Steve J. Moore

Posts Tagged ‘hope’

China’s Clarion Call

In World Events, Writing on August 13, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I got a little bit of flack from people for my unabashed hope for the Olympic Games in Beijing. New controversies seem to be uncovered every few hours with regards to judging, age restrictions in events, the opening ceremony displays, and let’s not forget human rights on the continent.

I just wanted to take a few lines to express what I was trying to focus on. I understand that there are many problems with the Chinese government’s actions in the past and certainly some that continue today. They are rigorous about control, I think that is apparent. In a country that promised uncensored internet access during the games, they have fallen short by a lot for both their own citizens as well as visiting journalists and spectators.

People have pointed out other issues to me as well to mention: genocide in Darfur, the war in Iraq, Iranian nuclear ambitions, and the Georgian conflicts with Russia. These events are all tragically being reported on (if at all) in the shadow of the Games.

I suppose I expected that readers here are aware of those conflicts and issues of global importance in general. I really wanted to sound a call to people to find the light in dark times, to search out specs of good intention in the grimy clouds of controversy surrounding Beijing. We know that China has a lot of work to do before they can be considered a truly modern nation in terms of their governance and diplomacy.

However, why would they continue along such a path when they are allowed no verbal praise for good deeds? Should we not inspire a nation to strive for a positive global image? Certainly no one thinks that the US, Great Britain, or any other major world power has it all figured out. As long as progress is made continually, I urge continued praise for the best and criticism of the worst of China’s efforts.

No, I don’t want to encourage countries to put walls up hiding their impoverished, nor to neglect children who are not cute or talented enough to represent their country. I truly hope that such actions are exposed as wrongful and wiped from the list of acceptable choices by a country. That cannot go unsaid. Voices of dissent should not be silenced by any government if they seek a genuine resolution peacefully.

My great hope for these Games is that they are remembered events that brought people together, and even in the face of many conflicts, inspired change. Watch the events. Watch the athletes cheer one another on, give hugs, look into each others’ eyes and give respect in winning, losing, or whatever, and look into your own life to find a way to do the same in some small way.

Maybe China’s global image is like its tiny singer. The facade will be stripped away during these weeks, leaving the less polished face of a nation in deep desire for change to emerge and sound its own voice from within. I hope I’m not alone in my optimistic awareness, because more often I find that such attitudes are in shorter supply than oil, corn, or other valuable natural resources.

Olympics Take Flight in China

In TV, World Events on August 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm

In a world where China is working hard to change its image abroad, I found myself watching the opening ceremonies of the 29th Olympiad with both great expectations and high hopes for the spectacle. Chinese master cinematographer and film director Zhang Yimou’s vision was to be realized before 91,000 onlookers from inside the place lovingly called “the Bird’s Nest.”

In a world where I often spend my time (here in the blogosphere) clicking through dissident news tags about human rights, protests,  politics, and rather raw stories in general, I find myself struggling to push the negative out of my mind and replace it with positive. I live my life trying not to hide from negative events, but to educate myself about and accept them. However, I firmly believe in messages of hope as being important. China is presented with a truly unique opportunity this month to evoke the spirit of friendly competition in the world’s nations. From this global stage, the world’s people should be able to set aside struggles and differences momentarily to remind themselves of our One World, our One Dream.

Okay, so perhaps I’m a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to the state of the world. But, who, I ask you, could resist being in complete awe after seeing the opening ceremonies? How could anyone not sense the yearning of our world to come together and achieve something larger? This is what I believe Yimou was striving for in his presentation. He is a Chinese artist who expresses his country’s values and history with what I think is a global awareness in his films and this event lives up to that standard. These Games are perhaps only recreation but such a gathering of nations should not be overlooked in the state of world affairs as such.

There’s something that wells up inside of me when I see smiles of genuine excitement roused between citizens and athletes of hundreds of diverse and separated nations. The opening ceremonies were filled with smiles of this proportion. It made me feel like there was something for the world to share in together. What does it matter if we are imperfect, separated, and even on different paths? We can share in the celebration of our humanity, we can share in one thing together:

Hope.

No, I’m not talking about an American presidential campaign, but rather the state of a world that decides to put aside struggles, inequity, and misunderstandings to engage in aquatic, gymnastic, and ping pong diplomacy. The opening ceremonies and early games saw the likes of Hu Jintao, Nicholas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin and the Bush family conversing in congenial fashion while the nations paraded across a giant canvas together, each for the pride of their home. Perhaps only posturing, but these do leaders play an important role in doing so, allowing for the athletes to display how global citizens should treat one another.

Even if the acts on high wires and the bursting explosions in the sky are only facade, I still find myself weighing in on their significance. What does it say about China, struggling with pollution, poverty, and population control, that they go so far out of their way to make the world feel welcome to share in this celebration? Even if there are cracks beneath the surface, I believe this time should be taken to celebrate what we would like our world to be; one in harmony.

More to come after the games end.

Au Reviour, a teut a l’heure

Until next time