Monday, January 7, 2008

"Look what we can do." -Sports Night

Familiarity is the greatest enemy of the awe-inspiring. How do you respond to seeing with your own eyes images you have seen since childhood in tattered issues of national geographic piled in your grandmother's bathroom? As children how many of us dreamed of being archeologists or egyptologists (the other options being marine biologist, astronaut, or Transformer)? Today our class stood on the shoulders of giants. We touch the very stone carved by the slaves and workers of Pharaoh's, witnessed along with Herodotus and Philo the greatest monuments in the history of humankind. There is truth in the words of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun, but one must wonder if he actually saw the Pyramids of Egypt; perhaps he would have hesitated in his cynical utterance for a moment. The pyramids have been a tourist attraction and a money making enterprise, but the beauty and grandeur of human accomplishment demands a moment of appreciation and gratitude for minds that can calculate, hands that can create, and hearts with the courage to do so. One of my favorite shows on TV, which didn't last very long, was Sports Night. There is this episode where one of the anchors is trying to decide what charity he is going to donate money to. By the end of the episode, a homeless gentleman breaks into the station and the anchorman finds him in his office. He offers him his sandwich and invites him to sit and watch live footage of a man summiting Everest. The homeless man pulls out a switchblade which startles the young successful anchorman, but he proceeds to cut the sandwich in half and offer the other half back. They both sit, the rich and the poor, watching this footage. The young anchor turns and say, pregnant with all hope and meaning, "Look what we can do." The homeless gentleman nods in reply.

Today, we actually saw the Pyramids.


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