Saturday, 4 February 2012

Again and Again and Again.

I seldom plan ahead concerning the writing of posts. Not surprising in view of the fact that I'm not even sure as to why I blog. On a good day, a fairly easy task, on a bad day a blank canvas awaiting my limited efforts. Are you the same, dear friends. I've never particularly been one for topicality or the 'world scene', others do it better. Then, occasionally, something in the news catches my eye and off we go.
The Tibetan people are having it rough, rougher than normal at the hands of their Chinese oppressors, particularly in the Sichuan districts. (16 Tibetans have set fire to themselves since March of last year.) The Chinese Government of course deny any brutality in Tibet, or anywhere else for that matter. Truth is just as easy to suppress as people. Which suggests a 'deja vu' post yet again.
In the 1950's I was a wide-eyed schoolboy growing up in a village in Derbyshire. I was brought up in a Moravian household purely and simply because there happened to be a Moravian congregation where I lived. (A very old Protestant religion, similar to Methodists, established in Ockbrook in 1750.)
The Moravian Church happens to be a missionary church, so treats for us children would be visiting missionaries from far away places on 'furlow', speaking in the chapel concerning their important work delivering the word of God' to 'ignorant savages overseas'. (I did have a cousin who became a missionary but it had no appeal for me. Though I was fascinated by pictures of Eskimo children sucking seals eyes in the same way as we village boys sucked our gobstoppers.)
One day there appeared in church a small robed man, playing a musical instrument and singing/chanting; way beyond a village boys comprehension or experience. Evidently he was Tibetan, a Buddist converted to the Christian faith by Moravian missionaries. (Shortly to be expelled from Tibet by, you've guessed it,  the Chinese rulers in Tibet. All this in the 1950's, not 2012.)
The Moravians in Ockbrook arranged for a Derby engineering firm to make a typewriter that typed in the Tibetan language. Brilliant, They couldn't have been too many of them around! Then the little man returned to Tibet to a life full of danger and uncertainty, for his life had already been threatened because of his conversion to Christianity; he was a brave little man indeed and I salute him.

Over fifty years on the Chinese militia are still brutally suppressing the indigenous people of Tibet, presumably on the orders of their masters in Bejing.
At times I despair. Nothing changes. I have no answers and that at times worries me. Some religious adherents can be exceedingly self satisfied as to their beliefs. I make no point as to the rights or otherwise of religions converting others to their viewpoint. (I remember vividly feeling rather smug as a ten year old that I was lucky enough to be going eventually to an 'afterlife', others, apparantly were not to be so lucky. This of course I had been 'taught' as a child.) But as an adult I am non too impressed by many pious individuals of many different religions who seem convinced they and their ilk alone are assured of eternal salvation. (Though not all, many are sympathetic and understanding of other religions/beliefs.) Fanatics cum zealots are both frightening and dangerous. But this is not the main point of this post. The point that struck me most was how short is life. How repetative are mankinds mistakes. And so it will presumably be, for ever and ever. Deja-vu indeed. What say ye? .


Ruth said...

Another great post, Ken. Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Until humans evolve to their true potential, there will always be those who oppress others for reasons of skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and a myriad other reasons, real or imagined. I sometimes despair that things will never change. But I do what I can in my little corner of the world, and hope that the future for my grandchildren will be better. We have come a long way in our thinking, but there is yet a long way to go. Little steps. As someone said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I try not to lose hope.

CWMartin said...

But the sun always turns and life goes on. Or as Solomon told us, "Nothing new under the sun." A wise comic book once told me, "We have always defied death by living- truly living- under its shadow."

susan said...

I can see that this is depressing but perhaps you can't expect change. Just watched the film "Pleasantville" which highlights the aggressive, divisive and jealous as well as the loving instincts of man when left to their own devices..for some the former is more powerful.

Ayak said...

One problem is that while people insist on living their lives according to books like the bible and the koran, they cannot progress. Things have changed and improved, but this tends to come from those who are not tied to their religious beliefs.

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