Monday, October 31, 2005

Questions of Identity

Over the past few months, I have undergone a challenging of much of my ideology. Not only have my religious beliefs, but also my political views been under investigation and evaluation. I have been reading a book titled In the Name of Identity that raises many questions about people's identities and why people think what they think. The book is written by an Arabic Christian who lives in France. In his book, he investigates many issues concerning Islam and Christianity, and the differences between Western and Arabic culture.

Here is an exerpt:

Wherever on the planet one happens to live, all modernization is now westernization. And this trend is merely accentuated and accelerated by technical progress. True, monuments and other great acievements bearing the imprint of other civilizations are to be seen everywhere. But everything that is newly created - buildings, institutions, aids to knowledge or improvements to life-styles - all is produced in the image of the West.

This reality is experienced differently by those born in the dominant civilization and those born outside it. The former can change, advance in life, adapt without ceasing to be themselves. One might even say that the more Westerners modernize themesleves the more completely in harmony they feel with their culture. Only those among them who reject modernity find themselves out of touch.

For the rest of the world's inhabitants, all those born in failed cultures, openness to change and modernity presents itself differently. For the Chinese, Africans, Japanese, Indians and American Indians, as for Greeks, Russians, Iranians, Arabs, Jews and Turks, modernization has constantly meant the abandoning of part of themselves. Even though it has sometimes been embraced with enthusiasm, it has never been adopted without a certain bitterness, without a feeling of humiliation and defection. Without a piercing doubt about the dangers of assimilation. Without a profound identity crisis.

More on this subject later.

I leave you with this question. What makes our culture better than any other culture?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A post worthy of random thoughts...

I went home this weekend to my parents and a chocolate lab that love me unconditionally. One of the things I love most about going home is always knowing that I will find acceptance, understanding, support, love, and concern. My parents have always encouraged me to become the best man that I can be, to follow my dreams and to love with passion. I am always inspired by their love for one another and their radical obedience to the Lord's calling on their lives.

I am incredibly blessed by my family and I take this forgranted too often. This weekend my dad said words to me that most children dream of hearing from their fathers yet never do. He said, "Brett, you are one of my best friends. I am so proud of who you are." like that blows me away!

This week is homecoming here at SWU, which is an exciting, yet hectic time. I was nominated to be on the homecoming court this year, which is a great honor, especially as this is my last semester here. That's right, 45 days and counting! I'm really excited about this change and yet I am sad to leave some of my best friends that I have come to love over the past years.

Here are a few updates...

For those who don't know, I'm moving back to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University's school of Mass Communication. Also, I'm going to start writing for an american-owned magizine published in France.

I'll leave you with this quote that I read this weekend:

"The power of beauty is as absurd as it is undeniable."

Leave your thoughts...may they be as random as mine have been!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

This One's For You, Candice!

So, clearly its been quite a while since my last post. For some reason I haven't been very inspired to blog this semester....maybe it has to do with my resident blog nagger moving away! Anyway, it has been an eventful several weeks.

During my fall break a few weeks ago I drove out to Texas to visit my brother and his fiance'. I had a really good time just relaxing and being lazy; however, I will never drive that far by myself again! Since break, I have barely managed to keep my head above water with school work and various extra-curricular activities. Homecoming is next week and I have several responsibilities because I am my class president and I am on the Homecoming Committee. I am going home this weekend though, so hopefully I'll be able to re-energize!

This past weekend, I went out with some friends to see the new movie, Elizabethtown. I really liked it. The film is written and directed by Cameron Crowe, the same guy who did Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. The story was one of redemption and discovering identity. The main character, played by Orlando Bloom, was a young businessman who faces a failure of great magnitude but is unable to focus on this because his father dies. On the way to his father's home, he meets Claire, played by Kirsten Dunst (a major the way!). Claire challenges Orlando Bloom's character to greatness.

I could see so much of myself in the main character. So often I feel like a failure and it takes reminding sometimes to remember where my focus should be. One line from the movie particularly stands out to me, "I've been asleep my whole life". Wow! What a wake-up call. When we focus on trivial difficulties or others' opinions, we are actually alseep to what life is really about. We were meant for greatness. In order to acheive greatness one must first accept his failures.

So, no promises, but I am going to attempt to update this more often. Especially since I will be transferring in less than 2 months...hopefully this will be a means for people to keep up with me.

Recent albums of note:
The Trip by Snow Patrol
Strange and Beautiful by Aqualung
Daniel Powter