September 28, 2005

The Good Life

For those of you who don't get out much, Oddybobo has been sharing the very moving story of her recent trip to her ancestral home, Korea. Yesterday, she shared some pictures and as I looked at the noble faces of her mother, aunt and uncle, at the precious faces of the children and at the splendor of that beautiful land, my heart was greatly moved. And it got me thinking.

As Americans, I think, in many ways, we have been greatly hindered by the affluence we so easily take for granted. We forget that others have known great suffering--that many suffer today at the hands of brutal leaders, impoverished lands or vicious diseases. We think suffering is standing in the Starbucks line too long or getting stuck behind a slow driver. We think we've suffered if our favorite tv show gets a late start in the fall season or our favorite sports team loses a game.

I hate to say it, but we're soft. And we did it in just a few short years, too. My grandparents' generation wasn't soft. They were the WW2 Generation--they knew what suffering was; they knew what sacrifice was; they knew what hard work was for the simple reward of putting food on the table one more day.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for what we have. I'm thankful for the blessings we have come to think of as our American right. But sometimes I wonder if we're really the "lucky" ones. We have so much and yet our souls are so vacant. We want for nothing and yet we are never satisfied. We search for meaning in things we can buy and experiences we can have and yet there is a moral and spiritual hollow that follows us like a dark shadow. Sometimes, I just think we have it too good. We are a society who avoids discomfort, suffering or sacrifice at all costs and I can't help but think that we have gypped ourselves out of something great and noble.

My favorite author, C.S. Lewis said, "But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

When I see the Cindy Sheehans, Lynndie England's or Ray Nagin's of this country, my heart aches. Is this what our great country has become? God forbid. We have so much to offer the world, so much to give but we will miss the mark if we don't change. We must be people of moral greatness. We must be people of intense goodness. We must be people willing to sacrifice our own desires for the needs of others. And we must learn to love. We must learn to forgive. We must learn to be kind. That's what I see in the faces of Oddy's family. I hope it is what people will see in me. I hope.

Take some time, if you haven't already, to read her stories. I know you'll be as moved as I have been. And thanks, Oddy, for sharing them with us.

Going Home Again
Going Home Again Part II
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

Posted by PamCHBF at September 28, 2005 09:36 AM | TrackBack

Thank you! I was in tears alot on my trip. It is so heartbreaking to talk to survivors who have lost everything, everyone, and yet live on. It pains me that we have individuals who have lost everything in the South yet cry out that the government owes them because they have to live in their car. At least they have a car, many do not. At least they are alive, many are not.

Thank you for reading my blog, thank you for thinking my family's story is important. There are many families like them!

Posted by: oddybobo at September 28, 2005 04:28 PM

Beautifully written. I couldn't agree with you more. Oddybobo's stories are heartbreaking but inspiring and strengthening. You described the problems in the states perfectly. And, Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that for us. Too many people take too much forgranted.

Posted by: Sticks at October 2, 2005 01:35 PM

Um... your front page seems to be naked. You should post something...

Posted by: Harvey at October 15, 2005 01:06 PM
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