Feb 20, 2008

Dissagreements

There was a story in the news this morning that the John Templeton Foundation is funding a four million dollars study at Oxford University to investigate why humans believe in God. In our local paper, the forum that accompanied the story contained comments from readers that ran the spectrum of belief. It is really interesting to see how differently people see the same subject. One fellow even opined that the world would be wonderful if everyone believed in God. The rub is that most of the people in the world do believe in God and the world is not that much of a bargain, peace-wise anyway. Of course, his premise hinges on whose God you are talking about. So much of the world's problems arise from the differing ways we see things, not just religiously, but our differing world views. For instance, I was watching a documentary called Inside North Korea, which you may have seen as a National Geographic special. National Geographic sent a camera crew along with a Nepalese eye surgeon who the North Korean government had invited to treat North Korean citizens. The North Korean government was told that the crew was affiliated with the doctor and was there to document his work. they really wanted to get a glimpse of life in the world's most secret society. What they found was a society that was seemingly content with what we would classify as a pretty bleak existence. Rather than dissent, they found a people whose world view was that of threat and survival. Generations of outside abuse have left the North Korean people wary of outsiders and totally dependent upon their tyrannical leader for their perceived protection. Instead of fearing the tyrant, they worship him as a near-deity. That makes no sense to me, but then I live in an open society. It certainly leads to a situation of mutual distrust between our countries. Cletus Sneed came by this morning. He seems to be off the drugs for the most part and the way I can tell is that he only asked for ten bucks, not the usual forty. His life is a train wreck and the reason seems so obvious to both of us. Unfortunately, it's not the same reason. Cletus works for a sleazy used car dealer, who pays him in cash. He is currently living in a fleabag motel, just off downtown. His rent consumes most of his salary. Because he has no paycheck stub, he is unable to get many social services that might help him change his situation. Cletus has a history of run ins with the law, mostly because he persist on driving with a suspended license. He also has a history of not showing up for court dates and is currently about $3000 in debt to the courts and on probation. That keeps him from getting a lot better jobs. He has no idea where his children are because their mother has them in hiding. We argue about his situation because he sees himself as a victim and I tell him that he needs to do different stuff to get different results. His last four jobs were all at crappy car lots, where he hangs with people on the fringe of society and his last few homes have been flophouses. He doesn't see this as a problem. I see it as more of the same. I can't budge him and he can't budge me. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

7 comments:

Kurt said...

I know someone sort of like that. He doesn't see how some of the choices he has made are at least partly responsible for where he is.

Ms. Wollstonecraft said...

thinking like a victim is really like jumping into a well.
there are two things that I refuse to do--one is think like a victim

the other is--I won't play the "you never had X happen to you, so U don't understand." game. People don't really know what others have suffered, so playing that game is sort of a victim thing too.

phd girl said...

I'll take a chunk of that research cash-- the "because they're afraid not to"--- I'd like that chunk.

Squirrel said...

it's never too late to turn your life around.

I admire you, Merle for keeping the lines of communication open with Cletus. he is lucky to have you.

Ms. Wollstonecraft said...

Just stopped by to say hello.

Steve said...

I like Ms. Wollstonecraft's comment about thinking like a victim -- it IS like jumping into a well. Cletus is indeed lucky to have you. I think substance abuse so distorts people's perceptions of the world that they don't really see the ways in which they can help themselves, even when people explain it to them.

Flawed & Disorderly said...

Wake up, Cletus! It's not too late!