MY POINT OF VIEW

My opinion in a world with freedom of speech

Category: Society

Inspiration to do something

Saw this today and just wanted to share it with you all.

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I actually do wake up
with those thoughts very often. Then, somehow the thoughts never seem to become reality. At least that is how it usually turns out. Now, this story had some more pictures on it, but it ended up in someone playing video games, so I cut it; but my thoughts all the way down was exactly that; will this end up in some “but still I’m just sitting here… doing nothing”-thing? It kind of did. So I guess this is someone many struggle with.

  • What is your advice to people who want to do things like these, but need inspiration to go through with it?

Monika

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The good deed for the day

I am starting to realize I mostly focus on serious – and let us call it sad – subjects in here. Tonight on the other hand, I want to tell you about my “good deed” for today.

As my art class headed to another city to see a couple of museums, we saw  a homeless man sitting on the street, asking for money. Now, even though I often want to, I almost never give money to beggars, mostly because I never know what they will spend it on. So as we passed this guy, we decided to buy him some food and a cup of coffee instead. Now this is something I have wanted to do for ages, but never have, but today we did.

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And this man’s face 
when we gave it to him… You could tell by his body language that he was a tired and old man, and even when we approached him and he did not yet know we were going to give him anything, he looked so exhausted… But then, when handing him the coffee and buns, everything about him changes. He smiles, both with his eyes and mouth, and does not even know what to say, just looks at us and says, “Thank you… Jesus” and kind of lifts his arms up to us.

I can not even explain how good I felt after that. For me, it is not such a big deal really, it only cost us about 3 Euro, but seeing how much he appreciated it… How he started warming his hands on the warm cup of coffee right away … It made me realize how much that meant to this man. How our 3 Euro pretty much saved his day.

So I guess what I want to say about today’s post – it is not to brag about “my good deed” and stuff, it is more to explain to you that a couple of minutes of your day can actually make another person’s day a million times better. Try it sometime, it is worth it.

  • Have you ever done a small thing you know saved another person’s day?

Monika

Maniacs on the Internet

I always keep an open mind when it comes to getting to know new people. I never judge anyone before I actually have a proper conversation with them – alright, I might have some thoughts upon how they are, but never decide not to give them a chance based on those thoughts. In 2009 I decided to broaden my horizon and joined two international pages; StudentsoftheWorld and InterPalsThrough both pages I have gotten to know people all over the world – some I have talked to for just a short time, others for months or even years. But wow, does these pages have many weird members.

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I began thinking about this today, when I had my last conversation with a Turkish guy who contacted me on e-mail a while ago. We sent a few e-mails back and forth for a little while – and he seemed pretty nice – before he asked if he could add me on Facebook, and not thinking too much about it, I gave him my name and permission. Then the stalking began. The non stop talking – from his side, that is. And as I thought it was just too full on I simply quit answering him much. Then one day he calls me. I never game him my number. Never thought of the chance of him calling me.

After that I ignore him and his messages completely, until today. He sends me a message on Facebook again, saying a lot of crap really, and I tell him it just was not appropriate that he called and just wouldn’t understand I was not interested. Then suddenly he says, “Such a Norwegian girl , arrogant …” And oh my God, that tipped me off the edge. I usually do not care if people call me things, and honestly I did not see this as a personal insult as the guy does not even know me, but the fact that he just spoke like that as if he knew every Norwegian girl. As if he had met a Norwegian girl in person – which he has not. Well, I told him exactly what I thought of him after that. I never say things like that to people, because the description of “arrogant” is as far away as you could get from me, but in this conversation I had enough.

Anyway, in the end I told him he has some issues he needs to deal with (this really is the first time ever I say something like that to someone, but this guy totally deserved it as he just did not take my point), and then deleted him from my friend list. A couple of minutes later he says “An advice to you, if you are afraid to talk to stranger people, don’t talk to them on Facebook. I am lucky, cuz you are not my friend”, then blocked me. This is probably one of the most pathetic people I have ever spoken to, and by everything he said I saw that he does not know me at all.

I love talking to new people and getting to know their stories – there is a reason I have this blog, there is a reason for why I have written letters for four years – but even I have limits. And the limit is a couple of miles before this guy; I do not have the interest in talking to people who expect me to be in touch 24/7 and who I do not actually have anything in common with. Or those people who have made up their minds, already decided Norwegian people are like this or that. And particularly not; those who think I am in for an Internet relationship …because believe it or not, this is not the first guy who has turned out to be pretty crazy, but luckily the worst one this far.

I really hope I do not sound too shallow or anything now, because I am not, but this guy just pissed me off.

  • Have you ever had experiences like this on the Internet?

Monika

Sachsenhausen ~ post three

This will be my last post about Sachsenhausen. And I will focus on showing you some pictures this time, explaining a bit more on some of them.

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No, the rocks above 
are not for playing. The prisoners were forced to walk back and forth on these to try out new shoes. They tested out the shoe soles, and how much they could bear. Sometimes they had to carry heavy bags on their backs to put on more weight. And hours would pass as they walked like this.

DSC_1236_“In memory of the victims of Sachsenhausen concentration camp”

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This is the Norwegian Memorial 
place, where my class put roses. “The Norwegian government honors the 2500 Norwegians who had to suffer through the terror at Sachsenhausen between 1940 and 1945 because of resisting the Nazi occupants. Many of them lost their lives after the inhuman treatment in this camp. We will honor you forever.”

Monika

 

Sachsenhausen ~ part two

I want to share one of the first stories we were told at Sachsenhausen.

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Can you imagine moving this? 
I cannot. It is way too big, way too heavy. But while Sachsenhausen was used as a concentration camp, people were forced to. They used it while they worked, to fix the ground. Good choice of words to explain, I know, sorry.

Anyway, on days some of the Nazi guys just felt to be worse, they enjoyed playing with the poor people trapped inside the camps. We were told some of these stories, one of them was about the big thing on the picture. They were usually 12 men when they pulled this one around, just for “fun” they could be eight. Then four, and this is where the short story begins… when a Nazi decided one of the four men didn’t work as hard as the others. And he decided to make the man pull the whole thing all on his own.

The man, obviously, does not have enough strength to move it. So the Nazi says he doesn’t do as he is told. Then deals with the situation by killing the man. No questions asked. The man did not obey his orders, so he needs to be punished.

Even though I have been told stories like these through the years, I can still not understand how the Nazi could work in these camps, do so horrible things and then walk home to their families, their wives, their children… and just be a nice husband, father… It is probably something I will never get my head around.

Monika

Sachsenhausen ~ post one

Our trip to Berlin went well, although we did meet a few problems here and there. But this post is not about that; I want to tell about my experiences when visiting Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Which, as expected, was tough. I have got some things I want to mention, so I will probably make a few posts on this topic and add it as one of my “weekly topics”.

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Have you ever read 
“The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”? I have. And I think it is a great book. A truly nice story. What I never thought about though, is how surreal it is. At school this year I will write an assignment about the story in “Schindler’s List” and compare it to “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas“, because they are both about World War II, however; one is written out of what actually happened, while the other does not deal with all the facts.

In “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas we are introduced to two boys; one who is Jewish and one who is German. The son of a Nazi. The Jewish boy, Shmuel, lives in a concentration camp – Auschwitz. But in spite of that, he becomes friend with the German boy on the outside.

I never thought about it before, not until I started writing this assignment and reading about the criticism the book has received. Then I went to Sachsenhausen, and understood even better, why people criticize the book.

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The walls. The tall, thick 
walls and the wires on the top and down at the ground. I do not write this post to criticize the book; as I said, I think it is a great story. I was really moved by it when I read it; the movie as well. However, going to Sachsenhausen made me think. And with the book on my mind, I realized exactly how trapped these people were. We also had a guide with us, and all the stories he told … wow, I am surprised of how cruel mankind can be sometimes. Then again not surprised. Maybe angry is a better word.

Anyway, the walls were actually my first thought when entering. That is what split these innocent people away from the world. That hid all the bad things that were done to them; I am fully aware of the fact that things were not good on the outside either at this time, but still … all the stories we will never know, all the cruelness these people had to suffer through, and that died with them… I do not think we can ever imagine how bad it actually was in there. But over these next posts, I will try to tell some of the stories we were told when visiting one of the most important concentration camps.

  • Have you ever visited a concentration camp?

Monika

First We Take Manhattan

Tonight, as I am heading to Berlin in a couple of hours, I want to share you a song. A great song in my opinion. By Leonard Cohen. I remember hearing it a lot when I spent time with my father a few years ago. (That means we heard the song back then, I still see my dad). And I think it has been years since I last heard it, but some days ago I just suddenly remembered it. I did not even know if I had the right lyrics or if my childish non-speaking mind had made up some words. But yes indeed, “then we take Berlin” is part of the lyrics. And so I found it. First We Take Manhattan by Leonard Cohen.

The lyrics of this song feel so deep. I simply love them. Every word. And because I now, with an older mind than some years ago, find a meaning behind the words, I wanted to see if Cohen actually thought about wars, and WW2 in particular. And well, still not sure, I am pretty convinced he was. I have read different people’s opinions about the song and its meaning, and some quotes by Cohen himself.

Anyway, on Monday I will go to Sachsenhaussen concentration camp. I have always wanted to go to a one of them, but as I am now actually going to, I feel a bit… I don’t know, but I am sure it will be a pretty tough day. So many stories lying in the walls, floors and everything… But hopefully it will be an experience that inspires me to write a proper post in here again. And give me the chance to add some pictures I have taken myself.

  • What is your interpretation of First We Take Manhattan?
  • Have you ever been to a concentration camp?

Monika

Closing your ears in a debate

It has been silent here for ages again, for which I am sorry. But in my defense I am officially back at school and I already see (and feel) how this will be a tough and challenging year. Last week I had one afternoon to just relax and today I fell asleep pretty soon after getting home from school. I also was without my computer for an entire week, so it has not been easy keeping the blog updated.

As we are heading towards our Elections (which will be held on Monday 9th of September) we had a panel debate at school today. One representative from the nine biggest parties in Norway participated in the debate and it was open for us to ask questions. This year is the first where I can actually vote myself. And I have to admit I do not quite know which party will get my vote. It is so much easier to eliminate some of them, and I am now facing the choice between two parties.

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Anyway. After the debate we could walk around and talk to each party as we wanted, and once again I had an interesting conversation. There is one party in particular that has bad animal politics. They want animals in circuses. They want the fur farming industry to continue (although they say they want to improve the situation, but still nothing is being done). They want to remove the few wolves we have got left in Norway to save the thousands of sheep we have. So I asked them about these things. Went up to them and said, “Tell me about your politics regarding predators.” And by his look I think he at once understood I knew what his answer was and that I did not support it.

The guy I spoke to in the beginning was nice though. He shared the party’s opinion. And ended with, “but I guess we do not agree on this?” with a little smile. I smiled and said, “Nope, not at all.” And we moved on to the circus question. Then to the fur farming. And it was on this topic that another guy from his party joined in. And the way he was talking, the way he just did not care to hear what I had to say and apparently had made up his mind completely and just shut me out in order to express himself (in an idiotic way) really provoked me. So in the end I just shook my head and left. I mean, I do not bother using my time debating with people who closes their ears for what others have to say.

debattThis is not the way to debate.

I am happy people have different opinions. That we do not always share the same thoughts and that we do not see the world through equal eyes. I respect that. What I do not respect is people who shut out everyone. Especially in a debate. Alright, you want to express your opinion, but you have to let the other one talk and give them a chance. I do not say you should change your own opinion, but everyone has got the right to be heard. And if you are representing a party it is even more important to behave calmly and polite, and letting the person you speak to express what they mean.

  • Have you ever debated with someone who closed their ears for what you said?

Monika

I want to save the world

So I just got this crazy idea. All of my life really, but especially this last one and a half year, I have made up my mind about wanting to make a difference. Wanting to do something to help someone. Because if you help someone, you do make a difference.

As I have been looking for the right education for me lately I have realized how many people actually have this dream of “saving the world”. And seeing the amount of these people make me understand there is also a big amount of people who do not accomplish this dream in the end.

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Still, this is not a post to make anyone feel down. I actually want to see if my idea is interesting for some of you guys out where, which I really hope;

I want to share your stories. I want you to write me your story, your life-time dream related to helping someone out, and I want you to hear if you have accomplished it, are studying for it right now or still is looking for your right path to get there. If you have any advice for other people with the same dreams, please share them too. And then, anonymous or not (your call!) I will publish it here and let more people read it. Let more people get inspired – either realizing they want to do this too, or understand where they can study or in general just how to get there. If you happen to also have a picture related to your topic (e.g. yourself, you doing some of this work or another illustration picture) please add this too.

I really hope some of you want to join me on this idea, and I will of course publish my own story too. So if you are interested, please e-mail me your story on moonierh@hotmail.com and I will publish it.

  • What do you think of this idea? Are you interested in giving it a chance?

Monika

Night ravens

As a result of being spontaneous yesterday, a friend and I ended up as Natteravner (night ravens) tonight. Every year my town has its biggest party at this time of the year, and as many get drunk some assistant might be in need. As I only just turned 18 I am finally allowed to do things such as this and considering we were not going to the party/concert ourselves we thought, why not? and joined in as night ravens.

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So what  is this “Natteravnene”? I will quote Wikipedia: “…established in 1990, is a Norwegian based franchise organisation of volunteers that encourages adult, sober citizens to walk around in the city in groups at night during the weekends. Their task is to be visible and available for the public as it is believed that this will prevent violence and anti-social behavior. The volunteers will also assist people who are unable to take care of themselves.”

We were walking the streets from 11 pm to 3 am, and according to the police there were about 1600 people at the party. I had expected people being drunker, but we actually did not have to do much. Apart from helping a slightly drunk girl getting to her friend, and just having a few calm (of course weird) conversations with some others, it really was not a big job.

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So why did I do this?
According to the Facebook event of the show, a lot of my class/school mates were going too, but to enjoy the event, not to make sure everyone would be alright. Well, firstly I have to say I am no big drinker myself. I am not saying (as I once used to) that I will never drink or anything, but that big partying with getting drunk almost every weekend is nothing for me. And I am always looking for some experience and I find volunteer work interesting. I would love to do more volunteer work, but unfortunately we do not have a lot of that type in my town. So it is like you just have to do everything you find.

I am thinking of joining the Red Cross’ volunteer work soon, because I believe that working like this will make you more prepared for what is out there. I believe it will help you open your eyes for the reality. And I am hoping to have a job where I can help people in the future, so I think working like this will help me prepare for this.

  • Do you have something equal to the Night Ravens in your town/country?
  • Have you ever done any volunteer work?

Monika