Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

1 September 2005

I Finally Watched Hotel Rwanda

Last night we watched Hotel Rwanda, a movie about one good man in the middle of the genocide there in 1994. It was a brilliant film.

I was kind of avoiding watching the film for awhile because I was afraid of how it would change me, and also, I didn’t want to see a downer of a movie. But, having seen it, I’m so glad I did.

It made me angry, and for all the right reasons. I knew before how the inaction of the U.S. and the West led to lots of people dying there. I only had a glimmer of knowledge of how really awful it was, and how easy it would have been for us to save people. (Note: Hotel Rwanda isn’t a particularly violent or gruesome film, they don’t show you much, rather you see more of how it affected people’s lives).

And, all in all, I want to be someone of peace. I want my country to be known for peace. I want us to be known for helping people, not just protecting our interests. We are the richest and most influential country in the world. Why can’t we take an interest in our fellow man?

It’s frustrating I tell ya. In a world as corrupt as ours with all sorts of ugly stuff happening, my hopes sound awfully foolish, I’m sure. I can live with that. In the past, when it comes to politics, I’ve let my wallet, my nationalistic pride, my upbringing or my pure selfish nature be my guide. Now I just want to let my heart lead me. I guess we’ll see what happens.

This has been a long time coming, really. Becoming Orthodox, moving around the country, spending time in other countries, reading about the monastics, spending lots of time thinking and praying —it all becomes a part of who I am. Watching Hotel Rwanda and posting about it here just provided an opportunity to really take a look at where I am and, possibly, where I’m going from here.