Monday, November 26, 2007

Middle East... Here I come....

Just a quick note today. I'm preparing to head out to Israel and Palestine for 3 weeks. My blog will probably change its nature a bit in the coming weeks. I will be spending time in a place that I love very much, with people who are very special to me. As we all know, it is a troubled region, with complex issues that affect the lives of people living there, and people all over the planet.

I will be doing a bit of a journal of what I experience and what I observe when I'm there. I've been to this area over 20 times in the last 9 years. The exact count escapes me, but it is something like 24 times. Obviously I have some connection to this area of the planet. I've felt it from the first time I set foot there in 1998.

Friends and family always express concern when I travel to this region of the world. I appreciate everyone's concern... and yet I must say that I feel absolutely no fear when I am there. It feels like home to me there. I know I'm supposed to be there. No matter what.

I have friends who live in this region of the world every single moment of every single day. I'm no different than any of the people who live in this area every day. I don't deserve special 'safety' just because I'm me... or because I'm an American. I don't go looking for trouble, but I also don't feel that I deserve to be 'safer' than anyone else on the planet.

What I know is that I am supposed to spend this time in the middle east. It is part of my 'purpose' on this earth.

And... it's not as 'unsafe' as people might think. While there are real dangers in this world, often our media sensationalizes things for dramatic affect. Bad things happen everywhere in the world.

It behooves us to look for the causes of these 'bad things' instead of just trying to make sure that they can never hurt us... on our turf. That is one of the problems with the world at the moment. Too much focus on protection one's own... and not enough emphasis on what is really happening and how to address it.

Stay tuned... I'll be chronicalling my journey in Israel and Palestine for the next few weeks.

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