Alder's Ledge

Silently Exploring The Absurdity Of Mankind

Apathetic, self indulgent, callous, ethnocentric…

There are countless ways to describe the heartlessness of those who would capitalize upon the deaths of others. None of which are truly fitting depictions of the egotistical and self serving motives behind such actions. 

When Boko Haram abducted those girls it did not create an opportunity for the West or Muslim world. It created a tragedy for the families and community to which those girls belonged. End of story. 

Or that would be the end of the story if it wasn’t for the self-righteous nature of both East and West alike. For in the depths of Western empathy and the apathy of the Islamic world rest the same carnal sin; selfishness. 

The lives of those girls were cut short by the hedonistic barbarism displayed by Boko Haram. Any excuses, both directly given and passively submitted alike, are heartless on the part of Muslims. No matter how many “of our girls” the West may have killed today, yesterday, or over the entire course of history; not a single drop of innocent blood can make up for that. Therefore there is no room in civil discourse for injecting the tragic loss of life in one group when talking about the loss of life in another. This act of cowardly ethnocentric behavior not only cheapens the lives of the girls Boko Haram has violated but also those of your “Muslim girls” as well. 

As for the West… Justice is an admiral goal toward which we should all strive, especially when dealing with Boko Haram. Yet the application of politics when talking about the tragic loss of life is distasteful at best. It devalues human life to a mere prop in geopolitics. It creates a world in which we wait for fresh blood before we even bother to prevent the circumstances in which it is first spilt. And thus all human life, Muslim or not, is cheapened to a point that it only serves political goals. This is apathetic and callous in every sense of these two words. 

Perhaps someday we will learn to look at the loss of life, any life, and empathize without reservation. Maybe when we can learn to cherish the well-being of our “enemy” just as much as we value our own… maybe then we will think twice before using their losses as props for our own gain. Maybe, if ever, we can see their pain and value it as much as we do our own. Or perhaps we are damned to live in a world where it is constantly “us verse them”.

Apathetic, self indulgent, callous, ethnocentric…

There are countless ways to describe the heartlessness of those who would capitalize upon the deaths of others. None of which are truly fitting depictions of the egotistical and self serving motives behind such actions.

When Boko Haram abducted those girls it did not create an opportunity for the West or Muslim world. It created a tragedy for the families and community to which those girls belonged. End of story.

Or that would be the end of the story if it wasn’t for the self-righteous nature of both East and West alike. For in the depths of Western empathy and the apathy of the Islamic world rest the same carnal sin; selfishness.

The lives of those girls were cut short by the hedonistic barbarism displayed by Boko Haram. Any excuses, both directly given and passively submitted alike, are heartless on the part of Muslims. No matter how many “of our girls” the West may have killed today, yesterday, or over the entire course of history; not a single drop of innocent blood can make up for that. Therefore there is no room in civil discourse for injecting the tragic loss of life in one group when talking about the loss of life in another. This act of cowardly ethnocentric behavior not only cheapens the lives of the girls Boko Haram has violated but also those of your “Muslim girls” as well.

As for the West… Justice is an admiral goal toward which we should all strive, especially when dealing with Boko Haram. Yet the application of politics when talking about the tragic loss of life is distasteful at best. It devalues human life to a mere prop in geopolitics. It creates a world in which we wait for fresh blood before we even bother to prevent the circumstances in which it is first spilt. And thus all human life, Muslim or not, is cheapened to a point that it only serves political goals. This is apathetic and callous in every sense of these two words.

Perhaps someday we will learn to look at the loss of life, any life, and empathize without reservation. Maybe when we can learn to cherish the well-being of our “enemy” just as much as we value our own… maybe then we will think twice before using their losses as props for our own gain. Maybe, if ever, we can see their pain and value it as much as we do our own. Or perhaps we are damned to live in a world where it is constantly “us verse them”.

Will you still love me?

Will you love me when I’ve messed everything up…

When I’ve been a jerk and said things out of line…

When I’ve let my emotions run out of control… 

When I’m not as lovable as I might seem on other days… 

When I’m not in a good mood and can’t explain why… 

When I can’t communicate my feelings like I should… 

Will you still love me when I’ve just plain and simply made a mess of everything?

#Ahuvati

I want to know what makes you worry, what makes you smile, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, what makes you angry…

I want to know what you dream of, where you want to visit, what places you want to see, how you want to spend those lazy summer afternoons and those dreary rainy days…

I want to see you at your best and even at your worst, when you are excited and when you are scared, to hold your hand when you want and especially when you need me to…

I want to wipe away your tears, ease your fears, comfort you on bad days, and celebrate the good ones…

But most of all… I just want to be with you.

itsheilav said: Do you miss me when you can't talk to me?

I miss you whenever I can’t talk to you. No matter how long it’s been since we last talked.

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”

—   Psalm 143:8

Tinfoil Boat

When I was little we had a creek that ran alongside our house. It was a deep ditch with a winding stream flowing across the otherwise flat barren landscape. To me it was a small oasis in a land covered by boring cornfields.

During the summers I would spend days on end down in that creek. Catching craw fish, frogs, and snakes; I learned more about nature than I ever would had in a school room. But it was the hobby of building little tinfoil boats that taught me more about life than anything else I did down by that creek.

Flimsy little boats were somehow in my mind supposed to be able to navigate what I viewed as a mighty river. Of course the stream was nothing more than a gentle flowing brook. But in my mind it was the mighty Mississippi and I was Huckleberry Finn.

The waters might not have been raging rapids yet the boats were just as flimsy as they seemed. No sooner had I learned how to keep them from taking on water, the boats would inevitably run into a rock and dent. With each minor crash they would sink to the bottom. And my hopes of voyaging down my make-believe river went below the waves as well.

Ever stubborn, even as a little boy, I did whatever I had to to make those boats stronger. Layering the foil, I made the hulls like those of battleships (or so I imagined). Yet again and again my little frigates came against the rocks and sank to the bottom. With the addition of bent up paper clips I found a way to reinforce the boats’ hulls and keep them from crumpling.

However, with the solution of one problem came another. My now crash resistant boats always veered off course and into the weeds along the shore. I had made sea worthy vessels that now seemed to have no desire to stay at sea.

I realized over time that if I wanted my little ships to make it to their destinations I would have to remain vigilant and guide them myself. Persistence and dedication kept them from remaining in the weeds and put them back on course.

A lot of things in life are like those little tinfoil ships. Relationships that aren’t worked at end up crumpling when they inevitably run across rough waters. Without the reinforcement of a dedicated heart, no relationship can keep itself from sinking as life beats it against the rocks and test it’s merit.

Then once a relationship is worked at and made sea worthy there comes the need for direction. Unlike those little tinfoil boats, relationships need a destination that all souls aboard agree upon. A mutually agreed upon course helps the relationship from getting hung up in the weeds or running aground. And once agreed upon there comes the need for persistent dedication to keeping that relationship on course.

For me, I was the captain of my little tinfoil boats. I decided when they were at their destinations and where they were going. But relationships don’t have a captain, they have a crew. And for them to last they need that crew to work as one to keep the journey fulfilling for both.

Maybe that was the most important lesson I took from such a simple memory. And when on that voyage with that special other soul, when that ship rocks in the waves, I will always let G-d set the stars that guide us. I will place my faith in Him as that ship navigates around the rocks and every bend along the path G-d has laid out before it. For if He had given me her, I trust He will keep us and guide us… always.

itsheilav said: Are you single? ☺️

I’m actually taken. A very special, incredibly beautiful, young lady has my heart.

Through The Dry Seasons

I was once told that grapes produce the best fruit when grown in bad or poor soil. I don’t know how much of that is true or not given I have never grown grapes before. But the thought came to mind today when thinking about life and love in general.

In the past I have always liked those parts of relationships that are easy and the rewards are somewhat immediate. It’s those first parts of any relationship that first place the sweet taste of love upon our tongues. Those parts that get us addicted to the idea of love itself rather than what lay ahead. We almost get blinded by the sugary sweet part before the reality of love sets in.

Maybe that is why when the hard parts of relationships come up we tend to recoil and take a step back. Maybe it is because we want those sweet moments to last a little longer. Or maybe it’s because we aren’t sure of what it is that lay on the other side of those rough patches.

Yet if grapes do produce sweeter and more prolific crops by first passing through rough seasons and poor soil… well maybe love is something like grapes in that way. Maybe love never really matures until it has been tested by the dry seasons. Maybe love needs those rough patches to define itself and produce far greater rewards than just those that first appear at the start.

I know now that when you find that person for whom the wait is worthwhile… that person that makes those dry seasons more bearable… that person that makes those rough patches worth the struggle… I know that is the person with whom the wait is worth it. That is the person with whom you can truly taste the sweetness of love in all it’s complexity. That is the one who will let you experience love to it’s fullest.

The problem most of us seem to have is the fear that comes with those first dry seasons and when we first hit those rough patches. It is a fear that often deprives us of the bounty that true love has to offer. And perhaps its that fear that keeps us addicted to, or settling for, that first taste of love. Its that fear that deprives us of the true nature of love itself.

Sleep No More

I’m tired of waking up to these fears. Memories of chocking on my own blood. Hearing those words that hurt worse than your fists ever could.

I’m exhausted. When I close my eyes I hear that door slam. The solitude of sleep now my tormentor. Replacing you with it’s callousness.

If I could, I would sleep no more.

Never Again?

After the Holocaust we told the world “Never Again”.

Since the Holocaust we have seen genocide in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet, Nicaragua, the Amazon, Rwanda, the Congo, the Sudan, Bosnia, Palestine, Syria, and several others both recognized and unrecognized.

Since the Holocaust we have seen perpetrators of genocides in Armenia and Namibia get away with persistent denial of their crimes. In Sochi we see a government directly responsible for genocide there get to host the Olympic Games upon land where they committed those very crimes.

Since the Holocaust we have seen genocidal acts committed across Europe as countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Italy, England, France, and basically every other EU nation have at one time or another practiced sterilization of Romani citizens. In recent years we have seen those same nations commit roundups and deportations of Roma regardless of the Romani people’s legal status in countries like Germany, France, and England.

Since the Holocaust we have watched as countries like Iran and Israel have threatened the existence of minorities as bigoted nationalist sabre rattle to no end. Iran executes it’s political dissidents in what can only be described as politicide. While Israel dehumanizes entire portions of Palestine’s natural born citizens. In Pakistan and India this crime of blind patriotism leaves Kashmir an eternal battle zone in which genocide is encouraged by both sides.

Since the Holocaust we have watched as governments like that of America have been allowed to claim they are defending the voiceless while they deny a history of genocide on their own lands. Native rights in these countries are often corroded over time as the rest of society is kept ignorant of the federal government’s continued crimes against humanity. When the native people do speak out they are either crushed physically or judicially.

So either we really didn’t mean it when we said “never again” or we are just really poor at defining what “never” means.