Monday, February 05, 2007

what a curse, to understand the width and depth of human misery. Of the problems that exist in the world, the ones I know the most about are the ones that baffle me when its time to think of solutions. where to even begin. as we struggle for accessible university education in our small Canadian corner, i can´t help but be consumed by thoughts of less fortunate societies where education is never accessible to all, much less at the post-secondary level. i get angry, i get sad, i get frustrated. where to even begin. equality, such a simple idea, such an impossible mountain. there is no equality, and those that struggle for it struggle against the strongest foe, the enemy is too big, too big to describe or quantify...a cancerous mass, the giant marshmallow man in Ghostbusters II, an unstoppable 40 foot wave. because what can you do, without education? what sort of people are we creating, when we deny them the most basic right, to know and understand themselves and their context. education is generative, you can take people to a certain place and if you have done it right, they will go on from there. But this doesn't happen. Those on top don't know, don't care to know. Those on the bottom know all too well how it is. i sat in the snow in the waterfowl park for a while trying to get less angry. trying to make sense of the feelings, trying to find a way forward, a compromise that i could live with. what am i going to allow myself to feel and what am i going to have to do something about. i would be sitting in the snow still if it weren't so cold. i have sorted nothing out. i have such little commitment to even my personal part in all of this that i let myself off the hook because of a little temperature discomfort. i do not want to be irrelevant. i don't want to carry around this anger about unsolved problems. problems so big. why is it this way?

7 comments:

Janna said...

i would never list you, among people who have little personal committment to that big problem, Beth, never. I'm listening to Paul´s song that you sent me. Cool, babe. Hehe. :)It was so good to talk on Saturday...I'll be waiting for that email. :)

heidi said...

keep pushing

jr942809 said...

This is a great blog Bethany. In case you’re wondering, I know who you are from going to Ecuador on a couple occasions with the Fall River crew and my name’s Jordan. My friend was talking to me yesterday about the same kind of stuff as in this blog entry…. So we’re disciples of Christ who think we need university degrees. We’re falling for a lie: not that we go to university, but that we think we NEED to. We think it will give us access to a whole world of opportunity. Well we don’t need it. We need to keep in step with our leader, Jesus. Christ takes people on adventures. What if we’re tuning God out whilst plugging away at school? What if we lose our souls in the pursuit of university degrees, in the pursuit of society’s “A-Okay”, to say “now you’re allowed to contribute to the well being of others”? I agree that the tension we’re feeling as we spend thousands of dollars on the enlightenment of our minds is suffocating, and it’s also appropriate.

Polythene Pam said...

At least you wrestle with it. You know people have been wrestling with these things for centuries. Not maybe this particular problem, but the biggness of problems in general.
I normally don't disagree with people on blogs because it's so impersonal and sounds harsh but I'd like Jordan to be wary of a: oversimplifying complex matters. and b: buying into the misnomer that higher education leads to a loss of faith, "what if we lose our souls in the pursit of university degrees." I hear that sentiment expressed by friends here and it bothers me... if we're afraid that what we learn in class is going to make us stop believing then we must not have believed very strongly in the first place. Probably he was just talking about having our focus in the wrong place, and that's totally right... it just struck a chord with me and I decided to memtion it.
love you Bethers. Thinking of you often these days. It's so f-ing cold here! But I'm not going to cuss about it. No. No cussing abou the cold weather from me.

Candy said...

I don't know much but I do know this: Sin usually starts out as fun. So be careful.

Anonymous said...

what to think of a faith that is undermined by education and engagement in society...

Jordan said...

Even a fishing boat can suffocate a person’s soul if Jesus is standing on water, saying “Come”. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with university (or fishing boats for that matter); it’s just sometimes I get restless, you know? Whether it’s equality in education, or a million other social justice issues, it’s just like with St. Peter, I get the ants in the pants from sitting in class and thinking ‘wouldn’t it be swell to do something about said situation’. C’mon guys, I can’t be the only one who, once in a while, I get these ideas like Jesus is relevant to the needs of society, and joining him in what he’s doing doesn’t hang on having the all i’s dotted regarding proper certification? Hmmm… Here, maybe I’ll say it this way: Do any of you believe in adventure? Okay, and if you do, what the hell could it possibly have to do with school? I mean, maybe I need an education so I can do more specialized “adventurous” stuff later on. Yeah, I hear that. BUT (and this is the scary part – the part about me losing my soul), what if I don’t feel the ants in the pants when I graduate? What if all I want when I graduate is a family, two cars and a house in the suburbs? I find this terrifying.