Started the day with Asian Philosphy class. We were finishing up talking about Kongzi and how important hierarchy and family were to him. Konzi certainly had a highly patriarchal view and I certainly think conflict couldn’t be dealt with very well in his system. But there is something to his ideas just the same. As true as it is that there are bad parents out there I can’t help thinking that a little more “filial” piety might be beneficial. Most parents do want whats best for their children and the teenage urge to rebel just seems to incredibly irrational at times. There is a degree that this is just hormones but there is some (and I stress the word some) degree that we could benefit be respecting and listening to our parents and family more. Sometimes our parents are smarter than we think and I do feel we might have lost something in ignoring that bond as a societal norm.

I went seriously grocery shopping today. It was a weird feeling because I’m still used to relying on the cafeteria or other means to eat and so this was a big step in the way of self sufficiency for me. It was good but a little intimidating to buy enough groceries for a week, its a big step in the way of self sufficiency, also I now have a car that I’ve only had little occasion to use. Unfortunately I may have inadvetantly ran out the baterry and left the inside lights on. This required me to call a friend and have him jump my car, it was frustrating, but hopefully it is alesson learned. I made a 2 A.M Denny’s run afterward.

I went to this documentary called “Born into Brothels” about children in Calcutta that live in the Red light district. A woman from the U.K. teaches these kids photography and ends up helping some get into school and away from this area. But it was amazing the hardship these 8 or 9 year old kids go through and the conditions they live in. The types of adult decisions they have to make is just astounding, decision that can affect the rest of their lives. It made me feel so guilty for all the advantages I’ve had in life when these kids can’t even get into school because their parents are prostitutes so schools won’t take them in. I’ve always known that India was poor, but I didn’t realize that there were kids that even people with connections would have difficulty helping. Its a terrible thing that a society can do that. That they can prevent someone from improving their lot because their parents were so desperate for money that they would resort to those extreme means, and that those people are shamed instead of helped. I know there are only so many resources in the world to go around, but the least you can do is allow a person some small sense of dignity. How often does morality work that way? Rather than encourage ethical behavior it only further stigmatizes the desperate and the destitute.  The real scum are the people who steal and wear expensive suits, who steal and don’t need it, not the people scaping by in the slums.

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