When I first heard about the reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush I rolled my eyes and thought “gimme a break – what is wrong with people?”
I saw the video of it and was impressed with Bush’s reflexes…not impressed with security. I’ve noticed the media talking about how upset this guy was, and excusing the behavior by saying that in his culture that behavior is meant to be insulting.
I just want to say… bravo for exercising the freedom you have currently, to throw a shoe at a President… bravo you brave, brave… size 10 male. Way to go…chuck a shoe at the hand that feeds you…bravo. Should Bush ask “Now, what would Saddam do?”
A lot of people in the media, and folks on the “bash Bush at every expense bandwagon” are giggling… giggling so hard they can’t see straight. And I have to ask – why? Even if you don’t agree with someone, even if you don’t like them, are we really that base to think this is acceptable, funny and warranted? Really? Are we that low?
I remember when I was in Israel and how willing and attentive we were to all the customs and rites in that area. When we visited the mosques we all left our shoes outside. We wore modest clothing – and in some areas weren’t even allowed to wear shorts. We felt a deep respect for the holy places, even if we weren’t of the same religion.
I wonder… were we respectful because it was demanded there… or because that is our nature? It makes me wonder if the people of this country (even the loud, obnoxious ones) would be more respectful, and grateful for the blessings we have in this country – if other countries would follow suit.
If we don’t respect ourselves – why should anyone else?
My favorite statement from the author of Wild Swans is found on page 14:
It was at York that one night the thought of writing a book about my past life came to me. I was invited to talk by a professor who had just been in China. He showed some slides of a school he had visited, where the pupils were having lessons on an obviously freezing winter day, in classrooms with no heating but roundly broken windows. “Are they not cold?” the kindly professor had asked. “No, they are not,” the school had answered.
After the slide show there was a reception, and one woman, perhaps struggling to find something to say to me, began: “You must feel very hot here.” This innocent remark hurt me so badly that I left the room abruptly and had my first cry since I came to Britain. It was not so much a feeling of being insulted, but an overwhelming pain for the people of my native land. We were not treated by our own government as proper human beings, and consequently some outsiders did not regard us as the same kind of human s as themselves. I thought of the old observation that Chinese lives were cheap, and one Englishman’s amazement that his Chinese servant should find a toothache unbearable. I was infuriated once again by the many admiring comments of Westerners who had visited Mao’s China that the Chinese were extraordinary people who seemed to enjoy being criticized, denounced, “reformed” in labor camps — all things that would seem sheer misery to Westerners.
It seems there’s a pervasive loud speaker in our country – a shrill droning of how worthless we are. How dare we have all these blessings… how we must loath ourselves. This is so sad to me. Instead of debasing ourselves to help other people feel good about themselves, or for those that can’t reconcile who they truly are – why can’t we all just be grateful. Why can’t we appreciate what we have? Why can’t we funnel our pent up energy into uplifting others, rather than belittling everything around us? Who knows, the next time a shoe is thrown – it could be at you – will you be laughing then?