Sunday, May 02, 2010

Some things I've seen

Some of the things I've seen/heard in the last week or so...
  • Friday night Jane and I went to the cinema center and watched Burma VJ. It is an award-winning documentary about the 2007 uprisings against the military regime in Burma. It was filmed entirely on hand-held cameras, and the footage was smuggled out of the country. It was quite interesting, and sad. It was sadder still that we were the only ones there other than a lone Burmese man. I wanted to see this though, because we are having some people come to church and speak about this soon (maybe May 16). Fort Wayne has the largest concentration of Burmese refugees in the US, and we are privileged to have someone from our church who helps them get settled here. Innaresting stuff.
  • The other day I was driving down I-69 and I saw a van completely engulfed in flames. I was going north and it was pulled off on the southbound shoulder. I saw the black smoke for miles and wondered what it was. I couldn't believe how high the flames were when I got up to it. There was a police car and one other car pulled up behind it, and traffic was just going right past it. I was surprised they hadn't shut the road down. It was wild.
  • I think it was on Wednesday I listened to a program on NiPR about suicides. I think the guy being interviewed had written a book. It was quite insightful. He addressed some wives tales that people believe about those who attempt/commit suicide. How the person doing it doesn't do it as a selfish act, and it's never a spur-of-the-moment decision, and just the sheer mental/emotional pain one is in - and for so long - before they finally do it. But he was also quite hopeful. He discussed how so few of us see it as the illness that it is. Mental illness is nothing different than physical illness. If your heart is giving you problems, you go to the doctor and work towards healing. It should be no different if your mind is giving you problems. Another mistake many people make is to just think drugs are the answer. Drugs can only do so much. Just like surgery can only do so much with a knee replacement - you also need rehabilitation (to re-learn to walk). For mental illness (of the depression variety), many people do need drugs, but they also need counseling (rehabilitation to re-learn to think). So many refuse to do this and suffer needlessly because of it. There is also the issue of some illnesses being able to be "cured", but some needing treatment for the rest of your life (like diabetes). So there is hope, but it doesn't just happen. Anyway, it was so sad during the call-in portion; there was person after person calling in and talking about either their own depression or the struggle it has been dealing with a loved one who had committed suicide. One guy said his father, brother and sister had all killed themselves, and he thought about it quite a bit. Ugh.
  • I am going to be gone for a few days, and I don't know if I'll have internet or not. I have some posts scheduled to automatically go up, so if you would happen to comment and I don't respond, don't be surprised. Provided I survive the trip, I will probably be back.
Peace out; and in.


Brook Sarver said...

Burma VJ is a quite powerful little documentary. It's been on my mind a lot lately as we are begging to see monks joining in with the political protests in Bangkok. Nothing to the extreme shown in Burma VJ by any means, but I do wonder what the monks response would be if this continues to fester...

Travel safe!

dan horwedel said...

Yes, it was a powerful movie. I was glad to hear that it was much better attended at later showings. And I hope things don't get as extreme for you guys as they did in Burma.