The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: March 2007

A Movie to watch

This is not really a movie.

It is a documentary about a little school in Whitwell, Tennessee.

The movie is called “Paper Clips” and is about the a small middle school that took on a challenge to create a visual representation of the six million Jews that were murdered in Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

In watching this movie for the second time, I was reminded of how I felt when was young, and I first started to grasp the sheer scope of what happened during the Holocaust. Not understanding the volume of people… men, women, and children… that lost their lives to the ideals of a ethnically pure race that Hitler wanted to create… yet in which he did not even live up to.

Paper Clips is inspiring in that you see the amount of support that pours out to this group of kids as they go further and further in to the project, and not only do they learn about the Holocaust, but they learn about themselves as well.

I feel that it is important that people watch movies like this. It is important that people feel the pain of seeing the gaunt, almost lifeless faces of the people that came out of the camps as survivors, as well as the pictures of the people lying in the trenches getting ready to be buried.

It is also fair, and I would be closed minded not to mention, the several million non-jews that were “exterminated” in this campaign. The Gays, the Gypsies, and all the other people that lost their lives for no reason more important than they were not Arian.

It is important that these pictures be burned into our minds, and that they evoke tears and pain when we see them. That is a sign that we are compassionate humans, and that we understand that what was done, cannot and should not happen again.

There are many people out there, maybe you reading this are one of them, that claim that the Holocaust never happened, and that it is all an elaborate hoax. You are free to your opinion, but when there is this must proof to the contrary, then how can you buy that? Look at the survivors, look at the US, British and Russian soldiers that liberated the camps as they pushed through to beat the Nazis down. The stories they tell, and the sights they saw were not in their own imagination, they were real. So if you are one of the people that does not think that the Holocaust took place, then my advise to you is to stop listening to the talking heads that feed it to you, and go back to school, if for no other reason than to take a history class. Better yet, take a trip to Germany or Poland, and visit places like Auschwitz.

I encourage everyone to watch Paper Clips. It will make you cry, make you laugh, and in the end, it will give you a good feeling. You will see kids that are learning about something that helped to make them responsible people, and, hopefully, more compassionate adults.

Mistakes that strengthen us

Nietzsche told us that “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”As I have aged I have seen that is more than true. Not that there have been many attempts on my life, which there have not, at least not that I am aware of.

I think of this more in the philosophical and emotional sense.

I have been thinking about the past a lot lately, not sure why, but I have been really thinking about all that has happened to me, and where I am now. The question that I come up with is would I still be where I am now, and doing what I am doing, if the bad things in my life had not occurred? Were my failings actually just small parts that made up my success?

I would say that this is the case.

We learn at a very young age that when we do something wrong, it has consequences. Then, as we get older, we learn that those consequences can have greater repercussions. Trust me, I could write a book on my mistakes, and maybe even have enough for two volumes. Some of them I would not be willing to share, but if I were to have removed them from my life, then I think that I would not be quite the person I am today.

Mistakes help us keep perspective and remind us that we are not as good or as hot as we would always like to think we are. Should we ever start getting a little too cocky or full of ourselves, then there is that little laughing gremlin sitting somewhere ready to knock us down a few pegs. If you are a follower of any faith, then you understand that this is probably God reminding you that there are things that are greater than yourself.

Personally I think that this is something slightly akin to Karma. Karma is simply a spiritual version of Newtonian law. For everything you do, there is a reaction… maybe not always an opposite, but certainly an equal reaction. I have learned that the more good I do and the more positive outlook I have, then the more good happens to me, or me or for those around me.

We will keep making mistakes, and we will keep learning from them, or at least I hope we do, and people will continue to not listen to our learned advice and experience. This will, in turn, help the next generation and the generations after that learn how to be who they will be. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is expected.

Look at your life… how often did you listen to a person say not to do something because of certain possible consequences, then you do it anyway thinking that you can do it better? We all have… and most of the time we realize that we they were, at least in part, right.

That’s all… Just some insight.

Thanks for your time, and we’ll leave the light on for ya!

In search of… ME!

Ok…

So if you are a regular reader of mine, then you have no life, and you may have also noticed that I have not written in some time.

For that, I am sorry. I have been suffering a combination of the lazies, depression and business… all at the same time.

Unfortunately I doubt that there are any really regular readers of my work. If you are out there, then I would appreciate it if you at least said hi to me.

In memory of the path not traveled

As I reach the five year mark with my present position, I have had a chance to reflect on many things.

When I was very young, I was undecided on what I wanted to do with my life. I went through the usual stages of wanting to be a Fireman, a Policeman, a Doctor, etc… But under it all I had always had a love for animals.

Nowadays I can honestly say that I have one regret, and that is that I did not become a Veterinarian. That is not to say that I do not like what I do, because I do enjoy my job, but I do not think that it gives me the same sense of accomplishment that being a Vet.

I know that at almost 40, someone with more drive could probably still go to school and become a vet with several years left to practice, but I guess I am a wimp.

I know that there is really no way for me to go back to school now, for two reasons. 1. Money… While I would not consider myself poor, I have no way of going to school and supporting myself and my wife if I were to return to school full time. 2. Location… my town really has no place to go to school to become a Vet… I would have to relocate or commute in order to go to school. Needless to say, it is not happening any time soon.

So… not being able to become a Vet, I do what I can otherwise. I donate money to worthy causes that can help animals. In fact my wife and I have three dogs, and all of them are rescue dogs. They all came to us as homeless or needy dogs.

If you are a vet, or are becoming one, then you have my respect. You provide a service that is second only to that of Doctors that practice human medicine. In reality there is not much difference between the two, but with animals, you are helping something that cannot communicate what hurts and why.

For those of you who are not vets, but would like to help other programs, then please follow the attached links:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Hearts United for Animals

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