Tuesday, March 5. 2013
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’s 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 innuendoes; 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, Heyen, and Hersey all 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 like Hersey’s; 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 in Mr. Tanimoto’s arms, 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.
+ In a first-semester incarnation of the Establishing a Philosophical Baseline assignment, one prompt 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, April 18th, as are your feedback/replies/comments to your peers.
Please remember to nominate two of your peers for their excellent work.
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
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
When Bradley Manning released such massive information to the public he brought uncensored truth to the world, but at the same time, he created an opening for other nations to utilize that truth against the United States. In context to the question asked, I would have to say that the release of the classified information was a definite aid to our enemies. It revealed the true face of the United States and made a reason for other nations to utilize the information against us.
Like Mr.Feraco told us in class, I also have mixed feelings about Bradley's actions. I completely understand where he is coming from, and yet I don't. Bradley wanted to show the truth to the nation and therefore bring justice, but he did so in a way that was unjust. His action was contradictory to itself. This reminds me of a baseline question from first semester that read something like: the outcome is what matters, not the method used to obtain that outcome. This statement would be considered as accurate from Bradley's point of view, but I disagree. The outcome becomes meaningless if the method used to get that outcome goes out of line. Therefore, both the outcome and its method are equally important.
We, as residents of the United States, are entitled to know what the government is doing in the shadows. However, from the government's perspective, they hold the right to conceal information from the public. As a result, we should not( I don't like using the word "deserve" in this context) be able to access the full extent of the government's activities. At the same time, this does not mean that it is better for the government to decide which information is appropriate for us to know. They, as leaders of our nation, hold the power to represent us, but only in a way that we deem as just.
An individual's actions or a nation's actions all are followed by its respective consequences, hence there is responsibility for a nation to remember its history accurately. One of the things I admire about the United States government is that they do not try to hide their past mistakes unlike many other nations in the world. They openly teach about their successes and their wrongs in the textbooks without too much softening of the truth. History exists not only to entertain us with the exciting past of our ancestors, but also to lead us to a better future.
Maybe this can be the case with the happening of Bradley Manning. Maybe the United States will be more careful with the lives of innocent human beings. Maybe we can all learn to look back at our past mistakes and make sure the same thing does not occur in the future.
I can completely relate to what you're saying. You give an interesting perspective into this situation. Good job, I enjoyed reading it.
I agree with you in the sense that people should be entitled to access the information, and i also agree with your understanding of the governments role in all of this. They are responsible to us; they represent us. Therefore, we should know what they are dong. However, I do agree with you as well that the information itself belongs to the government. They hold the choice of what they release to us. They control (to a substantial extent) what we can see, and we need to depend on them as a whole to make honorable decisions that preserve their integrity they have with the American people.
Josh, I like how we share the same viewpoint; that we believe we are entitled to know what is going on, and I had mixed feelings about Manning's actions as well. Manning could have exposed to lies in a different manner, but posting on a website raw could've probably be one of the worst ways. I also feel that having our history with both good and bad events will allow us to not repeat those mistakes.
I, too, agree with you that Manning had the right intention but employ the wrong method, putting out confidential information that some other unfriendly could use to threaten our well-being. I also agree that history allows use to see what we did wrong and to make sure we don't repeat our mistakes.
Like everyone else who has commented above me, I too agree with what you are saying. You made some really interesting points here and I can see that you've put a lot of thought into this post. Good job. It was a great read!
EDITOR'S NOTE: The irony of my re-wording and rephrasing of things in a student's piece that was posted in a thread partly concerned with whether information should be freely shared (and audiences freely trusted) is not lost on me. This is not space I host myself, however; it's space I borrow, rent, etc. from the district, and their rules and standards for appropriate expression are the ones I have to respect.
I’m sure every single guy in the classroom can relate to the “middle school pantsing and [groin]-smashing days.” Oh, you read it correct the middle school pantsings and [groin]-smashing days.
During middle school, for me at least there was at least a whole year where every guy in the school was out to knock down every guys sperm count or to humiliate them by pulling their pants down and laughing at their face. Every guy was a target during PE and if some unsuspected victim left their pants loose. It was going down. This went on for about a couple months where every kid would fall as prey and sooner or later would become the predator. It evolved into a cycle where Jimmy would pants John and Kenny and Kenny would pants Jimmy and Jimmy would pants John again, etc. There was always the fear that so and so would pop out behind you and pull down your pants to let everyone see [everything]. (It was just usually boxers)
This game soon got boring to most guys and it evolved. It evolved into something worse[.] This game if you didn’t know was a pointless game where guys would pop out and yell “CUP CHECK!” and [punch you - guess where]. The fear was unbearable; you would always live in fear that some guy would run out of nowhere and cause you pain and suffering. If you [hit] someone it was only about time when you got hit. We feared going to school and out to PE because someone was going to be a victim. Every guy would watch their back and even question their friends. They didn’t know who was going to be the one that would get them and had to suspect everyone as a threat.
Most governments will not disclose all their Intel because they want to protect the public. They don’t want them to live in fear and forget about their daily routines. They want to protect our society and let people live normal and happy lives without the fear of a nuclear attack or bomb that might happen. The point of my middle school stories is to compare what happens when a society lives in fear. They are always watching their back, avoiding people and living their lives in fear.
Look at Obama for example, just in a couple years in office he has changed so much. He has aged tremendously and has more gray hair than most of our parents. If you imagine all the information he has to know and keep quiet about it is only self-explanatory why this is happening.
“Imagine what he thinks when he is looking at his children.”
Think about what secrets he would have to keep from his loved ones and especially his wife. He has to live his life in solitary and keep all the secrets to himself to keep the country safe.
He doesn’t want us to experience the same.
We shouldn’t experience the same.
Our lives should never be consumed by fear.
But if we disclose all the information it just wouldn’t be possible to life our lives normally.
It just isn’t possible…
I know this is really early for a reply, but I was just looking around hoping for some inspiration, and I saw yours. There are only two posts, so it wasn't that hard to spot yours. I just wanted to tell you that this was really inspirational, because it's really hard to tie this secrecy and government issue to ourselves personally, but I think you did an awesome job.
kevin I liked how you went from something very humorous to a serious topic. It was easy to understand because I could relate to your writing
I was scrolling through blogs to try and find some inspiration. I loved reading your middle school stories. I remember those days and they brought back such great -- and funny -- memories. I really liked how you compared fear of this "guy game" in middle school to the constant fear our society would live in if we knew the truth; if we knew everything. I never really thought about comparing two different scenarios like that, but the contrast was really interesting to me and something I enjoyed reading.
I really like this blog of yours because it is really relatable. I totally understand your point and it actually inspired me to start on my own blog. Great job!
I definitely understand where you're coming from when you talk about that "game". Haha, it's been a while but I still remember the phase the guys went through. It's really interesting how you compared that to the government and you make a good point.
I was one of the few who had the chance to see your original post, and i must admit, you were spot on for this one. The PE shorts were often too loose and made up of thin fabric which makes it way too easy to do the things mentioned. I never thought someone would talk about it though, good thinking!
I like the metaphor you make in your second paragraphs. This is an awesome blog and makes me laugh after reading it. Thank you for sharing
This happened in Foothills Middle School as well! Every one except the person who got punched, would always laugh. As you mentioned the P.E shorts were very thin making it easy for others to pants or punch them down there. Great blog and great connection!
Hi Kevin, I like the point where you stated that people should not live in fears but to live a happy normal life. Great post!
Good job Kevin
I think every guy here can relate to this post!
Hello Kevin, I thought your reference to the middle school days were quote amusing and nostalgic as much as it was fearful. There is an important lesson to be learned here though and you have taught it well. If society lives in fear it can only be damaging to our well being. Therefore it is of great importance that our government conceals some of the information so that the fear of such would interfere with our lives. great post.
I loved the tone of quirkiness and silliness in the beginning. To be honest I was kind of confused about the "pantsing" because I never really understood the emotion behind it, but then you got serious and made a correlation to intel that made everything clear. Thank you for sharing, I really have to say that this was quite enjoyable to read.
Doomsday and the Echo: If the cost is high, would you still lie?
Was Manning justified in what he did?
Laws exist so that we can keep the community in order and avoid chaos from breaking out. In the same way, some secrets were meant to be kept in order to protect the well-being of our community and so that panic is not stirred up within the citizens of our country. Manning used honesty in a situation, where it would have been better, if he left it untouched and kept it under the care of the government.
“Honesty is the best policy.” is a saying that has been used by many, however, it does not apply in every situation. Lying has always been interpreted as something negative, but are there really no exceptions to lying or keeping something a secret?
When I was a freshman in high school, my friend told me that she had been cheating on my best friend with another guy. This troubled me. It would have been more in my favor if she had not shared this information. The moment she told me, I became involved in a problem that I did not want to be a part of.
If I were to keep this a secret from my best friend, it wouldn’t have been noble to let a best friend get his backed stabbed without his knowing. I did not want to be the person to break the bad news to him, so I kept it a secret.
It would have been better if Manning had not spilled the confidential information to the citizens under the government. This made the government look secretive and less credible to the eyes of the citizens, in the same way I was then downgraded into being a bystander that observed the destruction of my friend’s relationship, rather than a best friend that wanted to protect him.
The time came when my best friend eventually found out about my knowing form another source. “Why didn’t you not tell me that you knew this whole?” he asked. I lost his trust that day. The cost that I had to pay for knowing something I shouldn’t have was indeed a high one. I wished that I had not known at all.
For Manning, his issue involved a country, not a girlfriend, not a parent. The matter was on a much larger scale and had a more consequential risk. He saw the concept of a “cover up” and a “lie” as two of the same thing. Manning took that risk of exploiting confidential information, making the government look less credible and secretive. To expose and illuminate the confidential information from the government, creates a problem not only among the government but also for the people under that government--the same way when my best friend’s girlfriend told me about what she had been doing.
As we continue to live each day of our lives, we will never know everything. It is not a fault to lack knowledge. Humans were not meant to be all knowing, and it is sometimes better to have it that way. To “not know” about a certain matter won't always come to our disadvantage.
Somethings are just better left unsaid...
I totally agree with you! I believe that something is better to be kept in secret. Knowledge and information means more burden and responsibility. Something are better to be kept in secret. Thank you for your post!
Very well structured post and the examples were perfect. I have the same view point as you and completely agree that we shouldn't know everything b/c sometimes its just better.
I really enjoyed reading your blog and I was loved how you tied in the Bradley Manning text with one of the discussions we had in class. I agree with you, sometimes it is better to know too little than too much because in situations like what you went through. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the middle of the problem either. Thank you for sharing this story!
"In the same way, some secrets were meant to be kept in order to protect the well-being of our community and so that panic is not stirred up within the citizens of our country."
This is the problem we have. I agree that government should keep secrets that are related to our national security, but they shouldn't hide the truth for keeping the society in order. People have right to know what the government has done, and if they don't tell us because they are afraid of protests or riots, their actions are not justified. I am not a conspiracist, but let's assume that government has done crimes against its own citizens, and it doesn't want people to know about it, how can we, the people, feel justice?
Sure they can keep secrets about the military base or nuclear weapons, but should they keep the secrets that are related to our lives and freedom? For example, Shouldn't they tell us the truth about FBI's scandals?
Andy, I completely agree with what you are saying about the government not being justified for hiding the truth only because its heinous or embarassing.
Krystle I completely agree with when you say that honesty isn't the best for every situation. Secrets are meant to be kept as a secret.
I agree with you that humans were not meant to be all knowing. Sometimes gossips of my friends would bother me a lot too. I think children and babies are always happy because they don't have to worry about many other things, knowing little could sometimes makes people happy.
I really like that last line you put at the end of your blog and it gave a bigger feel that you put it in bold. xD Keep up the good work
I really enjoyed the way you structured your story. Great job.
This was an interesting direction to take with this prompt. When I started thinking about what to write about, I didn't even make the connection to high school relationships. Taking that route made it much more relatable. I have personally been the person unsure of what to do, feeling guilty just for coincidentally knowing the truth. Great post!
Doomsday and the Echo
Truth is a beautiful and mysterious concept that people throughout history have been seeking for and dreaming about. With the modern day technology, the pursuit might come true. Nowadays, the rapid growth in internet technology has made information more accessible and society more transparent. People who live in this informational era enjoy the freedom to freely express themselves and the privilege to know what they desired to know. However, what many people do not realize is the definition and the nature of truth.
In modern society, the word “ignorance” has always been labeled with a negative connotation, for people are influenced by society’s value and learned to believe that knowledge is divine and beneficial, and a person who doesn’t have enough knowledge is not able to survive in society. However, in reality, the word “ignorance” is neutral, merely means not knowing and inexperienced. William Blake, a famous British poet during the Romantic Era, expresses this idea in his “Song of Experience” and “Song of Innocence.” In his poems, Blake demonstrates two contrary concepts: “experience,” representing knowledge and truth; and “innocence,” representing ignorance and naiveté. Those who obtain the knowledge and experience look at the world in a completely different point of view from those who are ignorance and uninformed. In comparison, it is not hard to see that the “innocent” live a happier and more emotional satisfying life than the “experienced,” for they are lack of knowledge and have their spirits relying heavily on religion and other forms of relief. Knowledge, after all, not only gives people a negative outlook in life, but also adds more burden to them, pressuring their emotion.
Chains always break from the weakest part, the part that can hold the least pressure. Society is a big chain; everyone is connected to each other in some way. However, not everyone is the same. Some can handle more pressure than others; some could easily collapse from the slightest burden. Like a chain, society always breaks from the weakest part. Therefore, those who have more knowledge are given more burdens on their shoulders, because they hold the responsibility to take care of the rest of the society, the “innocent” ones from collapsing.
Truth is not always beautiful. The foundation of our society could lie on something that is the cruel and inhumane. If exposing the truth means chaos and destruction, it would be better not to know anything at all.
I read your blog and I believe that you have points that are also similar to mine! I completely agree with you when you said that the truth is not beautiful. Indeed, there will be many times when we will come across an ugly truth in our lives.
Knowledge won't always come as a benefit in certain situations.
Hi Kevin! I really enjoyed your chain metaphor, and I think that it is a great way to describe our society. I also though your reference to Blake from Brit Lit was awesome! Nice Job.
Your post is very insightful. As you said, truth is not always beautiful, but I think that truth can't be hidden, that not knowing it doesn't mean it someone cease to exist. Anyway, nice job!
Studying for the constitution state competition is not easy. There’s so much data out there that needs to be learned, and so little time. I once asked Mr. Fox, exactly how much we needed to know to be ready. He gave me a really quizzical look and said “Everything. Imagine each piece of info is a snowball, and you’re in a snowball fight.”
“ There are never enough snowballs .”
Knowledge is power. Even though it may sometimes seem like useless or unimportant information, it’s still information. For our enemies, who are looking for any way to harm us- to them, anything they can find is a snowball they can throw at us. Because of how much power some information holds, most believe that we can’t let it get into the hands of our enemies.
But can we trust ourselves with it?
Can we trust the average citizen to know our government’s dirty secrets? Can we trust the people not to overreact and actually search for the truth when a recent Gallup poll shows that on average, less than a third of the American Citizens even know what an amendment is? Can we trust them, trust ourselves, to stand up and speak out against these injustices when less than 55% of the eligible voters actually voted in the 2012 presidential elections?
We change the world through our actions, but are we willing to do what it takes to make a difference?
When we do try to make a difference, what happens when we fail? Isn’t it easier to just bury our mistakes and missteps? If the world only sees the success of our government, there’s no reason to have anything but faith in it. If President Nixon hadn’t foolishly gone on air to claim “I’m not a crook!” statistics show that he would not have gotten impeached. But every secret will be uncovered someway somehow eventually. And when these blunders become known, there’s nothing to do but apologize.
We apologize because we understand, we screwed up.
At times, excuses are necessary, because understanding is a key to recovery. Just as Dumbledore made Harry stay and listen to Barty Crouch Jr. explain the story, we have to hear the reasons behind our mistakes so that we can learn from them. Learn from them so that when we move on, we won’t make the same mistakes again. But when these excuses are nothing more than means to flee from owning up to our mistakes, it becomes nothing more than an empty apology. As Coach O’ Brien once so eloquently said, “Excuses are like *******. Everyone’s got one.” Excuses will always be excuses, but sometimes, an apology needs something more than “I’m sorry.”
Everyone deserves to understand why we did what we did.
So why- why did we drop the atomic bomb? Because it was the better solution? Because there was no other way to end the war? Because they were the bad guys and we were the good guys? As the saying goes “History is written by the winners.” Were they really the bad guys? Or were they just like us- fighting and dying for what they believed to be as truth… a truth that we saw as lies?
Whose truth is more true?
We can never predict whether something as catastrophic as Hiroshima will happen again, because we can never predict what the future holds. It may seem like it’ll never happen again- there’s no way anyone would be willing to do something that atrocious- we’re too advanced for that. But that’s what we see through our eyes, in our world, as our truth.
What about the truth that they see through their eyes?
Whose truth is more true?
Great post. I like how you look at the problem in different perspectives. Although I have a different point of view, I totally agree with your logic about truth. Again, thank you for your great post!
hey nathanael, as mentioned above, I liked your post because you broke it up into multiple pieces. I also liked your last bit about whose truth is more true and how the things we deem as evil could be deemed as just from others' point of view.
I enjoyed your post overall and thought that posting it like a question answer format made it very entertaining and interesting.
Hey Nate, interesting blog, the organization caught my attentiton. I like how your answers for different questions are somehow all related to the theme. They are not related to each other but as a whole, I get your point! Good Job!
Hey Nate! Maybe I'm a sucker for gov, but I thought your blog was really interesting. I liked that you used a different kind of formatting, which made it an unique read. I also found your last comment "Whose truth is more true" to be really profound, and I completely agree! Great Work.
I liked your formatting a lot. It made the whole blog easier to read and comprehend. It's also nice to see you take things to a different perspective and expand on them. Great job!
I really enjoyed reading this piece of writing from you! I liked how you split up your work in different parts and the way you formatted this blog made it eye appealing. I like how you expanded your thoughts in a wider range or perspectives.
I too believe that knowledge is power even though sometime too much or too little information may hurt. I'd rather know more and get confused, hurt and overwhelmed than not knowing anything at all. Great blog!
Incredibly interesting. The snowball metaphor was drew me in and you're perspective from the constitution team all the worth while. Great job!
What Bradley Manning has done is debatable. He is a hero by letting people know the truth, but he is also a traitor and criminal by releasing the classified documents which could help the enemies. First, we all know what America does in Middle East is not fully justified; the military has made serious mistakes such as massacres and tortures, and they have always been trying to hide these black marks. Bradley is a hero because he let people know what we have right to know. He released a video that showed us the massacre which we had never heard about; his video let us question ourselves and the government: are we doing the right things in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Bradley’s conscience let him to show us the truth, but the motive for his other actions are questionable. Besides the video, he also released the some strategically information and locations of the military units. He knew these classified information is extremely important to our victory in the war against terrorism, and giving it away might cost the lives of soldiers or other serious consequences. I appreciate Bradley for telling us the truth about massacre, but I can’t tolerate the stupid mistakes he made.
As the citizens of this country, people should have the right to know the full extent of government’s activities. The government is elected by people, so people have to know what it’s doing, however, there are good reasons that government doesn’t want people to know too much; I believe peace, safety, and stability are the most important reasons. The United States of America is a country of freedom and democracy, but it also faces the challenges from its enemies, competitors, or even itself. Many of those information are kept secret by the government because they are important to the security of people and nation. For example, it would be inappropriate to release the locations of military bases or strategic arms because enemies might use them to attack America.
I don’t think people should know the full extent of government’s or military’s secrets, but I support for more transparency on issues that are related to individuals’ freedom, social justice, and government’s crimes. People should know about whether our phone calls have been monitored by agents, whether our media have been controlled by government or corporations, whether our freedom has been sacrificed for national interest, and whether we have been cheated for years; the government is responsible for answering these questions. If the government can be more honest and doesn’t overuse its power to hide the truth from public, I don’t think people would support Wikileaks for releasing classified documents or see Bradley Manning as hero for showing us the crimes America has done in Middle East, and these people and organizations would not be a threat to this country.
As I was reading your post, I realized that I agreed with just about everything that you stated, how there should be some secrecy in government, but also welcome transparency at the same time etc. What really struck me is a statement that you made in the beginning of your post. You said, “Bradley is a hero because he let people know what we have right to know.” I found that interesting. I am not saying that you are wrong to believe that, it just struck me, especially since in first semester we had a blog about our definition of a hero. Rarely is someone classified as a hero for telling the truth. Yes it is an admirable trait, but not my definition of a hero. I think it is pretty cool that you value genuineness that much.
Andy, you are very eloquent and expressed my own views very intelligently "I don’t think people should know the full extent of government’s or military’s secrets, but I support for more transparency on issues that are related to individuals’ freedom, social justice, and government’s crimes" is a perfect description of how I see the situation as well. You write very well and I loved your post.
Honesty is the best policy.
Ever since I started talking as a child, my parents have drilled that statement in my wind. They didn’t always catch me lying, but when they do, severe punishments were delivered. With that being said, I grew in a world where the majority of the people frown upon dishonesty. Not a single adult around me has ever told me that it is fine to lie, which led to a question in my mind: what makes lying so bad? There are two sides to lying, but the society has trained almost everyone to only think about the negative kind. What if people lie to make the world a better place? What if the only bad thing a lie produces is the lie itself, but brings out favorable results for everyone? Some people might even deem these questions as absolutely impossible, but allow me to demonstrate.
During the second semester of my sophomore year, I was enrolled in English honors. Time passed by fast, and before I realized the first quarter was about to end, which means that a progress report was imminent. At the time when the progress report was due, there were only a couple assignments included in my grade. Being a slow starter that I am, I failed to turn in a signed syllabus which brought my overall grade down to a D. Unfortunately for me, my teacher did not grade many more work, so I knew I was going to receive a D on my progress report for English. As you can probably guess by now, I hid the mail and never told them about it. Things proceeded well later in the year and I did end up with a passing grade. What if I didn’t hide the report card? I could try explaining my D to them, but they would think I’m simply lying. I would cause them unnecessary stress and tension between us. I chose to lie because I knew for a fact that telling the truth about this wasn’t going to benefit anyone. I also knew that I would do well in that class as time goes on, so I chose to leave the matter alone. In the end, I got the grade I wanted without having my parents to worry about me.
Although my English grade is of less importance compared to what Bradley Manning did, it is relatable in every single aspect. Manning chose to reveal the truth to the world about everything the U.S. government has done. What good did this do? The only positive result that came out of this was the fact that now people have the knowledge of what went on in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the copious amounts of negative consequences severely outnumber that sole result. People might not trust their government as much as they did before, and enemies of our nation will obtain priceless information they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Manning’s doings brought more bad than good. There were reasons why those documents were classified as top secret. There were reasons why laws were made to forbid any disclosure of those files. Manning, however, chose to go with his own conscience and caused needless harm to both the United States and other nations.
I really enjoyed reading this blogs, i sort did something similar to this and can really relate to what your saying. Well done indeed
Before I had typed up my blog, I did a lot of thinking to see which side I would take. I have to say, I'm still thinking about the situation.
I asked myself the same questions.
Does the "Honesty is the best policy" saying, apply to this situation?
"Is it better to release confidential information even when the consequences are high at risk?"
After Manning exposed confidential, he surely stirred up a little chaos within our country don't you think?
Doomsday and the Echo
As the youngest child among my close relatives, I was never afraid of voice myself. I loved to have opinion on everything and showed whichever side I chose to stand on. To me, there were only yes or no, right or wrong. My world did not have the grey area. Whenever the adults asked us a question, I was always the first one to speak about my opinion, whether it is good or bad. Despite my innocent comments on their questions, I was more often being praised for my courage of speaking up than being scolded at my inexperienced thoughts. So I have always thought that it is the right thing to do, to say what I think.
As I grew up, this characteristic of speaking what I think didn’t change much. I still love to say what I think and BE AROUND with people who are alike. I especially feel that honesty is the most important quality that allows a friendship or any relationship to last.
At one evening around four years ago, when my dad and I were still living with my cousin’s family in New York City, we sat in the living room to enjoy the usual bonding time after dinner. The children were watching TV and the adults were discussing something happened at the time in our family. At first I did not pay much attention, but then I found out they were talking about their youngest brother, which is my uncle. In my memories, he is the most outgoing and humorous adult among them all. He loves traveling and he loves his children. They were talking about the business crisis that my uncle was encountering at the time. They talked a lot about him being too stubborn, conceited, and inconsiderate. His business has caused my grandparents lots of trouble and he was still asking for money from them. When I heard it, I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe my dearest uncle would do something like this. I asked my father and my aunt “why don’t you just tell him what he did wrong?” So he can learn and stop causing so much trouble for our family. My cousin was also furious about this family being ignorance of each other’s fault and avoiding the responsibility of correcting the problems. While we were mad about the adults, my father said “You think it is easy to point out each other’s fault because you are still young. When you become and adult, you will understand by doing so, you are questioning an adult’s ability to justify his action; thus, you are denying him as a person.”
I didn’t understand it then. All I knew was that when you see faults, you need to correct them.
Now that I am a senior in high school, I have more experiences in socializing with people. With the understanding of the art of talking, I learned what I should say and what I shouldn’t; and I also realized what my father was trying to teach us. As everybody grows up, we develop different values toward life. Things that you think are wrong might not seem wrong to others. We need to respect different opinions and speak accordingly. A country’s development is similar to a person. Each country has their own unique cultural characteristic, and we have to respect a country just like we respect an individual human being. Respect avoids bigger conflict. The reason why United States has never made an official recognition of the Armenian genocide is the same reason why my father would not tell his own little brother his flaws. Is it really going to help him by confront him and embarrassed him? I don’t think so. United States looks at the bigger picture of our international relationship now. There are things we should be quiet about in order to keep the peace, and I agree with that. It is better to be respectful and sees everything from distance instead of through a magnifying glass. Truth is important, but whether it is appropriate or not, depends on your own judgment.
I really connected with your post. I can easily relate because I am also the youngest in my family. I grew up with everyone cooing over everything I said, and having anything I did be automatically considered adorable. I also have a problem with telling the truth. I like to call it being honest to a fault. I am glad that you learned that you opinions, even if they are completely true, are better left unsaid. They can cause unnecessary turmoil. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way. I am glad that we are all at an age where we can reflect back on our previous years, and chide our faults and mentalities of our youth. Good post!
Some things are just better left not known.
When I was a kid, I loved to play around. My cousin had a boyfriend who knew how I loved to have fun, so every time he came over he would play games and sports with me. I was always ecstatic whenever he came over. He bought me presents for my birthday, bought me food when I was hungry, and sometimes even brought me along with him and my cousin to theme parks. Overall he was a nice, friendly, and playful guy, so I really liked him and enjoyed spending time with him. With time passed, he became my role model.
When I left China, I was upset that I couldn’t play with him anymore. I had basically thought of him as my older brother. About a year or two passed and I told my mother that I missed playing with my cousin’s boyfriend. It was then that she told me they had already split up. “Why?” I asked her. I was older at this time so she informed me that my cousin’s boyfriend was actually a member of a gang and recently got into a knife fight and ended up in jail. Nobody, not even my cousin, had known he was in a gang until the fight. I recall being so shocked by this news I nearly knocked over the kitchen table I was sitting at. Hearing that devastated me; I thought he was the coolest and funniest person in the world.
After knowing what happened changed me forever. I hated him for deceiving me like that. However, I would have preferred not to know that he was a gang member because the fact bothered me for so long. Even if I didn’t know, I would have forgotten about him in another couple of years, and I wouldn’t have seen him again ever since because he was in jail.
I believe that my story could relate to the government. If the government tells us everything they know, our society might not know how to respond. We might even go corrupt over some things we think we know how to react to. Like I said, some things are better left unknown.
In the least biased way possible, I can honestly say, I really liked this Daniel. Even though it was short, it showed your personality and character. The story was a really real and relatable one. Most of us grow up with roll models just like you did, and we can imagine what it's like to have that image shattered. Great post man, keep it up.
Oh, and since you were thinking of names, how's this?
N8 The Gr8
I like how you related this to the government. I, too, believe that people would not know how to react if they told us everything they did or everything they know.
Somethings are better left unsaid; sometimes people have to not tell us things to protect us from the harm that we might do to ourselves or others.
It's a sacrifice that the person does, not telling us something, because if we find out then we become angry and begin asking questions. Although there is a huge risk, it's a necessary one.
I initially started reading this because your title caught my attention! It sounded a lot like the baseline I presented! But it was nothing like it, and you totally made it your own.
It is saddening to know that one piece of information ruined the image you had of your role model. But I can see where you are coming from when you say that some things are better left unknown; I suppose that at times, we really wouldn’t know how to respond if we were bombarded with sudden information. Good job on this post!
A painful discovery. Sometimes I wish these kinds of truths remain hidden, but they always find a way to come out, don't they?
Doomsday and the Echo: Will the Government keep you protected?
What morale compass we have as an individual completely changes when you begin thinking on a global basis. Honesty is manipulated into what our government believes is “right” for our society. I say this as if it is wrong but it’s not it is just necessary for our survival. When we operate individually we have room for error, forgiveness and improvement. When you begin operating from a stand point of survival for an entire society, everything becomes negotiable such as honesty and what it right or wrong. We can begin to rationalize any stand we have to make it seem like the right thing to do for any situation. All of it is necessary for our survival but it doesn’t mean it’s right, it’s just necessary.
What is scary is that we entrust other “people” to decide for us what we need to know or not know to keep us protected. That is where we go astray. They are just people after all. We believe we have gone through the process of picking an emotionally stable person who is capable of making such decisions on our behalf to keep us safe. Though I would think that when it is left up to their discretion to decide what we need to know there will be many errors simply because they are human. Much like Mr. Manning and his leaking of our intelligence. He was someone we choose to work amongst our privileged information and he was unable to handle “knowing” our intelligence information and shared it with the public to get it off his chest. This is an example of how we are just human and can make errors.
We all have different perceptions so we will not always agree with what the government keeps from us once found out. Though I believe that when we “find out” something we never know the whole story. We are always only given parts of stories and we want it this way for our best interest. Our government is self-serving and this tends to create deceit and corruption. We preach a moral perception to the public and then do what we have to too keep our selves protected. We are after all the only country that has ever dropped a bomb. This was necessary and there for right in our perception. Do you think that is the perception of Japan? This is what creates our own demise; everything is based on someone’s perception. Around and around it goes, who is right, depends on your perception.
Government says, "we keep these secrets because we want to protect our citizens." However, if they can use this power to protect us, they can overuse the power to hide truth from us as well.
The most scary thing is if the government has made mistakes, crimes, or scandals, they can choose to classify the related documents, and people will never know. I think our government needs more transparency.
As I sit on my moral high-horse, it is easy to say that honesty is truly the best policy. However, the reality is that the subject of truth is far more complex for a simple yes or no answer. In real world situations, taking the moral high ground is, in most cases, a near impossible position to take. It is easy for me, someone who has never been a position to make decisions that affect millions of people, to judge and say that the truth is most important.
That being said, in an ideal situation where the truth was told, context is everything. If you look at media today, there are plenty of cases where the truth has been distorted. Take the presidential elections for example, ads that bash rival candidates usually contain phrases or speeches, taken out of context and distorted, that shows the rival in a negative light. Without knowing the context of any situation, the truth, will be unrecognizable.
Does having good intentions justify the potential harm caused by the action? While I believe that Bradley Manning had good intentions, his method was wrong. This is what caused such controversy in the aftermath. Leaking classified information to the public, especially without context, was not the route to take. In the words of Alexander Hamilton, “the masses are asses.” The public is subject to passions of the moment, and are thus too quick to judge and condemn.
Instead Manning should have gone to Congress, who have the power to investigate and raised awareness in that sense. By bringing attention of misconduct to Congress, they would be able to determine whether military actions were justified. In addition, Congress also has congressional oversight over agencies such as the CIA, furthering their ability to investigate. Had Manning went to Congress instead, perhaps he would not be facing criminal charges, due to the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Although transparency and honesty are important, sometimes the cost outweighs the benefits. Sometimes practicality trumps sincerity.
I loved your post. There is always a more effective way to expose the truth. Manning tried to unearth it in a reactive way as opposed to thinking more rationally. He didn't foresee the consequences. Then again, no one can. Lying is a risky business, and as I stated in my post, a gamble. Everyone does it. It's a fact of life, but as situations become more weighted and complex your decisions can become extremely detrimental to people. In this case, Manning had an (apparently) unintentional disregard for the safety of American citizens. Your post drove the nail into the coffin. Not to mention that it was concisely organized and flowed easily from point to point.
I enjoyed reading your post. I agree that honesty is the best policy. Your post was well written. Overall, great job!
Hey Harrison. I completely agree with you on the point that honesty is the best policy but there are also big consequences that comes with it. I also agree that Manning could of easily approached the situation differently. I really liked how you compared honesty with political ads because its completely true. Candidates will always lie and say something bad about the other candidate. Anyways great post!
Hey Harrison, I agree with your idea that Manning should have done something about the problem other than giving it out, because now he is only adding on to the risk of losing other lives. I also like your reference to how election commercialism just try to make the other person look bad.
Harrison! I loved this post- I think it's your best one yet! Very good indeed... we all face times where we're stuck between honesty (which could get us in serious trouble)or lying which could save our necks. I don't think we'll ever figure it out. But once again, great blog.
Doomsday and the Echo
As a little kid, I was always getting into fights with my older brothers. Something would happen that would lead to us say mean things to each other, and feelings were hurt. My parents had to put up with a lot of these fights, and they always had the same policy. “Tell him that you’re sorry!” they would tell us. We had to obey, of course, but we didn't want to. So almost all the time, the first apology was just a harsh “sorry” that was thrown at each other like a sharp object, rather than a peace-inducing word. The next words out of our parents’ mouths would always be “NO! Say it again, and this time, mean it.” My eyes are still hurting from how many times I rolled my eyes at this statement. How could someone say sorry and mean it, when they actually didn't mean it? Through this, I learned that when you walk away from a situation and think about what happened, it becomes clearer as to how someone can say sorry and actually mean it.
When we make mistakes, when we hurt other people’s feelings, when we cause a problem between us and someone else, our natural reaction would hopefully be that we would want to apologize for the trouble that we cause. In theory, the whole idea of apologizing is pretty interesting. All you have to do is say “sorry”, and everything is fixed. At least, that’s what most people seem to think apologizing is. Unfortunately, it is never that easy. There must be something behind the sorry. Something that shows that you “mean it.” An apology that stands alone shows nothing to the person receiving it. It does nothing to help reconcile the broken bonds of the relationship.
My many fights with my brothers have taught me that when you say sorry, and then offer an excuse as to why whatever happened, happened in the first place, you are just digging yourself a deeper hole. It is always a lot better to say sorry, and then offer an explanation as to why you are saying sorry, rather than an excuse. An excuse puts the blame on the other person. When you give an explanation about what happened and how you messed up, you take the blame, and the angry demeanor of the person usually lightens up instantly. Bonds are reformed, enemies are made friends again, and all is hopefully well. Excuses just make everything worse, with people even madder at each other, since no one wants to take the blame.
One of the hardest things to do in life is to apologize when we mess up. It takes a big person to admit that you are wrong, and when you tie in an excuse with your apology, you are pretty much undermining the fact that you are trying to fix things. Explanations, coupled with apologies, are the way to make sure that the word “sorry” is not just a hollow shell, void of all meaning and feelings, but a word that you mean from the heart.
My sister and I argue a lot when i was small; however, we never apologize after arguments. Fortunately, we haver pretty good relationship now. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Paul! I thought your explanation about apologies was extremely on point. I also enjoyed reading your example because it was relatable. I'm sure all our parents told us the same thing! Overall, great post and enjoyable to read.
I really enjoyed your personal story about saying sorry even though you're not sorry since i can personally relate to that with my family also.
I found your blog pretty interesting. It really opened my eyes and made me think deeper about it. I did something similar to you and can really relate.
I really enjoyed reading your post because your post can be easily relate to my relationship with my brother. I went through same thing! Whenever I fight with my brother my mom would force us to say sorry to each other.
Thank you for the great post!
Is it better to know too much?
This is a question that has been wandering around in my mind for the past three days. Three full days of non-stop thinking. Of course, I would love to know everything that’s going on; whether it be about the government, politics, or even information about the new hot gossip that has been spreading around school.
I want to know.
When you thought that you and your girlfriend or boyfriend had a strong and faithful relationship and a random person whom you have never met in your life comes up to you and says, “aren’t you the girl/boy whose girlfriend/boyfriend cheated on you with that girl at the party in Duarte last weekend?” Boom. Your thoughts of having the best relationship just burned into ashes. Sometimes, things are better left unsaid and the quote, “don't expect too much so you'll never be disappointed” comes into action.
Or is it better to know too little?
Not having a clue of what’s going on. Not knowing what the government is up to, and if they have a secret plan up their shoulder. Would we want to know every little detail? Or would we just want to know the given? Knowing too little can keep us safe, but can also harm us. It could make us more shocked when something happens.
Like most people, everybody just wants to help everybody out, keep them safe. If that “random stranger” never went up to that girl or boy who was cheated on, that person would’ve been walking around the streets being though as an idiot who is still dating the person who cheated on him/her. Maybe that person didn’t want to know, but the person who told him/her thought it was the best choice that would help that person.
That’s all that Bradley Manning wanted to do.
I really enjoyed reading your post! I loved the examples you gave, and found them to help out immensely when trying to understand the topic. I like how you stated both sides of the argument, and I also liked your use of quotes to help make your point. Good job!
Hi Evelyn! I really liked your blog because we kinda had the same concept of knowing too much or too little. Keep up the good work!
Nice examples. It really helps to understand if Manning wanted to know too much or little.
I can always find humor in everyday situations, but nothing is funnier than the shriek of terror when I scare someone just right. Growing up, I found the perfect target to plot these attacks on, my Mom. I became an expert at sneaking up on her. I memorized every place on the floor that squeaks, I learned how to control my breathing, and I became so good at walking without making footsteps that it became second nature.
Every opportunity that I got, I would use. I would wait in my dark hallway for my mom to walk by, and step out at the last second to see her to scream. I would hear her digging in the fridge and silently walk up behind her, sometimes waiting for five minutes, until she would turn around. After every time she would get mad and exclaim, “Arianna! One day you are going to give me a heart attack!” I would laugh and say, “I’m sorry Mom! You know that I had to!” Even when she wasted 7 perfectly good eggs because I shocked her into dropping them, I still laughed it off. Of course I would apologize, but I would undermine the apology with the excuse of saying that just I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.
One night I took it too far.
My mom and I were going to watch a movie in her bed, but first she needed to do something in the kitchen for a few minutes. I was waiting, bored looking at the frozen screen of the opening credits, and then I saw the pile of pillows at the head of her bed. Another perfect opportunity was given to me. I quickly buried myself under the pillows and made sure that none of myself was showing. I could just imagine it: She would unsuspectingly lie down. Once her head rested on the pillows, I would jump up and yell boo!
While I waited for her to come I replayed the funny scene in my head, laughing quietly to myself. Finally she did, but she didn’t go to the bed. Instead she saw that I wasn’t there and ran out of the room. I heard her searching the whole house for me, even going outside. Finally after searching every room I heard her come back to her bedroom. I felt her sit down on the bed. I immediately jumped up and yelled, boo! But instead of the expected reaction, she burst into tears.
At first I was confused. I couldn’t understand how something like that could make her cry. I didn’t know what to do. To try and lighten the situation I was about to laugh it off and say, “I’m sorry Mom! You know that I had to!” I opened my mouth, but then caught the words just before they escaped. I realized that even in my head, that excuse made things worse. Instead, I just crawled into her lap and hugged her. We stayed like that until her tears subsided. Then she looked me dead in the eye and scolded, “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” I looked down at my hands and said, “I’m sorry. I know, it was wrong of me.”
That was the first time that the apology didn’t taste false coming out of my lips.
And of course we're left wondering: did you ever do it again?
You may have simply overlooked that detail when you were writing, but knowing you, I'm more inclined to believe that you're being coy with me.
You are very observant, but that wasn’t the point that I was trying to get across. If I were to give that information my post wouldn’t have the same effect now would it?
I appreciate your comment.
I enjoyed reading your post. It was well written. Overall, great job. Keep up the good work!
Thaw first sentence, wow. I loved how you took me through your mind, and brought me along this fun journey scaring people. You really made a connection there, and that made the piece just that more interesting. You have a really vibrant voice, I loved that you took the time and effort to make little personal details. Thank you for sharing that message of going to far; your apology at the end really tied everything together very nicely. Great job!
As a democracy in America, citizens who are eligible are entitled to vote to make decisions on what would benefit us as a whole. However, the decisions we make are based off the knowledge we know; thus they say that knowledge is power, that there is no such thing as "too much" knowledge. To be well informed is what allows you to make the best decision you can.
People wish for transparent governments so that they can be educated and make accurate political decisions, none of us want a government that is corrupt and hides their actions from its citizens. Though not knowing every possible action the government has taken has allowed us not to live in paranoia or constant fear, we've also lived in a reality that cannot be truly called "real". By having a transparent government, our nation can maintain its responsibility to remember each of their activities accurately whether they were good or bad.
When I first heard Bradley Manning's story, it was hard to decide whether or not he could be called a traitor or a hero. It's easy to decide that he is a traitor simply because he leaked classified documents that endangered intelligence sources; however, Manning's decision to leak those documents were not to aid enemies or deliberately commit an act of treason against the US.
Bradley Manning simply wanted to show the US citizens what they didn't know that was going on. If Manning had intentionally wanted to cause destruction in the US government by releasing documents, he would not have made an effort to contact the Washington Post nor hesitated on what to do with his documents. Unfortunately, since the Washington Post reporter had chosen not to believe Manning, his fate changed when he decided to upload onto WikiLeaks. But what if she had? Would his situation be similar to John Kiriakou's, who was sentenced to only 30 months in prison after releasing intelligence that the CIA tortured its prisoners? Manning along with others who expose the government's corrupt activities are relatively doing the same thing; revealing the truth. The difference being, how they exposed the truth.
Manning's decision to go to WikiLeaks where all his documents were uploaded raw and uncensored, rather than pursing another news agency may have resulted in a heavier criminal sentence. Though keeping the documents to himself would have prevented controversy among America, his jail trial, and allowed him to continue his life normally, "for every good reason to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth."
I really like how you justify Mannings actions. I agree on different viewpoint of him being "hero or traitor". You making hypothesis that what if he was accepted by post was very interesting. I also agree that there is "no such thing as too much knowledge."
I can relate to the things that you have mentioned, I really enjoyed your word choice. Good job.
Personally, I rather know as much as I can. I would want to determine for myself whether something is right from wrong and just from unjust. But overall, I do believe that the government or a higher authority should keep things from us, especially if it's something that we shouldn't know. And that's what I always believed was the reason for having a higher authority.
Regardless if Manning had good intentions, I thought exposing everything was wrong to do. Before going in to the army, I he should've known what he would be exposed to. He was trusted with information and he had the privilege of having access to it therefore, he shouldn't have leaked it. No matter what his excuse was, he shouldn't have done it.
My friend confided to me the other day and told me he cheated on his girlfriend. And then he proceeded to tell me the only regret he had was not going all the way with it. It was shocking to hear and immediately my opinion of my friend was slowly changing. I started to lose respect for him. I mean, wouldn't you? But I started to think about the situation and realized that it wasn't right for me to judge him.
All people really want is to be able to share their deepest thoughts and secrets without having someone look down on them, regardless of how terrible the what they did may be. And I think that's why so many people have trust issues these days, because we're always so quick to judge. We don't consider their side of the story and what others feel. Since I was never in my friend's shoes, I didn't know what was going through his mind when he cheated, no matter how well I knew him. And that's another reason for why we're scared to share how we feel. We fear that we'll be looked down upon. We fear that we are left without a friend and left with another person to make us feel terrible for our mistakes. And as a friend, I didn't want to do that.
The authority trusted Manning with all these videos and classified information and he went back on that trust. He quickly judged it for what it seemed like it was and exposed it. I'm sure what Manning did makes it a lot harder for America to trust anyone. And if I would have turned my back on my friend because of the information he told me, I'm sure it would've been a lot harder for him to trust anyone as well.
i found your story pretty interesting and i agree on how a person's view towards someone else can change based on learning a few new things about them.
I know what it feels like when you're in that kind of a situation. It's not easy. I thought that your story was really interesting and that your views on this topic were interesting aswell. I agree with a lot of what you had to say. It's always difficult when you find out something new about someone that you didnt expect. I enjoyed reading this blog. Keep up the good work!
Doomsday and the Echo: Where will the the anvil fall?
Dishonesty, according to my experience, is an inconsiderate yet habitual choice we all make. It is a gamble; a short-con with many variables to consider before carrying it out. Manning believed that it was his duty and responsibility to his fellow citizens to exploit classified government documents. He believed that he was shedding light to those who cannot see behind closed doors. The problem with Manning was not his motivation, but was his lack of sound judgement and forethought. Manning believed that we are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people.
But did the people really need to know?
Manning's lapse in judgement could prove to be detrimental to the people of the United States and its citizens some day. Now that all the secrets have been let out of the box, who else will really see them? When will they see it? How will they react? Is the consequence of Manning’s actions really something worth worrying about?
But what is a life well spent if we just spend it worrying about the worst possible outcome?
As crazy as it may seem, I do not have a fear of the unknown. Life itself is a plethora of surprises, good and bad. Everyone knows this; yet why do we fear what we cannot see? Why do people want to know the blood and guts of the truth whether it may hurt them or not. I am by no means afraid of the unknown. However, I do not seek to gamble on my emotions, therefore I choose to stay away from the cold hard facts of life that may come back to haunt me. Life is full of enough pain. I just want to sit back and enjoy as much of its pleasures as I can.
Now back to dishonesty. Why do people choose to withhold the truth from others? In as general of a sense that I can put it, people lie to protect the interests or feelings of themselves and others. People do not want to expose to others that which may or may not hurt them. Dishonesty is a gamble. People understand that the truth should be handled with extreme care and make judgements based on a number of variables in their situations. For instance: What will the ramifications of your lie be? Will not lying to this person actually hurt them more than just lying to them straight up? Does hurting them outweigh the repercussions you may be subject to? It’s for you to decide. Nonetheless, people do it every day. Everyone does it so habitually because the risks are usually low.
I truly believe that Manning meant to protect his citizens. Unfortunately, I also believe that it should not have been his choice to make. He was not the original withholder of this classified information and it was not meant to be released to the public so soon. He did not think proactively of every possible effect that this could have upon the very people he was trying to protect.
In a situation such as this the truth hangs in your hands as an anvil, waiting to be lowered safely or crush whatever lies beneath it.
The truth, handled without love, is sheer brutality.
I liked your blend of the issue of Manning's actions and personal ideals. Especially the latter. No fear of the unknown, just the unknown mishandled.
And yes, life is hard-lived for pessimists.
Was that last quote from Warren Wiersbe?
Yes. I forgot to cite it, sorry. And it was not stated directly as it was originaly said. My mistake.
In ninth grade, I had an excellent world history teacher. He prepared comprehensive lessons that made history interesting and exciting. He went above and beyond in his teaching, coming up with different activities, projects, and creating power points that held more information than what was in our textbook. I knew about the Vietnam war all my life because my parents had lived it. They had come to America to flee the communists and I'd always known this. However, the political details of the war I did not know. I only knew the war through the eyes of civilians who had migrated to South Vietnam, then out of the country entirely before all of it could be consumed by communism. When my teacher lectured in class, he was confident, precise, and explained everything very clearly and expertly as always. He taught us the controversial view at home on the war- the outrage of sending american troops to die for a war they should not have been involved in. I knew this, but what I hadn't known was his assertion that "Both the South and the North wanted communism". He kept drilling into our heads, repeating himself, that the U.S. was never wanted there by anybody as the Viet Cong, South Vietnamese Communists, proved that Communism was not only in the North, but throughout all of Vietnam. He explained that the majority of the Vietnamese people were embracing communism and the supposed anti-communist south was in fact made up of many communists, the Viet Cong serving as spies for the North. He explained it was the U.S.'s political ideology that motivated any opposition to the communist movement. I was very shocked but he was persistent in teaching the class this and reminded us time after time that it was truth. It was even on our test. I asked my mother, quoting the history teacher, and she spat that ofcourse it was not true. So I asked her about communist support in the South and I wondered if her own anti-communist opinion was the minority of Vietnam like my teacher asserted.
My mother and father then went on to explain to me all of the facts that apparently, were well known by the Vietnamese people who lived through the war.
There was an agreement for Vietnamese who were against Communism to move to the South and those in support of communism to move North. What is not in our textbooks, is the plans of the communist government to create a false image of what was going on in Vietnam. It was organized by the Communist government of North Vietnam to hurry the marriages of communists that were about to move to the North. Then, one person, the man, of each family, would move North, joining the communists. This was in terms with the mutual agreement of having communists occupy the North with anti-communists in South Vietnam, but the Communists organized the undermining of the agreement by ordering communist troops to leave wife and/or family behind in the South. This was done with the intent for a network of communists to be readily available in the South to spy on Ngo Dinnh Diem (the governor of the "free government" in South Vietnam) and to create the image of the will of all the anti-communist people in the South to rid themselves of a bad government lead by Ngo Dinnh Diem, and for the South to eventually appear united in its desire for communism. Then, troops were sent from the North in response to unrest with the "free government" in the South. We revisited Vietnam in Honors U.S. History, and it was drilled into my mind by a very excellent teacher, that the South did not like the U.S. supported governor Ngo Dinnh Diem because he shut down the Buddhist temples. She and the textbook then explained that Ngo Dinnh Diem had offended the widely Buddhist Vietnam and people were unhappy. The textbook then went on to explain that the U.S. did not do anything to save Ngo Dinnh Diem from being overthrown as it was the will of the people. I came to my mother and father with this information, and they were outraged. They knew the details of the war intimately and were passionate and precise in their explanations. She explained to me that in reality, the buddhist temples were the headquarters of communist activity for the North, and Ngo Dinnh Diem shut them down after finding out what the temples were being used for. She then explained to me that the Americans actually financially supported the army General in overthrowing Ngo Dinnh Diem, rather than passively allowing "the will of the Southern Vietnamese people to be carried out" as described by the book and by my teacher. I wondered what America could have been trying to do in covering up the facts. Why did they really not support Ngo Dinnh Diem? Why were we misinformed? My father then explained to me the character of Ngo Dinnh Diem. He explained that Ngo Dinnh Diem actually did not want America to be involved with the Vietnam war. He wanted the Americans to actually stop sending troops to Vietnam because he wanted their affairs to be completely separate from each other.
America would be saving face by making it seem that an unattentive and oppressive governor America had once misjudged was now being abandoned to be overthrown. The truth is that a governor who was not in support of America's early-war-vigor, and who was not shutting down buddhist temples to oppress his people, was overthrown through America's own financial support. More importantly though, the fact is, we are taught misinformation and we believe the misinformation. The truth is that the Communists had prevailed in their plan to create an image of an unsatisfactory Southern Vietnamese Government, the image that South Vietnam wanted communism, and that the U.S. covered up its actions and the truth of the situation to save face.
One time, I talked to my Vietnamese friend about the distaste I had for the communists in Vietnam. She reacted by regurgitating what our honors u.s. history teacher said. I still feel really bad thinking about this. She had told me the story of her parents escaping to the U.S. It's a story that all Vietnamese-American kids know, but few of them know the politics surrounding the war. They know the story of escape, of struggle, of being refugees and starting over, but most of the information of the actual politics is left to the U.S. school system to provide. I feel bad thinking about this all because it's an important and personal part of my life- the Vietnam war- because it affected my parents in ways unimaginable. Who they are was shaped by living through a war. I'm dishonoring all of the people who were against communism by answering on a test by justifying why America left South Vietnam to fend for itself against the communists. Yes, America had reasons but of all the reasons the americans had, it can not be said that one of those reasons was the eventual will of the South Vietnamese people was for communism to prevail. Hoards of people left Vietnam- the lucky ones left early, the late ones were climbing all over the last of the U.S. helicopters at the embassy in order to escape the inevitable communist country they'd have to live under.
This changed my opinion of the school system and the U.S. I do not believe that my history teachers really knew the truth- I believe that they thought they were teaching what was correct. I do not know if the writers of each of my history books knew the truth either, but I knew that the U.S. government was intentionally making things seem a certain way that was nowhere close to what had happened.
I was enlightened, but I do not consider what I learned as being "too much information". Yes, it was information that I was not intended to find out, information that was covered up, and information that was purposely taught incorrectly on a grand scale, but how could I define "too much information" this way when the information really affected my views on the U.S. government, my understanding of a war so close to my family's history, my understanding of politics in general, and my understanding my own country as well as the country of my parents?
When I first heard about the wikileaks story, my first reaction was slight curiosity but upon hearing some of the information disclosed, i reacted with pure amusement and delight. My parents revealed to me some of the secrets that wikileaks disclosed and the drama/backstabbing between countries shocked and entertained me. I was audience to a mess on an international scale and I had only to sit back to be entertained by the secrets revealed, which shocked me, only affected me in my opinions of countries involved and politics in general. I no longer saw China with as much tension as I had previously seen the country, knowing that their relations with North Korea were not as the North Koreans had believed. I admired Manning for what he did at first, because I saw it as a ballsy move that showed the true colors of countries, revealing who should actually trust who, and who was better or worse than what so-called "alliances" had lead me to previously believe. The incident mainly reminded me that things are not always as they seem, and it reminded me that national secrets exist.But most of the information revealed by wikileaks must not have affected me much for I can't recall the specific details besides China's secret distrust of North Korea- that and the fact that a list of spies identities was posted. But I can't forget the wikileaks incident itself because I actually was rooting for Manning to not be punished. I was actually annoyed that he would get any sentence and that his postings were taken off the internet. I saw it as a restriction of freedom of speech. I saw it as censorship of not lies, but of the truth. Truths that I believed ought to be brought to light to the parties involved with the disclosed information in order for realistic steps to be taken when it came to foreign relations. To me, it was good that they knew exactly that their trust of other countries, and their opinions of rival countries ought to be re-evaluated in order to gain a better understanding for their own current political position in the world.
To my surprise, my parents detested Manning. I didn't understand why anyone would hate him. Upon further discussion of the incident with my parents, I learned that spies were in life-threatening positions as a direct result of the disclosure of their identities by wikileaks. This crossed a line. I felt empathy for the spies. I hadn't realized that people could die for the information being disclosed- I thought only that state relationships would be destroyed or reconstructed. Should these secret service agents' identities have been disclosed? And I ask this not with a politically strategic assessment, but I ask this in regard to the loss and worth of human life.
I read more about Manning, articles about him and biographical programs. Manning was someone who stood for something- the truth. He stood against misrepresentation and misinformation. He stood for enlightenment and the disclosure of truth. But I didn't like the fact that people could be dying because of this information. Was there another way for the truth to be disclosed without risking lives? Could there have been a better mode of revealing the truth?
And, what really is "too much" information?
I don't think "knowing too much information" is the same as knowing something that can be traumatizing, or depressing or something that causes distress. This is because no matter how emotionally devastating the information might be, it is truth, and enlightenment is gained no matter what. Enlightenment about the people involved. A hero is not so heroic anymore, a villain is not so heinous anymore, because perspective is gained, knowledge is gained. With information, even uncomfortable and controversial information, I acknowledge that it is the truth, and it allows the opportunity for realistic opinions to be formed, realistic actions to be taken in the future, and for lessons in morality and character of humans in general to be learned. I understand that these opinions might be bad opinions, the truth can make people scared, angry, even violent, but their actions are based on what is true- their thought process is a reaction to a concrete basis- the truth- and I believe it is a right for people to hear the truth, and think what they want or be changed by it. Even if it turns them into pessimists etc, it is not a change based on ignorance and misinformation, it is change based on knowledge, enlightenment, and what is real- whether or not they can "handle it" is not any human's right to decide that for another. A bitter truth is always better than a sweet lie. The U.S. helicopter incident disclosed by Wikileaks was controversial, horrifying, embarassing, and just terrible. But people take this story and can't help but be changed in some way by it. They can't not be enlightened by knowing this. Their opinion of the U.S. is changed, in some cases an opinion is reinforced. Their understanding of human error can be affected, and outrage can be ignited. Life can't be lived with ignorance- the truth can change us dramatically- and we SHOULD change according to truths- How we change is appropriate to the situations and secrets revealed to us. I do acknowledge those who "can't handle it", those who act violently or with outbursts of anger etc, but I question what it means to be able to "handle it". Those who act without optimism, who act with violence- are they not acting according to a true situation? Whatever dangers are ignited, it is not without reason, perhaps not justification if we consider morals and principles, but if we only consider reactions to horrors, it's natural and even within reason to react with outrage in response to outrageous situations. Furthermore, an overreaction is not simply describing chaos which people fail to remember, but chaos without reason. An overreaction is a dramatic response to something undeserving of that response. But often, what is taken as "overreaction" is not an "overreaction" but a reaction to a detestable truth that causes these things.
Knowing too much information describes the situation in which information is distributed to people which the information is not related to nor has much effect on, while causing great harm to the few people directly involved with the information. And I realize now that this is what the wikileaks incident was. People's lives were in danger and that is, in my eyes, unacceptable. He should not have revealed the identities of spies if it meant that they could be killed. This was too much information and it should have been kept secret.
During the week of our observations-project (period 3 only), I happened to unintentionally be in a position where details of complex relationships, embarrassing secrets, and personal information were shared mutually among a group of people. Some of it was bordering scandalous and quite dramatic. As I was writing up my observations for the project, I considered including what I had learned but censoring the names of anyone involved and any details that could insinuate an identity. It would purely be material to enlighten people that things are not as they seem, and the people that are passed every day have their own problems that others could never guess because of their own stereotyping or assumptions. My conscience kept me from including any of the information whatsoever. What kept me from disclosing the truth, from disclosing just enough information to allow people to learn to be more sensitive and aware of other people around them without knowing the identities of those involved, was my respect for these people and the material being discussed. I did not think that discussing their personal problems would have caused much of any effect on those who would read them because these problems did not involve anyone but themselves. The most I was hoping for was that some people would have taken a step back to consider that people are not as they seem despite an image or a stereotype, but I felt that this wasn't a novel moral in any way- rather it is one reinforced to us daily through our personal experiences with others and still was not worth disclosing any of their personal information. People would not be changed dramatically or affected in a memorable way. I felt like most people would just find the information entertaining, or they'd forget it instantly because it only reinforced an idea they were already familiar with. I also felt like a butt hole. I respected these people, but not only that, I just knew it was wrong to disclose information which they were emotionally invested in and didn't intend to be disclosed publicly and that had no weighty value. I did not want to bring into light anything that I didn't feel I had to out of respect for their privacy. I refused to disclose "too much information" for the audience at hand but had it been of importance, had it been able to affect many people and in a personal, there is no way I wouldn't have disclosed the information.
I question how much I can trust people, however, to define "too much information" the same way I did. What if "too much information" constitutes any information that makes parties involved in an incident look bad, even if it directly involves the people who the information is being kept from? I must say that I trusted the American government. I trusted that information kept from the public is information that is classified to protect people, rather than to save face of the government. But I was enlightened, when information revealed to me by a first hand account of the Vietnam war changed my opinion of how much I trust our school system, and our government.
I do not believe that sharing (what my definition of) "too much information" is appropriate, but often, what people think is "too much information", is defined another way. I will say that I don't trust any organization or any person to decide for me what is "enough information" or "too much information".
Your piece intensified my feelings about Communism. I now see it in a different light - not as inherently evil, but evil insofar as it is an antithesis of all that is American.
You siad that your initial feelings about Manning developed over time to become more like your parents. Do you think you became more mature because of this, or your maturity changed your viewpoint, or something else?
I love blogging on this smaller, more intimate scale! I say we exclude the other classes forever.
Hi Mitchell. Thanks for the response, I appreciate that you read what I had to say. I think my previous viewpoint of Manning was built on a limited understanding of the situation. It was my ignorance of the full consequences of Manning's actions that influenced the attitude I first held upon hearing of the wikileaks incident. I naturally felt empathy when I realized that people's lives were in danger directly because of Manning's actions, whereas before I learned this, I felt that Manning's actions were only an amusing step in the right direction toward truth without any consequences besides controversy and very warranted re-evaluations of alliances. I wouldn't say maturity was a factor in why my opinion of the incident changed. It was my analysis of the situation that changed my opinion. In any case, this situation has indeed aided in maturing me. Though I can not say that it is this situation alone that caused me to change the way I think, situations like the wikileaks incident and numerous other situations gave me the understanding that my opinions of people and topics in general should not be formed prior to having as much information and understanding as possible of all aspects of the subject.
Farmers with Guns
The face of warfare is changing, but some things will never change. Military commanders study the tactics of famed predecessors like Antonius and Fabian, Nelson and Lee – even as they learn how the modern geopolitical climate has been shaped. There was a time when wars were fought between the great political powers of the Earth, who maneuvered organized forces to serve nationalistic and patriotic ends.
When we make a careful study of history, however, when we consider that wars fought with bronze spears are really no different from wars fought with aerial drones, it is easy to understand the wars of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century as a departure from a historical trend.
In the last seventy years, the wars the world has witnessed have become increasingly unilateral. In both world wars, three highly disciplined, organized, and technologically advanced fighting forces fought against three others very similar in nature. Every war since then has pitted such an organized expeditionary army against an undisciplined, local group of rebels.
A label often given to such a group is “guerillas,” but it doesn’t matter what you call them. My freshman history teacher simply referred to guerillas as “farmers with guns.”
In history, guerillas have never lost a war. Neither has Russia – except twice. There have been two times when a Russian army was defeated on land. The first was in the 1240s, by the Mongol hordes. The second was in the 1980s by the Afghani mujahidin. Both were bands of guerillas. It makes little difference that the first rode horseback and used flails, and the second used Stinger missiles courtesy of the CIA, which were later put to good (bad) use by the Taliban. In practice, guerillas always win.
The guerilla-style tactics used by the ragtag Continental Army during our revolutionary war to defeat the highly organized, highly disciplined expeditionary force sent by the King are showing up again. Except now we’re on the opposite side. Trained, professional American soldiers are being killed on a daily basis by – this term again – farmers with guns.
Our guys are fighting for freedom, prosperity, and democracy – powerful ideas, but ones that are, by their very definition, intangible. Their guys, however, are fighting for their families.
Whether it’s the communist People’s Republic of Korea, the communist Viet Cong, or the Taliban, we keep losing to farmers with guns. As it has done since time immemorial, the Earth continues to revolve on its axis – and history continues to repeat itself.
Of course, maybe I'm just biased about the ways our Army officers are educated and trained. Go Navy! Beat Army!
Man, you really know your history. I liked your post but had two small suggestions:
-Russia kind of appeared right out of nowhere when you were just talking about guerrillas.
-It's easily implied, but our guys are fighting for freedom, prosperity, and democracy - on foreign lands. Their guys are not only fighting for their families but for their way of life.
Wow thats really interesting. I had never actually realized that that kind of guerrilla warfare had never lost as well as your reason why that is the case. I agree with you that it is much easier to fight for what is close at hand and tangible than what is far and intangible. Also you used a pretty beastly word "immemorial," I had never heard that word before.
I not sure I agree that guerrillas "always" win. Sure they have won before, but I wouldn't say always. No one "always" wins. Also, the US's media do a terrible job of covering the war. Their negative bias turn voters away from the war and consequently, our troops return home. Since Bush left office, I haven't heard a thing about us in the middle east.
Internet has become an important tool for people in 21th century. People use internet to organize protest and hack government secrets. Internet greatly threats national security. In my opinion, Bradley’s action is justified because people have the rights to know what the government is doing with our tax money. The government is responsible to serve the people instead of blindfolding people’s visions and doing things secretly. Bradley’s action is patriotic because he wants the people to know the truth that the government have done. On the other hand, Bradley released the information at such a bad time that America was affected by economic crisis greatly in 2010. The people have already lost faith in government for bringing the economic back, yet the release only made people disappoint at government even more.
The release of information is purely regarding our own wrong doings. America is the only super country among the worlds. We, therefore, should provide the best examples for other nations to follow. If our allied nation secretly finds out what we really did, the consequence would be even worse and who knows what our allies would do. In the Star trek episode, Pale of Moonlight, Benjamin Sisko backstabbed his allies by destroying diplomat’s spaceship. Although he eventually gets them into the war, Benjamin still feels uneasy in his heart.
When Bradley Manning released an estimated of 700,000 documents on the WikiLeaks, he brought happiness and disparity to the world. All over the world, people were shock because of the truth and what he did was wrong. Not only did he leak the massive information to the public, but also letting our enemies know our secrets. However, Manning is a hero for being brave enough to let people know the truth.
At first when I heard Bradley Manning’s story, I thought to myself why would this person do such a thing like that. Releasing massive and massive of uncensored documents to the whole world to see especially to our enemies is mind blowing. Though, I realized that Manning’s decision to leak those documents was not to aid our enemies, but to spark a domestic debate about the U.S. foreign policy.
Bradley Manning wanted to highlight the need for greater awareness of the misconduct of government behavior. By releasing the information, the public can obtain a better knowledge of such issues that are not shared by the government. By doing so, we can take on the challenges of the international and domestic political debate. As a result, we deserve the right to know the full extent of our government. Being able to have access of our government makes us sure that they are being just.
Your post is very clear on the idea. I like how you explained his actions.
Hey Shannon. I really liked how your post was straight to the point. I agree that Manning served as the hero.
I liked your post, it was very concise and straight to the point. When I heard about the story, I felt the same way as you. I was shocked at first but soon i realized he was just trying to show the public what we needed to see. Good post! (:
Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
A legal oath that must be taken in court, yet we punish those who follow this conduct outside of the legal system. Shame
Doomsday and the Echo: Lies will Cost
Behind every intention, there is a reason. Whether it was meant for good or bad, it all depends how the person sees it. There is no such thing as good and evil, but different viewpoints. In relationships, no one should expect another to be a psychic. If you don’t tell, no one will ever know. The act of silence is like tension in a rubber band; eventually it will rebound and hurt everyone. A person can act as everything is fine and convince everyone into believing it, but this solitary will crack their heart little by little. An untruthful relationship is only just an illusion.
I rarely spend holidays with my family. Even Chinese New Year, I was left home alone because they are so busy working. I know they work hard to support the family, but sometimes I just wish I could buy their time. To them, this will help approaching a better life, to me, this is pulling us away from the ideal life. My mother often expects me to acknowledge her stress automatically. On the other hand I expect her to know my stress as well. The truth is, we do not understand each other. As a consequence, we would transform our stress into anger, which is a psychology concept called “displacement”. Sometimes my family would make sacrifices and never mention it. My parents have missed chances to go on vacation because of me. I have rejected my friends’ invitations just to stay home with them. While these are kept in secrets, it hurts to get disappointed while the other is oblivious.
The Government thinks keeping secrets are for the good sakes, but these “cover-ups” are just some loose cannons. In alliances, once a truth is revealed, the countries build tension and eventually break up. To the people, we feel excluded and betrayed when we find out government’s action. We may feel comfortable being ignorant, but it places us next to the abyss of evil. We can live forever happily ever after in the Government’s fairy tale but the cost is reality.
And… “having a relationship based on lies and secrets is destined to fail.” - Karran Ramsammy.
Hi Emily, I thought it was interesting how you shared your personal life with us, a lot of us wouldn't. I liked your statement of "act of silence is like tension in a rubber band; eventually it will rebound and hurt everyone." because I feel similarly. I agree that, if there is a relationship based on lies, the lies will be exposed in the end and cause the relationship to fail as well. Good job!
Thank you thank you, I'm glad you liked it. I also mentioned psychology, haha!
Hi Emily! Your post was very interesting and I liked how you mentioned psychology in it also. I know how you feel about not being able to spend time with your family too often. I am usually home alone too. I also can relate to the sacrifices you've made just to spend more time with your family whenever you can. Overall, good post!
I like how you said every relationship cant build with lies, because it will not work for sure. However, everyone has their difficulty secrets, and this is why they lie.
Hi Emily. I loved the fact that you incorporated your personal experience to convey your point. I agree that cover-ups come with a price. Thank you for sharing you idea. Great job on your post!
Our government was created by the people way back then in order to let everyone be heard. Opinions were being thrown around about how to live in peace and how to react towards other countries. As of today the government’s aims and activities are to protect us from the dangers out there. I believe that allowing the government to limit the information we receive is a good thing. It would protect us from things we might not know and things that may harm us
It’s better to trust others like the government to decide which information is appropriate for us to know is because as human beings we are very opinionated. We blurt things out before we actually think about it. Opinions can go a long way and have a possibility of destroying trust. We may learn something that the government did and begin to feel unsafe. Some information couldn't ruin bonds between two people like if you don’t hear both sides of a story. You start to doubt the other person and begin to see them in a new perspective. It would be better to trust others in giving us appropriate information or else our opinions would overcome us.
Thanks for writing your post! You make a very good point when it comes to trust, and I pretty much agree with you when you say that some information can destroy bonds, especially if you don't hear both sides. I can easily relate to your post, because I have a tendency to blurt things out without thinking about the repercussions they may have. Thanks for sharing your opinion on this topic.
Doomsday and the Echo: Our Hollow Ground
Any attempt to create alliances on a “bedrock layer of truth“ is unreasonably idealistic. The nature of alliances are based on strategic mutual benefit: we never refer to our allies as soul-mates whom we love and share all with.
The greatest example of the nature of alliances is that of our own.
On a strategic level, we ally with Turkey and Pakistan for invaluable access to safe supply routes to Iran and Afghanistan, despite former’s fervent denial of past atrocities and the latter’s closeness with radical Islamist groups. Despite our alliance, the U.S uses drones against targets on Pakistani soil without informing the Pakistani government beforehand, an arguably blatant violation of sovereignty. Yet, whenever the Pakistani government was informed beforehand, the strikes would be delayed by bureaucratic red-tape and the targets would seemingly be tipped off.
On an economic level, we keep careful relations between both Russia and China for either their plentiful oil or plentiful labor, even as the former supplies weapons to the Syrian and Iranian governments and the latter has arguably sanctioned an advanced network of hackers that access U.S. military, government and corporate databases daily.
On an idealistic level, we support Israel, a Western nation among Muslim neighbors as they are an important foothold in the Middle East, even as Israel expands belligerently into neighboring countries. The U.N. repeatedly issues its characteristic “strongly-worded statements” denouncing the expansion, but the U.S., as Israel’s chief ally, has kept mum on making Israel change its ways.
"Alien World To Help Out Syria Since This One Refuses To" - The Onion, satirical news source
So when vicious civil wars break out, our nation is put in an awkward place. The U.S. could support Egyptian, Syrian and Bahraini resistance movements against autocratic rulers, but that would mean overthrowing autocrats we have learned to appease; before the Arab Spring, we heard little from the currently embattled states because we had little quarrel with them and their leaders. To a practical mind, it's better to let sides battle it out and then appease the victor.
In the name of strategy, it is unwise to change a pacified country’s government to a volatile, revolutionary one, especially if that process involves us committing to a long land war.
In the name of economics, it is unwise to throw a country’s economy into the hands of populist movements, as we have learned in the Cold War-era, especially in today’s fragile world of interconnected economies and unstable oil prices. .
On the ideological level, we are nervous that, in the power vacuum of revolution, the moderate Muslim-run government we would help install would fall under the control of extremists and allow the proliferation of the radical Islamist movements that have dedicated their existence to the destruction of the West.
Yet, in the name of virtue, we would look terrible supporting a dictator who is brutally suppressing his own people, stifling free speech and the complaints of the opposition, especially for a nation that was founded on the ideas of revolutionaries. Iran still hasn’t forgiven us.
Through these factors, we have been remarkably meek in our assistance to Syrian rebels; after nearly two years of conflict, the most we provide is training and non-military supplies. Meanwhile, post-Mubarak Egypt has been plunged back into protests after president had attempted to consolidate his powers. Tunisia’s protests have been brutally crushed by its rulers and then quietly ignored by the West.
Last year I studied the grey area of ethical foreign policy that the U.S had entered into before and after the World Wars.
In the McKinley-era the U.S entered a period of economic domination of South America, overthrowing rulers from coast to coast on the continent in the name of American business interests. Heck, we even carved the country of Panama out of Colombia just to pay lower rates on its canal.
In the Cold-War era the U.S entered an ideological and strategic battle against the Soviet Union, a game of chess with countries as the knights, rooks and pawns. From that time we have proved willing, time and time again, from Pinochet to the Shah, to hop on the side of whoever can provide us with what we want. Alliances made to gain and maintain our status as the superpower. All while ignoring tragedies in remote lands like Rwanda and Cambodia, which held no strategic importance.
When Manning released his data dump upon the public, he did so not in the name of strategy, economics or ideology, but in virtue, to help save, “his country [that] had gone astray, [which] could only be rescued through honesty.”
But we are too far gone for honesty.
History is supposed to keep us from avoiding our mistakes but we have only proved history’s tendency to repeat itself. From a century ago to today, our alliances are still only skin deep and the sharing of secrets are still only on a need-to-know basis; trying to rebuild our alliances on a baseline of honesty would mean the destruction of all of them first.
In today’s world, knowledge is power - scientia potentia est, if you will.
And the U.S has chosen to follow knowledge to keep its power, to “kill to survive,” and then stuff the skeletons into its closets. We pay men to keep those secrets buried; to take on the mental and emotional toll of knowledge in order to use such knowledge properly better our country; to guard the Pandora’s Box that holds our sins.
And Manning opened it. Just briefly.
In the U.S.’s world, built on a baseline of secrets, Manning’s action was wrong precisely because it was right thing to do, not the necessary thing.
Doomsday and the Echo
As a kid, I was pretty dishonest. If I did any mischievous, I would lie my way out of the situation so that I wouldnt get punished.
Although it was not until I got to the 4th grade when I finally realized the consequences of lying. My fourth grade teacher Ms. Zeidberg's took the class to the computer room to work. While Ms. Zeidberg spoke to us, my friend and I were talking and fooling around on the computer. We eventually got caught and Ms. Zeidberg told us to give “the note” to our parents to sign. Getting a note from your teacher that has to be signed by your parents is one of the worst things that could ever happen to a kid in elementary school. I had no intentions of showing my mom the note because I knew I would be in huge trouble. Instead, I lied and tricked my mom into signing the note for Ms. Zeidberg. The next day came and Ms. Zeidberg reviewed the note and thought it was very suspicious. She ended up calling my mom and asking her about the note. I knew I was toast when Ms. Zeidberg called my mom. My mom later that night discussed to me the importance of honesty. She was quite disappointed and viewed me differently from that day on.
I think what Bradley Manning was trying to do was all for good intentions, but he could have taken different approaches and steps to it. While some people believe that the information were not Bradley Mannings to share in the first place, one could argue that it takes a brave individual who does not conform to society in order for change.
For example, if Martin Luther King Jr conformed to society, there would probably still be segregation parks, restaurants and restrooms. Manning saw a problem and tried to fix it. I can see why Manning leaked all those classified documents just because the government is always very secretive about their actions. Although this helps keep the nation in tact, its also the reason why some parts of the government is corrupt. For example, a worker pays a certain amount of tax for social security. The government says its stored into a safe, but its never seen again when the worker gets into his/her old age. Government secretly uses the social security tax to balance the budget. In the end, I feel that Manning's actions were patriotic because he was honest about what was really going on around the world.
Although I believe that Manning could of easily approached the situation differently.
I like how you were able to tie three examples together and still the post is flowing and fun to read. I can relate to the whole lying and getting in trouble before many many times, and each one of those times honesty would've been the best policy if I used it.
I felt a connection with this post... mostly because I pulled the same stunt in elementary school! It was such a horrible and dark time back then when we received one of those notes to get signed! It’s so shameful now that I look back on it...
But overall, your post offered a very interesting piece of insight. I also agree that what Manning did was out of good intentions, but there are definitely alternatives that he could have taken. Though I am not sure what those alternatives are... they are probably there somewhere!
If you've ever heard the phrase "knowledge is power" you'll know that it also applies to everyone. Indirectly Bradley Manning believed what he was doing was right, that he was a hero. In the midst of it all he was aiding America's enemies with information to use it against us. Information can be manipulated to show good and bad. It's probably true that his intentions were to do good, to bring awareness to the people however there is a bad side to it also.
Sometimes information is kept from the public to protect them, other times it is to prevent bad publicity. Bradley leaked information on innocent civilians being killed by US forces. The news doesn't cover these stories so Manning felt responsible for bringing attention to it.
I don’t believe the public should know everything our government does. Releasing information only brings up more questions and demand for more answers. Sure we need to know things that affect our lives like decisions to go to war or send aid to foreign nations. The public is can be easily manipulated through the media so either way the information released will have a bad effect on our society.
America has a reputation as the global police since the end of WWII. Releasing private documents online which anyone can access is illegal. It’s a crime he should be punished for and while I sympathize with his intentions, it doesn’t change anything. Guilty is guilty.
The government should do what best for the nation even if it means keeping secrets. I trust our leaders to make the right decisions and lead the nation. Bradley Manning did what he felt was right but he lost trust with the management of information. He aided the enemies now he’s in jail.
When we look back at Manning in fifty years we’ll only remember him for what he did not his intentions.
I really liked one thing that you said during your post: "releasing information just brings up more questions and more demand for answers." That thought really struck a chord with me. I agree that if people knew the truth, they would want to know every single detail. And course, that's impossible. I also liked that you said that Manning is guilty, no matter what his intentions are. Even tough we are human, and we sympathize with his decision, ultimately what he did hurt America; it hurt us.
i love how to the point this is! Its concise and well worded. Also, the part about Manning's actions being remembered over his intentions was awesome! i couldn't agree more. Great work!
Hey Brandon, I enjoyed reading your blog post especially how you brought up that it only brings up more questions and how the media stretches the truth. I also share the exact same views as you, good intentions, but questionable in his approach.
Great post! I agree that history will likely only remember Manning for his actions, though I still think it's not too late for us as a country to learn from what he did and why. Maybe we'll remember him for his intentions that way. But in all likelihood, we're probably just going to forget.
I really enjoyed reading this! It post a different perspective in my eyes and it made me look at it from a different way. I was against it as well, but the reasons that you came up as to why had not crossed my mind.
I really like the phrase you said at the end that when we look back at Manning and see what he did, we will only look at what he did and not his intentions.
The question: “If that cost is high is it okay to lie?” had me contradicting myself for the past 3 days. Today, I want to share a personal story that made lend towards the idea to “trust others to decide which information is appropriate.” It was 2001 when my family relocated to the United States for a better life; I was only 6. I can hardly remember the days I was in Korea because I was too young, but I like to believe it had to be the happiest 6 years of my life. In 2002, without a word, my parents vanished before my eyes, leaving me and my older brother parentless in this foreign country. I was abandoned at the age of 7, my brother was 11. Besides me, I have only met one other person who walked in my shoes. He told me parents abandoning their children are as unusual as death. I have memories of myself choking on my own tears, nightmares after another, and even sleep paralysis. It’s been 11 years and I still can’t rationalize their actions. How can a mother leave her children behind? There aren’t any reasons that come to my head, it just seems impossible.
Ever since that day I my hatred grew bigger and bigger in my heart and soon that event become the center of my childhood. I would ask my guardians and my brother frequently, “Why did my mom and dad leave?” I wanted to know the true reason behind it. I have the right to know. I need to know. For the last 10 years I was told, my parents hated the United States and that the labor was too intense for them to handle. Just last year I accidently heard a conversation between my brother and my guardian, they knew the truth behind my abandonment. Everyone knew except me.
I grew with great respect towards my elders and trusted their decisions. I believe that they have a strong sense of what is right or wrong, and who to fight or protect. If you think about your parents, you think of how they only want the best for you, and would never intentionally harm you. Therefore, even if my brother and my guardian knew how desperately want to know the reasons of my abandonment and they felt the responsibility to life to me about it, I can only believe there is a legitimate reason why they cannot tell me the truth. I think the same logic can apply to our government and politics. Although we have a democratic government and everything should be transparent, I think it many cases it is better for us to trust the government officials who we, as a country elected. If our government is restricting their citizens from their fraud and wrong activities for the better good, I don’t think we need to know every detail of what is happening and has happened. When Bradley Manning brought the truth to the world, I think it only brought chaos. A secret is meant to kept as secret. If it was for the better and there is a legitimate reason why our government is not completely transparent, I think the best thing we can do is trust in our government.
Doomsday and the Echo: The Ugly Truth
Four years ago, one of my closest friends found out her parents were going to get a divorce. I didn't see it coming, and neither did she. Her parents kept that secret hidden from her for months because they didn't want her to worry; they wanted her to focus on school, not their problems.
I remember talking to my friend about her situation. I remember hugging her, holding her as she was falling apart, crying. I remember her telling me that she was scared; she thought her life was never going to be the same; she thought she was never going to be happy again. Her parents thought that keeping the truth from her was better. Soon my friend's life starting falling apart before my eyes.
Her mom had custody of her, but her dad took their dog (my friend's best friend.) Without that dog, my friend started to lose her way. She no longer had someone that would always be there for her; someone that would always listen to her; someone that could always make her feel better. Her grades slipped and her relationship with her mother went downhill. She had to move from her one acre home (a home that she had loved and grew up in), to a small condo. She fell into a depression and even had thoughts of suicide. (Over the past four years intervention was taken and she had treatment, so she's much better now.) It was so hard to watch my friend spiral downhill so rapidly, so suddenly. I definitely thought I was going to lose one of my closest friends, mentally, maybe even physically.
Thankfully, she was able to get back on her feet a couple years later and now she's better. Still hurt, but better.
I wonder if this lie, this lack of information, was what catalyzed the downward spiral. And then I wonder what would have happened if she knew about the divorce, if she knew everything.
Would it have been better for her to know her parents' secret? Would it have been better for her to have a clue of what was going on? Would it have been better for her to prepare for what was going to happen in the future?
Bradley Manning released thousands of documents and videos. Documents that showed the truth to the American people. Documents that showed people getting shot, dying, screaming for help. Documents that were gruesome and brutally honest.
Did the American public want to know about all these things? Was it better for us to know the truth, than to be hidden in the dark? Was it better for us to know now, so we can prepare for changes in the future?
I would say no ...to both situations.
If my friend knew what was going on in her parents' lives, and the dramatic change they are about to make, she would have centered her life about that one thing. She might have rebelled to try and get attention from her parents so that they will stay together. She might have tried to run away; to try and run away from the situation. I think it was better for her not to know. I think it was better for her to be kept in the dark. I know the situation was bad, but I think my friend's parents were just trying to think of her. They were trying to keep her safe, and out of the dark so she wouldn't constantly worry about them.
That is what I think the national government was trying to do for us. They try to keep us safe, and out of the dark. They don't tell us all the information, because if they did, we would constantly worry and wonder. We might turn against our government if we knew the ugly truth. I know that we, as Americans, have the right to know anything and everything that may be going on. But do we want to? I don't think so. I think we should trust the government; we need to trust the people we elected and be sure that they are trying to take care of us. If we knew everything, we could constantly live in fear and sadness.
So with that, I say it is better to know too little, than too much. It is better to be kept in the dark of a horrible situation, than to open your eyes to the light. It is better to be guarded – better to be safe – than to know the ugly truth.
nice post, very deep and meaningful. I felt bad for your friend losing both her father and her dog. I loved the way you used completely different examples to qualify your answer. Showing when it was OK to know the truth and when it would probably be a bad idea to know the truth.
Doomsday and the Echo: Leaves Fall
Why do we fight?
“To ask why we fight is to ask why leaves fall. It is in their nature.”
It is in our nature to fight.
We fight because we are human.
We are living, breathing, and thinking human. It is our nature to conquer. Look around us; look at what we have accomplished. We stop the mighty rivers, we build and scale heights impossible to any other creature. We’ve imagined a future that holds for all of us. We’ve created civilization that persevered through the ages. We are built to conquer.
Throughout our journey on this earth, we’ve made mistakes. We’ve conquered more than what we wish to, and on the way we have destroyed what we’ve held dear. We’ve used the strength and weakness of others to get what we want. In a sense, anything we come across can be used as a weapon of mass destruction. When Einstein discovered the immense potential of the atom, he never wished to level the grounds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When Nobel discovered the use of dynamite, he never intended for his invention to be used to deliver death but progress. Anything could be used as a weapon, even knowledge.
The fear of the enemy, as we proclaim, to truly understand us is a frightening thought. We fear that our adversaries understand our weakness and seek a way to destroy us with such as weakness. We fear that the information Manning released would cause national chaos, and bring an end to a forsworn peace. We fear our own people, our own guts, our own flesh would once rebel against our minds, just as the government fears its people from rising and overthrowing them. Thus, they govern in secrecy.
But secrecy is never lasting.
Secrets only fuel anger. Secrets only fuel hatred, and secrets only fuel suspicion. It keeps the world apart, and it tears humanity to pieces. It declares to the world the unwillingness to cooperate and help. It declares to the world the willingness to separate and fight. In a world of secret, peace is never achieved.
But the people deserve the truth.
We, the children, the seeds of tomorrow, the people of the free world deserve the full truth. In an age of progress, of technology, of growth, we can do better. We learn that secrecy is only a nearsighted answer to what we seek: peace and harmony. We live in an age of information, an age of tomorrow. We should not be governed by the few: They are not the whole; they do not encompass all of us. We need to learn that the first step to solving a problem is to admit that there’s a problem. Keeping information, keeping the truth, and keeping the sins from the people can never lead to peace. So, it is our duty to understand it all, to get the whole picture, and the solve the problem. Because at the end of the day, of all the sadness, of all the hatred, of all the fighting, we know that it is only the resurfacing of our nature.
Yes, it is our nature to fight, and it is our nature to kill, but we are at a time when fighting is no longer the answer. We are at the time when one intolerable move can lead to the end of history, the end of our kind, and the end of our line. We are at brink, but we are also at an age of knowledge. We understand more, and with that we feel more. We can only feel if we understand the truth, the fact that no one is perfect, and that every problem except death has a solution. So, we rise, and we fail, and we try again. We will never stand down, and we should never equivocate. We must face what mistakes and what horrors we have caused, and we must face them with the attitude to solve them. Because, even though it is in our nature to fight, we can evolve. We, the greatest and most prosperous kind on this rich earth, can evolve. We can shape the world tomorrow, and we can fix what we have broken. The first step of solving the problem is knowing that there is a problem. We live in a world that is entangled in secrets and greed; let us fix this mess and hope for tomorrow.
We fight, but we fight for something. Let us fight for the truth, for peace, and for harmony.
Hey David, I admit I felt like a freak after not hearing people I discussed this topic with express the same view as expressed in your blog. I completely agree that we deserve the truth and that it does not fall into the hands of the few to control what we know or do not! I BELIEVE WE DESERVE TO KNOW THE TRUTH AND THAT IT DOES LEAD TO PROGRESS, and even if/when it does lead to progress, it leads to deserved enlightenment and I can't really say that enlightenment is ever anything BUT progress. I loved your conclusion. You really know how to write- you spoke to me - you said things I felt - you wrote about my beliefs and my morals- Thank you.
“But secrecy is never lasting.
But the people deserve the truth.”
People deserve the right to know everything, I agree with your point.
Is honesty the best policy?
This question is always being debated over and over again. I think that honesty is only good when the outcome would be good. If the outcome is discouraging, I would not choose to be honest, but keep the secrets instead.
What Bradley Manning did was reasonable, however he did not thought of the outcome when he chose to disclose those classified secrets of United States. Although letting the public know these information would give them a sense of what our government really is but ugly things are always going to occur when there is warfare between two nations. Looking back at Japan during World War II, comfort woman are being captured by Japanese soldiers and leaving them unforgettable nightmares.
The debate about which side is right is really hard to choose due to the fact that everyone has different opinions. Unfortunately, Bradley Manning is a United States soldier; the greatest country throughout the world, the government would not allow such thing like this ruin its reputation.
I admire the courage Manning has because he let the people know about the truth but not his actions. Sometimes it is better to keep the secrets than to tell people everything, especially when dealing with military documents. Consequences could be larger than we think.
There are a few things we must understand before we draw back into submission - things we must understand before we lose ourselves.
I’ve lost something - in fact we’ve all lost something. Be it your school homework, your favorite stuffed animal, your cat, your dog, your grandparents... And god forbid, maybe even parents or loved ones.
I was around 9 years old when I lived in China for about a year, it was probably the only full year I spent with my Dad - wait, actually it wasn’t even really a full year, he would come and then he would go. He didn’t live with me. He lived somewhere else - in a random hotel in a random city, anywhere to be away from his daughter.
I didn’t really care. I only cared enough that he would visit me once a few days, and sometimes I would ride the public metro to visit him when I missed him.
Usually during the weekends I would go down to the next city to visit my Dad. I would ride the musty elevator to the sixth floor and walk down the green halls padded with floral hotel rugs.
My Dad was never alone. He was a man of company. He was usually accompanied by a female associate, who was his “secretary”. Hell, I don’t even know what he did for a living.
I didn’t mind though, and frankly, I didn’t really care. During my weekly excursions I would bring different activities to occupy myself with, because my Dad never had time for me his attention was dictated towards his flirtatious female accompantant.
I was piecing together my 1,000 puzzle piece. It took me around 2 hours to complete a small corner of the puzzle, and as a 9 year old I was quite satisfied by my work to complete that small corner. So, I climbed onto the hotel bed that was too tall for me, and curled up into the fluff of the blankets.
When I woke up the skyline was already meandering slowly towards nighttime. My dad and his friend were asleep, so I leveled myself quietly onto the floor, looking around for my puzzle so I could pack up and catch the next metrobus to go home.
I found my puzzle at the furthest and darkest corner of the room, broken and spread messily on the floor. I was so mad. I was only 9, I loved puzzles, and honestly 2 hours was a long time for me. It wasn’t right for them to just break it and get away with it, so I angrily woke my Dad up and started throwing a tantrum about my broken puzzle. The woman woke up from the commotion, and told me groggily that it was her that broke it.
I snapped. Who was the woman to me? Sleeping together with my Dad, always taking my Dad’s attention away from me, living with my Dad, leeching off of him. She was despicable and I hated her. I directed all my rage and emotions a 9 year old could muster up in that small body, and I just gave it to her. Now that I think about it, I probably told her off for about 20 minutes before she started cry. Seriously, a 30-40 year old woman was crying because of a 9 year old. Real mature.
I felt bad. I remember her tears leaving black streaks from her rundown mascara and liner. I was already feeling bad enough before my Dad started yelling at me. I was so confused. Why was he yelling at me? He should be on my side, because I’m his daughter! But no, he has to take the side of this random woman just because she slept with him. Because she slept with him.
It clicked for me that day. I loved my Dad, but it was the sort of unrequited familial love that I will never receive. I realized that before, I just never required him to love me back, I just wanted him to accept me - that’s it. But he never did and he realized it because he suddenly stopped telling me off.
He apologized, and he explained why. He gave his yelling reasoning, he gave it context, he gave me a reason why. I didn’t want to hear it, I walked across the room picked up my belongings, O left - and I never went back.
“I’m done. I don’t want her anymore”
Those were the last words my Dad left me with. I overheard a conversation after dinner between my Mom and Dad.
My world came crashing down that day, everything just crumbled and those words leveled my world. A few words ripped me apart, and destroyed my world. I had nothing left to build off of.
Some things can never be recovered.
It’s been a long time.
All of us are just a little hippie. We love peace, we love Arcadia, and we could all probably write a book on why we shouldn’t cross the line and drop another Atom bomb.
All of us have apologized for one thing, or another. Sometimes we apologize because we’re really sorry, sometimes because we feel bad, but sometimes to defend ourselves. We don’t want to be the victim, so we hide behind our apologies and buff it up with context and reasons of why we’re sorry. We don’t want to be blamed - for anything. So we’re sorry for a reason.
My Dad was sorry too. He just never wanted to admit that he could never be the father I wanted him to be, so he apologized. Not for the broken puzzle, not for me, but for himself. He apologized and hid behind it like a coward.
There are somethings that are broken forever. One of them is an apology with context. Don’t say sorry if you’re going to back yourself up - you don’t mean it. My Dad never meant it.
He was sorry for crashing my world, America was sorry for annihilating Hiroshima, for severing hundreds and thousands of worlds at once.
We’ve all been sorry, and we never want to be the victim. I was once the victim, you were once the victim, those four cities were once the victim. And one sorry is just not enough, but it’s also not too much. One sorry is enough to actually mean something, and not too much to kill an apology.
Somethings will never be recovered - somethings are broken forever. But sometimes an apology is enough for someone to realize that you’ve crossed the line with the effort to rebuild their world.
Sometimes just sorry may be enough for us.
“All you have to do is say that I’m sorry.”
After I read your piece, I have to say I am lucky. Even though my dad is a jerk who is no better than your dad, he never touched me a finger tip or did anything that would hurt me. (Well, the fact that my mother is ‘stronger’, not physically, than him and he does not have the guts to piss her off may be the reason for why he never touched me.) He did once a while went out with another woman, but after that woman yelled at me for ruined her dress, she did not get what she expected. Instead of hugging her in his arms, at least that was what I thought the result was going to be, he slapped her. A real gentle man never slaps a lady in front of everyone that is what I learned later on; I thank him for protecting me and stand on my side. I love what you sad in your piece “Something will never be recovered - something are broken forever. But sometimes an apology is enough for someone to realize that you’ve crossed the line with the effort to rebuild their world.” Sometimes we need is a simple apology from their heart. After he ditched me for so many times, our relationship is getting cold. He would promise me over and over for not doing it again, but what is the purpose of promising if you can not keep it?
It's always a pleasure to read your blogs, because I can always relate to them. My father used alcoholic and gambling addict, and he hurt my family a lot. I agree with the line "Somethings will never be recovered - somethings are broken forever". Sometimes you just never really recover from the scars someone give you, especially from a loved one.
Oh My Goodness. Nina, honestly I love reading your blogs. When I read your blogs, your stories pull me in and are very touching. Thank You for sharing your story. They make me think about the deeper meanings within the questions asked by Mr. Feraco. Great job!!
This is such a well written piece! I really can't say that with more emphasis, especially because this is such a touching and personal subject to present to all of us. I am glad that you were able to share your experiences, but at the same time I'm really sorry for what happened between what happened with you and your dad (oh gosh..I realize the irony in what I just said). Anyway, I hope that the future has much brighter moments in store for you. Keep up the good work!
I used to like her, not a romantic one, but like her as a friend. She is different than friends that I used to know. Sometimes I feel like we are best friends, and we are going to keep it forever. She is smart, sweet and always knows how to make me happy. I trusted her and talked a lot to her about my surroundings. One day it turned out, she is ‘different’. It was a painful lesson just beneath the lesson that my dad taught to me. My dad is a strong and big man. He used to carry me on around his neck when I was little. After he and my mother divorced, my mother had my custody. He would take me out once a week to somewhere fun, it was always the best time of the week. However it did not last long, he began to ditch me. After each time he missed out on our appointment, he would apologize to me. Endless excuses like too busy, or sick, made me lost my temper. I was angry at him, I was disappointed. While I thought I learned my lesson, this girl hurt me again.
Now when I think back through this whole thing, I feel like I kind of deserved it. I guess I was too full of myself and thought the world supposes to spin around me.
I discovered her differences while I was walking back home with another friend. All of a sudden, she asked me about how I think about S. I asked why she asked about him. That girl told me X (the girl’s name for now) told everyone around her that I like S. It is common for an eighth grade girl to feel something at another guy. I was surprised however not because everyone knew about who I like, but it was the words that slipped out of her lips. I didn’t like S, he helped me to reached a book on the shelf that is too high for me, I thanked him and that is all. I told X exactly the same thing, but she twisted the fact and made me sound like a b***h who cannot control herself who fell in love with every guy that helped her.
The next school day, I asked X about what she said. X told me she was really sorry about what she said. She said she was careless, she also promised me to keep everything a secret next time. After this was over, I still look her as my friend, but I knew we would never back to together like before. Until today, I still can hear other people complain about X for slipping her mouth even though she promised not to over and over. Sometimes I want to question her ‘what is the point of promising if one cannot keep it?’ That is none of my business for now, so in revenge I want to see her fall like a bird that looses its wings.
I am mad, I am disappointed once again.
Your story is very passionate and personal; i can really see your personality burn through your words. Apologies can be very painful when they are diluted or meaningless. You seem like a great person. Keep up the fiery writing!
I read your post. It was great, and I really enjoyed reading it because I can relate to it. I once had a friend who promised to keep my secrets, but I would find the next say the whole school seemed to know who I had a crush on... She remained my friend for a while, but she would always get mad at me and start ignoring me. Honestly, these people don't deserve to be your friend, because they make you so disappointed. Thanks for sharing your amazing blog, keep up the great work!!
I really like your post because I feel the same way. I feel related by "I still look her as my friend, but I knew we would never back to together like before."
My heart ached when you said that you “deserved” all of that. You seem like a wonderful person and I hope you come to realize that!
I like this post because I feel like we all have that one friend that has betrayed our trust at one point. It hurts because we don’t ever really expect friends to turn on us. Saying “sorry” has no real meaning anymore because everyone just wants to get out of trouble as quickly as possible.
But I completely agree with you when you said, “What is the point of promising if one cannot keep it?” Great post.
A Fairy Named Sincerity
Unlike Franklin, I believe that giving context or explanations not only makes an apology more sincere, but it helps to prevent the same misunderstandings that led to such negative situations from happening again. Anyone can say the words “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize,” but it never truly feels genuine, it feels cold and mechanical, like it was forced. Those words do not always mean that someone truly repents for what they did, but rather that they are tired of being criticized for not making up. When one gives an explanation for what happened along with the apology, it feels like they care more about the issue, and about the person they are apologizing to. If they give a reason, I can generally believe and accept their apology.
A few years ago I had a small lawn statue of a fairy on a mushroom. It was easily movable, and it depicted a long haired fairy girl with a long ruffled dress. One day I noticed the statue was gone. I looked all over the lawn for it, believing that a gardener or a kid may have moved it; but it was gone. The statue was stolen, or so I thought. A few days later, I noticed something rather peculiar; my neighbors had a statue identical to our stolen one right on their porch. I went to check, and sure enough it was the very same one; it had all the same chips and weather stains. I went to confront them about this, all the while thinking that as a thief they should have hid their boon a little better. To my surprise, the statue was handed back to me with an apology. This was then followed by the explanation that they saw some suspicious teenagers walking by and hitting mailboxes, and that they did not want to see such a beautiful statue getting destroyed. Their apology had a certain genuine quality, one that cannot be created with the word “sorry” alone. The explanation allowed me to understand them better as people, and to build a lasting trust with them. It did not leave me confused or enraged, but understanding and grateful.
Thanks to explanations, things can be changed to prevent the word “sorry” from even occurring. For the remainder of that year, I kept the statue on my porch (closer to my house) to discourage people from taking it, and on vacations I would leave it with them. I felt bad when the statue finally met its end, its face so eroded that it was unrecognizable, and its mushroom nothing more than a sphere of spider webs. It taught me that context gives apologies sincerity as well as solutions. It does not undermine them.
Great job on your post. Explanations really can create a plot twist in life.
Blog 4: Question 5, Remember
A nation should always have to remember its history. History is a record of mistakes, without it a nation would be doomed to repeat its same errors again and again. I remember my freshman year in English class, when we began to read the book Night. In that class we also discussed facts about the Holocaust. One of the facts was really confusing for me. The teacher said that after the Holocaust, Germany attempted to erase the incident from all books and documents, and just pretend that it did not happen. How can a nation simply try to forget, its mistakes, cover up its shameful acts? Well that’s just it, we can’t. Germany just tried to abandon its responsibility. In this situation, eventually Germany was forced to accept its mistakes due to the interference of other nations. Other nations kept records of the Holocaust, other nations wanted to be reminded of what terrible acts humanity was capable of, they wanted to remember so as to never repeat these actions again. In these circumstances, Germany had to rely on the histories of other nations rather than its own. Their history was a book with its page set ablaze. The people who were there remembered, but who is to say that those in the distant future would remember? History guides us in future events. If history were to simply vanish, then we would surely slip into the same blunders we had before without realizing that we already had been there. We should bear in mind our history, to force ourselves to realize the terrible acts in which we are capable of committing and to prevent further instance of these shameful mistakes. We would be traveling life blind, not seeing where we are going or where we had come from. We should remember, we should at least be able to shoulder our own pasts, or else we would be a weak nation. A doomed nation. Why would Germany try to destroy something so valuable to their future? I cannot understand this, and I don’t think I ever will.
Good job Chaya! As a love of history, I am also frustrated by a nation trying to erase its history, its culture, and its memory. This is why study on history should be emphasized, so that we'll know about our past, so we'll never repeat the same mistakes again and repeat what we did right. Your mentioning of Germany's trying to erase parts of its history, remind me of China's Cultural Revolution, where the shunning of many aspects of their culture is identical to destroying their identity. I hope people in the future won't commit the same mistake again!
Good job Chaya! As a lover of history, I am also frustrated by a nation trying to erase its history, its culture, and its memory. This is why study on history should be emphasized, so that we'll know about our past, so we'll never repeat the same mistakes again and repeat what we did right. Your mentioning of Germany's trying to erase parts of its history, remind me of China's Cultural Revolution, where the shunning of many aspects of their culture is identical to destroying their identity. I hope people in the future won't commit the same mistake again!
Hey Chaya, nice job on the blog. Those words were exactly what my history teacher said. I'm completely dismayed as to why Germany tried to cover the Holocaust as well. It happened and no one can ever change that, we just have to move on forward. We learn from our mistakes.
I agree that Germany shouldn't have tried to cover up their memory of the Holocaust, given how crucial a point in their history it was, but I doubt the world will ever truly learn from it anyway.
Violent antisemitism has persisted for millennia, from the Roman Empire of ancient, to the Crusades of the Dark Ages, to the Pogroms of the Russian Empire, history simply hasn't shown the abusive part of mankind wishing to end it.
Perhaps thanks to the speed of information now and the extremes to which the Holocaust took mass killings of Jews, the world will finally learn. Let's hope.
I totally agree with your blog and I still don't understand why we still repeat the same mistakes. We should preserve history and learn from it but I guess what Brandon says is true. That we should just move on forward and hopefully realize at some point.
Hi Chaya. I completely agree with your post. A nation cannot hidw its mistake in the past. I really like that you used the holocaust as an example for history that was attempted to be hidden. Great job on your post!
I completely agree with what you had to say in your post. I especially liked the part where you said "We would be traveling life blind, not seeing where we are going or where we had come from" if history were to cease to exist. It is indeed appalling to realize what humans are capable of, but, like you said, it's important to learn from it. Great post!
Whenever I got into trouble, it usually happened in the same pattern-- get caught, apologize, and explain why I won't ever repeat the same mistake again. My parents believed that doing this would allow me to grow into the mature, responsible, and honest adult they wanted me to be.
As I grew older, I realized that all that explanation, and sometimes even the formal apology itself, is not really necessary.
I was never the kid my parents wanted me to be. Not that I was a rebellious child, but that I never really tried too hard in school. My parents sacrificed all they had so I could come to America-- their extended families, their home, and their careers. For all that they gave up for me, I couldn't do one simple thing for them: study hard and do well in school.
Middle school was the turning point of my relatively happy childhood. I lost the best friends I had in elementary school because I apparently was not good enough. My parents could not afford to keep up with the Hollister fad in middle school, so I continued to wear the dorky clothes I wore in elementary school. I was socially awkward, and I didn't know how to make new friends.
I stopped caring about everything, including schoolwork. Every day, I would come home, stare at my homework for a couple of minutes, and then just walk away. My grades were at an all-time low, and my parents started to worry. They sent me to the counselors, tutors, and after school classes, but nothing really helped.
It was just like any other weekday. I came home from school and ran straight to the couch in my room. Being the lazy bum I was, I headed to the kitchen to grab some snacks, but as I walked past my parents room, I heard sniffles coming out of the room. It was the first time I saw my father cry. He cried to my mother about how I changed, how I stopped trying, and how much he missed his old life in Hong Kong. He sobbed about how he did not know what to do with me anymore, and how he wanted to give up.
I walked back to my room without saying a word. I didn't sleep much that night.
When I got home the next day, I headed to my desk instead of my couch. I opened my textbook instead of a candy wrapper. That night, I studied for my math test for the first time, finished my homework, and actually read a book instead of making up books I read to put in my reading log. For the rest of the year, I continued to do the same thing.
Summer vacation rolled around, and my report card came in the mail. I saw the dread on my father's face as he was walking towards the mailbox. But once he opened my report card, I saw him smiled for the first time in years. For the first time in my life, I received a glorious 4.0 GPA. It was the second and last time I saw him cry.
I never formally apologized to my parents about being such a troubled child. I simply showed them that I was sorry by doing my best to change what I did wrong. Apologizing to someone does not really have any context unless you actually show them that you are sorry by changing or reversing that mistake. Even though I never really told my parents I was sorry, I know that they know I am sorry for all that I did.
MANDY! I always love reading your blogs. Your story is so personal and I can relate to it. I never truly tried in school either, but when it hit me that my parents care deeply about my education and well being, I finally tried to excel in my work. It felt great knowing that they were proud of me, not only in school, but my other activities as well. Great read, once again! You never fail to impress me!
Your blog is always a pleasure to read and it was absolutely amazing, I loved it. I feel like I can relate to your blog, because during my elementary school years I wandered around school, not really knowing what to do or how to do anything and as a result I gave up on school. I started trying again in middle school because I saw my mom popping up white hairs in order for me to live and have a life in Arcadia. I've never really apologized to her either, but I feel like she knows that I try hard to make her proud, and I try to reach her standards. Some things don't need apologies, and one of them is if a child messes up, because the unconditional love a parent presents to their children does not require an apology.
Thank you again for the great read, I really enjoyed it. Keep up the amazing writing !
Mandy I gotta say, your blog post was amazing. My grades never satisfied my parents, and to see that you took a different route from me, and excelled at school to make your parents happy is just awesome. I wish I could learn a thing or two from you about that... great job!
Your blogs are always a joy to read, but this one was definitely one that I could relate to personally. I, too, had to go through this really tough stage throughout middle school and early high school where everything seemed to just fall apart right in front of me. I am glad that you managed to pull through and learn from all your mistakes. Keep it up!
I agree with your post. I also think that sometime simply saying sorry is unnecessary and not enough. There is no great meaning to it unless we show through our actions.
Thanks for the great post!
A nation had a responsibility to record its history accurately, but that responsibility is often over looked or forgotten. There are always many sides to one story, different camera angles and perspectives. For example, we think of out American Revolution as a great achievement of liberty and freedom from British oppression in which the British se it as a child implementing a mutiny. The two sides were written by the heads of both nations. Both nations have censored the information that they don’t want reaching their public. Our government has probably kept files on American’s terrorizing British soldiers and vice versa for Britain. Who ever is in charge can re-write history the way they want it to sound, the way they want it to be remembered. Granted, we would like to think that all the wars American had won and lost happened the way that we know, but there are dirty little secrets that are kept from us. This isn’t always a bad thing. These secrets could potentially harm our or any nation and are probably meant to keep in hiding. The secrets could represent mistakes that any nation could have made. Our government is just trimming the fat on all of our potential media gossip subjects so they could take the moral from that event and then relay that information on to us. The morals are all we study in school, how the aftermaths of one event connect to the making of another. Parts of the middle man are cut out. We are still able to learn of the mistakes that happened in the past, just not some of the details along the way.
Even now, we have organizations commonly known as the FBI, CIA, and the Secret Service that block information from reaching us every second of every day. They make sure that all of the regular citizens in our nation keep living their normal lives without the constant fear or how many weapons our enemies have, and I agree with that. I like living my life without the constant threat of North Korea increasing its nuclear arms while im trying to take a math test. This brings back one of the baselines we stood and delivered on last week, “the less you know, the better”. These government organizations keep all of us citizens in line so we don’t run around screaming the whole day. Needless to say, our government implements all sorts of biased opinions into are media shaping the way we view the other countries. It also takes the other countries to help us see the U.S. in ways we couldn’t have ever seen on our own. If it weren’t for other countries, we wouldn’t be able to see that we are 7th in the world in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 3rd in median house hold income, 4th in imports and exports, and 49th in life expectancy. The first step in fixing a problem is realizing there is one. Because of our super ego media, I don’t think the mass of our population will ever realize there is a problem.
Good job Matt. I really like how you used global ranking in certain aspects to help your argument. I also like how you established ties between the serious and the mundane. When you talk about the North Korean threat and your math test, I feel like you blog really relates to me too.
I totally agree with you, especially on how history is based on perspective and is biased. I however slightly disagree with the part about North Korea. I believe that the media sensationalizes a lot of the details, and that it's best for the government to release that information to us in controlled amounts. Great post overall, see you tomorrow!
I enjoyed reading your blog post. You were very detailed and brought up many different points of view. Keep up the great work!
The horrors of WWII, the bloodshed, the destroyed cities, and the shattered families left a gruesome image in our mind, but that doesn't stop us from fighting. However, despite occurrence of international war like the Korean War and the Vietnamese War, conflicts in recent history are mostly civil wars. In an age when resources, land claims, and historical tensions can lead to wars, the destruction of a city will continue to be a result of a civil war into the near future, and not because of an international war. After the US got itself into the Middle East, there has been a sharp decrease in conflict between more than two nations. There have barely been any international war in the past few years with the exception of a Russia vs. Georgia showdown in the summer of 2008, while most of the wartime atrocities occur during civil wars. Recently, we have seen cities like Misrata and Homs suffer widespread destruction due to civil wars, and it make us wonder if a country would do that to another country in the future. Following current trends in international politics, I am certain that country A will not inflict destruction onto a city of country B for multiple reasons: the power of international peacemaking bodies, the alliance system, the media, and the concept of MAD.
Peacemaking bodies like the United Nations and its multiple agencies have ameliorated relations between many countries. They have punished many wartime criminals for their atrocities, making potential war criminals think again about their plans. UN's security council have also brought together many superpower of the world, so that they can figure out a way together to resolve upcoming conflicts. Like the UN, today's alliance system also play a huge role in preventing a war among nations. Alliances like NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have brought economically powerful nations together. Member states of these alliances make up a huge portion of the world's population, speak different languages, and practice different religions. Having brought together so many different people together, and possibility of an international war among these member nations in the future sounds fictional.
The media, with journalists, TV stations, and instant witness coverage from all corners of the world, can capture the horror of war with just a click on the camera. Pictures of war can travel rapidly on the web through websites like Facebook or Reddit that can immediately antagonize both sides of the war. Media frenzy can create protests and subsequent hatred toward the government, which can threaten the stability of the ruling group. A picture can be a dangerous weapon, but no figurative weapon can match the destructive capabilities of the newer, more powerful weaponry. With so many money spent on military by many nations in the world, the concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction) make the war sounds pointless and disastrous. Citizens and soldiers alike will know that the advances in weaponry technology will only intensifies the destruction. The idea of eliminating a city and its people with the new weapon is just gruesome to many.
I agree with everyhting you are saying. Your facts are complete accurate.
“Okay, quiet on the set. Let’s take it from the top. Prompter, ready?” Karina turned from the teleprompter and nodded at David.
“Capture, ready?” David asked through the headset.
“Yeah, we’re good,” Joji responded from behind a monitor in the editing room.
“Alright, floor manager: in five, four, three, two-”
“DAMNIT, BOSA!” I could hear Joji’s voice yell through the microphone. I stood up and swiftly made my way through the control room and out into the edit room. I was steaming, trying to determine the source of the impressively coordinated incompetence that accompanied the vast majority of APN that day. Walking into the edit room I see Bryan Barbosa standing next to Edit Station A, which had been miraculously untouched by the puddle of water stretching across the floor. In the background sat Joji, burying his face in his hand to a degree that would make Patrick Stewart proud.
“What is wrong with you?” I asked in the calmest voice I could muster. Bryan looked around shiftily, in every attempt to avoid eye contact with me. In the most unexpected intimate moment I’ve ever had with someone I was angry at, I stared at his face, hearing every thought that crossed his mind.
“I can do this. I can make this funny. I can turn this around, everyone will laugh, and it’ll be okay. We’ll all forget about it,” Barbosa thought to himself.
“I-”, he began.
“Shut up, Bosa.” I was tired of his childish excuses before he could even get out a word. “Clean it up.”
“You know what-”, he tried to start again.
“Bosa, clean it up,” I said with much more force this time.
“OH MY GOD, CLEAN IT UP! YOUR STUPIDITY IS GIVING ME CANCER. I CAN’T BELIEVE CITRIN EVEN LETS YOU IN HERE!”
I had lost it. After the yelling had finished and Bryan had cleaned up the water, I went about the rest of the day in complete silence and bitterness. The thing is Bryan’s a smart guy; he just makes a lot of clumsy mistakes. But looking back, I couldn’t think of a single time that he had just said:
It’s the most difficult phrase to say by itself. It always seems as if it requires some sort of follow-up, some justification or explanation. An apology is recognition of a wrong-doing. An apology is not a glimpse into the psyche of the perpetrator.
“I shouldn’t have done that. But let me tell you why I did.”
Fact of the matter is: they don’t want to hear it. An apology accompanied by an excuse is a complete contradiction. If you continue to support the reasoning behind your decisions, then they were not mistakes and you are not sorry. You can’t regret something you would do again.
I make more excuses than anyone. It’s hard, especially when you’re as stubborn as I am, to apologize. An apology seems like you’re sacrificing your confidence, when it’s really just admitting guilt head-on.
You think you need more words to explain why you did something, even if you admit it to be the wrong decision. An apology doesn’t need an excuse and there is no way to right a wrong. Don’t give humanity to what we both agree should stay dead.
Really interesting conversation! I totally agree with the point that we don't need more words to explain why you did something. An apology does not need an excuse.
CLAY! I enjoyed reading your post. It was really dramatic and I really felt like I was there watching the argument go on. Often times we go and tell off people telling our true feelings about them and then follow it by a "sorry" thrown in at the end, but it isn't even a real apology. It's just human nature to make excuses. Anyway, great post!!
Well I saw it started out with quotes and, hoping there would be a good story, I read your post and I was not disappointed. It started out well and you followed up with good explanations and reasoning. Also I tend to like the posts that I personally agree with a little more so that helped you too. Good job
I really enjoyed how you integrated a story along into your post. Keep up the effort.
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed”, the constitution marked into stone these words back from 1787. We, the people, acted in treason to break the bonds of the king in order to escape an oppressive government. We give consent to the government to have their power so we are entitled to know of all activities to ensure a democratic government. The foundations of a relationship are based upon trust and when you doubt your government on providing the most truthful information tensions will form. Knowledge is power, it’s better to know too much than too little. There’s a legitimate reason to why classified information would be upheld because the government doesn’t want to create a public outcry or emit a sense of weakness. By releasing information we can band together to solve these problems as they say “two minds are better than one”. We were founded on the principle of governing ourselves and the government retaining information hinders this. I’ve always been held to the highest standards by my parents to be 100% truthful, but being a young kid who loved to be in the spotlight it was hard. Whether it was sprinkling the truth or a blatant lie I enjoyed having the fame it brought. It wasn’t that I wanted attention, but it gave me a sense of false accomplishment. As I look back in the past, I’ve broken many relationships who shouldn’t have been broken. To still be friends with people from back of this early stage of my life is truly a blessing. We shouldn’t live with regret, but I truly regret not being completely honest with everyone around me. My real life example is rather nothing compared to the seriousness of the government being clear with us, but I’ve learned honesty is vital.
As to Manny’s actions, they were justified in the sense that he had the correct intentions, but his approach jeopardized our national security. The government has to be transparent with all their activities, but there’s a limit to how far information can be provided. Manny provided information that embarrassed our allies which created national tensions in a time where it is vital to be on the correct page and connected with our allies. There could have been many alternatives to promote government transparency, instead he chose the illegal method in which I don’t support.
As information gets released could this really undermine our nation’s security? Honestly, I believe not at all. There will be information that could prove useful to our enemies, but by allowing information to reach everyone we can form a consensus of how to approach a certain situation. As I’ve said early “two minds are better than one”.
Hey Brandon. Your statement of "We give consent to the government to have their power so we are entitled to know of all activities to ensure a democratic government" struck a chord with me. I agree with it indefinitely. The government exists in service to its citizens, not the other way around. Thanks for the acknowledgement of that.
Doomsday and Echo
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
A nation has the obligation and responsibility to inculcate the civilians with its entire history in the past without abridgments or particularly inclining towards one side; a nation should also preserve thinking space for its people to interpret the causes and effects of every war, and to define the meaning of a war itself that reflects the hidden issues.
Every country faces and copes with its past in various ways. It is not unusual to see a government only display a unilateral history to its people; sometimes we may not even notice that an article regarding a historical event in our textbook has been modified, abridged, or distorted for the nation’s “glory”. However, if a nation deliberately keeps hiding or distorting certain piece of history, such action will lead to endless troubles to itself instead.
We can see the course of national evolution from the examination into every piece of history; those historical events all have impacts on contemporary individuals and collectives; at the same time, they guide us to establish our state institution. Thus, every history should be respected instead of being forgotten or omitted.
The standpoints and the angles of viewing a history are crucial as well; not only should we look at a history from the perspective of a patriot, but also from the perspectives of other countries and cultures as a reference. Only by doing so, we can show the rightest consideration and conclusion so as to accurately restore the real history and present its significance to the world.
We ought to remember every history of warfare and see each different side so that our country will not follow the same old disastrous road again.
So nice to see your blog again. I agree with that "every history should be respected instead of being forgotten or omitted."
I agree with you the our history should be learned. Even the story is not good, we should accept it.
I totally agree with you. I liked how you said we need to see things "from the perspective of a patriot, but also from the perspectives of other countries." Thank you for your nice blog.
Would you want to be a happy, but ignorant person, or depressed but knowledgeable person?
When I was still in China, I was pretty satisfied with the way China was. People around me were nice, and everything is really convenient. Some small and cheap restaurants are nearby; I can walk to the shopping central within 20 minutes, or take a bus within 5 minutes. It is pretty cheap and easy to directly go to a hospital if I need to. Even though there is no Facebook or YouTube, we have QQ, a chat program, and Youku, a video site. Downloading music is free, and movies can be watched online for free only ten days after a film is released. I barely used Google when I was in China because I could use Baidu, a Chinese research website, and find through this website all the Chinese resources I needed. Every day, at 7:00 pm, there is a half-hour news program on CCTV1, or rather, if we want to know the current news, we can find “everything” we need to know online. However, as I got older, I became aware that so many people argued that the Chinese government was corrupt and it was really serious. I still believe that China is the best place to live in, and I was happy that my mom gave birth to me when she was still in China.
When I left the environment of China, though, it seemed like my whole view on China was wrong. I became an international student at a private school. When I spoke with other students about their views on China, the most common ones were: everything seems so dirty; it’s too crowded; and people do not follow the rules. They talked about news in China that I had never read before. I had lived in China, and things happened in China, but the people who were living outside of China knew more than I did.
I know now things happened in Tiananmen Square. I know now that when SARS happened, the government hid the news in the beginning. I know that for every new building they build, there are some ordinary citizens who just lost their home. And I know that the thirty minutes news they show us every day reflects only the good news that they want to show us.
I am confused now whether the life I had in China was just a sweet dream, or if it is the real life for a Chinese citizen. To be honest, I would rather not know everything that the government was trying to hide from us because then life would just be easier.
I know how you feel, because I used to live in Hong Kong before I moved to China. In Hong Kong, they would always report the "bad" news about China on TVB (the main Hong Kong TV Channel). China also had TVB, and whenever there were to be something "bad" reported about China, the news would cut off into a commercial. It was really strange to me at first, but now I understand why they did it.
I feel the exactly way you feel! At first I was mad on whatever people say about China, but gradually, I was confused because something other said are actually true, and I cannot ignore the truth.
Wow sunny your post is right after mine.
yeah, I think it may be better sometimes just to be ignorant of something(tragedy,death,etc.)
Bradley Manning did something similar to what Christopher Dorner did.
For those of you who do not know, Christopher Dorner was a police officer with the LAPD, who was fired in 2008 or so for “lying”. Apparently he set out to expose corruption within the LAPD. He believed he was falsely and unjustly fired for his actions, and waged war against the LAPD.
Dorner did the absolute wrong thing. He ruined families and caused incredible grief. If he believed he was wrongly fired, he should have gotten a lawyer, not a gun.
He had good intentions, to right the wrong in the Los Angeles Police Department, but went about it in a way that would ruin more lives than it would help.
Manning is in the same boat as Dorner. He set out to expose the truth of what’s really happening over in the Middle East. He had sensitive information and released it unto the world with great intentions of making America a better, stronger country. Instead, this put a mass number of American lives at danger. I don’t know enough details of the story to say what the correct course of action was, but how can an action that exposes our soldiers’ tactics and gives our enemies an edge on us be patriotic?
The fact that what was going on is the only thing that should have been released by Manning, if anything at all. Not the tactics and operations our enemies will be able to learn from to use against us.
This year, I began to really get into politics, well as much as someone who doesn’t pay taxes can get. Being in AP Comparative Government as well as taking a stance on the “gun control” debate was the gateway into to me taking a political stand, as well as seeing the true importance of patriotism.
The idea of America is the greatest on earth. There is nowhere else on earth with such acceptance for other cultures, for independence, opportunity, choice, and in short, freedom. We are the freest nation on earth.
Now I most pose a question to you: if we lose our freedom, where are we to go?
If the standing example of “freedom” loses just that, where is the sanctuary we should flee to?
The thing is, there is none. There is no other “free” country in the sense of America, with as great rights as ours. Gun ownership, freedom of speech, rights of privacy, among others, are all rights you cannot collectively find in another constitution, or as definitely ensured as America’s.
America was founded on minimal government involvement in personal life and individual responsibility. When we begin to trust the government with caring for us, for our well-being, we begin to lose our liberties.
The government should not control what of their operations we know and do not know. The government should fear us, the people. When they begin to believe they can control us, our knowledge, we as a republic will fall under control of a tyrannical government.
They believe it is their duty to protect us… from us.
Now why would we need that? Who are they to tell its citizens how to live their lives? I thought this was America. Why should a government require a citizen to do “this” or “that” with their own money? Why should a government tell you what kind of gun you “need” or what kind of car you can have? When we entrust a government with the regulation of what comes in and out of our lives, we become a society of sheep.
Unfortunately, the government doesn’t trust you.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
So to compensate for the government’s fear of its people, they begin to enact legislations putting restrictions on its people, putting us under their control. They keep their secrets from us, under the guise of “keeping peace”. They believe that by keeping us ignorant of reality, it will keep us orderly. After all, being the sheep we are, we need to be kept within our herd…
I don’t need the government in my life to tell me what I can and cannot do.
I don’t need the government to keep its secrets from me.
I don’t live in some fantasy world full of comfort; I am a realist.
I don’t need to be protected.
I am an American; I can take care of myself.
WOW, you had my mind going everywhere! I think we the people should have the right to know everything that goes on within our country. I don' think it should be up to the government to decide what's safe and unsafe for us to hear. Well said Kevin!
I totally agree with your stance on Dorner and Manning. Both of them had the right idea in mind but their means of doing it were completely unnecessary, and they should have taken action legally.
I remember you telling me how your piece was super politicial in our Hufflepuff Facebook message chat and boy were you right. This was incredibly interesting . Good job!
Doomsday and the Echo: I’m Sorry
I’m not really the type of person to say sorry.
Now, that’s not to say I never say I’m sorry, I just don’t believe in saying it without actually meaning it.
My mom and I argue all the time. Most of the time it’s about the smallest, most insignificant things but it always turns out to be one huge argument. We’ll argue about not bringing in the mail, cleaning the bathroom, and not throwing away our eraser shavings. Whatever the cause of the argument, it always ends with me storming out the door. Depending on the circumstances, my mom and I will go for a time without talking or acknowledging each other. Then my dad gets involved and tells me to apologize to my mom for what I did. I don’t like saying sorry, especially when it’s not on my own terms.
Why should I be the one to apologize first? Why is it always my fault? What if I’m not even sorry? Why should I say it, if I don’t even mean it? If I was sorry, what if I’m just not ready to say it? Why am I being rushed or forced to say something that won’t even be truthful?
Why should I be the one to say, I’m sorry?
Whether my apology is forced or truthful, my mom always wants more. I’ll say, I’m sorry and she’ll immediately respond with, “Because..?” With my mother, I always have to give an explanation for why I am sorry. Sometimes it’s annoying because I won’t have the right answer that she is looking for and another argument arises. But I know my mom wants me to explain why I’m sorry in order for me to understand what I’ve done wrong. She not only wants the apology, but wants me to learn that sometimes saying just I’m sorry isn’t enough.
People need to understand that a simple I’m sorry isn’t going to make up for what happened. They need to realize their actions speak louder than words. People need to take the initiative to really prove they are sorry. Just because you’re sorry through words, doesn’t mean you’re sorry through your heart. If one is truly sorry, then accepting an apology shouldn’t be that difficult.
“Unless your heart, your soul, and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless.”~Unknown
I believe saying I’m sorry without an explanation is completely meaningless.
I really found your post to be interesting. Although I might not completely agree with your stand point, I found your story very intriguing. My parents sometimes do that as well. They as me what I was sorry for not because they want a reason, but because they want me to learn from my mistakes. Great post!
Dominique! I loved how you highlighted every "i'm sorry" you used! it contrasted the fact you never say sorry ahaha. keep up the great work!
There is this old saying in Chinese, "The one who successes is the king, the one who fails is the evil." It means, whoever wins is always the just. Those who have absolute power will always rewrite the history to praise and worship themselves. That is a way to make people think that they are the righteous, and to obey them. They use this to brainwash the people under their rule, so the people will worship and never betray them. Many dictators used this to remain in control of the country, like Hitler, Mao Zedong, or even Kim Il-sung. As a great person once said, "To control a person's action, you must first control his thought." Dictators will manipulate the history in order to control their people.
In the beginning of the Korean War, North Korea won many battles. They almost pushed South Korea all the way into the ocean. But South Korea asked United Nation for help. When the allies landed, they cut the North Korean army in half. Capturing many. The allies pushed the North Korean army all the way back to the border of China. That's when Kim Il-sung asked Mao Zedong for help. Mao Zedong didn’t want North Korea to be defeated, so he send in Chinese troops to fight for North Korea. The Chinese troops fought ferociously and pushed the allies back to the 38th parallel. There they fought for two years in trenches. After the Cease Fire, all the Chinese troops went back to China. When Kim Il-sung came to absolute power he wanted all his people to worship him, so he changed the history. He denied that the Chinese has ever helped North Korea, and destroyed all the evidence that shows Chinese involvement in the Korean War. His people were brainwashed. And everyone believed that their "beloved leader" was the one that lead the army to defeat the allies.
The person that has all the power can shape the history any way he wants. How can people learn from a history that is not even accurate? Perhaps we do need others to remind us of our own history.
They were fighting again. It was two in the morning and I could hear the sound of slamming doors and angry shouts. Since I was in middle school, I couldn’t really stop my dad when he got angry. When he got angry, I just put on earphones and hoped that his rage would go away soon. Normally it does. Dad’s sudden anger usually only lasted half an hour before he cools down. But this time it was different. It was the night before my eighth grade graduation. I laid in bed and tried to fall asleep over the noise downstairs, but I couldn’t. No matter how much sheep I counted, I couldn’t ignore their fighting.
Suddenly I heard the loud sound of my front door slamming closed and finally silence. However, the silence was not the kind of silence I wished for. I knew exactly what happened as I stared at my ceiling. This was the breaking point. I never would have guessed that my family would be one of those families. I never would have guessed that I would be one of those kids. I tried to remain expressionless. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to handle the reality, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. All the emotions shattered my weak emotional barrier and I laid there crying violently as the horrible thought of having divorced parents clouded my mind. But soon sleep found me and put me out of my misery… for one night.
Luckily my mom came home the next day. My dad sat us down with the whole family and said sorry. He said apologized for his short temper and promised us that he will try to fix it. But there was no need for his promise. In fact, everything after the apology meant nothing. Knowing how stubborn my dad is, and seeing him apologize in front of everyone was enough. It didn’t magically fix our family problems or excuse him for his ruthless behavior, but it was enough. That night I went to my mom and said sorry as well. But unlike my dad, there was no explanation… just a sorry. She might not have known what I was sorry for, but that didn’t matter. Like my dad’s promise, explaining to my mom that I was sorry for not stepping in sooner, would have meant nothing. She did not need to know what I did wrong; in fact all she needed was to know that I did do her wrong.
Your sorry speaks for itself. My view is that an apology does need an explanation, but what you did was the righ thing. If that were to happen to me, I don't know if I could;ve been as brave as you. It was very well written, and I can see you wrote from the heart. Good job.
Hey Kai, I understand how hard it can sometimes be to say sorry to someone, you did the right thing. As for families fighting, don't be too concerned, you should be worried if you never fight. It's just something people do and we get over it after a while.
Kai, thank you for sharing your story. I agree with you completely how an apology might mean something with a meaning behind it but sometimes a short "im sorry" is better than nothing at all. Good job. Nice post.
I completely agree with you and I understand how hard it can be. Great post thanks for sharing
i am so sorry to hear that....your story is very touching...loved it
Doomsday and the Echo / Where I Come From We Cry
Friday, September 11th, 2010 – my sophomore year. It was the anniversary of the day that hurts all of us Americans inside, they day marking the event we all dread and wished never happened. My brother was now in his second year of college and was not home on this day. My mom was out of town and I cannot seem to recall where she was, but all I remember is that she was not home either. It was just me and my dad.
It was a Friday, but I remember this day pretty well and I know we did not have school. Anyway, after eating lunch with my dad, we both sat at the table digesting. We both were pretty quiet, simply because we usually were not very talkative towards each other (at this point in my life). I woke up knowing exactly what day it was – September 11th. I sat looking at my dad. I don’t know what pushed me to ask this, but I broke the silence by saying, “Do you know what today is?” My dad was soundless for a few seconds. “Of course,” he replied. I knew he would know. My dad is the most intelligent man I know and is good at everything he does (if you know him, you know the latter statement is so true).
My parents were born and raised in New York. My brother and I were born there as well, but we moved to California at a very young age, so I don’t remember the City very well and don’t have any strong sentiment to it nearly as much as my parents do. When 9-11 happened, my parents were crushed. Obviously every American was devastated, but I feel like true New Yorkers were the ones who were hurt the most.
After my dad replied to my question, he took out his wallet from his back pocket and began taking out a piece of paper from it. He unfolded it and handed it to me. It was a poem. I don’t remember the whole thing completely, but I know the gist of it. It went something like, “I’m from Brooklyn. Where I come from we don’t cry. We never cry. It’s irrational. …” I paused my reading of the poem and looked up at him, then continued reading. “… On this day we cry. Where I come from we cry.” Tears built up in my eyes –just a light layer though, not enough to completely make me bawl my eyes out. I looked at my dad and handed him back the poem. I suddenly asked him, “Does Mom know about that?” My question was referring to the poem, of course. He replied saying yes. Now, I really do not know what made me ask this question, but it just came out. I asked, “Does Alex know about it?” He paused for a few seconds then proceeded answering, “No.” Obviously, all siblings have a ‘rivalry’ towards each other (“Alex” is referring to my brother), whether or not it is evident on the outside. I think about the poem quite a bit and I wonder how my brother would react to it if he knew about it. I wonder if it would change his view on our dad.
I rarely have ever seen my dad cry. Even if he has ever cried in front of me, I don’t remember it. Knowing this truth, this surprising idea, that my dad actually has such strong emotional feelings towards what happened on September 11th, 2001 makes me shaken up. It is insane knowing that one of the strongest men I know (mentally, spiritually, and in so many other ways) has been so broken down from what tragically happened roughly twelve and a half years ago. It is so important to know the history of the country you live in- not only the facts, but the emotions drawn with the events as well.
Sounds awkward to say it but I like how you incorporated a family tie-in to a devastating memory from the past to your post. The ones who make the most of the actions afflicted are the ones directly related to it. While I intend on living in Japan one day, I'll never be able to fully grasp the tradition they've build themselves up on from the past events they've been through to today.
I believe I speak for most of the general community that most find the events of the past both vague and uninteresting. Most of what we call human culture has developed into a state of viewing the present and the future with anticipation. We care not for the faults and errors of the past, as remembering them will only slow our progress down. On both a micro and macro scale we find it a part of our everyday lives. A student forgets about his or her failed test as quickly as he rushes afterschool with his friends to the nearby Tapioca. The United States as a nation prefers to give information more on our executive and federal successes than our failures and faults. Dwelling on the past only brings despair, nervousness, and shame. But scribes have to record what can be lost to age and remembrance, because our own recollection of past actions build up into what we are today.
Japan, since its core roots, has been a site of power-struggle and conflict. From the feuding emperors and the honor-bound disciplines, Japan has held steadfast in the many events tracing their interesting history. The Japanese have learned and developed a sense of tenacity; the hard infertile ground, rough waves, natural disasters, and the culture clash forces them to adapt. When ignored by the world, they advanced into a competent force strong enough to devastate Pearl Harbor. The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered the consequence of provoking the countries of the world; thousands lost to the fiery plumes of the atom bomb’s aftermath. Over time they build over what was lost, and even today they continue to do the same after their recent recoveries in the sequence of earthquakes and radioactive leaks of the end of 2012. With all of their falls they’ve built themselves from the ground up to be stronger, exhibiting the hard-working stereotype we made for them today.
Only a Japanese man or women could ever understand the long lengths of tradition and honesty backed into their culture. My own depictions of them may even be inaccurate, even being in a Japanese Language class for 3 years I’ve yet to see all of the culture Japan provides. The Japanese don’t forget the feudal roots we tend to forget; the tradition of Japan has meshed and evolved itself into the technology they’re re-known for. The people still hold traditional festivals at shrines and honor their family lines and officials with passion, while bustling about in workplaces and forces.
We hardly see any of that culture through the bottleneck that Japan keeps themselves proud of, and it’s personified in the interactions Japan has put themselves into with other countries. In the attack of Hiroshima, thousands of people were indirectly killed or injured by mass-degree burns, radioactive sickness, and debris. In the aftermath of the event, the people worked together to survive, tending the wounded and helping those unknown out of sticky situations out of the goodness in their hearts. The honor is kept people together and made people do, much like Mr. Tanimoto did. The reverend helped as many as he could through ferrying others to Asano Park, a safe place in the lingering moments of the bomb’s impact. His honor struck through the actions he had commited, forgiving those that he was unable to feel the pain of the heavily wounded, and even excused himself for taking the boat from the wounded so that he could use it for good. Others died with grace and homage to their homeland. Dr. Fukai wanted nothing more than to burn in the flames of his own house, while others chanted to the Emperor Tenno as they faced their imminent deaths. Not an inch of grievance was recorded in John Hersey’s writings of the event, but not much was found outside of family deaths and none were to be found at a time of recovery and work.
The people of Japan found the event not filled with turmoil and sadness, but one of honor and grace. They say it cannot be helped, “しがた がない。” that the bombings occurred or not. They placed the event behind them in remembrance, and moved on. Many in America are and still blunt about the attack on Pearl Harbor; they close their views on the Japanese and see only dishonesty and focused hate. But the culture of Japan is so much more beyond the haters’ closed window and borders. It is a country of discipline and tradition, one they can only map out themselves and one that they can only revel in.
When I first think of lying I would think that it is bad, but after some comparing I realized it is not always the case. It is true that being honest is the right thing to do, but there are certain situations where telling the truth can negatively affect someone else.
Bradley Manning exposed war information with good intentions, he believed telling the truth was the right thing to and to many it was. The U.S. was doing bad things and the government tries to hide it from people to make them feel better, another level of lying to make people happier. It is bad that the truth is being held from the people so Manning was a good person, but he also put many American lives at risk as well. It is now debatable whether it is worth telling the truth but threaten the safety of others while doing so, and it is why the government hides so much from the public.
People have become skeptic of the government because they often lie, trying to protect us and keep us calm. In 1986 the worst nuclear power plant accident happened in Chernobyl. My mom was still in her teens when it happened but she remembered everything. She told me that they haven't found out about the explosion until weeks after, and even then the government told them that it was safe and to go on with regular life. They rejected the fact that it was dangerous and told the people that it couldn't have spread so far. After a while they realized that honey from Eastern Europe was a lot cheaper and people found signs of radiation in it. The problem was much more dangerous than they have been told, with people dying due to the radiation caused by the disaster. People were afraid to eat because a lot of food was contaminated and could cause health problems. It was only after a while that the government told the people what really happened and the side effects that can occur from exposure to radiation. Luckily nobody in Croatia was directly affected by it, but if the radiation was worse and the people didn't know there could have been many deaths and health problems.
The government does its best to keep its people safe and under control, so often they tent to lie to us. It is often for our own good, but sometimes, like what happened to my mom in Croatia, hiding the truth can be dangerous.
I do side with your point that the government tries its best to keep its people happy and safe. Of course, not every action the government or we as a people do will always be the right choice. The consequences from nuclear radiation accidents and whatnot are still relatively new to us; we can only expect the best out of each outcome and go from there.
I also have to agree about how governments hiding certain events or programs can have negative consequences. That said, sometimes they have no choice BUT to hide things, if only to avoid causing mass panic. Good post though, I found it easy to understand your points.
I agree with you. I think the government should have the responsibility to take care of the people. Maybe the government is now always correct in some ways. We can only accept the consequences of their actions.
The atomic bombs saved Japan.
Ironic, I know, to see me write these words. I'm proud of being partially Japanese, something that occasionally causes problems with my Chinese girlfriend. I argued against America's justifications for using the bombs during a debate in US history last year; I claimed that the US had forced Japan into a position where war was the only option that provided any chance of survival against European and American imperialism. Truthfully, when I look at history, I still believe that war might have been averted had a century of contact between America and Japan been managed differently.
And yet, by vaporizing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by annihilating hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, America saved not just itself but Japan as well. If those initial blasts had not forced Japan to surrender, the war would have continued. The Allies would have proceeded with Operation Downfall (the plans for the invasion of the Japanese islands), and an atrocity far surpassing the twin blasts of the atomic bombs and the destruction of two cities would have commenced. The invading forces would have liberally used available atomic weapons; Japanese cities would have been reduced to rubble while the Allies fought against their dug in opponents throughout the home islands. Had the war ended in this fashion, the casualties would have been nearly incomprehensible. For reference, enough purple hearts were manufactured in anticipation of this campaign that they are still being used as the supply for modern wars; this is to say nothing of the Japanese death toll, which almost certainly would have been staggeringly high.
Those twin flashes of light, those twin fireballs rising into the sky, those twin shock waves destroying homes and slaughtering men and women and children; all were born out of hatred. Japanese disgust with American interference into what they saw as their affairs, Japanese fear of Imperialist forces, Japanese anger over what America's resource embargoes threatened; all of these factors led directly to Pearl Harbor. American outrage at a surprise attack, American outrage at Japanese cruelty, American outrage at thousands of young men dying on tropical islands turned into hellholes all across the Pacific; all of these factors gave birth to two bombs descending from the sky. And yet, from those stupendous blasts, from those maelstroms of hatred and anger and rage and despair and misunderstanding, hope for America and a future for Japan emerged.
All of us have to remember. The war could have just as easily continued; the Japanese military could have recommitted to their vow to fight to the death. We would have annihilated more cities, and committed what would essentially have been genocide, for even in war, genocide is genocide. Enough time has passed for us to be able to look back on the past without being blinded by the guilt and anger of those twin flashes of light. We owe it to those who died to look back, to understand, and to remember. What happens when two peoples cannot understand each other? Millions die, cities are vanquished in split seconds of terror, nations are shattered. History is studied so that we may hope to avoid making the mistakes, avoid falling into the same traps as we did before. Do I believe that we may one day wipe out another city? Possibly. Should the conflict on the Korean Peninsula renew, or Iran attack Israel, we may see the devastation of yet another people with our nuclear arsenal. Yet, we will not yet be so quick to press the button, so fast to let loose with our weapons of war, for we now know what it means to wield such tremendous power, and what happens when that power is used rashly in a moment of rage born out of misunderstanding.
There's no promise we won't destroy another city, or pulverize a few hundred thousand more people. The only thing we can be assured of is that we will make every last attempt at coming to an understanding before we do so again; and, in the end, that is really the best we can hope for in a world like ours.
Not many people take the stance that the bombing was beneficial to Japan. You did, and you backed up your points well-that's what made your post so interesting to read. Keep up the awesome work.
P.S. You and your girlfriend are cute
Doomsday and the Echo
As always, there is no actual punishment or any sort of settled treatment if I lied. My parents believe that I will never lie to them; they trust me so well. They believe what I behave at home is the way I actually am. But in some ways, they are not fully correct; the way I behave in front of them is not completely the way I truly am; I care about something which they don’t think I do. I don’t have a specific reason why I don’t want to express; I just don’t feel like it’s necessary to let them know.
I have a big family back in China, it’s big and lovely. In my mom’s side, I have five aunts and one uncle. In my dad’s side, I have one aunt and three uncles. And I have eleven cousins. We used to spend every weekend together.
I never went back to visit them since I came to the U.S., and I barely contact with them. My parents always ask me whether I contact with them often or not, I tell them that I don’t. They ask me why I don’t contact with them very often because they know we grew up together, and we loved each other. I tell my parents that I’m busy. And when they called them and asked me to talk to them on phone, I refused. Gradually, my parents think that I don’t miss them at all. But actually I do, I miss them everyday.
The reason I don’t contact with my cousins is I know I cannot control myself, I will cry so badly just like the day I left them. And I don’t want them to see me cry; I’m not used to. I pretend to be careless just because I don’t want others to see my weakness or tears, include my parents. And I don’t know how I can tell my parents I do miss my cousins, aunts and uncles.
I have my own secrets that I don’t want to share with anyone, and I actually care things that I pretend I don’t, like everyone does.
I understand how you feel because I barely call back to Taiwan and talk to my family too, but it doesnt mean that I dont miss them at all. we all lied, but its just because we dont want people to see our weakness.
wow....is exposing this truth really a good thing to do??
I believe that as taxpaying citizens of the United States we have every right to know what our government is doing.
The United States of America is a full fledged federalist and democratic government, and we elect almost all our officials, starting from Arcadia's mayor to the President of the United States. As citizens who put our authority figures in power, we have every right to know exactly what they're doing in office. I feel that often times we vote candidates into power based on the promises they make in their campaign, but rarely do we see tangible results just released to us; how do we know President Obama is making spending cuts in a department when we don't even know how much the department was spending in the first place?
Our situation is very relatable to a boss and his employee. First, he hires someone based on his resume and his promises about what he can bring to the table. We as the voters are the one initially in power and can “hire” a candidate with our vote. Then the boss pays the employee to do his job and watches over him occasionally to make sure he does it well; while he may not drop in everyday, the boss is sure to keep tabs and check on his employee occasionally. This is where I feel like the government goes wrong; we place them in power, and we should have a right to know what they're doing. The government should periodically release recently accomplished tasks and short/long term goals, because the ones being paid are responsible to the one paying them, and as taxpayers the government should be held responsible to us.
How much is the government spending on a specific department in the military, say nuclear research?
Why is our debt still growing at 16 trillion when our federal tax revenue is only 2.5 trillion?
What goes on at Area 51, and do aliens exist?
These questions are just a sample of things that an everyday average citizen doesn't have direct access to.
Of course there is information that we as citizens should be kept from. If a strain of influenza capable of killing a person within the hour was synthetically created at the CDC and destroyed shortly after with no remains, there would be no reason for the government to panic the public. The location of all our military equipment is also unnecessary information; the people running one of the most powerful nations in the world should be smart enough to deem what is necessary and what isn't.
Would releasing information about the economy and “tangible” goals put us in mortal danger that would lead to North Korea nuking the United States? We're not asking for the ingredients to an Atomic Bomb, we just want to know what the government has planned and what direction it's taking, and I believe that we have the right to know.
Area 51? I'm not saying it's aliens, but it's aliens.....
On a serious note, I do like your point that there are certain programs or secrets that the government is involved with that we may not desire to be privy to, but we still deserve to know the general direction the government and country is taking. I also liked your analogy comparing the relationship between us citizens and the government to that of a boss and an employee; you're right that far too often both sides forget that the government works for the people and not the other way around!
Hey Daniel. I had neglected to include in my blog post to say what you said in your last paragraph. We as a people should know what's going on, not the know-how of what's going on. Thanks for putting it out there.
After reading your post, it reminded me of how I always wanted to know about Area 51 and the rumors about it that the government hides from us. I like how you made your point and now I understand why you think the way you do.
i liked your use of logic within the post. It really compliments your personality especially after all we talk about. I completely agree on your view with the boss/employee comparison.
The summer between eighth and ninth grade, I fell in love with a boy. We would talk everyday and we would often hang out as friends. He was shy, smart, caring, nice, and funny. He made me feel like that I was really special to him.
We were shy, so he never told me that he likes me, and neither did I.
I guess he was my first love because he gave me a feeling I never had before. Even though I knew he liked me, I always acted like he is just my best friend.
When people asked me “Do you like him?”, I would lie.
Why would I lie? The truth was that I liked him and my feelings for him were real. But because I was too young, I was afraid that a relationship will kill our friendship.
The summer ended, but our summer love did not end. However, for some reasons I had to moved to Arcadia. Even though we had to go to different high schools, we still talked and the feelings were the same;
distances did not change our love.
As time goes by, we were still in a "best friends" status. Unfortunately, he slowly lost hope in me. He started to talk to me less and less until he barely talked to me. From then on, he slowly broke all the promises we made together.
After a few months, I asked him why had he stopped talking to me. He told me he had to study, and I knew it was a lie.
He asked me how was my life, I told him it was all good, which I lied too.
I was not good because I missed him so much. I needed him in my life. However, I did not tell him this because I thought a beautiful lie would be the best for us.
Finally, I understand why people lie about their feelings all the time. Sometimes, a good lie could be the best for others. Therefore, I gave up the feelings I had for him to accommodate his decision.
After a year, he texted me happy birthday. I was so happy to hear from him again, but I realized it is a completely different feeling. There were no more fast heartbeats, no more blushing on my cheeks.
I realized we were living in different worlds now. He seemed so far away from me, and I did not know anything about him anymore.
We had drifted away.
Despite all that, I still decided to take the chance and courageously tell him the truth. The truth that I was afraid to tell him a year ago that he was my everything.
This time we were honest. We admitted that we liked each other, but it was too late.
Everything changed, and we could no longer go back. We regretted the lies we told. If we could ever go back we would rather tell each other the truth.
Therefore, this quote "Fear is stupid, so are regrets," became my favorite quote.
Maybe staying as friends aren't that bad. You never know what would happen if you guys got together. You might just lose him completely even as friends. Great post, thanks for sharing.
Thanks shao ting
you're right! maybe friends will be better than lovers.
I really enjoyed reading your story. Situations like yours occur lots of times. It just sucks how at the moment the easiest way out of something is by creating a pretty little lie however, with that pretty little lie we loose the chances of knowing what could have happened. Great post!
i hate how we create little lies to hide our feelings, I agree that we lost a lot of chances.
Bradley Manning released thousands of top secret documents, videos, and classified information which included people being murdered, shot, or dying to the American public. The government saw this as espionage but to Bradley he was doing good as he stated, “I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.” Was the public ready to know the ugly truth?
If Bradley never uploaded the classified information to the public we would all be in the dark. Unaware of the horrible act and safe from the blinding truth. Sometime the truth isn’t nice so its meant to be kept for a reason.
I had a friend who struggled to understand why his parent’s left him and his older brother in a foreign country. Why did they abandon him? Countless nights, he would wake up from the nightmares and ask himself “why did they leave?”. Aware that his guardians and older brother knew the truth, he desperately wanted to find out . However he realized that maybe he should not know. There was a reason why they didn’t tell him so he respected it. He understood that maybe they didn’t keep the truth from him but rather the pain. The secret that would only lead to misery, misery he did not need.
I’d say that it was better to know less. Bradley shouldn’t have released the classified information because it didn’t do anything but cause pain. It was kept a secret because the government knew it would be painful. Sometime the truth is ugly and its better to believe the beautiful lie.
At first I thought you were going to justify what Manning did, and I'm not sure how I would've responded to that. In the end, however, you definitely turned it around and suggested both sides. I think, morally, Manning might have been just as much in the right spilling the secrets as the government was keeping them.
Strong post. Those bold phrases were powerful and well placed.
I agree with you that Bradley shouldn't release the ugly side of this world. If we never know those truths, our lives can be more happy. Those truths only give us bad memories, and what if the children see them. It's not positive for their education.
There are the times where I have been angrier at someone who had apologized for something they have done. Giving a reason to apologize may end up taking a wrong turn.
I used to be very close to two people, who I’ll name Jack and Jill.
I would always hang out with Jack everyday afterschool before I got a job, because we both had nothing better to do. Jack would always take me places since I didn’t have a car at the time, and we would go on adventures every week. One day, something changed and everything seemed different from that day on. Jack was horrible with directions, but she was also very stubborn. If she did something wrong, she would never admit it; if she did something right, she would rub it in your face. The time she does things wrong and never admits it, we end up arguing until I showed her mistake. When she apologizes, she apologized with an excuse. That was the problem. If you apologize with an excuse, people tend to get angrier because they end up getting mad at you for your excuse instead of your mistake.
Then there was Jill. She would have a lot of problems in her life. There would be problems that randomly pop up in her life. These problems ruined our friendship because she chose to hide things from us, her closest friends; because she feared we would judge her poorly for her actions. When she does something stupid, she just apologizes. Unlike Jack, who comes up with a lame excuse; Jill actually apologizes with no explanation. We may not ever find out why Jill did the things she did, but it’s better to not know why she made those decisions rather than finding out because it would only get a person more mad because the excuse for the apology might end up not being what it seems.
There are problems in life where it does not include us in it, so if a conflict affects the people, then the people should know about the problem. It would be better if someone decides if the information they know would be appropriate for us to know because some problems just don’t concern you to affect you. Our nation’s, government’s, and society’s aims should include the citizens because we are one nation, so the government’s aims affect the citizens because their aims include the cooperation of everyone so no one gets left behind.
It only takes one.
It only takes one powerful madman to acquire a nuclear bomb.
It only takes one bomb to destroy a city.
With as many powerful nukes and as many irritated dictators as ever, it seems inevitable that the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be repeated. Despite all our care in preserving our history, we have an abysmal record of learning from it. As with pogroms, as with letting poppies grow tall, and even with sexual scandals of public figures (dating back to Ancient Greece), time and time again, we commit the same mistakes again. History seems less a means of knowing not to repeat mistakes than a way of recognizing when we repeat it.
If another city is destroyed in the name of war, the chances are just as slim as they were sixty-seven years ago that someone outside of the mission will know what will happen before it does. At that point, it no longer matters that there is an angry populace reacting. It no longer matters if there is a reason. By that point, the tragedy will have happened again. No matter how much the world distorts what happened, no amount of public outrage will prevent it. Think the dictator cares what the public thinks if he’s got the final solution to their cries under his arm?
Yes, the destruction was a terrible thing, one we would do best to avoid at all costs. But it seems naive to automatically assume that it will never happen again, given our history of not learning from our history.
Doomsday and the Echo
The more I learn about the devastation brought on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the more I see how those bombings led to such a massive change in the world. Immediately after the bombings every country that could build the bomb started building as many as they could and tried to make it even bigger, those that couldn’t began working tirelessly to get the technology to obtain the atom bomb. It seemed as though we were on the brink of World War III several times yet neither side was willing to let loose the first punch and open Pandora’s box. Eventually the initial numbness to the true effects of the bomb wore off and the atom bomb went from being the super weapon to the single entity that was responsible for the most deaths in one shot ever created.
The people and the media began to face the reality that with one drop of that bomb thousands of innocent men, women, and children were now gone as if they had never existed. Threats of using the bomb became farther and farther between until they were almost gone altogether.
I’d like to say that after this realization of the truth of what happened will keep another nuclear weapon from ever being dropped again but I don’t think this is so. I don’t believe a democracy would ever be the first to drop a nuclear weapon because with all the negative publicity that leader would never be voted back in again. A dictatorship or communism wouldn’t do it either, the leader would know they would either die in the retaliation or in the revolts by their people soon after because of their stupid decision.
The only ones who would drop the bomb would be those groups that don’t have a specific location to retaliate against who has no care for its people at all. I group like this could, in the right climate, generate enough influence to put the right psychopath as dictator of a country with nuclear capabilities. This person would be extremely patriotic and have very strong morals. He would have a mind set like Bradley Manning; he would do anything, no matter how seemingly stupid, in order to stand with those beliefs. He would drop the bomb knowing full well that he and quite possibly millions of others would die because he would know that it was for the benefit of the world and that he would be a hero. All it takes is for that one person to get that one chance, and then all hell breaks loose.
I believe that a nuclear bomb dropped today would possess a much stronger message around the world than it would 60 years ago. It sucks that at this stage of the world, it takes one stupid person to ruin everything anyone has worked for.
"Honesty is the best policy", or so that's what they say.
The thought of being honest reminds me of our baseline question, "Is it better to know too much or too little?"
I think honesty is not the best policy not based on morals but based on feelings. This is a thing I've had much experience with.
I've had a crush on my best guy friend for almost a year now, but we've always been in the awkward situation where I drop a hint and he doesn't really get it so then I become what has known to be the "friend zone". Near the end of February, I waited for the day which I felt loneliest, Valentines day and ti'll this day I have never had one.
I finally worked up the courage to ask him with determination in my eyes, but sadly I get turned down. He told me he just didn't want one so I was alright with it. He didn't want one, but on valentines day, I found out he had asked my friend and naturally I was heart broken. Nevertheless I felt a bit flattered that he lied so he wouldn't hurt my feelings. I tried again recently, but this time I asked him to prom and got shot down again because he was going to ask the same friend. No lies this time and it hurt like a punch in the stomach.
After we didn't talk for weeks and slowly we've been re building our friendship, but I think it wouldn't have taken so long for us to become friends again if he spared my feelings.
I want to complement you on your confidence and how strong you are. It takes a lot of courage to confess how you really feel to someone you like. Not any girl can do that. I really enjoyed reading your post. I know of situations where a girl falls in love with her best friend and it sucks, but know that sometimes it's better to stay as friends because if you start a relationship with him and it doesn't work out you might have a worst relationship with him than what you had before. Great post! =)
Doomsday and the Echo: A Legend that We All Know
There was a legend in the United States.
A legend about aliens. People were saying that the government is hiding the aliens somewhere in the United State and trying to communicate with them.
Year after year, more information are releasing from people who retired from the government. Somewhere in Nevada has a military base called Area 51.
People had seen UFO landing there.
If someday the aliens are going to attack our planet like in the movies, we are supposed to know everything that the government had done with them.
The government should not hide the information about the aliens. We should not let the government choose which information is appropriate for us to know.
We are the people who lived on this planet.
In Childhood's End, the aliens came to Earth and controlled human's activities. We should not wait for the aliens to stand in front of us.
The government should show us what we are supposed to know. The danger of the outsiders is not be foresee by the government. We should be prepared before everything is too late.
We can not expect that the government will take the responsibility for us.
Interesting post, definitely an unexpected perspective for this blog. Really wasn't expecting aliens, but I guess that's exactly what the government wants.
Thank you for your insight. Live long and prosper. And may the force be with you.
Doomsday and the Echo
Is it better that we know everything? Or should we only be open to things that the people and the government feel we should know about?
There were times in my life when I wished some things were just left unsaid and untold. Whether it was another person knowing something they hadn’t known about me or somebody else, it all had the same impact.
They were shocked, disappointed, or just left to stand in disbelief.
I’ve realized this through many experiences and I’m sure many have besides me. Hearing secrets about somebody can really change your perspective to how you view and see them. It can make you more distant with them and even ashamed that you have had or still have relations with them. A good personal image is what everyone wishes to preserve, but it can be greatly harmed by what somebody says. Over my lifetime I have had my image bashed by people spilling secrets, and there are also times when my viewpoint of a certain person totally changed permanently from something I heard.
Which helps me respond to the case of Bradley Manning. Truth and honesty is a great thing. Knowing the juicy parts behind things and every detail feels great but it also can be harmful. Bradley told the truth about the massacre and the government’s wrong doings and although he had good intentions to bring people behind the scenes and let them see it all, I feel that it wasn’t relevant enough to be blabbered, shown and told. He wanted to open the eyes of people, but what it brought wasn’t healthy for the people or the U.S. There are reasons why the government doesn’t tell the people everything because it puts them in shock and panic. What the government believes is that they do what they feel is best for the country and the people. If they don’t see it as something the people should know, they decide to keep it concealed and reworded which works fine for the time being.
I feel that we as the people are sometimes left in the dark but I see why it can be better. As I said before how images of people and the government can be hurt by cases such as Manning’s, it shows why things are better off left unsaid.
It amazes me just how much phrases like “I’m sorry” or “thank you” have lost their meaning over the years. At one point, these were words we learned to say before we even knew how to spell. They were words we said with purpose, with meaning, and with genuine care. Today, it seems as if they get thrown around like everyday speech. The mere essence of these words seems to have just evaporated over time.
“Why didn’t you finish your homework on time?”
“How could you forget your own mother’s birthday?”
“You aren’t the son I once knew…What happened to you?”
But do I really mean it anymore?
As with everything in my life nowadays, every word or action I utter seems to follow some strict, emotionless routine. Apologies are no exception. And just as I muster those two words time and time again, they are always followed by the same, predictable sequence. I apologize. I provide an explanation. I promise that I’ll never make the same mistake again. Eventually, my parents and I both hoped, I would actually learn from my wrongdoings. Eventually, I would become a better person.
Things have changed a lot since I was just a kid. Back then, my words meant the world to my parents. They gave them hope, excitement, and something to believe in. Today, my apologies no longer move them. My explanations no longer have any bearing. My promises no longer have any legitimacy.
I’ve learned to work to prove myself in the words I say, the things I promise, and the apologies I make.
Up until the eighth grade, I knew that I could always make my parents proud by working hard and always doing the right thing. I earned good grades at school, always excelling beyond my peers, and routinely received positive feedback from my teachers. I was active outside of the classroom as well. I played piano, engaged in many sports, did chores around the household without having to be asked, and always looked for ways to please my parents on special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and their birthdays.
Back then, it seemed the least I could do to return the favor to my parents was be the best child I could. They worked tirelessly to support me in everything I did and poured their hearts out in order to ensure my success. They were willing to sacrifice everything for my well-being, and I knew that I had to eventually return the favor. That was then. But things changed.
For whatever reason, my life took a turn for the worst throughout my final year in middle school. I discovered the temptation of video games, especially how addictive and exciting they could be when played with friends late at night. I learned how to develop with close relationships with my friends, especially those of the opposite gender. I realized that I was doing things I had never even considered before in my life, but I didn’t have any real way of explaining why. I just did it.
In high school, my life almost lost control. I quickly discovered that I could no longer balance all the new work and responsibilities I had with the time I wanted to spent gaming or talking with friends. So I chose a path that my parents never would have let me embark on. I stopped caring about my schoolwork. I started sleeping in class. I copied homework assignments. I put everything off to the last minute. I learned how to “BS.” Everything I did at school, I did it with the mindset that I only needed to “get by,” to earn marks high enough to simply impress my parents.
I thought that by earning A’s throughout my first year of high school, my parents would be sufficiently pleased to leave me alone. So I continued my trends of gaming throughout the night, barely staying awake throughout school, and giving the least amount of effort I could to everything that used to be important.
My parents, however, saw right through me. They were desperate for my health, for my development as a teenager. They wanted me to change right away.
It was the last day of winter break during my sophomore year, and I had just put off a large chemistry project to the very last hours of the evening. My parents expected me to sleep early that night, especially with all the time I had beforehand to work on the assignment. They were shocked to see me with a blank screen when the clock hit 12 AM. I was just getting started, but little did I expect that to be the final turning point.
My mom began sobbing, and for the first time in years I saw a side of her − a sensitive, vulnerable side − that I had never seen. It finally occurred to me that evening, however, that I had let my parents down. I closed my laptop, knowing that I had to address this situation before I could continue working. I sat down next to my crying mother and asked her what was wrong. Her response has shaken me to this day:
“What happened to you?”
Ever since that evening, I’ve always lived with the mindset that I have a lot of ground to make up for. I was in the optimal position for success during my final years of middle school, but I threw it all away at the last second. All my hard work, all my parents’ hard work, everything. And for what? Just so I could spend a couple more hours each night playing a video game? Just so I could invest my emotions in relationships not worth pursuing? By my sophomore year of high school, everything seemed to have spiraled out of control. My parents’ daily lectures soon meant nothing, and neither did my constant excuses, promises, and apologies.
The only thing that could rescue the situation were my own actions.
The final week of the semester rolled around, and I knew I had my work cut out for me. My grades in every class were borderline, a result of my months of slacking off beforehand. If I wanted to salvage my academics, this was my last chance. I had to give it my all. I had to do it for everyone who cared about me. I had to do it for my parents. I had to do it for me.
When the report card finally arrived in the mail two weeks later, my parents could only sigh with relief. They also managed to inch a smile for the first time in my months. I had done it.
My struggles leading up to the end of my sophomore year have taught me many things. First and foremost, they woke me up from a state that I never want to return to. They made me realize that for years, I had been taking the wrong path, a path that I swore to avoid as a child.
My struggles also taught me that because of the mistakes I made, my words could no longer be depended on. Too many worthless excuses. Too many broken promises. Too many bogus apologies.
Perhaps most importantly, however, I finally learned that I had to let my actions speak for my words. To earn the trust I had lost back, I needed to work for it. Much of what I said and did those past few years cannot be reversed, and it shakes me to the core when I think about all the pain I brought upon my family. In the end, however, I realized that only I could rescue myself. Only through my efforts. Only through own two hands.
Apologies, by themselves, can go a long away, but as they are made time and time again, they quickly begin to lose their meaning. This is enhanced when each is followed by an explanation, or perhaps more fittingly, an excuse. To make an apology truly meaningful, one must act. They must earn back the trust they lost and the forgiveness they seek.
Actions speak louder than words. This I reaffirmed through my struggles. This I have lived up to since that one evening in January.
I never knew of this past of yours. I feel a bit apathetic towards your old vices, being i had them too. I'm happy we were able to connect the past year, and am glad there are others who wanted to change. Keep working hard... you deserve the happiness i know you reap in right now.
Doomsday and the Echo: The Price of Telling the Truth
When we are given the truth we are also given an obligation. We either have to keep it to ourselves or share it with others. I was given the obligation to either tell my friend what’s really going on or leave him in the dark. I stood there next to him with the information he needed to know. It was hard to choose between telling him or not because the truth that was given to me was second hand information. By telling him I’d be risking my friendship with the person who told me the ‘truth’. I ended up telling my friend the truth because he needed to hear it. If I was in his situation I would have wanted someone to be there and tell me the truth when I needed it.
Telling the truth comes with a price. Bradley Manning thought that the public needed to know the truth but not everyone agrees with him. Even I to had to deal with the consequences of telling the truth because not everyone believed that my friend should’ve known what was going on. I stood up for what I believed was right and so did Bradley. Of course the scale between our truths is different but they both have a large effect on the people who hear them.
In both of the cases it was better to know the truth than to stay in the dark. The public discovered what was going on and so did my friend. If the people in both situations stayed in the dark they’d be unaware of what was going on and nothing would change. Since I decided to tell my friend the truth he was able to do something about it and change. As for Bradley releasing information it changed the way about how people think about how we aren’t being told everything and to question what is really going on. The truth helps us fix what is wrong and make things right. Without it we are left with nothing but questions and ignorance.
We should have the right to know things that we deserve to know. No one should have the power to hide or keep the truth from us.
Back when I was four my parents got divorce. When I grew older I starting having these questions that why mom and dad have to get divorce, why they can’t just get alone with each other and work things out so I would have a father on my side. Then I ask my mom about it, she told me that it was because back when we were little, dad treats me and my sister unfair from my oldest brother. She told me that how he used to beat us and treats us really badly. She told me is the only way to save us from the big evil dad.
Maybe some of them are true, but the real truth though, is that she had an affair with another guy in China. When my dad told me about it I remembered back when they got divorce, mom took me and my sister to China to live with a strange guy but I guess things didn’t work out between him and mom either, so we went back to live in Taiwan. After knowing the truth I started ignore her for few months, but she didn’t really notice because she was too busy working. Eventually I kind of accept the facts that they got divorce because of there are no more feelings between them and moved on.
Even though these are the things I couldn’t change back when I was little, but I still think that the truth shouldn’t be hid or kept from me and my sister. We deserve to know the truth because we are both human being we can decide what is good or bad in life. We can’t change anything from the past but we can control our own future.
It's nice to know more about you.
It's kind of a sad story, but you accept it.
If I were you, I would hate to see my parents got divorce.
It's good for you to left your sadness in the past and you will grow up.
Such a sad story, but you're right. You deserve to know the truth even if I did hurt you. Everyone deserves to know the truth.
It means a lot that you shared your story with the classes on this blog.
I can feel that you have grown a lot from what you have experienced, and I am glad you don’t hold has much of the anger towards your mother anymore.
Your last sentence really tied the whole post together! I agree that the past cannot be changed, but we really do have the power to mold our future into the future that we want. Keep up the good work!
I admire your bravery for posting this.
My parents are also divorced, but I've never asked any questions. Great blog Victor.
Your blog made me think a lot about how my dishonest would hurt my family. I agree that we should not hide the truth and we all deserve to know the truth. Thank you for your great story.
The first few weeks or even months are the best in a relationship because each one focuses on impressing one another. The male gives her flowers. The female kills her partner with kisses. During this time, all flaws are hidden making it unable for them to fall in love with who they really are. Once marriage takes place all the lovey dovey parts in the relationship disappear. The fact that they are aware that they belong to each other makes them think there’s no reason to impress anymore. That is when they start seeing the truths in one another and problems are slowly created.
Her biggest mistake was deciding to marry him. While she was being truthful to him and falling in love more and more each day, he was talking and having fun with other girls. He said he loved her but he just couldn’t seem to leave his teenage adventures behind. So he thought it would be easy to have her and talk to other girls behind her back. Since she was deeply in love with him she was blinded to see the little signs that alerted cheating in the relationship.
One day he asked her to marry him, and of course she accepted. Little did she know she was going to have a miserable life with him. Eventually they had three adorable girls and due to work he wasn’t able to spend much time with his daughters. He had a decent job out of town where he would earn plenty of money to raise his family, but he decided to find another girl and spend it on her. When his family hardly had any food in the table he would apologize and make excuses that work wasn’t doing so well. These apologies continued for about three years. His wife was getting tired of his excuses because she didn’t see any improvements however. She waited for him thinking he was going through a tough time.
In reality he had another girl in his life and this girl just used him for money. He finally realized something was wrong when he went bankrupt. That is when he decided to go back to his wife and daughters. His wife had waited too long and was tired of not having anything to feed her daughters. She was forced to find a job in order to raise her daughters on her own.
When he came back, the doors were shut in his face. His wife had found out what he had been doing all those years. The doctors later diagnosed her with cancer and told her there was no cure. Luckily for her, she met an amazing man who treated her right and was willing to raise her and her daughters knowing she had cancer. His daughters now call this new man dad since he spent more time with them than their own father.
His apologies meant *nothing*. His apologies won’t make his daughters see him as their *Dad*. If he really loved them he would have left everything for his family. He would have been there for his wife. An apology is nothing when actions are not taken place.
An apology won’t bring him back the family he once had. Apologies are not always an excuse to get away with something.
Great blog Cindy, very intense and very heartfelt. Keep writing what you feel!
In 1894 a young artillery French officer, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of treason, believed to have leaked French military secrets to the General Embassy in Paris. He was sentenced to life imprisonment although all the accusations were essentially baseless. Seen as the worst possible type of traitor, he lost everything and felt the hatred of his own country.
A couple of years later the charges against Dreyfus were revealed to have been based upon false documents, and the real culprit, and Army Major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy was acquitted. In 1899 there was a second trial for Dreyfus, and he was found innocent and eventually reinstated as a major in the French army.
When things go wrong, people are eager to look for someone to blame; fingers are always pointing at someone. When France’s secrets were spilled, a nation was betrayed and it was okay that they felt that way, but the consequences that followed as a result of this conquest for justice outweighed the costs. The affair created a lasting division that turned the people of France against each other. It embittered the political scene and made the people mistrust the military because they were revealed to have to framed Dreyfus and cover up other various scandals. Was it really worth it to receive their justice by accusing an innocent man so willingly? Did the people actually receive peace from the truth? Instead, they felt the bitter consequence of a nation dividing, a turn towards a negative path that would eventually lead to many other problems.
I really liked what you had to say here and I especially agree with the part "When things go wrong, people are eager to look for someone to blame". But sadly in this case it was directed to the wrong person. I really enjoyed the story. Great post!
Hi Megan! I think when a problem appears people often try to shift the blame so it seems "justified". Only once they found their "justice" would they sit down and think what they have done.
I often find myself and hear others adding excuses to the end of apologies. Excuses show that we aren't truly sorry for what we've done. Maybe it’s that we really just add apologies to the end of excuses to make us seem like better people. Apologies have become a social expectation. We are expected to apologize for the wrongs we’ve done, but we are too prideful to completely commit to an apology.
An excuse tacked on to an apology becomes “On the outside I sound genuinely regretful, but on the inside, I’m only a little bit sorry.
Though I feel this way about excuses, I have a different opinion on when explanations and/or context is given. This is where the line dividing excuses and explanations becomes blurry- where it is hard to tell if the one apologizing is legitimately sorry for their wrongs. For an apology to be legitimate, I believe one must genuinely feel sorry and an explanation or context must be given only with the intent of helping the person better understand they acted this way.
Ultimately, giving context either ruins an apology or makes it more understandable.
I was thinking exactly the same thing. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
What are history lessons for? Why do we take it as a subject for a class?
History is taught so that people know how they got to where they are now, why they got there, and so that bad decisions aren’t made over and over again. A nation has a responsibility to teach its history, if it chooses to teach history at all, truthfully and as accurately as possible. People should know what has happened in the past to their people in order to understand the world around them better. It’ll help with understanding differences in culture and differences in mentality. History shouldn’t be remembered by a nation inaccurately because there’s no point. A nation would be building its philosophy, literature, almost everything off of lies. Those lies can get people buried into a deep hole that they may never get out of. When it comes to classes, people take history, not lies.
You can’t rewrite history.
Learning history from a nation that has shaped its history into what it wants to be rather than how it actually happened is completely useless. Nobody else in the world would see things the same way they see it. But, changing the way a nation looks at its own history the way it wants isn’t to be confused with changing the way it looks at it by seeing it from another nation’s perspective. What you see and the way you justify your actions can be completely off from what other people see. For example, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Americans view it as a bad thing. They view it as killing innocent lives, leveling an entire city, ending a war. To the Japanese, it was a destruction of culture, a separation of mothers from their children they love so dearly, it led to the end of a landmark.
Nations should have an obligation to teach their history correctly… the way it happened. However, they should also see it through some other eyes to make sure it isn’t completely one-sided.
Daryl you're right I also think that Nations should teach correctly. You wrote a great essay good job.
Dismay. Shock Terror. Self less. Horrified.
These are words that coexist with any terrorist attack. America will always have to live with the fact that they dropped a bomb on Hiroshima. The capability of one man being able to okay the Secretary of Defense can kill millions. Some believe it also saved millions.
On a Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m., the Atomic Bomb known as “Little Boy” was deployed. As little as one minute from the time the bomb was dropped to impact on the ground, over 100,000 people were effected. 68 years later, America still has to live with the fact of what we did. It is our nation’s responsibility to remember our history accurately.
The question that still lies is, was dropping of the bomb worth it?
I believe that it was justified to drop the bomb, and it was well worth it. I look back on this day, and I notice that we-America- is the only country over the course of history to ever deploy an atomic bomb. President Harry Truman states,
“We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans."
This is an accurate statement that shortly summarizes the justification of the dropping of the bomb. If we didn’t bomb Hiroshima, countless American lives were at stake. In order to save Americans, we had to prove to the world that we weren’t messing around. Of course many people may think it is inhumane to kill thousands of innocent people, but when talking on terms of war, anything is fair game.
Another aspect I look at, and notice, is that warfare is never on American soil. I truly believe that due to dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, other countries fear us. We institutionalized fright in our enemy’s eyes, and competitors know the outcome of attacking our nation.
The pros over power the cons when discussing “Little Boy”. The Atom bomb shortened the war, and saved millions of innocent people. Although it may be hurtful to remember America’s history of being the first country to drop an atom bomb, the results made it worth it. Every dark night is saved by dawn and its light. It is our duty to remember what happened to the Japanese, and it is our obligation to give them respect. Other countries have and will always have their interpretations of the bombing. What has been done is done, and there is no looking back.
The dropping of Hiroshima is just a dent in this world’s history, but war will always be the beating heart that keeps this world orderly.
Post Script: Hiroshima is a little blemish that Americans seize to understand. War was the reason that we were put in this predicament, and as each day passes, something worse is coming closer. Believe it or not, we already have an arsenal that can blow up the world with in minutes. I fear that the next time we have a World War, which would be our third! We-humans- wouldn’t be able recovery from the devastation and losses.
“If we don’t end war, war will end us”. –H.G Wells.
“I’m sorry.” If standing alone, these two words are essentially empty words. If you were to ask me if these words which stand alone were better off left unsaid, I would have to say, yes. I am a firm believer of the idea that humankind is capable of working for the things it wants. So why not go the extra mile when a slight effort has already been made?
Apologies are meant to mean something. It reveals the recognition and acceptance of fault, which is a big deal for our prideful nature. Being able to admit to fault in the first place deserves praise; however, if it is said merely for the purpose of brushing off an uncomfortable situation - does it not turn into a damaging habit? Is saying sorry with no awareness of why one is apologetic not defeating the purpose of the whole gesture? Does the person you are offering your vulnerability of an apology to not deserve an explanation attached to it?
Our current fast paced lives offer us a need to get in and out of situations quickly. I understand that a short apology is needed and acceptable if the situation were small - say, accidentally bumping into someone. But it is those big moments that I am aiming at - the ones that cause feelings to be hurt, the ones that hurts you down to the very bones.
Emotional damage is hard to repair - I have gone through it, and I am sure that many others have, as well. What should be a symbolic action of a counterpart to try to mend a dilemma, has turned into a certain figure of speech. To avoid discomfort and hatred, we constantly say sorry - and for what reason? Not many of us know. Those words we utter comes out automatically, because we have used them over and over again to get out of sticky situations. If it had worked before, why would it not work now? Despite that, giving the individual that you have done wrong to a profound effort of setting things right gives you an opportunity to grow as a person. Taking shortcuts should not be the way we live our life.
However, I cannot argue that these two words do not carry significance at all, and it would be harsh of me to do so. They are the two words that offer possibilities toward an otherwise different future. They are the two words that allows one to work towards a stronger foundation of the way an individual mends and confronts things - they are the building blocks for that. Words that possess such a light, yet heavy weight - should not be played around with. Being sincere with words goes a long way, especially if it comes from the heart.
I completely agree with you. I too think that apologies should have some kind of explanation to them. Without an explanation it seems meaningless, and the other person's actions maybe be for justifiable given the situation they were in.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post! And I really like how you put it, I couldn’t exactly put into words what you just said before I posted my post! Great feedback.
I do agree that apologies need to be followed by an explanation of why you did something but they should not be excuses
Thanks for reading! And definitely. Excuses ruin the point of all apologies made - there should be explanations, but excuses should not be the way to go.
During my childhood I got the chance to learn a lot of stuff. One thing that I have learned threw out the years that things do not end up happing like you have planned. When one door opens your way another closes. During my childhood I used to get in a lot of trouble, I got a lot of time outs and I have lost a lot of my favorite toys because of things that I have done.
One time as a child I decided to show my mother how talented I could be, so that day I planned it all, it was perfect I thought to myself, she is going to love it. After my mom served us breakfast that morning I decided that now would be the perfect time for me to execute my genius plan, since my mom will probably be busy cleaning up after us and finishing her chores around the house. After I was done I put my plate in the sink, and I ran through the house heading to my room. I went through my drawer looking for my brand new colored pencils, once I found them I took them and I started executing my plan. After I was done I went up to my mom and I told her that I have a beautiful surprise for her that she will love...
Well later on when she saw it she was surprised, but it was not the kind of surprise that I was going for. My mom was really mad and frustrated with me and drawing a big picture on my room’s door did not help. At first I thought about making an excuse for my childish behavior but then after I saw how upset my mom was I thought to myself that an apology and cleaning up my mess would probably help more than making an excuse for coloring my room’s door.
At the end I think that when you do something wrong you should admit what you have done and be honest about it because sometimes being honest helps, and excuses do not. For one time my father told me that “Excuses are more like lies; once you keep making them at a point they will start becoming lies”, I think that excuses do ruin apologies.
I loved your story, it really caught my attention! I also agree with your dad that excuses do just become lies. It was great that you were able to fit an actual comment from someone in your life to help back up your opinion. good job!
Doomsday and the Echo
I flinched back; my heart skipped a beat. There had been an inhumanly screech. I looked up the hour hand of the clock pointed at twelve, the rims of the clock casted a shadow block the numbers on the right had side. I returned my attention to my computer monitor. It showed the time at the right corner. Twelve fifteen.
Another screech I flinched again. I had to stop getting scared over that I mentally told myself. Another screech, I grew carious, I took a flash light and whet outside. The noises were coming from the side of the house right next to the small garden. It was pitch black and I pointed the light to the corner where the noise was coming from. It took a moment for me to understand what was happening. The light from the flashlight bounced off the fur or a white cat crouched in a corner; back arched and fangs bore against a dog gray fur. The white cat leaped at the grey one. They collided and rolled. Both animals rolled to their feet and ran from the light.
The question is not if humans would ever do anything like we did with Tokyo or Hiroshima, it is what will be enough to drive us to do what we did in the past.
Our society values human life over all else. Our own life is held most dearly. I believe our nation will destroy the city of another nation just as Nagasaki if one of our cities was threatened. The answer is clear when choosing between the horror befalling nation versus another.
Just like the white cat in the corner, when pressed people will do anything. They will kill to survive.
Your post really gave me chills. I love how you compared us to animals on instinct. This was a really interesting post. Thanks for writing it!
Right now, my desk is in a mediocre state. All my textbooks are on the left with the biggest ones on the bottom. An empty water bottle is at the end along with my monitor. Some games that I have not touched since summer lean and have started to slump against the screen. In the top right corner is a small pile of unidentified papers as well as an up-side down sticky note. A mold of dust has grown on its creased stickiness. Actually, every horizontal surface has a measurable thickness of the grey office filth. The composite wood underneath seems tanned, like too much shadow in one spot then suddenly a break where the dust was rubbed off. All in all, you can assume that I am sitting comfortably in a chair judging the actions of those who made great consequential decisions on their feet. I have time -- they did not.
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of war in a time of war. It was a pacific theater started, I might add, by Japan herself. The fact that people died should not be new. However, what horrifies people is the gruesomeness and political ease that ended thousands of people's lives and scarred a generation. For me, however, the Japanese government should have seen it coming.
Whether or not they deserved it is up to God but they should have known, in all of their tradition and wisdom, that survival by means of thievery and cruelty ends in dismal despairing downfall. Sure they had valid reasoning, but they went about doing it the wrong way. Japan was desperate for resources during that time. They needed materials badly. It was a starvation. This fear of death, the permanent banishment from this world, drove them to desperation as adrenaline drives a muscle. Their thrashing limbs swept aside parts of China, the Phillippines, and Pearl Harbor. It was the fear of loss that held them at sword point. But fear can be overcome.
Now, the question becomes legitimacy. Is the loss of life justified for the salvation of others? Should people strike their neighbors and take their flocks because their own fields are unyielding? To be blunt, taking something that is not yours is stealing. Giving up your life for the sake of others is love but taking someone's life out of selfishness is murder. Japan was wrong to invade other countries for their own sake.
Now I know you're thinking, "If it's wrong to take lives to save them, then why'd we nuke'em?". Well, to exercise dark thoughts, we all die anyways. What's wrong with dying by methods other than natural? Japan was trying to sate its hunger with the flesh of other people -- innocent people. They could not come to terms with their own departure of this world. They were trying to invent a miracle cure for their dying loved ones. I'm saying, the bombs we dropped were meant to save Japan, not destroy it. Otherwise Tokyo would have been bombed. We took their lives, incinerated them, not just to save American lives but also theirs. They should have known that refusing to accept death only makes life shorter. Had they been able to write that last chapter in The Fountain, there would have been no need for the war or the nukes.
The bombs, I think, helped them realize how easy it is for life to end. It made their death more apparent, more inevitable. Two cities were wiped out faster than any starvation could. Death had already taken hold. Perhaps we should just enjoy what we can before our obsessions leave us deserted. Just let it go. Life is too short to worry about death. If you die, you die. It was going to happen anyways.
The bombs helped them give up. Little Boy and Fat Man were the death of a beloved wife that shakes a man violently enough to see past his desperation and fear. Many think that the Japanese surrendered out of fear. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the whole world was afraid of these new bombs. But I think for Japan they were the seeds that were planted in the grave. In the end, even thought they lost, World War II really did save Japan. It also saved America. If it were not for the war, we would still be stuck in our apathy. The bombs brought an acceptance of life's death, and marked the beginning of the current relationship we now have with Japan. Not bad for a gruesome sword.
Your first paragraph was interesting. I kept reading because I was wondering what your desk had anything to do with this blog! But I saw the connection soon after.
Your post was very insightful, I can see that you put much thought into it. It also seems like you’re very accepting of the inevitable death that is upon us! This was very well written, great job!
I was hoping it would grab people's attention. Thanks!
I agree with everything you said. We all do die eventually but it was unfortunate that they had to die so suddenly. I also feel that overall, both countries were saved by this bombing. Great post!
I agree with everything you said. We all do die eventually but it was unfortunate that they had to die so suddenly. I also feel that overall, both countries were saved by this bombing. Great post!
Bradley Manning had a very good idea about changing the U.S. foreign policies. But the steps he took were not all necessary, nor appropriate. His intentions were pure and for the sole purpose of improving America. Manning did not think of the consequences before exposing the world’s strongest nation’s classified documents. Especially, releasing them to the internet where everyone could see. There were so many more other options that Manning could’ve used instead exposing it on the internet. He could’ve remained anonymous when submitting his documents to the internet or the press.
When he stumbled upon WikiLeaks, he learned that this website has dedicated to exposing corruption. Manning posted the documents here to open up eyes of the nation and encourage them to take a stand. In his testimony, it is clear that all his intentions were for the sake of the nation. But in the eyes of the court, he was a guilty man, committing espionage. There wasn’t any other way he could go now. All the odds were against him now.
I think that alerting the general public wouldn’t have raised as much participation as Manning hoped. There is not much the average citizen can do than write a letter or petition the cause. Which at the expense of their time, they wouldn’t care much about foreign countries. Most of them are too lazy to even read the new. I am quite confident that the U.S. government would have not ignored such an issue if it was brought up privately to them. Obviously, the U.S. would not openly declare its mistakes and admit all faults. Due to Manning’s misjudgment, he made a bad decision and ended up failing his goal, but raised some awareness of his story.
I think that you bring up pretty good points! Manning really did make a bad decision, but I suppose all of us sometimes try to do good... but end up failing anyway.
good work and nicely done,
We try to be good and bring the best, but sometime it isn't the best. right? I hope that our world can a better , when someone steps up for good will. Thanks for the post.
I really liked your post because I feel the same way about how he exposed the information. I also feel that the people in this nation don't seek out problems, and affairs.
Thanks for writing this invigorating post!
Not long ago I had a girlfriend. We had been together for about five months and we were going well up until then. She began to act differently around me; she was not as affectionate as she used to be and she hardly wanted to talk at all. After about two weeks of that I confronted her, an she said everything was fine. Which I can only guess meant that things were not fine. That Friday I was hanging out with all of my friends at "team bonding" where we all get together at one of our teammates' house and play video games and be loud and annoying together.
That night while I was there, my girlfriend texted me telling me that she was going to get tea with a friend of her sisters that she met last weekend. This guy was twenty years old. My girlfriend was eighteen and in high school. Obviously I did not react well. She had been acting weird and now she's going out with this twenty year old guy? I was furious. But I could not let my emotions show through. I wanted to believe that she was just having some problems of her own. I texted her back saying it was cool.
Meanwhile my friends could tell something was wrong. I told them what was going on and one friend in particular got mad and said he was going to go out and follow her. I was still trying to act like it was ok and that I wasn't ticked off beyond belief, so I didn't stop him or the other guys that went with him. This was my big mistake. I didn't want my friends to spy on her for me, but under the circumstances, my trust in her faltered and I let them go.
It wasn't long before they texted me saying they saw them holding hands. I then lost my mind. I got in my car and sped off to where they were. I parked in the lot and saw my friends siting in their car, watching my girlfriend in the small restaurant. I motioned for them to stay there, and I went inside the restaurant. My girlfriend saw me, and strangely did notlook incredibly surprised to see me. I went over to her and the guy. I hurriedly introduced myself and told him I wanted to take my girlfriend home.
"I understand man, it's cool."
I took my girlfriend to my car and began to drive. She sat in silence, further boiling my blood.
"What are you doing?" I accusingly asked her.
"What do you mean? He's just a friend."
"How do I know he wasn't trying to do something to you? Guys don't take a girl out for tea because the want to be 'friends.'"
"Nick, it's not like that I swear!"
"How do I know you weren't holding hands?"
"We weren't! I told you he's just a friend! And how did you know where I was anyway?"
She had only told me that she was getting tea, not exactly where she was.
"Because I'm smart and I figured it out."
I avoided telling her that my friends followed her. I knew that was the wrong thing to do, even if I didn't explicitly tell them to do so. I didn't stop them.
I asked again, "How do I know you weren't holding hands?"
"We weren't! You don't trust me?"
I didn't know what to think. My trust in her was severely shaken, but I did not want to believe that she was out on a date with another guy. Finally I told her I believed her. We were both furious. Her because I came and embarrassed her and myself, and I because I was confused and frustrated, and missing my girlfriend.
"I cant believe you don't trust me to go hang out with a guy friend!"
"I'm sorry, but with the way you've been acting lately what was I supposed to think? That why I did it."
"You could have trusted me."
I dropped her off at her house and went back to my friends house where all of my friends were. I went to the people who were in the car and asked them if they were really holding hands.
"We'll...yah, it looked like it - I mean I thought they were - but I'm not sure."
My stomach turned and i groaned, my hand pressed against my forehead, "Why did you tell me that if you weren't sure?"
My girlfriend and I broke up not long after. I still believe that she was not holding hands with that guy that night. I felt more guilty than sad about the break up - I should not have picked her up that night, and I could have stopped my friends. She eventually found out that my friends followed her as she despised my friends and I for it. She hated me for lying to her.
We isolated ourselves from each other thereafter, not out of spite but because we were both too stubborn to admit one of us was wrong. About a month later I was at Disneyland. Disneyland was our place together, my girlfriend an i went there many times together in the short five months we were together. Walking around the park everything I did reminded me of her - reminded me of my mistake and my guilt. I fought the urge to text her. I didn't want to be the one to break first.
It didn't take much longer for me to cave. I texted her just asking how she was doing. We texted politely for a little while, then I felt it was time to say what I wanted to say.
I remembered sitting in B2 the week before and pondering Ben Franklin's quote, "Never ruin an apology with an excuse." I thought about how I violated that idea when I told her "I'm sorry, but..." the night that I picked her up.
So yes, my texting her was a bit of a premeditated idea.
"Im not trying to be your boyfriend again or anything, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry, looking back with a clear mind I know what I did was wrong. I'm sorry I lied to you."
Better late than never. No excuses, no context - a heartfelt apology that did not expect one in return.
I understand that feeling of loss with another girl. I have had a relationship or 2 perish over something like this. Friends can really affect and situation with a girl and I have alot of respect for you for openly apologizing first. When I started reading this post, I was really grabbed by it and wanted to keep reading. Great job friend!
Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was one of the biggest eye-openers that the world has seen.
Bombing has become a morally wrong thing to do. Ever since then, countries have become sensitive to bombing and resort to combat instead of bombing. In my opinion, the entire world does not want a nuclear war. Every country is scared beyond belief at the thought of having a nuclear bomb dropped on their country. Yet, every country is attempting to have a full arsenal of nuclear weapons.
It isn’t because they plan to use them in defense.
Countries, in my opinion, want to have nuclear weapons as a way to demonstrate who has the most power. Because of what happened in Hiroshima, most countries are scared at what we can do, and do not want a nuclear war. Other countries know this and it is obvious that no one wants to live in fear of someone or something bigger than you being able to destroy you at the push of a button. So, Nuclear weapons are not something that countries will use, but something that is necessary for other countries to know about so that they do not get walked over.
Now, bombing other countries is something that has not happened in a long time. Bombing our own countries and cities, though, is something has had more chance of reoccurring. For example, it is not odd to hear about bomb threats occur in the U.S. coming from our own citizens. In fact, they have become quite common; the most recent one being during the Boston Marathon.
I find myself confused when I constantly hear people criticizing presidents because they all want to go to war when our own citizens have their own fair share of violent outbursts.
In past times, people were deprived from knowing things from the military, and we just had to trust what they were doing. We relied on the government to use the man power to settle debts. Being so technologically advanced, we have asked to access information that they government thought was for our own good. It became too easy for the average man to make a weapon that can kill up to 50 people with supplies that he can buy at Wal-Mart or Target.
Now days, it is WAY too easy to make weapons that could harm people. People are easily exposed and can easily find out how to do things that they should not. It makes me think that we are so technologically advanced as a country that is starting to become a downfall. The future is something to think about because recently, I have heard more negative things from the news than positive. I find it hard to believe that around the world, countries are starting to attack themselves instead of attacking other countries.
People should not criticize others for things that they have experienced for themselves; just as people criticizing presidents about war. Hypocrisy is quite confusing, I agree.
Nowadays everyone can look up how to make a bomb and use it. As much protection a weapon can give us, it does also hurt us on the inside. I agree with you.
A nation drops an atomic bomb on an entire city, eliminating tens of thousands of people, and leaving hundreds of thousands more injured and traumatized. If a nation does not remember its history of committing such a crime, the same crime is sure to happen again.
The United States has used its atomic bomb to win World War II. If the reason was to save American lives, why was the atomic bomb not used in the Vietnam War, or the Iranian War?
The answer: Many Americans, having realized that they have devastated, destroyed, and traumatized a whole country just because they wanted to “save American lives,” understood the power of the nuclear weapons. Understanding the devastation of something, people tend to back off from using such things.
We are taught the misdeeds of our nation’s history. Why? Many students grow up and become professionals in many fields, including engineering and military tactics. Teaching us our nation’s misdeeds help us understand that such atrocities should never happen again. In this way, we are much less likely to do something as traumatizing as launching an atomic bomb at another nation simply because we want to “save American lives.”
It’s true that other nations will see our misdeeds, and use said misdeeds to judge us. However, they fail to see that not all of our nation’s history is misdeeds. Therefore, relying on others’ interpretations of our history is illogical. We make take what we have learned from our nation’s history, misdeeds and not, and form our own interpretations of it.
- The Hidden History -
Everyone is bias, so as a country. Everyone has a life story, and so as a country.
History tells about the stories of honor, war, and victory of a country. We believe everything written in our history textbook is real because we trust and are proud of this country. We never have the chance to read our country’s history from other countries’ perspectives. Perhaps we think they would be bias, or perhaps we are afraid of facing the truth.
Hiroshima, the life of six islands, was bombed in 1945. When Americans thought it was the end of the war, when thousands of people’s life stories were destroyed, the tears of the soil started to tell the life story of Hiroshima, the history which was not written in our history textbook. A lot of people did not know about the seriousness of the tragedy until one day John Hershey published the unknown true stories behind the curtain. Without the testimonies of the six survivors, a lot of us would never cry for the innocent souls, or even cry with them. This is a precious lesson of history that we should all remember, not because of the tragedy we wish it did not happen, but because it is the moment when we cannot see ourselves when we look into the mirrors of truth.
We forget what our faces look like until we recognize them from the pictures saved in other people’s memory cards. We forget how our voices sound like until we hear them from the videos posted on Facebook by other people. We forget how lovely we are until we see the smile of thankfulness on other people’s faces. We forget how sad we are until we receive some Kleenex from other people’s hands. We also forget how mean and angry we are until we feel the heat of the tears of people we hurt.
We misjudge and make mistake, so as a country. We forget how painful it is until we read the story of Hiroshima. The records in our history textbook are true and reliable, but there are still many missing pieces we cannot find without knowing the stories hidden in other people’s hearts. When we collect more and more pieces of evidence and witness, we can make the tower of truth taller and taller, until when we stand on the top, we are able to see the history behind the history. We are not as perfect as we thought because all of us have some corners we have not discover on this world. We are not as powerful as we remember in the history because some of us only remember the celebration of victory, but the tears of losing the loved ones, the shadow of the strong flash of light, and the silence of the explosion.
I agree that when we look at our textbooks, we rarely question it. We are too proud of our nation and we refuse to not trust the information placed before us in our textbooks. From other countries’ point of view, they may not think we are as great as we think we are!
Also, when you said that “we cannot see ourselves when we look into the mirrors of truth,” I thought it was very powerful.
I also felt that your last paragraph was very strong. I really liked how you said that though we know what happened on the surface through our textbooks, knowing what happened through the hearts of the people who actually experienced it is important as well. You’re a great writer! Keep it up!
it was very inspirational blog, i learned a lot, and agreed with you. We do not see our self, we do not know how ugly we are, but too cocky about ourselves. Now is the time to realize and change what we have done. I hope we our world can really know and become a better place to live
Thank you for reading my post and having agreement on the concepts. Yes, we all hope the world can become a better place for us to live, even for the future generations.
...Perhaps we should pray more!!
Thank you so much for your great comment. Also, I am really glad that you agree with some of my ideas. You are a great writer, too. Thank you.
Right and Wrong
“I know not the weapons of WW3, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones” – Albert Einstein
War. It has changed so much over history. We can talk of the American Revolution. We can talk of the Civil War. We can go from WW1 to WW2. We can even go to the Cold War. The weapons we have used have been different every time.
“So long as there are men, there will be war” – Einstein
Weapons have their own history.
The early version of the musket
The flintrock rifle
The machine gun
Heavy machine guns
The atom bomb.
There are plenty of weapons in between each of the listed but that list would be way to long. Man has always been at war. We kill. It’s horrible. We fight for what we believe in and die for it too. Many die for their country. Tactics have been made to make fighting more beneficial. Mankind is always finding new ways to kill each other.
We aren’t a perfect country. We have our problems and we have our faults. We may be considered monsters to many. We may be considered saints. It doesn’t matter how we see it, it is what it is. A big testimony to the world of what we are occurred on August 6th, 1945. It was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Before you make your opinion, let us look at what occurred before the bombing. On the 8th of May, Germany signs the instrument of surrender. Us, as well as the UK and China give Japan and ultimatum to end the war. They refused. Truman confirms the decision and within minutes, roughly 160,000 lives are taken with plenty more to follow.
We are the first country to use an Atomic bomb.
Was it justified? Was it moral? Could we have done something else?
There are thousands if not millions of different decisions that could have been made in that time, but I felt that we were indeed justified in this bombing. Japan attacked us first during the attacking of Pearl Harbor. They used planes and missiles to attack our fleet at Hawaii. We hadn’t declared war yet and they still persisted on doing this. We than joined a war that we knew we had in the grasp of our hands. We were dominant. We helped Britain, Russia, and France and finished off the Italians and Germans with the Japanese still wanting to carry on the fight. We had already given up so many lives from previous conflict. Did we really want to have more of our men killed? Men with families that were missed and fighting a war they no longer really needed to fight. We had to finish what they started. We had to drop the bombs.
We killed many innocent people which is never right or justified, but sometimes, that’s what it takes to get the job done. We wanted to end a war that they refused to give up on. In a sense I do feel they brought this massive upon them self. Maybe that doesn’t sound right because innocent people didn’t have a say, but neither did we.
Throughout life, man has always used the better weapon to have an advantage on their enemy. We had the best weapon known to man and used it. In warfare, why give up your own men when you can so easily take out theirs. I may sound heartless, but, I believe this was necessary. We had to demonstrate our power to the world. After seeing the damage, who knows, maybe there will be less conflict. The big superpowers of the world all have an arsenal that can wipe each other out. We don’t want to be wiped out. We all kind of stay in line and understand the power one another contain.
Two bombs went off at the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Within hours, people from all over the world knew about this and photos of the scene were all over the Internet. What the bomb did to people at the scene was just awful. Hiroshima was much worse than this. But the news did not travel as fast or as accurately as it did today. Some people had no idea what the bomb was capable of and probably didn't believe what actually happened since there were barely any photos of the melted city. I believe that if we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima today, the effects it would have on people’s minds would've been a lot more damaging.
I think that ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nothing worse could ever happen to a city. Morally, the world has more care for human lives than they did during World War Two. Also if a country attacked another country in the same way or worse, the whole world would turn against it and destroy it. I just don’t think that anyone on this planet can give out the orders to annihilate a whole city. Regardless of what North Korea has been saying over the last few weeks, I don’t think that they can sit comfortably with destroying cities all over the world. We've come too far to go over that line again.
I don’t believe that we can ever justify what we did to Hiroshima. Sure, the war was ended and saved millions of U.S. soldiers. But unsuspecting citizens were killed, and the aftershock of the bomb still lives within Japan. Generations later, children who weren't even born at the time are suffering with different physical defects. But we can’t dwell on the past. We just have to move on and learn to never do something like that again. We've worked so hard to bring peace between countries. There are still conflicts in the world, but something like Hiroshima is what should keep everyone from taking drastic measures.
We both mentioned the Boston marathon explosion. I totally agree on how you said nothing could be worse than Hiroshima's explosion. Great post!
South Korea and North Korea, as of right now the tension between the two nations are rising. Many of you guys should be familiar with this issue because it has been on broadcasted on the media. Few weeks ago, North Korea aimed all of the missiles towards the South Korea, and warned that they will start the War soon. Soon after, South Korea’s ally nation America sent more combat plane and started the demo practice with South Korea. The tension is continuously rising because North Korea is constantly threatening with nuclear weapons and they are showing the tendency of launching the missiles. As a South Korean I am very aware of this problem and worrying about my nation. Honestly, sometime I think that the N.K might call off the war and repeat the mistake that happened in Hiroshima because nuclear weapon is the only thing they got and that is the only way they can live. I know they will keep threaten us until they fill up their needs.
I truly believe that the war is wrong and unnecessary. This mistake will bring huge consequences. First of all it will be the beginning of the WWIII and start to bring other nations into the war. Second of all, the land of N.K and S.K will be destructed and will not be able to build it back. Third of all, it is not the way to peace but failure. Nothing can justify the war, because of the death that is caused by the war is not right. When we know the consequences of the mistake is so painful, why we repeat it. Even now, some people in Japan are suffering from the radiation from the Hiroshima bomb. We already have gone through this and know that it’s wrong and we must stop this.
Usage of Nuclear bomb is not repeatable, and justifiable, because it is not the correct way to solve the problems. What is the best way to solve N.K and S.K issue? What can bring the peace in the end? I will tell you this much, Korea will go through a lot of trial and the error, but must not through the war and violence. We already experienced the sorrow 60 years ago from the Korean War. We must know that peace is not coming after mistakes and learn from the history and shape the nation with better decision.
Yes, I agree with you that war cannot do anything good to the world, to any country, and also to individual. Recently, when every time people talk about WWIII is going to happen, I feel it is a little ridiculous, but on the other hand, it might be true someday due to the serious intention around the globe now.
Great post!! Good job!!
Yes i agree with you, bringing nuclear weapons back into a viewpoint of war is bad.
great post. i like your opinion and supporting reasons.
My parents woke me and my brother up in the morning three days before we leave to America. My dad told me and my brother to get ready to go somewhere and he wouldn't say exactly where. He said we are going to a really important place to visit before we leave Korea. I thought we are visiting our relatives lastly before leaving. Our family drove more than an hour and the first thing I read on the building when I walked out of the car was Seodaemun Prison History Hall. This place is located in Korea and used as a prison and a torture room for the Koreans who fought for their Independence and freedom from Japanese when Korea was under the rule of Japanese and became Japanese territory. A lot of Koreans died in this Prison. My dad wanted to tell us the history of Korea and wanted us to learn that without the Koreans who sacrificed their lives to fight for independence of Korea we would not have our country back.
Every country has to know its history accurately because history determines the country’s traditions and cultures. Most importantly we learn from history. One of the biggest reasons my dad took me to the Seodaemun Prison History Hall was to learn and remember the history of Korea so that these painful history doesn't happen again.
“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
― Mark Twain
Also my grandparents are bilingual; they can speak Korean and Japanese. When we think about speaking two languages we think positively. We think it is beneficial to speak two languages. However, to them it is painful memory to speak Japanese. During Japanese colonial period Koreans were forced to learn and speak Japanese. These memories of my grandparent do not physically or mentally affect me now. However, they are the walking history because they went through Japanese Colonial period as well as World War II and can directly hear the history from them.
History does not relate to our lives right now. However, through learning our history we can find our identity. Also we can understand how our countries are shaped.
“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ”
― Michael Crichton
I agree with Franklin, that an apology shouldn’t be ruined by an excuse.
Truth is every decision we make always has a reason behind it, even the simplest of decisions; whether we believe it or not. Frankly, because of those reasons, we make the decision to do what we do.
Many of us over use the words “I’m sorry” to an extreme. Using the word may not see like a big deal, but it is. The over use of these words are what leads us to not see a plain “I’m sorry” as anything significant. Yet, giving someone an apology is telling them that the decision you made was wrong, including the reasons behind it. Whether the person accepts you apology or not, those reasons should stay to you.
The sad reality is that no matter what our reasons were, we still made the decision to take action in what we are apologizing for. You still did it. When you apologize, the word “but” after becomes deadly to the person you are apologizing to. When you add an excuse, explanation or a context to an apology, you just try to justify what you did. Apologizing is a way to admit you are wrong, not a way to try to sugar coat what you did after.
As you add an excuse, you are adding an excuse for yourself, trying to get your inner defeat saved. Making you think that these reasons will be the ones to take responsibility and not you. It is not the case because you are the one who came up with the reasons to back up your choice. You are the one who made a mistake to be sorry for.
Why try to justify your choices with excuses? When adding an explanation, are you just trying to let the person think your apology shouldn’t have even been given? Is that apology you just gave even worth anything?
If someone came up to you and apologized for something they did, would you really want a “but” to be followed right after? Having a whine and plea that what they did really wasn’t worthy of even feeling sorry for.
I agree that the words “I’m sorry” has been completely overused - I don’t see them as very significant anymore at times. But I really like how you said that adding a “but” after an excuse is like sugar coating it, because it totally is.
Your rhetorical questions at the end of your post were also a very nice touch! Keep up the good work.
Hi Glindyll, I enjoyed reading your post and I agree how the word "but" in an apology can ruin everything.
I agree with your saying that there should not be any excuses to destroy the goodness within a sincere SORRY. And yes, today people tend to say SORRY too often, too regularly, so the original meaning might be already gone.
Great post!!! I love it!!
Pressing a button caused the atomic bomb send to wherever they want to attack, and it can kill thousands of people, a city, or even a country easily. The also, the atomic bomb also cause the environment not livable for a long time. However, using warfare is quietly different in the past and now.
In the past, one of example of using warfare is that Hiroshima and Nagasaki got attacked by atomic bomb. I think that maybe only Japanese would blame and get angry on Unite States which used atomic bomb to kill their family and destroy their city. On the other hand, the American people would cheer for what their government had done to Japan, which sent the air force to attach Unite States first. Though atomic bomb killed many people, it also stopped the war. Right now, the nation seldom use the atomic bomb or start the war because the countries will give pressure to those countries which want to use nuclear weapon.
The history tells the result of using atomic bomb, and I think the nation will consider is it worth to use warfare end the war instead of peaceful method now. Each nation has a responsibility to remember the history, and they all need to face what had they done in the past; they also need to figure out the best way to avoid the same situation As people know, the history become a warning for us that we should not do the same mistake which was happened before.
I like how you explained both point of views. I also agree that each nation is responsible to know their mistakes because if it caused something terrible, its better to keep away from the tracks that let them to that bad history in the first place.
i really like your point of learning from history.
As Mother Teresa's saying, "To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it." In my opinion, this principle fits the viewpoint that a nation has a responsibility to remember its history accurately. Through our past records of our country, we will be able to seek for the weakness or shortage the nation contained before. Not only we can correct it, but also it keeps warning us not to commit the same thing again. At the same time, we may rebuild ourselves both spiritually and mentally according to that era. You will learn great characteristics from the one that shinning in the history such as Abraham Lincoln. Or we can prevent the same awful events happening again. It doesn't matter what kind of shitty history we have. It's not whether you get knocked down. It's whether you get up again. Our job is just to correct. As a saying, our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. We don't need to care about vision from others all the time. We do not depend on others' interpretations of our histories and cultures to see them in a properly noticed light.
I definitely agree that we should remember what has happened in the past in order to seek a better future. You also bring a very good point that we should not commit the same thing again if we really learn from it the first time!
Also, I really like the saying of “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” It brings a sense of faith!
Hiding Behind Secrets
Most people have had a crush on someone that their friend had a crush on too. Fifth grade was that year for me. It was lunch time and my friend and I were gossiping. One of our class-mate’s asked us who we liked and she said HIS name. At first I was angry and annoyed. Why did she have to have to like the same guy I liked? Why couldn't it be someone else? But I never told her I was angry. I just told her “I like him too, but it’s okay you can have him. I don’t really like him that much.” Then they became a couple. I used stare at them with jealousy, but never really told her how I actually felt. Then she was crying hysterically one day, and I wondered what happened. Did they finally break-up? Did I finally get a chance to go for him? Wait what was I thinking? Here is my friend who got her heart broken and I am thinking about going after her ex. Why am I being so horrible? I should be helping my friend and trying to cheer her up. So I put my feelings aside and tried to cheer her up.
It was a new school year. She was no longer going to the same school I went to. She moved over the summer and we lost contact. I still liked the same guy, but I didn't do anything about it because I was too shy. Then I found out my other friend liked him and he liked her back. When they got together I was happy for her but felt kind of sad because I liked him but he didn't like me that way. She told my other friends and me how he said he was only going out with my friend from 5th grade because he felt bad for her but he never told her that. He kept his true feeling hidden and I realized I dodged a bullet. I don’t want someone going out with me just because he felt sorry for me.
I wonder now about what would have happened if I told the truth and said I really liked him. What would happen to my friendship? I also wonder what would happen if he told my friend from 5th grade the truth about his feelings for my other friend. Would she be jealous of my other friend and would she try to do something mean to her? Maybe, maybe not. But I think that sometimes things are better left unsaid because a lot of people could end up hurt.
That’s why, I applaud Bradley Manning for being brave enough to show the world what the government did, but I criticize the fact that he did so in such a manner. If he wanted to let the American citizens see how corrupt the U.S. government is, he shouldn't have put it on wiki-leaks because that is a public website and our enemies can use them against us. If the information was to end up in the wrong hands then everyone can be in danger and many people could be harmed.
The government was only trying to protect our country from being attacked by our enemies. Sure I would be curious about it if I knew they were trying to hide something, but I wouldn't go digging to find out exactly what they are hiding. If I knew what they were hiding then I would have the burden of trying to protect it from getting into the wrong hands. Should I ever be captured by the enemy, they can torture me for the information.
The information can be used against us. Based on how similar it is to the baseline question “is it better to know too little, or too much” I would say *“ignorance is bliss”*. Knowing too little is better than knowing too much because knowledge can hurt. It can be used against you. And it could be used to hurt your family. Knowledge is a powerful tool because knowledge can be used in anyway.
When I was in elementary school, the afternoon lecture after lunch for our class often delays. The delays are usually caused by the little troubles that the students get into during lunch. Minor incidents such as one kid pushed another, a boy took some else’s juice leads our instructor to attempt to ask the children to apology for the way they behave. Consequently, the longer the lecture goes on, the shorter time we have for class. The first class comes in the afternoon was usually something relaxing such as painting or physical education. Practically, it was the happiest time other than lunch in my school day.
Yet as I watch the clock ticking and wish for the routine lecture to end quickly, the reality often goes in contrary. The lecture takes an amazingly long time.
The children refuse to apologize without finding an excuse.
When, everyone in the room was able to recognize that our teacher was simply asking for an easy “I’m sorry”, the child involved would be the only one not seeing it. He or she would be untiringly looking for an excuse such as “she started it” or “he kicked me yesterday” while all they needed to say was an acknowledgement of their fault.
Sometimes we need a context when we apologize to explain the situation we were under to justify our mistake.
An explanation is not what ruins an apology, but the motive behind that explanation.
It is the refusal to admit that one is wrong by finding an excuse to cover the truth.
Apologizing, admitting that one is wrong, is most often difficult. Yet it is the most important thing that we as humans can do. In fact, I believe that the ability to apologize is what separates us from animals. Because after apology comes introspection then improvement.
Can we only establish towards a better version of ourselves after we recognize our weaknesses.
Context that tags along with an apology is not bad as long as one know that one is not escaping from acknowledging deed.
When we explain to someone about something we did, are we explaining it to them or ourselves?
I think you offer a very good point when you say that “An explanation is not what ruins an apology, but the motive behind that explanation.” I completely agree with what you are trying to convey in this post.
It is hard to summon up enough courage to admit fault, but it really is the beauty of being human! We should not run away from responsibilities. If we have the intention of apologizing, we should do it the right way. Great post!
Jade, your post was really good!
"When we explain to someone about something we did, are we explaining it to them or ourselves?" I'm still pondering this sentence from your post.. So we could just be apologizing for our own sake? That's very insightful! Good job!
“I’m sorry I can’t go.”
“Sorry, can’t make it.”
“Sorry I missed your birthday.”
“Sorry about being late.”
Hearing the apology never really makes it any better. Hearing the explanation never really takes the pain away.
What’s done is done, and no amount of brooding, praying, begging can take a person back in time to change what has been done. I believe that if a person feels truly terrible about what they’ve done a simple, heartfelt apology is sufficient. I don’t require an explanation, or some half hearted excuse that lead them into doing what they did. I don’t want them to feel like they need to justify why it was not their fault. If they believe it’s not their fault then they don’t have to apologize.
The bottom line is that someone got hurt, whether it was someone’s fault or not.
Apologizing straight forwardly brings me to believe that, that person has accepted what they did was wrong, and they want to make it better.
I had a friend miss my birthday party. It was a special trip to the beach for my 16th birthday. One of my good friends never made it to the parking lot we were supposed to meet up at. I was angry, furious, and so hurt. She called me about an hour after we took off telling me how sorry she was bout missing my party. At first I really wanted some explanation about why she never even contacted me about missing the party, but after I heard her crying I knew she felt incredibly sad. Still a bit bitter, I forgave her and we’re still great friends today. She was so glad I accepted her apology that she’s never missed an important date again.
I know apologizing can sometimes be difficult, and sometimes it seems almost impossible. But in order for the other person to know that you want to help make it better, they have to step up and make a full apology. This is the only way both sides can start healing, or start trying to get over what happened.
Right when I read “Hearing the apology never really makes it any better. Hearing the explanation never really takes the pain away,” it already made me so sad!
But I like how you have the mindset that an apology offers an attempt of wanting to fix things. And it is great that you took the time to forgive your friend; things would be really different if you didn’t! It really does depend on how apologies are conveyed. It’s sometimes hard to apologize, but it can also be very satisfying. Great job on this post!
Hello Natalia! An interesting post, straight to the point. Although our views differ in whether an explanation should follow an apology, It was quite nice to read and see it from your point of view. I do also believe that a heartfelt simple apology is sometimes adequate but a heartfelt apology and explanation as to why can also be as satisfying. Great post.
Hi Natalia, I really enjoyed reading your post. I agree with you that an apologize really does not make it any better but a true apology can help to start healing again.
The days were hot, my mind was in disarray. As I scrambled in the hot summer sun with my cousins in a joyous game of tag, I was pushed down by my older cousin. His competitive nature gave no room for sympathy in the game of tag. As I got back up I felt rage and demanded an apology. Of course I ended up getting one but something was missing about it. The “sorry” was there, but the emotion, the reason behind the words were not. At that time I did not notice this much, I took the sorry as is no explanation needed. Then, I got older.
Moving on to my high school days, I’ve begun to realize that we do cause other people a substantial amount of grief and sorrow. Whether this amount is small or big, it is enough to impact the mind and demand an apology. One such occasion occurred on my own birthday, my parents had left me early in the morning to visit relatives in San Diego. Forgetting their own son’s birthday, my parents did not come back until the darkness of the night beckoned. As the door creped open I immediately demanded an apology. Not just the plain sorry, but an apology followed by an explanation. At first they did not realize what they had done, but as soon as they did, they apologized not only in the most sincere way possible but by telling me that had forgotten it under the amount of stress they had recently been in. I was filled with rage, but it eventually subsided and I had come to an understanding and forgiving state.
Truth is, an apology with an explanation can do to the human mind wonders, and a simple apology would not do such. The explanation provides clarity and a reason why they are apologizing, without such context it would be of much less importance. It took me a while to learn this, but I feel much better understanding their situation and reason for apologizing rather than a simple apology. Sometimes a little more clarification is all one needs.
After reading your blog, I especially like the personal experience that you embedded to get your point across. I agree with your opinion on apology. Great blog!
Your introduction is very interesting. The hook was really nice! Your personal experience is also interesting. Keep it up! I'm looking forward for another great post.
Hey Peter, I really liked your story. It was like I was standing there watching in person. Like it can somewhat relate to my experiences too. Good job.
The beginning of senior year I remember being asked by Feraco “are they you enemy”. Before, I never liked to view my opponents in battle as an enemy. That “word” just never seemed to fit my perception of the world. I answered with some improvised answer along the lines of, “They are my opponent but not an enemy”. I wanted to answer what the others in my class couldn’t but it wasn’t the truth. I lacked confidence in that answer and struggled with it for a part of the semester. I realized what an enemy means to me. An opponent is something or someone on the opposite side, fighting for the same goal. Just like Paul I find myself feeling a connection for my opponent, that pursuit to transcend oneself. An enemy, on the other hand, is permanent and has their destiny intertwined with yours until one string is cut.
To put it bluntly, we have never made a perfect decision when war has been an issue. All information leaked have just been mistakes and are outdated. Even, if our opponents were able to get a hold of that information, they would be one step behind. I believe the information is just what we need to realize what history holds to us. We can grow from every experience, but tend to forget them too quickly that they’ll be of use.
I want to know the truth because it’s the only thing my heart can manipulate in this world of illusions.
What I think is a common misconception is that we vote for our officials to be in charge of the flow of information within society. If our view of democracy is to be strong, our base must be strong. The truth may be torture. The truth can only create true peace.
My chosen torture makes me stronger
In a life that craves the hunger
A Freedom and a quest for life
Until the end the judgment night
I finally found that answer to the question. I create a truth that I can follow after I can come to terms with the real truth. No matter what crazy truth there is to life, my pain makes me able to validate my own truth.
All the memories I have are only small fragments of what I believe I remember. The memories are stored in my head very dimly based on my own interest and understanding. When my friends and I try to bring back the memories of the time spent together, the memories of the time vary from individual to individual. Most of the times, the parts we fail to recollect are small enough to pass over. We are just not sure if seven people were there or eight were there, if it was daytime or nighttime, or if we ate Italian food or Japanese food.
However, when we begin to figure out things like who started that first or who caused that to happen, it is difficult for us to come to an agreement about what exactly happened that time. Unless there is a perfectly recorded data of the day, we cannot even confirm whose memory is trustworthy. What actually happened that day will ever remain an open question because of our indistinct memories.
Remembering histories is just like that too. There is nothing different except that we are dealing with a larger scale of events when we remember histories. When countries happen to be involved in conflict, the problem is not simply a conflict itself. There are big and small entangled circumstances behind the conflict. As judging objectively is not easy for all countries that always want to derive their benefits, they wouldn’t want to bother understanding and remembering everything correctly. The old stories must have been edited, adapted, or omitted in the process of being passed down through generations. Even though historians depend on the recorded documents to discover what happened in the past, the recorded documents might also include false facts. The documents were anyway recorded by some people, and the people might have written down things based on their interest and understanding.
Despite all the obstacles or remembering histories, nations should try as hard as they can to remember histories accurately for a better future. The past is the past, but the historical precedents still have educational value. No matter how hard people try to hide the truth, hiding or lying will not change the fact that it actually happened. True histories might be bitter to remember, but avoiding bitterness is cowardly. Learning from bitter but truthful histories will shape us in a better way than learning from manipulated histories.
We live in an era where news, even the most trifling ones, can be found within minutes. Whether it’s a picture or an article, once it gets onto the Internet, you could guarantee that it’s not going away. Technology has been progressing at such incredible rate that it seems like that even the slightest sign of a possible war could startle not just a country, but the whole world.
None of us can forget what happened on September 11 2001. The horrifying footage of the World Trade center collapsing and the war that soon followed were still, to this day, traumas that can’t be fully removed by any healing remedies of any sort. It has such significant impact on the world because it was witnessed on live television by people all over the world. These terrors were not delivered to the people in the form of a news magazine or history books- they were happening right before their eyes and they could do nothing to stop it.
Every move a country does is being watched by the media, which is consumed by the world. To make a choice as influential and terrifying as dropping a nuclear bomb on an inhabited area would leave the nation responsible with reputation that cannot be wiped away. Even with reasons to justify the action, If a bombing on the same scale of the one in Hiroshima happens on any country in the world we are living in now, which I think is not entirely impossible for it to occur again, it would be inscribed in the pages of human history forever, and whichever nation made the decision would be looked differently by the rest of the world.
I agree that dropping a bomb with the devastation of an atomic bomb would be hard to get over in today's society with all the media we have.
It’s funny, as a kid I felt like I was constantly giving apologies. As the youngest child (with two older brothers) something was always happening. If one sibling wasn’t chasing, pestering, poking, or annoying the other, than that was a rare day. But no matter what the situation was, my parents taught all three of us that when we hurt someone, our job was to go back and apologize. That meant we had to say what we were sorry for. Excuses weren’t acceptable. They didn’t make us grovel in front of each other but they certainly didn’t let us get away with mumbling “sorry” and not avoiding eye contact.
I have been through some pretty painful experiences in my life. And just like everyone else I have learned to deal with them and move on. Most of the more unpleasant memories in my mind have come to some sort of a close but with the particularly more difficult ones I started reflecting. Reflecting on anything, especially memories, is risky business.
After reflecting on certain memories I realized that I felt, ripped off.
As I grew up, I realized that others around me simply said an insincere, “sorry” when they inclined.
As if saying “sorry” made the pain go away. As if I never remembered what they said, or what they did, or how they made me feel. Without the explanation I felt as if they had done something to me for no reason. As if there was no logic behind their actions. For all I knew, they were just sorry they got caught. So in that case. I didn’t want their apology.
In defense of others sometimes that’s all that they can get out. And I understand that. It can be hard to apologize to someone that you love because then you have to recognize that you have hurt a person you thought you’d never hurt.
At other times, people don’t want to hear long apologies. They’d rather have a quick short apology and move on.
But I guess I think highly enough of my fellow friends to give them an explanation. I don’t want them to think that I intentionally tried to screw up our friendship on purpose.
So blame it on my genetics (like oh I don’t know- being a girl .. which naturally qualifies me to more in touch with my emotions or something) or call me a traditionalist but doesn’t a person at least deserve an explanation? I mean, come on, if you have the guts to hurt someone at least give them a proper apology. The difference between a true apology and a fake one is what’s behind it- and you can’t fake sincerity.
On September 11th 2001, a devastating, tragic, incident was attacked in New York. Few seconds before the plane crashed into the twin towers, what were people doing? Not a single person living in New York knew what was going to happen to one of the biggest cities in the United States.
Three days ago, there were three huge explosions in the Boston marathon. The first explosion was right next to the goal line, the second was few hundred feet away from the first explosion, and the third was near the John F. Kennedy museum. Three people were dead, and at least 140 people were harmed very severely. We are still in the process of finding who caused the explosion, but we could guess that this was part of terrorism. The reason is another huge explosion in Texas. More than 35 people were killed. Having four big explosions in a week, in my guess, is most likely a terrorist attack.
There are many incidents that killed tens and hundreds of people; however, the explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were different. Recently, we can easily investigate on how the accident happens, but in the explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, every human being in that area was blown away by the explosion and the strong radiation. In society today, there should not be bigger incidents than the explosions in Hiroshima. It would be extremely difficult to bomb and atomic bomb since the person may be caught easily before bombing. The gap between the 1940s and today helped us learn what we should never do in this world. In the world today, many terrorists try to kill Americans, but they could never be as worse as the Hiroshima bombing. Eventually in the future, the terrorists would probably stop attacking our country. As time passes, the incidents become less harsh.
Even though there are horrible incidents happening to the world today, we are being more responsible to ourselves compared to the explosions in Hiroshima. As time passes, we get the responsibility of remembering the history more accurately. By investigating what caused the incident, we could learn carefully to not make the same mistakes twice. Even though there are many incidents that hurt people’s lives, without them, we would not learn and make bigger mistakes.
Hey Keith, I totally get what you're trying to say. I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki had the worst experience and no one should ever witness something like that again. Good response on the blog.
This blog follows up the story in my Hiroshima Blog: Doomsday and the Echo:
There are many special, influential, and respectful people in the world. They may be your parents, teachers, siblings, or even your friends, but for me, number one on my list is my aunt. As you already know, until this very day, reasons on behave of my abandonment remains a sacred secret. However, I can share with you, the super hero who sacrificed everything she had, in order to save my life.
After both my parents left my brother and me, my aunt gladly took both of us in. She quit her office job at her CPA Firm, to work longer hours at a restaurant to support us. Working over 60 hours a day, she lost her chance to get married. She lost her time to hang out with her friends, watch Korean movies, and to go shopping. Wanting to give me more money to buy my necessities, my aunt never bought anything for her. When went shopping, she only bought gifts for others. She put her loved ones always first. She wore the same earrings every day. She lived to give me the most opportunities as possible. She was my mother, my alchemist guiding my life to the correct path.
When Mr. Feraco said “what part of your life was out sheer luck?” I began to think about what happened to me in 2002. Would I consider getting abandoned by my parents as luck? I would ultimately reply, yes because had I not been abandoned my parents, my aunt would have never raised me. I would be a different person in a different location, possibly speaking a different language. I could have become homeless or grew with completely different foster parents. My name might not even be David Lee.
She has taught me the importance of family, gave me the opportunity to achieve my dreams, and shaped me into the person I am today. It was through her that I was able to recover from my abandonment; she taught me that family will always support me, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. I don’t deserve this unconditional love. All of this wasn't done because I qualified, but because of pure luck.
My aunt tells me the story of my grandfather who tricked the North Korean soldiers and ran away from gunfire during the Korean War. She emphasizes that if he was shot that day, both of us wouldn't be here.
Too often, I don’t realize how grateful I am to be loved by a super hero because they were all out of pure luck.
We over use the words “I’m sorry” to get away from causing more problems. There are not a lot of times when we actually accept our faults and sincerely apologize. It is not easy to accept that the actions we took can be wrong and can hurt others. However, we all make mistakes. That is why the word “I’m sorry.” exist. Also, apologizing with an excuse is even worse. Apology is a decision. When we need to apologize to another, it is our decision to do or not. However, adding an excuse does not make the decision truthful and solid. Therefore, apologizing with an excuse is not a decision; it is an unclear thought. Excuses can bring down one’s trust toward another. From my personal experiences, I learned that making excuses does not benefit anyone.
Since I started playing golf seriously, I learned that every action I take is my responsibility. There should be no excuses regardless of if it is good or bad. When I first started playing golf and played poorly on a golf course, I would blame on the weather or the condition of the golf course. I did not accept my mistakes. Some of my fellow golfer saw me as a complete loser, who always whines, and had lost trust in me. After another day of blaming about how terrible the golf course was, my friend, fellow golfer and my mentor, told me that “whatever you do on the golf course or outside of the golf course is your responsibility.” After realizing my stupidity, I learned that excuses bring no good to anyone.
I think it is the same for an apology. “I’m sorry but...” usually ruins us from accepting an apology. True apology should not have any words after “I’m sorry.” If one apologizes with an excuse, he or she is just trying to get away. When one sincerely apologizes, he or she is admitting all of his or her action and responsibility. Most importantly, we have to understand that when we need to apologize to others, we have hurt them. Just apologizing will not fully heal them but apologizing straight forward and sincerely can bring more trust than apologizing with an excuse. “I’m sorry” can be great words to make someone to feel better but they also can ruin one’s trust toward another.
I believe that if we release the information that we have regarding to the enemy’s will certainly at times aid them but also can be good if you would like to show them what strengths or something good we have. The time when we had the atomic bombs it showed that we had great strengths. The other country’s were scared of us and some didn’t care but overall it somewhat helped the enemies since some would have used ours as an example and pushed them to make better. The Soviet did not create one til we did. I believe we deserve to know the state of our nations aim because we deserve to know where we will be going. Some stuff I consider to be hidden from public and some should not. It varies on who you trust to know the information, I don’t trust of you have some other country does know our information since it would be strictly bad to have someone else know too much. I would only want certain amounts of trusted US senators and loyal ones to know and decide on such terms.
I think we logically should have a strong apology due to the fact that we done a terrible thing to the residents of Hiroshima. We took many lives and screwed over tons more. The amounts of lives it took was tremendous and we should of really thought of another idea instead of dropping the bomb.
Throughout our history, there have always been wars as well as conflicts that always end up in great devastation. It has become a requirement that we even learn about history during school. Our history as a nation has become such an importance to us because we are able to learn from history if the same problems were to occur again. A lot of the time, we would think that the history we are reading are irrelevant to us, or if the information we are receiving are even correct; often, we believe that the information is biased. We are never let information from the other side of the event. These situations will cause a lot of incorrect emotions and thinking.
During my honors history in junior year, I learned a lot about wars that had occurred in the United States. From Stone Wall Jackson, all the way to the Trail of Tears, we have always recorded this information through the eyes of Americans. The victories as well as defeats are all from the perspective of either an American soldier or an American journalist. Though the information are correct in most cases, I believe that seeing the event through more than just one pair of eyes will bring further knowledge and understanding to us. With information from both sides of these kinds of events, we are able to further determine and study the subject with accuracy.
I have been studying history from the eyes of Americans for the past several years, in my high school career as well as in middle school. Though I do not hate that we didn’t receive more information, it is still a great value to know of the history that we have. I have learned through the history timeline that a lot of people will make the same mistakes over and over again. The same mistakes will still be made even if they have learned the correct way to do it. I hope that through the information that was given to me during school will allow me to rethink my decisions before I act out. The information that was given should hopefully be accurate so that I can use it in my daily routine as a guideline.
I use to be that person that apologized excessively. It’s like I had tourettes syndrome with only the word ‘sorry’ in my vocabulary. A slight graze of my pencil on someone else’s hand-- “Oops sorry.” My shoe brushes the tip of someone else's shoe under the table-- “Sorry.” Even when I’m not in the wrong, I apologize. If someone steps on my shoe I apologize. If someone bumps into me, I apologize. It came to a point where friends would call me out every time I said that word and it felt like a had a sorry-o-meter count hanging above my head, which got me thinking about the actual meaning of the word...
The word apology derives from the Greek word apologia, which meant “a speech in defense” or “self justification”. Inevitably, the word translates to a different meaning in today’s modern English language. Although most people would think of an apology as just an acknowledgement of a mistake or wrongdoing, I would assert that it’s also a change in behavior. Simply saying the word “sorry” isn’t enough. Not only that, but a true apology also calls for an explanation. However it’s important to not confuse an explanation with an excuse
An apology without context may sometimes be less appropriate. The context and explanation can help the cause of an apology. Without an explanation, it may come across that there's less thoughtfulness to the apology and the person may just be trying to get to reconciliation too quickly. Which brings me back to why I might’ve just thrown apologies left and right. I was trying to seek reconciliation and approval.
I use to be that person that apologized excessively. It’s like I had tourettes syndrome with only the word ‘sorry’ in my vocabulary. A slight graze of my pencil on someone else’s hand-- “Oops sorry.” My shoe brushes the tip of someone else's shoe under the table-- “Sorry.” Even when I’m not in the wrong, I apologize. If someone steps on my shoe I apologize. If someone bumps into me, I apologize. It came to a point where friends would call me out every time I said that word and it felt like a had a sorry-o-meter count hanging above my head, which got me thinking about the actual meaning of the word...
The word apology derives from the Greek word apologia, which meant “a speech in defense” or “self justification”. Inevitably, the word translates to a different meaning in today’s modern English language. Although most people would think of an apology as just an acknowledgement of a mistake or wrongdoing, I would assert that it’s also a change in behavior. Simply saying the word “sorry” isn’t enough. Not only that, but a true apology also calls for an explanation. However it’s important to not confuse an explanation with an excuse
An apology without context may sometimes be less appropriate. The context and explanation can help the cause of an apology. Without an explanation, it may come across that there's less thoughtfulness to the apology and the person may just be trying to get to reconciliation too quickly. Which brings me back to why I might’ve just thrown apologies left and right. I was trying to seek reconciliation and approval.
9/11 was a set up. The Sandy Hook shooting was a set up and Tupac isn’t dead, he’s in the Bahamas’ chilling with a margarita in one hand and a girl in the other.
How can anyone ever be sure what is the actual truth and what isn’t? The news sure doesn’t tell want us to know. We live in an era of oversaturated media and sensationalist news. The media is in constant competition to see who can yell louder and quicker through their loudspeaker. Forget fact checking and a duty to honesty, those ideals are ancient artifacts of the past. With new skewed morals of modern day media, we as the public are somehow still expected to believe the information spoon fed to us on a daily basis.
“You can't handle the truth!”
Col. Jessep (A Few Good Men)
The government has its invisible hand in all facets of our life. Almost all the information we receive is filtered whether we like it or not by the government. The government doesn’t trust the public. If the government really did care about our opinions and considered our thoughts a worthy contribution to hot–button issues, we should be able to vote as a nation about them. Issues like when we go to war, what nations we bomb, and who we make alliances with are prime examples of those issues.
Most of our nation lives in the dark when it comes to politics and there’s a rhyme and reason to it. We aren’t trusted with the most vital and sensitive information. The government doesn’t want that.
"You know what they want? Obedient workers ¬ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly [worse] jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.”
George Carlin (The Real Owners of America)
While the government may not believe we can handle the truth, I think we deserve it. The greatest accomplishments and achievements in modern thought haven’t been brought to light through blind belief. They have been created through questioning pre-existing thought. The world isn’t flat, its round. The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth; the earth revolves around the sun. There isn’t just one universe, there are multiple universes. Now just imagine. If we as a public were granted unfiltered information to those who sought it, we would not only raise our expectations and increase responsibilities for the common man, but such power would spur a new intellectual renaissance where we would realize we all have a responsibility for not only ourselves, but to each other.
For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.
In my Opinion, a nation has the responsibility to remember history accurately. people made mistakes in history without even noticing them, but these mistakes would cause negative consequences. History repeats itself, so people can only learn from history if they know the history is written accurately.we should depend on others’ interpretations of our histories and cultures in order to see them in a properly nuanced light. The reason for this is sometimes it is more comprehensive to learn from others’ point of views rather than just subjective opinions. The example of North Korea is the best proof of it. The leader of North Korea tells their citizens about what the leader wants them to know and blocking them from reading any exotic information, which lead to their mental stagnation. So this example proves that ‘we should depend on others’ interpretation of our histories’ to be a steadily statement.
I very agree with your opinion on the importance of remembering history from different perspectives. Though this is short, it showed me your point directly.
I believe that the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is unquestioning justified. Recalling the detestable cruelty of Japanese soldiers on foreign soils, especially in China, a Chinese person like me cannot but be provoked by the memories of WWII. Raping of women and children, massacre of Nanking, and the destructions of homes, families and peace all attest to the deep, hidden grudge the people of China still hold towards Japan. One may not be able to easily tell the hatred, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Whatever the Japanese soldiers on the Chinese soil will never ever be forgotten for their actions has made an eternal imprint in Chinese culture, whether the justice has been served or not. To me, the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are simply the karmas of Japan’s horrendous deeds.
I believe that the tragedies happened in Japan will not easily happen to another nation’s city, unless, of course, that particular nation rightfully deserved it like did Japan. The rationale behind my opinion is that because the world we live in today is globalized by media where every action and scene can be easily projected to everyone, so the nations that remotely consider the option of atomic bomb clearly acknowledge the consequences. Thanks to history, our sons and daughters will know the setback of unreasonable invasions, conquest and war as a whole. To keep our children aware of the fact that in order to keep the world from going blind, they must avoid doing things that could promote the thought of vengeance. They must learn from the mistakes of the past and adjust so the tragedies in China, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Pearl Harbor will never happen again.
Whatever happened happened, whatever is left is left, whatever hatred or regret is there will be there. The memories will not go away easily. But that does not matter. What matters is the fact that we must from now on interpret histories in a way that would prevent tragedies from ever happening again. But whose histories shall we interpret since they are most often written by the victors? In my opinion, there is no most accurate history among the different versions of it. The only thing that is accurate is what I ultimately see from observing the issue from multiple perspectives. Whatever we believe in, however we believe in it, should only lead to one solution: Peace.
Mr. Feraco, I didn't realize till now that I never posted my writing on this thread, however, this blog was finished and turned in into turnitin.com on time.
Only users who are logged in may leave comments on this blog. Please follow the link below in order to log in.
Click here to log in