Friday, November 7, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Big political news from the US!

This morning, like every other morning, Mr. Smith pulled apart the newspaper and sat down to enjoy his breakfast. I had a couple of minutes, so I sat next to him and started reading along with him. I wasn't committing to anything, just sort of scanning the back of the pages he was reading. Reading the paper here is always interesting. Sometimes it is the "English as a second language" grammar that catches my eye. Other days it is the world view that is so different from the one I get at home.

Today it was a reminder that the majority of the people here have a vastly different belief system than I do and therefor consider different things to be newsworthy. In the world news section of the Times of India today there was an article answering the pressing question "Who was Barack Obama in his past life?" For those inquiring minds out there that want to know, "...Barack Obama is the reincarnation of Lyman Trumbull, an Illinois Democratic senator and the principal author of the Thirteenth Amendment, which put an end to slavery in the US." If only this article had been published two years ago. Think of the time that would have been saved if the "He's not experienced enough" argument had been eliminated. He was an aide to President Lincoln for crying out loud! Can't get much more experience than that.

The man who made this announcement goes on to say "If we accept the case of Trumbull having reincarnated as Obama, it also sends out an important message that individuals can change race from one incarnation to another," Really? That's the important message? Since Hindu's believe you can change species from one incarnation to another, I don't see race as being such a big barrier.

The newspaper isn't the only time the local belief system trips me up. For example, math and science is a big deal in educational circles here. Medicine and computers are the fields that most people seem to "encourage" their children to consider. This might lead one to believe that science and logic are highly valued. One might then expect to see evidence of that in other areas of life. One would, as usual, be wrong. One is always wrong, isn't she? Because although math and science and medicine and computers are important, so are star charts. Especially when a marriage is being arranged. Star charts that aren't compatible (or whatever it is they are checking for) can be a deal breaker. The stars can also have an impact on what day the wedding is held. Some days are more auspicious than others, astrologically speaking. (Things being auspicious is very important.)

As usual though, while I confidently sit in judgement of the people and things around me, some part of my brain scans my own life for similar contradictions. Dang it! There they are. To me, my faith and religious beliefs are in complete harmony with science, maybe not every scientific theory, but science as a whole. I am sure, however, that there are those who would consider my beliefs to be outlandish, fanciful and down right baffling.

Knowing all this, why was I surprised that that Barack Obama's past lives were deemed newsworthy? I don't know, but I was. One of these days I will get everything figured out. When I do, I'll let you know.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Fascinating! And you're right, it does rob the experience argument of its power.

AReason2Write said...


thanks for having Scott over for dinner - he really enjoyed his time with your family. Our countdown has begun and I am looking forward to meeting you! It's nice to see you are back online again. 8-)

mr.smithsbrother said...

It does make me wonder who John McCain was in his previous life. Elmer Fudd?

Aunt Carol said...

I did my duty this year as a pole worker. Very interesting but I couldn't let my views known until the poles close. Anyway I thought the new would now enclude things going on the WORLD but alas they are already talking about 2012, oh my. At least your news was something I hadn't heard. Thanks for the up date

Aunt Carol said...

Yea, the sweet eyes of the kids are back. Scary was cute for Halloween. Happy Thanksgiving you, Mr Smith and all the little turkeys.

Hunnydu72 said...

Well, first, I wonder who I was in my past life? I don't think I was queen or king (If reincarnation can change species, can it change gender?) or someone in political power or whose name was printed in any history book known to man. I was the second cousin to Woodrow Wilson's fourth cousin, twice removed and I sold stationery door to door.

Second, I will have to look at my astrological chart for a compatible mate, then go find someone with that birth date.

Hunnydu72 said...

Also, are you guys coming home for good when the clock strikes 2010, or has India decided to adopt ya'll for a few years past that?

I would track you down when you visit the states, but then I'd have to kidnap you and the family for a group hug, it could get ugly.