Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

27 November 2008

Is it something I said?

Last month, two of the aircraft on which I was scheduled to fly developed mechanical problems. Both times we had to deplane and reboard other aircraft. Now, the airport where I was scheduled to catch a connecting flight on Saturday has been besieged and closed. I am beginning to develop a martyr's complex. Should I say as Job did, "It's me, I'm the problem. Throw me overboard and all will return to normal"?

The airport was overrun by a group calling itself the "People's Alliance for Democracy" or PAD (Thai PAD, not to be confused with pad thai). In one news report I read, a protester said, "We had to do this to get the world's attention." Well, okay, you now have mine so let's examine the situation. You want the Prime Minister, Mr. Somchai, to step down, and to have a temporary government installed. But Mr. Somchai was elected to office by popular vote twice. Where I come from, we call that DEMOCRACY in action. You say the government is corrupt and that he won the election by buying votes with promises of projects that would improve the lives of his supporters. Boo hoo hoo! Where I come from, we call that POLITICS AS USUAL. Look, you had elections and YOU LOST. You were outwitted. I know it hurt your egos, but don't take it out on the rest of the world. In a real democracy (that is what you want, correct?), you try harder next time.

You may gain the world's attention for a short time, but you are losing its sympathies. I, for one, doubt the intentions of your leaders. If they are willing to hold thousands of innocent people hostage just to achieve their goals, their democratic credentials are rather dubious.

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