Friday, May 29, 2009

thinking

I like the way traveling makes me think, how seeing things new or familiar along the road will make me think of something new or familiar and how God will then shape those ideas into something more concrete even in their fluidity or changing nature. It gets even better if I'm reading good book in the process – not necessarily a story, but something from real life teaching and challenging me to grow bigger or smaller in something.
Lately I've read some really good books, the kind you want to read real fast because you want to eat it all up and equally want to read real slow to savor it and let it all sink in. I'm somewhere in the middle now of settling for reading a second time, not every book, not always, but some.
I've been in a small little fishing village in Thailand for the past week. That's not all that relevant to all of this, but I was there to observe or visit a small orphanage for children with AIDS. In the midst of staying at the girls home there I've been reading a book on racial reconciliation, grace and all that in America not really all that long ago. It's made me think. After growing up in the states the first thing I think of when I hear racism is black and white and all I have heard about slavery, civil rights, segregation and the rest we learn in school during black history month and other classes we take. It's good because it's such a huge part of our history. The book's also a good story.
So the week in Thailand. I was reminded again of how far ahead Thailand is or how far behind Cambodia is – looking at the glass half full or half empty. So one day at this amazing home and being around town thinking how great this place is and how education, medical care, attention to kids, transportation, the roads, the quality of life and the need being so much less in so many visible ways I realized well that's one reason why you wanted to see orphanages outside of Cambodia, to see what it could look like to raise the standard in your own and to learn from them how can it be done differently. So I got to thinking about how much Cambodia could learn from Thailand if they were willing to, how much these countries could help and influence each other in positive ways, how much they could gain if they'd lay aside what maybe is racism whether it's over ancient temple grounds or little comparisons of wide faces and features being less attractive. If we could take pride in our cultures and all they have to offer, but at the same time realize all they have to offer and all we've gained in our own work and development is not merely for ourselves how much greater could life be? Instead of being effectually 20 years behind Thailand could they work together, learn from each other and see that gap diminish faster than projected. And in the process realize how much value and worth are locked up in each other and how great real friendship can be. I don't know.

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