Every now and again I like to write "serious" blogs. I always try my best not to seem preachy or holier than though or just plain annoying. I just want to express my thoughts the best way I know how and I want to give you insight into my life, the good the bad, and the ugly. So I thank you for bearing with me and allowing me to spill out whatever it is I choose to write.
I just read the other day that Kang Kek Lew known as "Duch" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kang_Kek_Iew was sentenced to life in prison for being the head of the prison in Cambodia known as S-21. Most of my reader may not know anything about The Khmer Rouge, I know I didn't until I got to Cambodia. You can read more about it on Wikipedia but basically there was a man named Pol Pot and he was a dictator in Cambodia in the between 1975 and 1979 he and his followers murdered over 2 million people. They abolished money, closed schools,killed anyone with an education and brought Cambodia back to "year zero". I have personally been to S-21 (the former school turned into a prison/torture house is now a museum). I had never even heard of the Khmer Rouge before I went to Cambodia but right when you walk into S-21 and the "killing fields" there is a huge tower. This tower is made out of human skulls from the people that died. It is so shocking and "in your face". I was really glad to see that Cambodians are not denying their history and their past and are not trying to sweep it under the rug so to speak.
It was so depressing to know how much hatred and negativity there can be in this world. Especially when confronted with it like that. When I visited the concentration camps in Germany I felt that while they certainly did not deny what happened there they tried to soften the image a little for people and make it a little more bearable to people visiting there. In Cambodia there was no such efforts, you can still see blood on the walls where people were tortured and killed. There is many many pictures of people taken when they were processed into S-21 only to be tortured and killed. I somehow managed to get myself lost in S-21 and separated briefly from my friends (there was no signs in English) and I accidentally wandered into some sort of basement area and I saw a very large pile of clothing that I can only assume was from people who were tortured and killed there. I left quickly out of that room but that image will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Duch is already 70 years old and now he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison for helping to torture and murder so many people but Pol Pot and many many of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge died or moved away before they could be punished for their crimes and nothing will bring back the millions of people who were murdered for no reason, even babies were killed! I also heard a story in the news (and saw the video) of where a tennis star clearly threw his shirt to a 14 year old girl and she was so excited to get it but a stupid lady snatched it right out of the air and wouldn't give it back to her!! :( She then auctioned the shirt off for charity (or so she says) because of all the negative reaction she was getting and the 14 year old girl, her mother had to buy back the jersey for almost 7000 dollars! :(
You might wonder why I am writing a blog about war and hate and misery. I am writing you all this because I want to make it clear that this world can be a terrible place where horrible things happen. But, it doesn't always have to be that way. There can be so much good and so much to look forward to in this world. I have countless examples right in my own life of people doing good things for me for no other reason than just to selflessly help me out. Time after time I have been able to have my faith in humanity restored and realise that this life is worth living with a positive outlook. I just finished re-watching one of my favourite movies, American Beauty. If you haven't seen it you should check it out! But basically it is about a guy who has a boring mundane life and he hates it. Then he starts to make positive changes in his life and he really starts LIVING! It is a movie that really makes you examine your own life. There is no reason you cannot have the life you really want, you just have to WANT to make the changes necessary to have that life.
If you turn on the news 99% of the things you will hear or read will be negative. But I challenge you to look for the good in this world and in your own life and not to focus on the bad. Your life is your own and you can make it as amazing as you want.Traveling has really put me in touch with my own mortality. I have come to not fear death at all but to welcome it. Not that I WANT to die anytime soon, I certainly don't! I hope I have many many more years left on this earth but I know that death is just the next chapter, the new beginning of something else. In one of my favourite movies, American Beauty right at the end Kevin Spacey's character says that before you die life really does flash before your eyes in a moment. Only it is a moment that goes on forever. I hope that when my time comes I will get to see all the places I have been too, all the people I have met and all the great experiences I have had. I hope that in my final moments I will fondly remember the amazing family and friends I have had throughout my life and how truly lucky and blessed I was. That's really all I got for now. -Ty
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