Archive for the World History/Stereotyping Category

A thought on retiring

Posted in World History/Stereotyping on 11 January 2009 by Maggie

Since the day Israel bombed a UN-run school in the Gaza, I have seriously considered retiring from writing.  This is not the first conflict in which I have found myself touched personally by the loss of good friends who were in an area of conflict working with people caught in the crossfire – the innocents – the homeless, the hungry, lost children, lost families.  This time, I did not cope well at all.  I lashed out, cursed, cried…and my heart broke not just from the loss of this one person, but from the loss of all of them over the years.

When I lashed out, the response I received from others was what I should have expected.  Some went silent – they avoid conflict or argument at all costs; if it isn’t about fashion, their own families, or domestic issues, they choose to ignore it.  Others supported one side or another of the conflict, creating the argument for their platform and sticking to it; some were quite rabid about it, in fact.  No one touched at all on the one thing that bothered me the most:  the loss of non-combatant aid workers, and the utter lack of respect for human life.

I asked my dear friend Pierre for his views, and he gave them to me.  I respect Pierre immensely.  There is a depth to his soul that matches mine.  When I cannot express what is in my heart, he expresses it for me.  I won’t quote all of the last e-mail I received from him (though I did think about it), but I will quote the last paragraph:

My ideas do not evolve in a world of their own, my ideas and I myself are particles, atoms out of which this whole fabric is woven together. Freedom is acquired by fighting for freedom. Freedom is never attained. Freedom is our trying to be aware of every particle in this constellation called “I”, of my own historicity with the admission of the impossibility of such a task, and yet, I must try, I must rebel. Just as a poet never shall write that perfect poem, for on the day he does, he ceases to be a poet. I must create an option with the knowledge that I have nothing to lose, that indeed life defies me to do so. It takes courage to acknowledge life in spite of its beauties and atrocities, to embrace it because of them. Resigning in acceptance would be condemning others and ourselves to death while still alive.

Pierre’s words rang clear as a bell for me, and for this reason, I will not retire from writing.  The world needs an education, and if I am only able to educate one person, I will have served my purpose in life.

Thank you, Pierre, for honouring me with your friendship.  You will always be a part of my heart and soul.

Pierre’s blog:


On Orientalism

Posted in World History/Stereotyping with tags , , on 15 June 2008 by Maggie

Many thanks to my friend Pierre for pointing me this direction.  It is very important that we understand this.  This video will launch a re-examination for me, and culminate in a series about our perception of the world, and how we, to this day, stereotype others.