Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ingrid and Larry

Poster on building in Paris, Photo by Francois Lafite (Flickr)

I watched Ingrid Betancourt interviewed on Larry King Live from her hotel in Paris. She was held captive by the FARC for nearly 7 years in the jungles of Colombia. The interview was heartbreaking.

Larry King was actually very respectful to her. He did ask the question I am sure some producer forced him to about whether she was sexually abused, but I could tell he did not want to ask it. Of course she would not answer that question and said, "some things that happened in the jungle will stay in the jungle." Larry quickly said, "yes of course" and moved on. I think he was ashamed for asking it. And it goes without asking that she was of course abused.

Anyway, the vacant stare on her face I saw in so many parents of my students and friends when they talked about such horrors. It was chilling then, and it was chilling to see it again in the face of Ingrid Betancourt.

My point in bringing this up is that she said in her interview that one thing that was so unbelievable to her was how human beings could be so cruel to other human beings. The look on her face when she said this spoke volumes about the human condition.

She has plans to help the others still held in captivity (700 or so) obtain their freedom. And my point here is that she endured countless humiliations, a loss of her dignity, her freedom of movement, and on and on. Yet she plans to do something positive from her experience.

I do believe she is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and is depressed. You could see it in her face...and I heard some French rags are saying that she has admitted to this. It will be a long road to recovery for her... yet she is already making moves to make a difference in this world.

So our little problems and worries mean fuck all in comparison. So when stuck in traffic, worried about the bills and your 401k, think about Ingrid and how fragile life is and how everything can change in a second. Guess I am saying we should all be thankful for what we've got.
Peace on Earth

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