A meditation on FriendshipPosted by Ann Barnhardt - March 15, AD 2011 11:53 AM MST
What is a friend? There are many, many ways to define friendship. One universally applicable definition leaps into my mind today, March 15th. A friend could be defined as someone who will help you when you are in need of help. Furthermore, a friend is someone who not only WILL help, but WANTS to help. A friend WANTS to be burdened. A friend WANTS to be inconvenienced. A friend WANTS to be bothered and put-upon. Not only that, but if a suffering person does NOT reveal their suffering to their friend, the friend will actually feel rejected and hurt for not being entrusted, nay GIFTED, with the opportunity to share in the suffering. This is where we get the word "compassion". "Com" means "with". "Passion" means "suffer". Friends want to suffer with their friends. As we go through life and we choose our friends, are we not subconsciously saying to ourselves, "Yes, THIS is a person whom I would want to share my sufferings with - and I would want to share in theirs." We make this determination based upon our perception of the moral character and interior goodness of the individual. The finer the character of the person, the deeper their goodness and the stronger their faith, the more "co-suffering" they will be able to bear with us, and thus the less likely they will be to abandon us in our times of need. And selfish though it may seem, every human being is, at the end of it all, trying desperately to avoid finding themselves abandoned.
Japan has formally asked for the help of the United States. The fact is, the request should never have needed to be made. Japan is our friend. Something horrible happened to them. We should have immediately presented ourselves and all of our tactical assets to them within a matter of minutes. "What do you need? What can we do? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ARE GOING TO STAY WITH YOU AND HELP YOU THROUGH THIS - NO MATTER WHAT." Really, the most important point is not the actual, tactical assistance in and of itself - although in this case that is certainly important. The main point is just making sure that they know that we are there with them - making our real presence known to them, so to speak. Because sometimes that is the only thing of comfort that can be given - presence.Is Japan perfect? No. 66 years ago Japan was in the grips and clutches of a truly evil spirit. They killed many of our people, and in trying to liberate them from the evil spirit that had infected them, we killed a lot of their people too. And when that mess was finally over and resolved, we picked them up, we dusted them off, showed them how to make cars and TVs, and welcomed them back in friendship. And we have both been the better for it.Barack Obama, and apparently the people surrounding and advising him, are malignant narcissists and sociopaths. They are completely and totally self-absorbed (that's the narcissism) and also incapable of feeling any sort of empathy or compassion for other human beings (that is the sociopathy). While our friend Japan is undergoing a monumental catastrophe, Obama golfed and frolicked at a comedy dinner party. He stood by and coldly WATCHED - what they call "closely monitoring" - the situation. Nothing but the most trifling efforts were made to assist. The justification for this was that the Japanese had not ASKED for help. Now that they have asked, the regime response is one of eyerolling. Yes, we're helping, but we really don't WANT to be helping. We're just doing this because we HAVE to. Obama continues to give speeches about utter trivia, such as increasing funding to afterschool programs and anti-bullying initiatives and, even more insultingly, is giddily recording an entire ESPN special dedicated to the unveiling of his NCAA tournament bracket today. The level of emotional disconnect and black-hole proportioned self-absorption is beyond description or quantification. And one more thing: it is terrifying. This quality of total emotional disconnect and utter self-absorption has been universally observed in all of the tyrants, dictators and despots of history. They surround themselves not with friends, but with enablers, enforcers and hangers-on.The true test of the mettle of a man, or a nation, is how he treats his friends.God help us all."A faithful friend is a strong defence, and he that hath found him hath found a treasure." Ecclesiasticus 6:14
And now, my observation...
I spent the first 10 years of my life in Hawai'i, surrounded by Asian culture. While I don't claim to be any sort of authority, I do know a little about the subtleties of How Things Are Done.
If we had a real President, s/he would have--as Ann points out--immediately offered help without waiting to be asked. The fact that Japan had to formally ask we gaijin for assistance means an enormous loss of face for their nation and people. It's tough to explain--kind of the equivalent of making a beggar lick your boots before giving him money. An ugly, unneccesary humiliation that says far more about your character than his.
The actions of Barack Obama go WAY far further than most Westerners understand...and, since he grew up in an Asian/Pacific Rim environment, I can't believe he doesn't have at least a vague understanding of what he's done.
Pray for him. He's going to need it.