Perhaps it is the experience of working in the shadows of the World Trade Center buildings that I continue too ascribe the term ‘Twin Towers’ with the two-plus buildings destroyed 6 years ago in cowardly act of senseless terrorism.
I certainly do not use ‘other’ to slight the buildings you see me pictured with to the right – as I freely admit – I find them far more attractive to the ‘boxy lady’ images that loomed over downtown for a couple of decades.
Still, I feel kinda awkward being half a planet away in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 7th anniversary of the murder of thousands of innocent non-combatants were senselessly murdered in a fervor of religious zealotry.
Part of my awkwardness comes out of my recent experiences traveling abroad these past couple of years – where I’ve more than once either been the recipient or witness to anti-American sentiment. The most recent incident being the tepid, almost non-existent, applause that greeted the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band at the Kuala Lumpur International Tattoo 2007.
I say tepid in relevance to the warm welcome offered the military bands of other countries.
I’ll also say I was never prouder than when I heard the roar of approval from the crowd after the Pacific Fleet Band delivered a flawless, thoughtful and moving performance. Remember folks, I was a professional opera singer – I know about audiences and music – and I know these young men and women did a fantastic job despite a chilly welcome.
Which begs the oft asked question: why do they hate us?
As I said, I’ve had a lot of chances to speak to a lot of people from a lot of places lately. Here’s the best I can figure:
- Some hate us because the BBC and other news outlets present the U.S. in a poor light at every opportunity. At least that’s how I perceive the news when I watch it from various international airports and hotels.
- Some hate us because they do not like our president. Of that number, a large majority are just soooo rabid and soooo seeking a distraction from their own problems, that they will continue to hate us long after G.W.Bush leaves office.
- Some hate us because they are raised from a very young age to hate us – often in institutes of religious education.
- Most of the above hate us because if they didn’t – then they’d have to face their own causes for their own economic and political problems. And you don’t need Dr.Phil to remind you that no co-dependent ever wants to realize themselves as the major cause of the majority of their own problems.
What can we do despite such dysfunctions?
- Engage, listen to and debate open and honestly with those who strongly disagree with U.S. Policy – but do not hate the U.S. Such are usually reasonable people whose passion is to be appreciated.
- Do what the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band did – perform despite such ill will. That includes continuing our outrageous acts of charity when calamity strikes other nations. Continue to feed their poor, educate their children, send medical aid to their sick. Mostly continue to do this through the private sector so as to divorce any politics from said performances.
- Know what we believe and why – and be willing to describe it, debate it and teach it calmly and rationally – even when loud, hateful voices spew invective from both sides of the argument.
Anyway, I’ll be back on a technical track tomorrow – much stuff seen and learned here at the Microsoft Tech*Ed SEA 2007 – much to discuss here with regards to your church website.
Now if you don’t mind me, I have some prayers to attend to.