*pic from cbchttp://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-shooting-a-day-of-chaos-leaves-soldier-gunman-dead-1.2808710
i am not a pessimist, nor an optimist. i try hard to be neither.
the power of bias, suggestions and expectations are often too powerful to even detect, nevermind neutralize.
however, with all the international violence, especially pointed at the united states, we have grown quite dull about it. the gulf war. rwandan civil war. croatian war of independence. afghanistan. iraq-kurdish. republic of the congo civil war. the chechens. north-west pakistan. niger delta. thailand insurgency. somalia. boko haram in nigeria. kyrgyzstan. lybian. israel-gaza.
these are the first ones that popped into my mind. without looking. eyes closed. and im not a political junkie.
it made me wonder why-
unequal lives of humans.
and that makes yesterday's shooting in ottawa quite shocking in a weird sense, i thought it is stranger that it have not happened any earlier. we live in one of the wealthiest, healthiest, educated nation. everyone looks up to canada as an ideal model. we think we work very hard and achieve a great deal in civil rights and advancement of technology and humanity. look, we are even sending trial samples of ebola vaccines. people literally climb the closing doors to get into this place.
as powerful nation, we have also trolled many lives under our foot. most likely, we wont hear the things that went wrong.
i remember my own granny telling me about hiding in the haystorage room in a random house during the korean war, with an infant, praying and praying that the child would not wake nor cry during the whole night. they were at the war line in korea, americans/UN soldiers were pushing the line and the north communists were fighting back in desperation. she hid from the soldiers.
she hid from the UN soldiers.
they would rape. they would kill. just like any other soldier. forget the flag on the bag. doesnt matter.
the korean soldiers, my uncle and his peers, as part of koreans who participated alongside the americans (as they earned in dollars), his special forces brigade friends would tell me about vietnam, about hot weather and agent orange, eating snakes and dying of tetanus, from stepping on bamboo cuts smeared with feces.
they did not tell me about the horror they 'shared' with vietnamese people. of rape. burning, carnage, killing. abandoned war children.
i am not here to say canadian soldiers (or any other modern soldiers) are doing exactly the same. times have changed for better, i hope, and there are more systematic solutions that is intended to cause lesser damage. but it is true that a soldier is trained to protect and obey ordered, involving killing and bombing. but ironically, without soldiers, then it's even less order i think. bit like parking cops. even with parking cops, people park illegally all the time (slightly silly example).
and soldiers come back, damaged. often on way to their graves, slowly. only because we cannot see it so easily, as death toll, a lost limb, we often think it's all fine. or that it's not worth it, there are better causes to think about.
what of the repressed anger that causes terrorist acts and war?
hard to say, as it is so complicated. but i do believe it is largely due to the completely uneven distribution of wealth.
i would like to make more money. i would like to be richer. but after all, i am happy working at my jobs as is, as it varies anywhere from 12/hr (yes, that is close to minimum wage in toronto. i am not bitter, i am happy to do it! no misunderstandings allowed, ahahaha) and up, sometimes in honorarium.
but the fact that i do not have to work for free (extortion), or work on jobs i protest (no job i take is against my consciousness or ethic/belief/moral, thought i may not like it, that's entirely different!), and i am educated, which qualifies me to at least apply self to many different jobs.
so many people do not get this chance. so they toil through. they are angry.
i am privileged.
these rough calculations puts me at either top 7 or 10%.
and i am supposedly struggling classical musician (though at least 3rd of my income comes from manual labours and other un-related to music things). this money is not much in toronto but in the world, it's quite a big chunk.
with my last income tax return, im still on the first bracket, making less than 43,561 before taxes. that makes me a small earner. not so small in the global sense. i have riches in my household- utilities, warm house, safety, running water, accessible municipal services and justice system should i need it.
no wonder the people who have been denied of what we consider the 'basic' rights are angry and shoot at us.
there have not been enough information to figure out why or how cpl cirillo's been shot. and who dunnit. but this is shocking to us, because well, shooting military man and government services is something that happens SOMEWHERE ELSE (like the states).
weve been rich enough to close our minds to diversities that we do not like (which does not do justice to the world 'diversity' anyhow). we want to pay less for everything. we want to 'give poor countries developmental potential' by doing our businesses at the fraction of its real cost. we want to 'dispense' justice to the world if they 'cooperate.'
it's not a fault. it's a symptom. symptom of wealth and happiness. contentness.
i love this country. this is home.
with all this education, resource, free-media and TIME, we do have the responsibility to look into this 'irrational' anger that is coming in through the small cracks of the house. (i watch too many home reno shows i guess). i am against violence. i am against black-and-white stance. violence is also a symptom. of unhappiness, incomprehension, envy and therefore blind action.
let us not waste cpl cirillo's death. yes, it may only be one of many soldiers who die on the job. yes, canadian soldiers do sign up to be in the army (unlike countries with conscription services). that does not matter when we want to look into the disorganized anger that pervades history. including our history.
we are individuals. we can all care for the human liberty and freedom. we can make it real.
there's no easy answer. but if you desire, one will find ways.
love to you all, stay safe.