Posted by: toddzilla | February 15, 2007

Homework to gain perspective…hopefully

 On my way to work this week, I caught a part of a news series on NPR concerning the history of Shia and Sunni Islam.  It enthralled me and led me to the following link which, as of this post, links to 4 of the 5 parts of the series.  It’s a long read, but check it out:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7309835

I am an advocate of seeking to better understand others by doing all that you can to gain insight into their perspectives.  Granted, unbiased information is getting harder to obtain, it seems.  I urge you to think about groups or individuals whose actions or values differ from your own.  Try to gain background info and knowledge that helps you to “walk a mile in their shoes”.  We oftentimes dismiss others by thinking their values are senseless, but we do not understand what drives them and motivates them.  I urge you to seek more and different perspectives.

Also, note while you read (as if you would actually do that…yah!  Todd’s giving me homework…as if…like, whatever!) sorry…note, as you read the parts of the link, the instances in the history of Shia/Sunni Islam where others have either jumped into a conflict too quickly or left them too abruptly.  Try to understand their feelings of either false encouragement like when the Sunnis jumped to help Saddam in his war against Iran in the 80’s, when the U.S. sought to help Iran fight off Khomeini as a communist threat (this phenomenom is similar to American Idol wannabes and the friends/family to encourage them to try out even though they stink)  and their feelings of abandonment that resulted in the times when Reagan pulled out of Lebanon, Bush Sr. pulled out of Afghanistan, and maybe when the U.S. imminently pulls out of Iraq.

 Alright, that’s enough history for now.  But think about other groups that you don’t understand…how can we earnestly seek to know them better?

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