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Aqua-size and Genocide

These are things rarely covered in the same sentence, but since both are topics from last night, they have met here, in my blog.

When Wendy and I decided to go to an aquafit class (who doesn't want to start the new year with more exercise?), I was fearful that
a) everyone else would be over 60
b) it would be boring, and
c) the instructor would be either annoyingly bubbly or harshly demanding.

I was misled in all my preconceptions! There was a mix of ages, and even a couple of men. The workout was actually a good pace - not overly easy, and I felt a bit tired but not sweaty! at the end of the hour. And our instructor: cheerful and sweet. I liked her, and I think she looked a bit like my cousin, Lisa. Although I'm not sure I can picture you leading an aquafit class, Lisa...

Consensus: I'm going back next week! But I think I need a better bathing suit...the one I've got isn't exactly work-out gear. Not that it's scandalous, just wedgie-prone. Now that I've overshared on a public space...


After exercise, I had some movie screening to do (this was hard work, folks, but it had to be done for our Story of the Soul cafe on Thursday). First up: Hotel Rwanda. I watched it once in Montreal, and even though I knew what I was in for (I kept remembering what was going to happen about a scene before it did), I had trouble watching parts, and definitely felt a few tears leak out. For those of you who haven't seen it, watch it. I want to read Romeo Dallaire's Shake Hands With the Devil now too.

Between movies (the other required viewing was Forces of Nature, which I got very angry with, but thankfully it redeemed itself in the final moments), we talked briefly about the so what? implications of what we'd just seen. The genocide in Rwanda is not an isolated event. And we in the western world did exactly what Joaquin Phoenix predicted: watched it on the evening news, said "Oh my God, that's horrible!" and went back to eating our supper.

I was nine years old then, and knew little if anything about it. But now I am twenty-two, and similar genocides are taking place, as I type, around the world. But what can I do? I don't even know. If I did, would I do it? Again, I don't even know. My apathy and comfort as a North American urban-dweller may actually be to my detriment. At the end of time, what level of responsibility will I have for my inaction and the far-reaching impact it may have had? James wrote in his letter, "Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

As Wendy said last night, "I think our apathy is going to count against us more than we think."

Comments

Terra said…
other genocides to check out: Cambodia - Khmer Rouge 1975 - 1980
I just finished reading "Killing Fields, Living Fields" an account of the History of the Cambodian church.

one the amzing things about this event was that the western world was
a) supporting the communist killing machine the Khmer Rogue because they favoured the 'internal' government rather than the external Vietnamese army who actually liberated the Cambodina people ironically
b) didnt believe the reports that were coming out of Cambodia at the time. They turned their eye away saying 'that can't be true'

But the thing is we do the same thing now... look at Sudan.
Lisa said…
It's really late now (I just got back from a Sens hockey game in Ottawa) so I'm too tired to comment on the deeper parts of your blog, but I wanted to tell you about me and aquafit.

I've gone to a couple of aquafit classes and I did enjoy them. However, I have got to be one of the most uncoordinated people around, because I couldn't keep straight the "move your left leg and right arm and switch and punch and kick and bend and switch!" things. I kept laughing as I tried to move the proper limbs in the proper direction and between the laughing, being rather out of shape, and the temperature of the pool, my face was bright red the entire time, which amused the instructor nearly as much as my uncoordination did! So...I also can't picture myself teaching a class!
SarHa said…
Argh, my first comment didn't publish. Well, anyways, hey Beth! You posted on Lydia's blog, and I wondered if you were "Beth" Beth. Yay, you are. I was thinking of going to Rwanda with my church this summer. All who have been have come back so affected, and with the motto "Never Again." But truth is, it is happening again (and again) throughout the world, and we still hear about it on the news, are saddened and something that sort of resembles empathetic, then go back to eating dinner. I have been thinking about our empathy a lot lately, especially in light of the Church's response (or lack of) to the AIDS crisis. Where does this apathy it stem from? Is it laziness? Helplessness? Hardened hearts trying just to cope? I feel the guilt of complacency in th eface of things that break God's heart...it tugs at me, yet I fail to act. I agree with Wendy's comment and so think we will be held accountable. So, what is our first step? Education is my guess, and getting out of that "everything is ok" bubble of comfort and denial we live in.

PS I do appreciate that you shared about your bathing suit wedgie, and understand!

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