Sunday, December 14, 2014

We interrupt this program.....

We interrupt this program……

I've been writing about our adventures while living in Thailand, but over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had to make a 'Visa Run', which means that we had to leave Thailand in order to activate our reentry Visa process and continue our stay.

We decided to enroll in a 9 Day tour of Vietnam and Cambodia which included visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Halong Bay, 3 days on the Mekong Delta and then on to Phnom Penh and Siam Reap to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I have to tell you, it wasn't top on my list. I had lost some friends during the war back in the 70's and wasn't really sure about visiting some of those places where they had been lost.

Let me just say, there was
nothing that could have prepared me for this trip.

As I said, I lived through the Vietnam war through the eyes of my friends and family who did everything in their power to beat the draft and the great possibilities of coming home on a cargo transport instead of a passenger transport. The newspapers were filled with stories and photos of our young men maimed and missing limbs and their vacant eyes spoke of their devastated Spirits.

The VC were depicted as enemies of the
civilized world, ignorant peasants who deserved to die. The Americans were depicted as emissaries of the free world, aiding in the fight for freedom for all. There was no truth in either of those statements.

After visiting multiple museums we discovered the true impact of the propaganda and programming that we had been fed. We found that the world was not in agreement or support with our involvement in the war and in fact, were protesting such around the world. We also learned with newly opened eyes about the politics that were involved and the power and riches that were to be won all in the name of democracy.

And what did we discover about the Vietnamese? We learned that contrary to what we had been lead to believe, that Vietnam fought a courageous war, a sacrificial war and that they still struggle to survive nearly 40 years later. 40 years where the USA have moved on to 'fry bigger fish' in many other lands. However, the continued devastation due to birth defects caused by Agent Orange and bombed out communities and mine fields that they have been left to clean up continues to plague them and deform them and yes, claim even more of their lives effects them still. Yet, they had no hesitation in welcoming us as important visitors. They were inviting, welcoming, respectful, open to discussions and questions and even extended their generosity by repeatedly telling us that, "there were no winners in that war."

And do you want to know what they teach in their schools? The younger generation is being taught forgiveness, to hope and work for a better future, to actively seek to create peace, and to
let go of their anger, prejudice, blame and even, their victory. In fact, they even share my personal mantra that we heard repeated over and over, " That was then and this is now!"

This attitude of peace even as they still witness the effects of that war on their families and friends and loved ones, is amazing These 'ignorant peasants' have a thing or two to teach us about what can be achieved in letting go of the past, no matter how painful, no matter how devastating, and turn our intentions instead into creating peace.

What are some of your personal 'programs' that you could 'interrupt' and let go of that would bring you to this place of peace as you prepare to enter into your New Year??

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me".