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11 08 08 Imposed Realism

11 08 08 Imposed Realism

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Published by mcdozer

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Published by: mcdozer on Jan 10, 2012
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01/10/2012

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The other night we watched the movie "Waiting for Forever" about a boy who had been in lovewith his childhood girlfriend since they were 10 and officially lost touch when his parents died in atrain accident and he and his brother moved to their grandparents. As he grows older, though, hefollows the love of his youth wherever her professional career takes her, himself making a livingof 3 dollars a day ("on a good day") as a juggler dressed in pyjamas.Although this wasn't the best film I watched of late (for instance, there was the excellent 2010 film"Fair Game," which gives further insight into the insanity that's still being perpetrated in Iraq),"Waiting for Forever" moved me most. Not so much because of the plot, but because of the factthat I was watching it with my 28 year old wife who might never get to know the kind of culturethat grants a fellow the liberty to make a very unstable living on 3 bucks a day as a juggler,traveling wherever his dream would take him.Although the boy in the movie was met with heavy criticism from his older brother (a banker), andwas being called a stalker, and despite the fact that his kind is a dying breed in the West, at leastwe have come to know that sort of a culture, while other countries, such as the one I'm currentlyresiding in, probably never will.Though the culture whose hospitality I'm currently enjoying is by no means an exclusive exampleof what I'd like to call the "imposed realism" that not only political leaders, but even more socultural and traditional elders seem to feel obligated to circumcise their offspring's dreams andideals with, it is definitely an outstanding example.You cannot just marry the man or girl you love. Any man that intends to marry is expected to havea house first. My wife has told me of an experience in a Shanghai park where she watchedhundreds of elderly couples looking for suitable spouses for their daughters (or sons) with a list of criteria in hand that any potential candidate would have to live up to; criteria primarily based onincome.A juggler making 3 bucks a day wouldn't stand an chance in hell to get married under that set of conditions. It might me hard in the West, but just about impossible in the East.Of course, when I was a young lad back in Germany, I got to hear much of the same tune frommy folks. Not that they would have expected of me to be able to buy a house before I startedmessin' round with the opposite sex, but I was repeatedly advised to "get a good education" tosecure a "solid existence" for myself. When I came home one day telling them that I met a groupof people who were "foolowing Jesus," and that one day I would like to do the same, they werenaturally horrified.In the meantime they have accepted my somewhat loose, though not entirely carefree life-style,and my father, having seen his own supposedly "solid existence" and career go down the draindue to fluctuations and instability in the economy has told me since that I made the right choicewhen I set out to do what I did.In the West, though, parents have their existence taken care of by retirement insurances, andboth my parents are currently better off with their pensions than I am as an English teacher in theFar East, where the only old-age insurance elderly parents have got are their children and their respective incomes, so it's somewhat understandable that they want their kids to be able to carefor them. Many young people live under a lot of pressure because of that responsibility. Then again, my reasoning is that many things in life are simply beyond our control. Everything ispotentially subject to drastic and unexpected changes: death, illness or financial and economicdisaster can hit anyone at any time, and what power does anyone really have, to effectivelyimpose their own little reality on anyone in the long run, even their kids?When Jesus went around luring established young men with flourishing businesses away fromtheir homes and responsibilities telling them He would make them "fishers of men," certainly Hewasn't met with strong enthusiasm on behalf of those men's families. For all we know, some of them (like Peter) were even married and possibly had children. What an irresponsible thing to do,to just walk off with a perfect stranger of questionable reputation, Messiah or not...

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