Thursday, December 27, 2007

Worldly Thoughts

I was awoken this morning at 6:30 am by our youngest, crying in her room. I go in and she asks for hot milk, which I give her and she promptly goes back to sleep. Which is a good thing because for the 10 minutes she was up she didn't stop crying; she clearly had awoken too early. (I'd like to do that too when I wake up too early, but I don't think my co-workers would appreciate it.)

But now I was up, and, unlike going back to bed as I usually do, I got up, put a pot of coffee on, and folded some clothes while watching The Today Show, a guilty pleasure of mine. (Those who know me know that our TV is rarely on.)

So while this sounds like doing household chores, I see it as quiet time, me time, time when I don't have to getting after someone to stop bugging the dog, give something back to your sister, don't unfold the folded clothes, frick and frack, and so on.

Suddenly there was a "Special Report" on the Today Show. In some cases this means something ridiculous; I bet if I had been watching TV the day it was announced that Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister was pregnant they'd have broken in with a "special report." I remember they broke into regular programming when the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced.

But this was special news -- Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, had been assassinated in Pakistan. The air literally went out of me -- she was one who I had been watching closely in the news, hoping that she would find a way to work with Pakistani President Musharraf and bring stability and, more importantly in my mind, some level of humanity to many of the people in Pakistan who live in abject poverty. She had been the poor people's champion, even though her government was previously accused of corruption. (Her reaction had been, "How else can you get anything done in this country?")

I had thought some months ago when she returned to Pakistan after being in exile in London that she was putting herself in harm's way -- she had been killed while standing up through a moonroof in a vehicle, clearly making a target of herself. I wonder if she thought in her mind that while she may do some good while alive, she could also do some good as a martyr for a better Pakistan. But either option was preferable to living a comfortable life in London while her homeland went to hell in a handbasket. God bless her for choosing to act and not sit back and observe from afar.

I was very saddened by the news, and saddened to know that 20 people were killed along with her. I'll be praying for people in that part of the world.

1 comment:

  1. I was also saddened by the loss of Benazir Bhutto. I find it such an indictment of mankind that those leaders who polarize values so sharply are killed. I was a kid when Mahatma Ghandi was assassinated in India, but I recall the Life magazine pictures of the massive outpouring of grief and protest. I certainly recall the assassination of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I understand having differences, I do not understand the taking of life to try to impose those different values on others. I may be unhappy with the leadership in America, but differences are handled with debate and discussion and tolerated in our political process. I do not relate well to societies that place so little value in human life. I think those societies that have a long history of warlords, violence and rule by force should be abandoned to their own devices and isolated. Let them kill each other. If they venture out to impose their will elsewhere then let us respond in a manner they can understand and wreak such havoc on them they will either alter their behavior or crawl back under a rock.