Showing posts from October, 2009

Women Who Know Their Place

Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict.

She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walked behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seemed happy to maintain the old custom.

Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?'

The woman looked Ms.Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said: 'Land Mines.'

Moral of the story is (no matter what language you speak or where you go):


(received by email!)

The fear that cannot be named...

If I can be forgiven some plagiarism, I was struck by the following article in the Age online. A symptom for me of pastoral burnout was crippling panic attacks, so this article found resonance in me:

Winston Churchill is widely cited as someone who suffered depression, or the "black dog" as he referred to it. I have an image of the old man slumped in a chair by a fire, weighed down by the enormity of the fight against Nazism. Churchill's depression was a burden; but it is also consistent with being a deep and serious man.

Fewer people know that Churchill also suffered anxiety, with evidence he was prone to panic attacks. I suspect this is a deliberate oversight: a focus on his anxiety may damage our view of him as a strong person. Doesn't it evoke an image of a worry wart? A neurotic with shattered nerves? Would we still want the free world's fate in his hands?

The way we view Churchill and his mental illnesses is indicative. There is a huge focus on depression – mo…