Monday, June 6, 2011


The first time I came to Peru, I was a backpacker longing for an adventure through those places not traveled and seen by most.  It was quite a mind rattling experience, but at the same time a complete blur.  It isn't that I wasn't seeing what was going on around me because I definitely had my eyes wide open, but it was a deeper understanding to the question "how?" that I couldn't grasp.  Sure I could see the poverty, I could comprehend the dire situation that these people are in and that the reason for it reaches far out of their personal control, but how?  How in this day and age do we not have a solution?  How in this day and age, after 1000's of years of government, have we not mastered the art of successfully governing the people? How in this day and age do we not understand or care about the consequences of our actions until it is too late?  Is free will to blame? Are we the people of God inhibited by our own free will?  Are we unable to overcome our desire to make decisions based on our own needs and wants?  Is it really human instinct to satisfy your own needs before another's?

Of course I don't have the answers to any of these questions, and of course I am guilty of these selfish acts.  I even dare to complain and suggest that I am having a difficult time.  Shame on me. Had I put that wasted energy into doing some good for someone else - even the smallest of tasks, I would have been reminded that I have everything I could possibly hope for.

The results of Peru's election have been made official. The majority in this country has spoken (although the margin was very small!), and they are ready for a complete 180 of the government process. Ollanta Humala will be the new president of Peru.  From one standpoint he is viewed as a "nationalist" looking to incorporate socialism to better the life of the poor and change the future of this country for equality of all.  On the other hand, he is viewed as a "dictator", an ex-military leader wanting to take complete control of the country and destroy any economic future.  Today, the peruvian stock market fell over 12% in the first hour of opening.  Markets were then closed for the day to avoid a complete disaster.  What will tomorrow bring?  Part of my wants to be fearful and join the belief of the masses that Humala is going to force government control, change the constitution, kick out all the foreign individuals and businesses (me included!) and drive the economy into the ground creating havoc. In reality, \my true feeling is that Humala does want to do what is best for the people and help them.  Socialism is a great idea in theory, but it has a long standing history that proves a socialist society can not rise up.  By taking from the rich (taxes, control, etc...) and giving to the poor, how does the situation really get better?  Sure the gap becomes smaller between the rich and poor, but business growth slows and self-motivation to become better or work harder falls.  I'm not saying that government regulation does not have its place.  I consider myself to personally lean a little to the left in the political spectrum.  There is definitely a place for government control and regulation in a free market society; how much? and where? are the most difficult questions.  I hope Humala can see the need for a balance, and along with his Congress will have the people's future in mind.  What is a fix for today is in no way what will be a fix or success for the future.

That is enough about politics. I pray the people can come together and seek a higher motivation to not only better their own economic situation, but create something that will grow and give the next generation to have the simple luxurious we take for granted at their finger tips.  Basic needs like clean water, a roof, hopefully education and health care will be something available for everyone.

A subject I have been wanting to talk about has really come to the forefront this week.  It kind of falls into line with the elections and thoughts of "how" as well.  I've been thinking a lot about the things that really build our character and make us who we are.   It is common to assume that one has personal characteristics or mannerisms based on their genes or the social condition they were raised in.  Of course this is true, and has been proven so by science.  I was wondering how it is that some people fall so easily into this roll and take on the traits that come so naturally to them and other people don't.  I'm not in any way inclining that one way is better than the other.  The question does arise to me though, is it our choice to change it?  Is it our state of mind that allows us to make the decision to step out of what comes naturally and change it, or is it just dumb luck that some people are 100% not influenced by these natural instincts.  I believe that it is a state of mind; however, I also believe that there are many outside factors that have to fall into place at just the right time to make it possible.  I wonder these things as more of an inquiry on what drives the human race and how can we reach a greater good.  I know I definitely fall into the category of being subject to those natural instincts of genes and social coding that have made me who I am.  I like to think I can at times step away from my instincts and see things as an outsider watching with no predispotion, but at the end of the day most of my ideals have been ingrained through my upbringing. 

At times I may think and wonder too much, but what I am searching for is more the answer to what really contributes most to a peaceful and loving society.  Is it the majority who follow the natural disposition that inhibit a society, or is it those who are watching the world from a different state of mind (a state of mind that maybe does not have a personal benefit or loss) that inhibit society.  I don't think that there is an answer and I'm sure everyone has their own personal way of viewing this.  I tend to be really interested in reading and learning about how we control our own minds and state of being.  Is to master your own state of mind really a deeper way of seeing the world, or does it just cause you to miss out?  For me, the state of mind has an immense power over your own personal destiny, but are we really supposed to have control over that?  Next time you answer a questions, take note of your first instinct, then take a step back and look at it from outside.  Pretend that the outcome will have no personal affect on you, is your answer the same?

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