I always need to have an explanation to my actions like why am I coming home late or why I have to go out and in order to keep that happy relationship with them I feel like I do need to explain where I am. Sometimes I think of excuses unconsciously just to try to get away from what I did wrong. I maintain that happy relationship instead of blaming myself, but that doesn’t really work. But at the end I feel like I always end up apologizing to my parents for my actions. But do I really mean it, that’s the question I always ask myself.
Very nice post! I must ask that what is the difference between an explanation and an excuse? I accept that excuses are pointless and a waste of time, but the two can sometimes be interchanged based on people's viewpoints. My explanation might be just an excuse to someone else. How do you make sure what you say is an explanation and not an excuse?
I agree that at some point an explanation is an excuse. For instance I might explain why I cannot turn in my homework, others might think that is an excuse because I could have done my homework earlier. I think what people need to do is step into others' shoe, do not stand on their own perspective to see others' explanations.
Lies are meant to deceive, not protect. The people of a nation shouldn’t have to be shielded from the truth. A nation built on lies is weak, susceptible to violence and protest. It is a nation, where the roots of corruption and control plant themselves; a nation, divided, from the violation of the people’s trust. Citizens have a right to the entire truth, whether or not it puts their own country in negative light. We must know even the shameful things in history, so we can learn from our mistakes.
From the past to now, it has been a constant struggle to know the truth. Protests and revolutions break out when the public finds out its government has fabricated lies. People like Bradley Manning, leak classified government information. Whether or not Manning’s intentions were noble, the fact remains that this information should have been revealed to the public long before. The death of innocent civilians mistakenly killed is not something that should be hidden. Hiding such a big mistake is lying, making it seem as if it never happened when it did. It was a lie meant to deceive, not to protect the public from danger. It is up to the public to decide what to do with this information. We have the ability to make accurate judgments of the situations and voice our opinions.
Truth builds a strong bond of trust between the government and the people. It is truth that brings change and strength. If a nation is ashamed of what it has done, it should learn from failures. If a nation is proud of what it has done, it should set successes as an example for the future. We don’t learn anything from falsehoods, but from the truth we take away valuable lessons. Rather than hiding behind lies, everyone should remember what matters more is what is learned from the truth and our mistakes.
Carolynn pft. xD
Well, I suppose I agree that lies do deceive to some extent, but sometimes that deceit is for protection eh?
Anyway, it is true that we don't like being lied to, and we would go to great measures in order to arrive at the truth ^^ (in fact, that's what math and physics is about, trying to find the truth xD)
So, you think hiding truth is lying? :3 interesting way of putting it! I never thought of such a definition!
Sometimes though, I feel that a refrain of information is in order to keep the population ignorant and uncaring. Sure, it doesn't protect anyone, but it doesn't cause any chaos either.
but anyway, I like the idea of learning from mistakes. ^^
People want to hear what they want to hear.
No matter how much the truth hurts, it needs to be heard.
Yeah in history books they might leave some parts out to keep the people going chaotic and irrational, but at least its mentioned. Even though what we did is so horrific like the Hiroshima bombing. There is nothing we can do about it. Accepting the reality is all we can do. The decisions they made is done, no going back. The next generation now knows and wont make that mistake.
So once the "bad events" is taught to our children, they know our faults and admit what was wrong. The truth is laid out there. It's for them to decide in the future if they are going to do the same thing. There has to be no blaming, no harassing, but just know that we did try to advocate them. Frankly i think that's all it matters.
I am the biggest hypocrite. I apologize without even meaning it. Like i say to the most pointless and stupidest things. Literally its like word vomit i say it without thinking. Which is pretty badd aha im kidding its really bad.
I say it so much, when i actually want to apologize to people genuinely.They do not take me seriously. And knowing that my apology doesnt work on them, it hurts. Saying stuff so blatantly is something I really need to work on. I want my words to matter, I tell other people to say what they mean, but here i am doing the exact same.
Apologies are so simple, but difficult to manage.
Ugh do not get me started on my excuses. I have a tendency to just make and make excuses. And it is super annoying.
I realize my faults and I have been trying to stop. Honestly no one likes excuses. It makes you look inadequate or plainly self-centered. Well in my opinion.
The real truth is, to admit to yourself and realize what you did wrong. Instead of blaming other people or blaming yourself and feeling sorry. The important part is that you know what you did wrong and you wont do it again. No explanation necessary.
In the meantime people should genuinely mean what they say instead of of just saying sorry to get it over with. After a while all it will become is just words.
I agree, people should mean what they say. But, in some situations, especially in circumstances where the other individual isn't stable enough to hear the truth, saying a white lie, in my standards, would be okay.
It really depends where our values at.
Personally, being in a family with temper issues, I have been able to predict the consequences of my words. With words that less than honest, I use lies to navigate the situation to a safer and more stable place, even if I had to fake a sorry.
But, at times, honesty is the best answer. We can't keep living in our world of illusions or else reality will strike hard. Honesty will pull the individual back into reality, allowing him or her to deal with the underlying issue that surfaces ever so profoundly.
I used to tell myself that if you believe hard enough, a lie is the same as the truth. So I wouldn’t ever feel bad about lying.
When I was a kid I used to be the most devious, sly kid on the block. I used every tactic to get what I wanted. In most cases, it involved speaking to people through the serpent’s language. I mean I was this six year old kid that just wanted to play outside and not do homework. So I would tell my mom I finished all my homework, read all my books but in fact I would’ve accomplish nothing but sitting at my desk and shooting paper balls into my trashcan to wait for the clock to have passed over an hour to seem like I was doing something productive.
Yup, I was “that” kid.
I mean looking back now, I know that all the lies I told my parents weren’t that bad. I mean they were lies nonetheless, but it wasn’t like denying the fact that I slaughtered my neighbors cat or that I crashed the car into the garage. It was just simple white lies to get me out of boredom and out of homework. That’s why I don’t think the lies that I said back then are that big of a deal. Now if you were talking about being in a murder trial and denying the fact that you DID commit a crime, that’s different.
I just think that we have to look at each lie differently and see what kind of lie it is. All the lies that we say in this world pertains to a certain category. Some are white lies, lies that bend the truth to not hurt someone’s feeling because their food tasted horrible. Yet some are blatantly stupid lies, the ones where we know the other person knows the truth and we still try and force the lie out and hope they believe in it.
Every lie is different.
It’s just how we perceive each one.
Don’t get me wrong, a lie is still a lie. Every time you lie you should be ashamed of yourself even if it’s a lie to get that last cookie in the cookie jar. But after all, we are human and its part of our nature to deceive and lie. As I matured I understood that lying will always surround us, and it’s up to us how we want to handle it if we are put in a situation where we have to lie, or is lied to.
I agree with you. I categorize lies to its certain categories because each lie has its own purpose to serve, depending on the situation.
(I'm totally throwing it back to intentions vs. actions by the way.)
I find myself in situations where someone I trust blatantly lies to me in the spur of the moment. The weird part is, my initial reaction automatically goes like this: "Wait, should I be hurt by this?"
I don't know why I do that. I guess, it's because I acknowledge the purpose of lying and human mistakes. Whatever their intentions may be, I trust the other person's intention to lie this one time. Everyone has issues, and everyone makes mistakes. So, I let them take a pass this one time-- and another.
Honest words and lies are equal tools that should be used appropriately and at the right time.... and always,
depending on the situation.
“What defines a story are changes, significant moments and endings.”
How do we remember?
I started watching TED talks a couple months ago and one that really stuck with me was delivered by a well-known psychologist by the name of Daniel Kahneman.
The name of the TED talk was “The riddle of experience vs. memory”
In a nutshell, Kahneman talks about how we can think of ourselves as two selves; an experiencing self and a remembering self and then explains the differences between each.
One of the points that he emphasized was the fact that "A very critical part of a story is how it ends."
As I look back on some of the events that have happened in my life, I find this to be true in many cases.
For example, the Dodgers last season began plagued by injuries. By June 21, they were in last place in the National League West, 9.5 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. Then came the signing of a certain Yasiel Puig. From there the Dodgers ended up with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses, putting them in first place. When I look back at last season, what I remember the most is the fact that the Dodgers had one of the best second-half records in history, not the fact that they were once last.
I believe that endings do play an extremely important role in how we remember stories because they are the most recent part of the story that we are trying to remember. So as we remember the ending, we set the tone for how we perceive everything that takes place prior to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgRlrBl-7Yg (I found it really interesting)
Nations have a responsibility to reveal the intents and current activities of the government. Right?
Well, advanced democracies like the American and British government have managed to maintain a strong reputation for their transparency. But wait…
Remember that one (out of MANY) American scandal involving President Nixon? Oh right, Watergate! Well in case you don’t recall, members of Nixon’s re-election campaign were discovered breaking in to the Democratic headquarters. Hmm, there was also that time when the parliamentary scandal in Great Britain erupted (the spring of 2009, to be more exact). In this case, HUGE amounts of personal expenses from nearly all the members of parliament were charged to the government.
Citizens of their respective nations have a right to know what is occurring within their government and their aims in order to prevent further corruption. If residents didn’t want that, they would just move to Russia or better yet, China.
I mean, just look at China’s infrastructure, the veins of corruption run from top government officials to local village leaders. For nearly all incidents that emerge in China, the government attempts to conceal the damages immediately.
For example, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake caused a great amount of damage, but it wasn’t until months later that the government revealed the number of deaths as a result of Chinese dissident, Ai Weiwei and other’s public questionings of the government. It was later discovered that more deaths than natural occurred because during the construction of many buildings, cheaper, unsteady materials were used as bribes were given to reach completion of the structures more quickly.
China has also developed a rapid monorail system that the government has found much pride in. Thus, when one train crashed, killing 36, government officials attempted to suppress the situation as well as possible. How well can one possibly conceal a mass of dead bodies along with a stranded train though? I guess it’s completely hidden once you bury all the evidence under a layer of dirt directly where it is. At least it was to the Chinese government… That was until local residents began posting pictures and videos of the scene on the Internet.
Meanwhile, the Sochi Olympics continue under tough conditions. What did the Russian government expect when Putin decided to place the winter Olympics in his favorite resort location? I mean, it IS the one of few places in Russia that doesn’t have snow, so what do they expect the athletes to ski, snowboard, etc. on? Man-made snow left over from last year and imported snow kept under thermal like boards. Duh! What is the issue here though? Oh, only that $50 billion was spent on the whole preparation for the Olympics, but not really… WAY more money than necessary was flung around, but for what? –To pay for bribes and pay Putin’s bureaucrats of course. A road that SHOULD have cost $800 million to dig up and repave ONLY ended up costing around $6 billion, no problem with corruption there at all…
In these situations, it is unjustified for the government to conceal such actions and information. Citizens deserve to be informed of the nation’s plans to allow for transparency.
Hey Ash! I really like the examples you used in your argument. I agree a lot with what you're saying about governments that hide information from the public.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. With all the corruption going on in these countries, the citizens deserve to know the facts that are being concealed from them. It is understandable that the government doesn't tell the public of these stories due to possible protests, but corrupt nations like China and Russia should be questioned by their people anyway.
Does every person on this planet remember everything they haver ever experienced, in detail? Are they supposed to be responsible if they don't remember every detail of the situation they have encountered?
We all may have been in situations where we have to remember every detail that was there, but when encountering situations, most of the time we do not bother noticing the very important details. The question left unanswered here is "Are we responsible for not noticing the details we are supposed to notice?" To me, the answer is no. If a person were to be on their way to class and suddenly got a text from a friend and was too busy replying to the text, would they have noticed a ladybug on the person who was walking in front of them? Would a person be able to notice a nail on the ground while biking to school. Most people would not have noticed those details. (Unless the person has vision power or something.) Therefore, people are not responsible to remember every detail they encountered accurately.
Every time we learn something new, I believe that people have to be there in person and to know the real truth. If a person asked another for something they did not know, is it right to believe what they say? Although the person is trustworthy, would they be telling the wrong stuff without knowing it? I believe that people will shape their own histories and eventually share it without having to tell LIES.
Two stories, two reactions, but which one is real.
“Excuse, excuses, excuses” is what people may say when one apologizes. From one side, an excuse might seem too much like a guilt complex. On the other hand, an excuse is the proper address that can justify the apology.
An explanation is sometimes the only way to redeem oneself.
America had to justify its actions to the world because of the gravity of the situation.
Thousands of lives were lost.
Sometimes an explanation is the only way to justify the actions we make. An explanation does not undermine an apology, it complements it. If America did not justify its actions, then it would have made matters worse.
An apology with context might be the only righteous thing to do.
Delivering an explanation is the right thing to do.
People apologize because they regret the decisions they made and the complications that arose. Apologies are made because people who make them do not want the situation to occur again.
However, there can be different interpretations of an apology. An interpretation may show how pathetic one might be. There are two sides or two interpretations to each story. A person must approach another with the right understanding of how to express their apology. America justified its apology by helping Japan rebuild its economy after World War 2.
Franklin is only partially correct.
In truth, it is actually how you apologize and how you explain yourself that justifies whether something is appropriate.
I agree with what you had to say. If people were to simply say "sorry," it would merely pass off as an automated response. As people we don't like hearing automated responses. We want to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... Even if it's not what we want to hear. There's a certain satisfaction that having knowledge gives us that we desire.
I can really see myself in your shoes thinking about this. People are obligued to think that when people apologize, they're just making excuses. But if saying "sorry" is a way to make excuses, isn't the government just making "excuses" for us to believe in when they talk about the loss of events?
Growing up, I was always told, “Honesty is the best policy.”
I followed this rule throughout my childhood, and even though abiding to this rule never ended with the best results, I still followed it. It wasn’t until the beginning of freshman year, where I realized that life becomes much easier if you tell people what they want to hear.
It was half way through freshman year when I realized that in order to get far in life; I would have to tell people what they wanted to hear instead of telling them the whole truth. I applied this concept in almost all of my classes and all of my teachers. I told them what I wanted to hear. When I wrote an essay, I didn’t write it for the teacher, or to express how I really felt; I wrote the essay that they teacher wanted to see, the essay that would give me a satisfactory grade.
Over time I realized that I didn’t only have to use this in classes, I could talk to people and communicate in this way too. By constantly observing other people I became better at understanding people, and through this I was able to communicate with other people more easily. By not always telling the truth, I am able to save other people from suffering and pain that they would have felt otherwise. For example if I was out with friends, and my mother asked me where I was, I would tell her that I was studying and doing homework. By doing so, she would not worry as much and she would sleep better at night.
This concept has worked for other countries too. In the early 2000’s North Korea would test fire missiles over Japan into the ocean. When this first occurred, Japan would not say anything to the country in fear of chaos. If the government had told the country what would have happened, there would have been far more casualties and problems within the city. By withholding the information, Japan was able to keep problems to a minimum.
Most people learn the same skill of telling people what they want to hear you have, but I believe its still considered lying. I think omitting the truth works a lot better than lying. But good job.
Ignorance is someone who lives their life in a pitch-black cave, because they were never informed of the existence of light.
If this person were to speak of light, most would regard his thoughts as as silly and unintelligible.
This is also true for us.
Those who have not been taught lessons by the past insist on making mistakes in the future.
If we are unaware of our past, why would we be capable of thinking of the future?
Many of us act as if history is useless information and deem it unworthy to learn about, but it is a necessity if we wish to prevent a repeat of our past mistakes. Our experiences as a nation has shaped our relationships with other countries, our responses to certain situations, and our growth. The knowledge we are provided with not only paves the way to a better nation, it allows each of us to grow as an individual as we personally learn from history we will never have to endure.
The citizens of Oceania are not given this luxury. They are not given any chances to recognize the importance of the past (or even made aware that the past exists), so they build their lives without a solid foundation. The instability in their lives caused by oblivion gives the government power over their citizens, who cling to the Party in order to survive. This sole reliance on the Party ensures their enslavement in this cycle of constant faults, which they are unable to break.
Ignorance is every Oceanian citizen that is forced into unawareness.
We are given the chance to make something of the past.
Why do we choose to ignore it?
I don't think they're forced into unawareness. The citizens of Oceania know what will happen if they deviate from certain behaviors, so they don't. They can choose to deviate from that behavior like Winston is slowly doing.
Your first line totally brought me back to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, which connects perfectly with this book and overall theme! If you haven't read it yet, you should definitely check it out. It's an amazing piece of literature which expands on the concept you introduced in your first sentence!
Oh yes, love your writing by the way!
“Election officials in India canceled a deal with Google to improve voter registration.
In China, sales of Cisco routers dropped 10 percent in a recent quarter.
European regulators threatened to block AT&T's purchase of the wireless provider Vodafone…
U.S. cloud providers could lose as much as $35 billion over the next three years as fears over U.S. government surveillance prompt foreign customers to transfer their data to cloud companies in other countries, according to a study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation…”
– Huffington Post
You are being watched
You are currently on Feraco’s blog.
That information has been already
All the tabs next to this webpage in your web browser are
All those phone calls you made between different people…
The time you called them…
The number you dialed…
The place you called them from…
Even your ‘private’ emails have been recorded.
From Facebook to Fios Wireless connection…
Everything you have done on the web has probably been recorded by the NSA, America’s National Security Agency.
We know this because of our notorious modern age whistleblower, Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) computer specialist who released several top secret NSA files for the public’s viewing.
And, the impact of his actions has been dramatic.
And the Headlines roll…
“Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff calls off visit to Washington in the latest fallout from the Edward Snowden leaks affair.”
“Putin refuses to return Snowden to US.”
“Obama cancels summit meeting with Putin over Snowden case.”
Every subtle gesture of decline between the nations is an offense taken…
not so lightly.
Snowden didn’t do well in high school. His grades would not reach up to Arcadia’s standards, but, because of his knack for technology, he was able to get high paying jobs at famous companies such as Dell. Later on, he obtained a competitive job in the CIA, and later promoted in the NSA.
He lived in Hawaii with his significant other, earning a salary of $122,000 a year.
He lived a stable and comfortable life, one without poverty.
"I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building." –Edward Snowden
Now, he’s one of America’s most wanted fugitive, running around with America’s top-secret programs and files…
He’s in constant danger, in or outside of America…
A perfect tool to obtain America’s secrets…
He did what he did in the name of morals.
But, the courage that led him to this action was supplemented by his disillusionment of our American Government.
“He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.”
“ "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said.”
Here’s the thing about our government:
In public, we promote the good and shun the bad, and we tell you we’re the good guys.
But, in reality, that’s not how the world is run on.
Our nation did not become this powerful because we are the more moral-worthy ones.
In the real world, being good doesn’t get you brownie points all the time or earn you the cookie in the jar you wanted.
Good guys finish last because they obey the rules.
You don’t get rewards for being good. You get it from being successful.
We’re powerful because we play those underhand plans pretty damn well.
We’re good at getting from point A to point B.
We know how to play dirty because we know what we want.
And, as ignorant Americans, we reap the rewards that come along with those successes.
…and, much –much— more.
In reality, we enjoy Point B without realizing what our government actually did in order achieve it.
Buying cheap clothing without thinking about the cheap labor, horrible working conditions, and family sacrifices that workers overseas had to endure through just so they can make a living, sewing each clothing, thread by thread.
Eating the meat of a pig that has been over-bloated by chemical injections, kicked and harmed by illegal immigrants or workers alike, lived in a factory for the purpose of being slaughtered and sold…
We reap the benefits while others suffer for them.
I wish we lived in a world where all soldiers in our army joined for the purpose of protecting the innocent rather than for the accolades received for ‘justified’ killing.
But, that’s just another utopian world.
We cross our hands over our hearts, supporting all veterans alike whom died for what our flag symbolizes today…
We support the victory of war without suffering the damages of it.
It’s easily dismissible because we’re blind with what happens from Point A to Point B.
You can say:
I want to know what’s going on.
do you *really*?
In reality, we hold a conscious…
while leaving the burden for others to carry.
If you did, in fact, knew what went on…
“Do [you] dare
Disturb the universe?”
… to heal your damaged conscious?
That’s what Snowden did.
Hi Linda! I really like your beginning, it really drew me into your story. And just like your beginning, you completely have me hooked throughout your post! nice job!
Does a nation have a responsibility to remember its history accurately? Can we learn from histories we shape and share ourselves? Or do we depend on others’ interpretations of our histories and cultures to see them in a properly nuanced light?
As a Japanese-American growing up, I was exposed to the history and culture of both America and Japan. I spent most of my Saturdays from 1st to 9th grade at the local Asahi Japanese School to learn the language and also the history of Japan. The idea that I had to read and write while my friends spent their Saturday mornings sleeping in or watching cartoons, made me dread going to school.
One day, a Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivor came to share her experiences during World War 2. With her large poster boards full of pictures including the aftermath of Hiroshima and the effects of the radiation on the victims, she recounted her minute by minute encounters that had occurred on August 6, 1945. She also explained to us the reason why the subject of history exists.
“History teaches everything including the future.”
-Alphonse de Lamartine
It exists to educate the students about the mistakes humanity has made, so that the next generation can build upon the flaws and errors to create a better future for everyone else. This experience had made me take a whole new look on understanding history.
In any circumstance, a nation has the duty to remember and record its history accurately. I believe it is important to learn from the ones we have shaped on our own and from other people’s interpretation. It is imperative that we consider both sides of the argument or the conflict in order to truly comprehend the context in which why the event had taken place, and understand the benefits and consequences that had affected both parties. For example, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been the key to ending the war and not risk the lives of the American people.
Can the death of 80,000 people and the destruction of an entire populated city be justified by any answer?
I like your story! I think it's good that you can relate the prompt back to your own life experiences but also tie in with the general idea around the world. Good job!
I agree that even if a country is not perfect no other country is and it is built on the wrongs they have done but then fixed to form as best of a society that they can.
First of all, I would like to say that I COMPLETELY share that same experience with you of envying all my friends every saturday morning. As many others slept away their mornings until the afternoons, only getting out of bed to have their brunch, I was confined in a small classroom with nothing but a workbook and abacus set before me. Funny that now I'm the one torturing little children as they sit through two-hour long sets of abacus class every weekend! I guess becoming a teacher there is my form of getting revenge on the whole abacus institution. Haha
Second, I enjoy how you used that quote to introduce your argument and point of view while transitioning from your personal experience at the Japanese school. I agree that it is important for people to be able to comprehend both sides of history in order to really gain beneficial insight in any scenario.
History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.
How do we know if the history we learned all our lives is TRUE?
The only ways we can find about our country’s history are records that were left behind and the stories that were told by those who have experience through those events. Sometimes the stories that were told are actually more accurate than the records.
Bias exists in every one country’s history, no country want to admit their fault of the past, so they make their history more favorable toward their own country when the truth isn’t like that. And we can only see the truth through stories and articles written by the citizens who are not bias toward their own country.
America is actually one of the countries that are the least biased on its history. Most of its history is accurate because there won’t be a country that would make up a history that put a bad impression on itself; such as slavery, taking lands from the Natives and etc.
I have always wondered if there is actually a point of changing a history of what have already happened. Is it just to get a better impression of the country to other countries or just to cover up that faults that they don’t want to show to the citizens.
I remember me and my group have to do a presentation discussing about the Pearl Harbor attack and the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which country should we blame. I was actually on the side of the Japanese because I felt like the atomic bomb is far worse than the Pearl Harbor attack. I understand that the U.S did this is just to protect the country, but when we research about the atomic bomb, they didn’t fully experience enough to know the real power of the atomic bomb, which lead to the death of millions of civilians in Japan. I always feel bad for those who got killed just because their country’s leader made the poor choice and the innocent are the one who had to face that consequence.
Though America didn’t cover this up, but they kind of hinted that Japan deserved this. From a non-American’s view (not trying to be races) I can see that American is more at fault in this situation. This is how a person who is born in that country views the similar situation differently from the person who is not born in that country.
We can’t blame the country from not telling us the accurate history because we wouldn’t like other people seeing the bad sides of our country and we do want to know the truth yet not the most crucial ones. We want to keep our faith in our own country.
I absolutely agree with you. There are times when people lie and the history is wrong. But when there is no way to find out the truth, the only thing that we can do is to accept this history.
It starts like any other boring day of school. Except this time it is worse. You woke up late.
Now, because you woke up late, you have to run to school. Running to school your back pack breaks, and you have to
hug all of your materials until you get to first period. Late.
And then your teacher gives you lunch detention. The time that you planned to study for your test that would be taken
in 5th period. The one that you stayed up late to study for—and with the combined effort of that and your alarm clock
not working (and you only had to rely on your alarm clock because your parents took your phone)—and now you
cannot study or eat. And if you do not eat, you are probably going to fall asleep during the test. Good luck finishing!
Now this is probably the most standard definition of a bad day. It starts off poorly and keeps getting progressively
worse—and it sounds like an “up-grade to cable” commercial. Throw in some disappointment/failed
expectations, broken hearts/feelings, and getting yelled at by superiors and presto!
The whole day thinking… “kill me now”. And in fact part of you would not mind that. It would be easier. But we know
that, statistically speaking, we will probably not die, and that we are happy that we get to live on. So we tell ourselves to
breath, and that better days will follow. The day still sucks though.
You will want nothing more than to go home, eat, play a game or two, and sleep early; because we are so ready to
skip this day, and start the next.
We will not remember this specific day, what cloths we wore and who we talked to. We will not remember a lot of things
about the day. We will just remember that that day happened. Now, we all wish that these days never happen,
but we don’t have to try to forget them. They slip away.
But nations are different. America in particular. We teach
history as nonbiased as possible (teachers are supposed to in terms of teaching what ACTUALLY happened). We do not
omit what actually happened because we are ashamed of ourselves, but at the same time, citizens do not know every
single detail of what happens in our government. However, I think some of our biggest errs are emphasized in
curriculum—slavery and the atomic bombs. We try to make our history known so that these mistakes will never be made again. We know that bad things can happen with good intentions.
Nuclear bombs are dangerous. What I learned from Castle, there are several “kill zones”. The first is the initial impact of
the bomb—where people are killed from the explosion. The second kill zone occurs a few weeks later due to radiation
poisoning. More people are affected by this and chaos erupts.
It is not the bomb that kills, but the aftermath.
The same is true for earthquakes. In the San Francisco earthquake, there were very few fatalities from falling
debris. Most occurred in the aftermath of fires that sprouted everywhere.
The echoes of the bomb and earthquakes are like memories of an event. They last longer and affect more people. This is why remembering is so important.
You did a great job in describing the worst day ever, and I liked how you mentioned how we forget days like these because of how bad they were. And I liked how you mentioned that nuclear bombs were dangerous.
Overall, good post. Thanks for sharing
What a post Ean!
I do see what you've done there with integrating some 1984 in there but it does seem almost like that, a non bias system would ultimately help and be fair. And it is about working on our selves, to see where we are going next. nice on Ean!
Such a great entry. I know that your post is near the bottom, but it was so captivating. You completely captured the idea of a bad day and related it back to a prompt not many people decided to use. Great job!
Good job Ean! I like how you related(very different topics I must add) having a bad day by yourself and a bad day with others. Speaking about the atomic bomb really came full circle when you related that to a bad day.
This made a lot of sense to me because I do remember all my bad days but i never remember what I wore or the little details. great job!
You are right, we do not remember our bad days because we tend to ignore it and want to live happily. Yet we remember the bad part of our history because that teach us not to do the same thing again. I like your post~
When someone apologizes to me, it makes it more meaningful if they add an explanation after their apology. I feel that an apology by itself is like a building without a foundation or an argument without evidence to back it up. An apology with an explanation can mean the difference between forgiveness or not. So if I would have someone apologize to me I would give it a lot of thought if I saw that person give me a reason or at least how bad they felt.There is a difference between giving reasons and making excuses which make the apology even less meaningful.
I remember when my friend broke one of my toys and just laughed. I was like really you are not even going to say sorry for breaking my lego set apart when I worked so hard on it? After he saw that I was upset he just said why are you mad and just said "fine im sorry ok?". I felt that he didn't mean it even if he did say sorry because I knew that he would do it again opposed to if he would of said that he would not do it again and felt bad for what he did.
Another thing that happened to me was that one of my friends lost my favorite pencil and said that they felt really really bad, and said that they would make it up to me. Even if they didn't buy me a new one or their apology would not bring my pencil back to me I felt like they actually were truly sorry and really cared enough to tell me how they could make it up to me. So I just told them it was fine and I just felt happy even though they lost my pencil that my friend actually cares.
I agree with your first paragraph. For me, it would be a significant difference for someone to provide me a real explanation for their actions regardless of whether it was justified or not. I think, that's the difference between reasons and excuses: reasons provide basis for the action they have committed and excuses are only mean to justify their actions. It truly lies on their intention. Regardless, we're not perfect human beings. We make mistakes because we live in the moment, sometimes without thinking the consequences of our actions until it becomes reality.
And, I like how you ended your story with subtle lesson you've learned from that small pencil incident. Forgiveness is the key, and as time passes by, the problem before becomes a minor one, a less significant one... For now, the present is more important.
From a young age we were conditioned to apologize after we did something wrong. Whether it was from breaking some possession that wasn't mine to break or not sharing a toy, I learned to say sorry on command. I can't speak for others but I know for a long time "sorry" didn't mean "sorry". It has become my reaction to anything socially unacceptable or awkward. Or when I do something and I "apologize" for even starting it.
I don't mean what I say.
My "nothing" really means something is wrong. When I say I don't really need to go to a dance if you don't want to go, it means take me. And my "sorry" doesn't mean sorry.
The week leading into last Saturday I asked the girls on the team to show up earlier at school. My time on the team is winding down to a close and I doubt I'll be there all the time to help them. So the week leading into last Saturday I asked the girls on the team to show up earlier before the track meet. As tedious and time consuming as it might sound, I go out of my way to learn about things I use a lot. If I'm going to be driving more than a couple hundred pounds of metal, a real machine of death, shouldn't I know how to fix it?
It's the same concept with my body. Every night I read a couple articles and watch some videos about the different types of muscles, or stretches and exercises. I write down in my own running notebook how the run went that day. I have shelves of running books and magazines displayed in my room and in one corner I have journals of notes of the other athletes on the team. I don't mean to be creepy but I pay attention to form and foot strike of many of the athletes on the team and I write down notes. Scattered all over my blue gray walls are pink, red, purple, and green post-its of reminders about them. Pink stand for those that are hurting or have described soreness in a specific area, red are for those that are currently on rehabilitation (like me), purple for the kids that seemed down or upset about something, and green were my stark reminders to bond with the kids I don't talk to as much.
I had more dots of pink lining my four walls than any other color.
So with a couple days of preparation, I stopped working on everything school related and focused on the body. I wanted to be meticulous for Saturday. I would give a brief overview of each area of the leg, the anatomy and how to stretch and strengthen those areas. I made sure to give it a practice run the night before, so that it came out clear and concise.
It went to hell pretty fast.
Halfway through I realized half of them weren't even listening or they were talking over me. I was still spewing information and showing the different exercises when I realized I said something wrong.
It slipped out.
This wave of shame washed over me - not from apologizing to them, but from how much of a horrible idea it was. So with another apology I cut it short. And with another I said I shouldn't have asked them to show up early.
I only wanted to do what I could for them.
I say "sorry" way too often to the wrong things and not enough or at all for the right ones.
The first three years of XC were a tad different from this last year. Horrible words and actions were said and committed. I helped instigate and I felt the consequences of the instigation of others. I held fast to the belief that what I wanted and what I was fighting for was the right thing - I still do. But I regret the way I went about it. There were many other ways to deal with the situation and I'm not proud of the way I went about it. I wanted certain problems resolved, I wanted what I believed to be the right thing to be reality.
At some point I stopped wanting it for the right reasons, I wanted it because I became obsessed over it. I wanted to "win". To be right. I stopped making the right decisions in a situation that could definitely have been resolved better.
Both girls and boys went up to Mammoth together this year for our ten day training camp. Halfway through that trip I saw our former coach and with it came that old rise in defensiveness and focus. (Regret). She agreed to chat with me for awhile and I apologized for the way everything had gone down, for the way her coaching career had ended, and for any unruly behavior on my part. Quite frankly, I was shocked when she accepted it.
I'm sorry for the way I lost sight of what I wanted to achieve.
I'm sorry that I disregarded everything she had to say because I couldn't get over what I wanted.
I'm sorry most of all for treating her opinion, her right to say what she believed was right, as something inferior to mine and everyone else that agreed with me. We both believed in a certain training style and as different as they were we still wanted the best for the team. I'm sorry I didn't respect that.
I can't properly respond to this because I don't know what the actions were or anything about the situation. But this blog was very intriguing and well-written. Hopefully it doesn't slip through the cracks.
I wrote it that way because what happened isn't as important as how it should have occurred. They were bad decisions and actions based on emotions that all involved let run amok.
I've said it before but I'll say it again. I love reading your work! You just have a way with keeping us readers intrigued, not wanting to miss a word. Like Sal, I don't have that much of an idea what's going on but I do have an idea who the person at the end is. Apologizing is always a tough deed to due especially when you are so strong and set in your beliefs. But I think extending your apologies to your former coach is a testament to your growth and humility.
I can relate to this a lot. The amount of times I say “sorry” in a day is amazing. I’m almost too scared to count (if I could). We’re not only conditioned to say it when we do something wrong, but we even say it when we do something as simple as accidentally touching a stranger. However, the things we are truly the most sorriest about, are the times we forget to say “I’m sorry”.
I also know that it is hard to let the intentions behind doing what you love stay what they are. Your intentions become what you hoped they’d never become. They usually end up being wanting to win, wanting to be the best, wanting everyone else to change so they can be perfect. When I find myself in this state, the most beneficial thing to do is take a step back. Reevaluate your reasons. “Why am I really doing this?” Listen to your coaches. Be open-minded to everyone and value their opinions. Take the focus off of yourself for a while.
What you did is something we all do. You’re not alone. It’s okay to highly value your opinions, but knowing how to be accepting of others is just as important, if not even more.
Thanks for sharing that story. Good job.
I really don’t have much of an opinion on any of the topic questions. Someone says our government is keeping big secrets from us, well no [----] sherlock. What next? You gonna tell us that gravity holds our feet to the floor? You can infer most of these things with a little thought, things is, no one actually cares enough about it until it hits the media. What’s that? Americans are killing innocent civilians! Well what did you think they were doing, sand sailing?
War is a dirty, harsh deed. The line between right and wrong is heavily distorted on the battlefield. We’re furious when atrocities happen to our country, but we act aghast when our soldiers do the same? It was human beings that attacked america, and it’s human beings who are fighting the war in Iraq. (Note that I know that 911 is not the cause of the Iraq war, I’m just making a connection between two atrocities.)
In the end, we should stop arguing about the morals of war. If we are in a war, we should just go in, smash our enemy to pieces, and then put the pieces back together as a democracy. History says that no two democratic nations have ever gone to war with each other, so if theres one thing history can teach us, it’s that that is the best solution.
Sorry I’m late, I had to go freeze my [tail] off at Colorado so my team could win another friggin national championship.
On a tragic day
Japan sank in despair
Pain still strikes their hearts
— Shamael Husain
It takes a strong person to admit that they are wrong. To show people that they have a weakness. Since my freshman year I have thought we were wrong to have dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. Yet there was so much I learned in class this year. We never warned Japan about what we were going to do to them. We never gave them time to gather loved ones or items important to them. We just surprised them. To top it off we had no good reason for doing so. I don’t believe that warning our enemies ahead of time of a mass trauma we are going to throw upon them. It gives time to prepare and I sure that we would want the same treatment.
What is the definition of forgiveness? It means to stop being angry or resentful toward the person or people who offended you or for a mistake the made. Japan may have forgiven us, but I doubt they will ever forget. We scared them. And our excuse is just because we were just trying to avoid embarrassment. What does that say about America? We are cowardly, we say we are justified in our actions but the reality there was no reason to use that massive a weapon and swipe at many innocent people. Why is the problem of our nation involved with that of out innocent people? Yes, it is important for a country to be loyal to their country, but why should people die if they never even volunteered for any of it.
They say that history repeats itself. I hope that America is never dumb and cowardly to because so much distress and pain in anybody’s country but even more so his or her heart. We need to own up to all of our mistake, and show that we are able to own up to our wrong doings. History should not need to be repeated. The lesson should be learned right away.
Yes the release of information regarding our actual activities is an aid to our enemies.
Lets start with “It’s a free country” yes it might be more free than other countries but USA is not a free country.
In this country there are hypocrites there are liars and everyone has to fend for themselves.
These are just a pinch of the millions of lies, deceit, diception, forgery, myth whatever you want to call it. In the end it all turns out to be sin in the eyes of God.
+The most famous whistleblower in US history, FBI agent Mark Feltwas responsible for feeding sensitive details about the Watergate scandal to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
+1971, Daniel Ellsberg disclosed the Pentagon Papers and confirmed what many US citizens had suspected for decades: the government lied about its actions and involvement in the Vietnam War through four consecutive presidential administrations.
+After the September 11th tragedy, Americans were dumbfounded and wondering how a primitive group of terrorists could unleash an attack on US soil without drawing suspicion from any of the country’s intelligence agencies.
And the list goes on and on. This is a corrupt country, this is a corrupt world.
You will have no trust for your coworkers, bosses, employees, teachers, only your family and close friends.
Every commercial, every advertisement, every sale it’s a lie. Everything is a lie.
Just like these people gave away secrets of our country, we in our everyday life are putting people down and telling on them. We are willing to hurt others and even hurt the ones we love to succeed.
There will come a point were God will take no more and he will unleash his wrath against this World.
If I were you I would give in to God and ask to be saved.
We all seek out to find out the truth of our country, to find out if the rumors are true. The government does hold information that they don’t want society to get a hold of. Mostly it’s the reason to keep people calm no to start chaos. I feel we should not be in the dark about things most of the time I feel it’s good that our country was to tell us what’s going on. I most definitely want to know if there is a missile coming right for us. I want to know if were planning on going to war with a country. Sometimes the blindfold is too thick not able to see through.
What we did with the bombing, I feel wasn’t fair at all; we killed many innocent women and children just so we could prove a point, to the world. So that they can fear us, so that they can say America doesn’t play games they’ll really do it. I believe that no one is going to do the same act we did. Before any country makes a rash decision they argue about for years then it gets solved by words. I don’t believe world war 3 will happen, I feel it will be solved through words and propaganda. I don’t believe this will happen but if it does May God have mercy on our souls.
The actions we do as a person reflect the kind of person we are in the future. Was it a stupid choice or a smart one? Our country declared itself free in 1776. We fought for our freedom we didn’t stand down to Goliath. All the things our country did is what makes us today. Railroads, planes, automobiles, etc… we have learned from mistakes as well like the crash of 1929, how the economy fell to its lowest low. The united states has been good to fix its mistakes, lets just hope in the future that everything will be the same.
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