Monday, May 2, 2011

Old Age ≠ Wisdom

I was having my coffee break in a comfortable sofa in the lobby of the hotel – where a writeshop activity for a national agenda was held in which I got to participate – chit chatting with this somewhat over 60-year frail old man. At first, it was fun talking to him about politics, but it got irritating as the conversation shifted to Japan’s catastrophe.

Old man: (With passion) This whole thing going on in Japan is a sign. See, no matter how rich they are, no matter how much they’ve prepared themselves with forthcoming disasters – earthquake-proof and flood-proof buildings, advance technologies for detecting tsunamis and earthquakes – none of these technologies have saved them from the catastrophe destroying them now. Do you know why? It’s because of their absence of belief in god. Barely 1% of their population is Christian. That’s also the reason why even as a rich country as they are suicide is widespread. They see no value to life because of the lack of higher purpose. I think god is telling them a message to recognize him and know him he is god. Southeast Asian countries, where most people are Buddhists and Muslims, are also devastated from same natural calamities. Philippines has been spared because a lot of people believe and pray. That’s the power of prayer!

Me: *Agitated but remained silent*

I can’t stand all his all-knowing pronouncements, but I tried to stay calm and reminded myself of “tolerance”. I tried to formulate my reaction… in such a way that he won’t get disturbed about my stance and arguments. I mean, I didn’t intend to have an argument with the old man. I wanted to but I can’t without leading the conversation to non existence of his highly revered god, who saved my country from earthquake. And you know how complicated would it be for a scenario.

Me: *Walked out*

I hated myself for conceding that way. I could have done better. Only if he was a person my age, or younger, or older, as long as not as old and fragile-looking as him. Fuck, I wish I even said a few statements before I walked out.

(Photo from: http://www.chinahumanrights.org/messages/focus/focus014/9/t20090310_425511.htm; It's lovely and it doesn't necessarily show any connection to this blog entry)

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