15 September 2008

Living Selfless

a very special monk I met in Bangkok, Thailand

Dear Readers,

Two months ago in Thailand I met this very special monk.
He'd just had an operation the day before this picture was taken, to donate one of his kidneys. Donated as opposed to snatched.
I was in shock when he lifted his robe to reveal the still fresh stitches on his side. The wound seemed awfully large and very pink. I wondered immediately why it was not covered to protect him. My eyes were watering from the shock. I had no idea what to think. This man was the softest most beautiful and gentle I'd ever seen or spoken to. I was both amazed and sickened at his generosity at first because the wound was so visually abrasive. But he seemed to know everything about his 'gift' to a complete and utter stranger. He was not bothered at all by his tremendous act of generosity and bravery. Courage with a capital C. It seemed to be a normal act for him.
A vital organ?
I mean, would you?

my favorite buddha statue on the grounds

At first I was mortified, thinking this poor man and been duped of his organ somehow. I was a bit distressed because this monk seemed to me, like a little floating flower petal. So to see the big ugly scar was alarming. I called my boyfriend over to have a look, and he was also in shock after seeing the exposed proof that this beautiful monk had in fact surrendered a vital organ, simply from his hearts goodness and his supreme calling to be selfless.

in Phuket, i'm trying to be selfless like the monk,
but it's hard because I LOVE beer and dancing too much.

I needed to know more (as per usual), so finally, I got to talking to his 'sponsors' (?), who explained everything to me. Apparently it's common for monks to donate a kidney to those in need. For money of course. I mean
there is a contract.
The monks have to eat.
I was just blown away.
I still am.

Now I do not expect people to give away their vital organs in Manila (most are shrivelled up anyways from too much cocaine and booze), but they should all use this example of total and complete selflessness as a guide or reminder to do SOMETHING for others every day.
So many suffer and need help desperately in Manila and the Philippines.
And Gloria just looks the other way.
The government looks the other way.
All to busy at Emily R's shin ding to care.
They all look the other way.
Too hard basket for them!
As long as they have lots and lots, fuck the rest of them.
"I mean, someones got to do my laundry, right?" was one response I've received.
"Who would raise my children?" was another.

"The rich are almost like slave owners in the Philippines.
Because their slaves have no other choice but to take the abuse from their masters.
That's what it is.
Philippines slavery.
So many people are trapped.
Trapped in by the rich."

Giving back.
It's not rocket science.
Nor is it hard.
And you'll be amazed at the avalanche of positive vibes you'll reap.
Because too many people are
selfish and contribute nothing.
The concept may seem too hard for many to grasp, but it's not.
A grand collective consciousness will fix it eventually.
It usually does.
But it may take one hundred years.

- and this from a very special reader who seems to have figured it out.

I am just one of the many lurkers in your blog and frankly did not know many of the people you blogged about until I stumbled on your blog. I don't move in those places. I work as an aid worker and started my "career" working with survivors of political torture in the Philippines and in the last 9 years been working in countries where there is war or disaster, helping those affected have access to needed health services.

So I just cannot understand why those people who have much more in life cannot do something for their less fortunate brethren.

Like you I worked hard to get where I am and though I can afford small luxuries now, I have not been enamoured with the high-flying, partying lifestyle.

I don't have anything against people who party- that's their choice as long as nobody gets hurt by their lifestyle and if they spend their own money and not spend money stolen from other people.

I wish you all the best in life. It's not easy- I have worked in places where HIV is big problem like in Africa and in Burma (where before the government jailed those who were HIV(+))so I have an idea of the challenges of being HIV positive.

Please keep on writing. I am a very shy person. Though if by chance I do get to meet those GG- I'd challenge them if they had done something to make a positive difference in a person's life.

be strong

Because of e mails like yours my friend, I AM strong.
I commend you on your work with global HIV.
Really, it'd incredibly noble.
And I bow to you.

riding an elephant called Money in Phuket
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