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Whitney’s Riddle

Raoul’s Two Cents: June 16, 2023

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lessons

Warning: Serious topic. Move on to the joke section if you’re not interested.

TaChit (shortcut for my aunt Tita Chit) shared a picture of a starving Sudanese kid. The boy was lunch for the vulture behind him. That photograph garnered the $10k, 1994 Pulitzer Prize for the photographer, Kevin Carter. Four months after receiving the award, Kevin Carter committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. I knew there had to be more to the story and this led me on a Rabbit Trail of tragic incidents.

POOR KEVIN
Kevin was the perfect photo journalist — he had the uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time. He had many other award-winning photographs depicting political violence in Africa in the 90s. His best friend, Ken Osterbroek, another photographer, was shot dead right beside him. After winning the Pulitzer, people berated him for not helping the boy. He did shoo the vulture away but he didn’t feed the boy. His excuse was there were soldiers constantly guarding him not to interfere. Pounded by the barrage of ghastly, morbid images, he was probably numb to the core. After experiencing so much violence and human tragedy first hand the cancer of depression pushed Kevin to take his own life.

The dying boy was thankfully picked up by the UN and outlived Kevin. Yet only to die in 2007 due to the flu. The writer of the article pleaded for its readers to support their unbiased news agency because it wasn’t funded by some rich oligarch. So I looked at their top headlines. Lotsa news about the Trump indictment. Not a single news about the Biden bribery scandal nor of the politicization of the FBI. Hmmm…

SOBER LESSON
The story of Kevin and the little boy is tragic but the real tragedy is this broken world they left behind. There is a parallel to these events in the Old Testament. I’ve been studying the prophet Amos, and (like all the prophets of the OT) Amos shared the same doom and gloom message to the stubborn Jewish nation: “Repent! For the kingdom of God is at hand!” In other words, change your sinful ways because the fulfillment of God’s will on the earth is happening right now so be sure to choose God’s side.

It reminded me of the depressing scene of Biff’s World in “Back to the Future 2” — the domino effect of one greedy mistake at an earlier time, transformed the once thriving community into a drug-infested, smoky, dangerous garbage dump. Come to think of it, our world today isn’t that far behind, is it?

HUMAN NATURE
When good times roll by, many of us forget about God. Most of us pray only when we are in need of something. When we get sick, we go to the doctor. The doctor tells us not to eat our favorite food. We go home. We eat healthy for a while and then we go back to our gluttonous habits. We have this notion that we can mold truth to our reality and our comfort zone. Actually, unless we decide to move away from our unhealthy habits, things will never get better. Unless we move closer to God, things will only get worse.

Don’t feel too bad. God (through Amos) blasted the Jews for their transgressions but he left them (and us) with a glimmer of hope at the very end of the book: God explained that after all the tragedy He will inflict on this ungrateful generation, all things will return to beauty for those who love Him. Definitely something we can look forward to.

But this is just me.

TGIF people!

Raoul

Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord. — Amos 9:8

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Thanks to Sandra of La Habra, CA

Original art by Raoul Pascual

And I will always love you” excerpt video.

Video of the Week

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

The Father’s little boy is the Best Man and the guests roar in laughter.

Parting Shots

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

I found these

Sweet Dreams are Made of These

The Traveling Boy

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.

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4 Comments

  1. Hannah

    June 19, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Good investigative work on the Sudanese photo.
    BTW, it’s Tita China’s birthday.
    Shalom,
    Hannah

    Reply

  2. Tom

    June 19, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Raoul. Sobering Picture of Child and Vulture. Thanks for reminding us of the Blessings we enjoy here in spite of problems and politics. Tom

    Reply

    • Raoul

      June 19, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      Glad u liked it Tom. I was having second thoughts about sharing that picture because it was truly depressing but I felt there were people out there who needed to see that sometimes it’s good to face the reality of suffering. I think of the comedians who committed suicide. People never saw the sadness off stage. If only someone addressed their needs instead of expecting them to perform all the time.

      Tgif and happy Father’s Day my friend.

      Raoul

      Reply

      • Tom

        June 19, 2023 at 1:45 pm

        Certainly is Thought Provoking indeed.

        Reply

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