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Saturday, October 21, 2006


An attachment to being right

In 'Pol Pot, the history of a nightmare', Philip Short explains part of the philosophy adopted by the Khmer Rouge revolutionaries.

'The town-dwellers were to return to the land to reforge themselves, to reconnect with their Khmer roots. It was a trial, a rite of passage, from which they were expected to emerge strengthened, purified of the filth that came from city life.'

This reminds me of one of the shortcomings of we humans, which obviously includes me. We tend to believe that our way of doing things, our way of seeing the world, is always the correct way and that others should conform and be like us.

I suspect that a majority of the conflicts that beset this world at the moment are only happening because one, or more likely both, sides have this arrogant attitude. If only we could all give up this attachment to being right, what a better place the world might be.

After reading the above book, I am also wondering how much abuse, by parents, teachers, police and governments is done in the name of fixing someone who is supposedly bad. But is the fixer really being so good? Take this to the extreme and the fixer becomes Pol Pot.


A few days ago there was an early morning storm. Later Vanna told me that his mother had said that was a sign—thunder over the river—now the flood will turn. The next day I went for my tofu and the water had risen another two centimetres.

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