Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In the Grand Scheme of Things

"The chronicles of Jerusalem are a gigantic quarry from which each side has mined stones for the construction of its myths and for throwing at each other." 
The above quote comes from Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem. It reminded me a bit of an exchange that I had with a former professor when I informed them about an upcoming trip to Turkey. It went a bit like this:

ME: Yeah, I'm going to be hanging around Istanbul and we'll go down along the coast then inland through Konya and then finish up outside Ankara. It's gonna be sweet!
PROFESSOR: Isn't Turkey full of Muslims? Aren't they a bit violent? I heard they have a lot of terrorism issues there.
ME: Umm...no. It'll be fine. Seriously.

A year or so later, I was working with my boss to organize a student trip to Jerusalem and I ended up discussing the trip with the same professor:

ME: Yeah, I'm working to put together this student trip to Jerusalem. We'll tour through the Old City and see the Temple Mount and then go touring through Bethlehem and maybe even visit Ramallah in the West Bank. It's gonna be sweet!
PROFESSOR: Yes, it totally does sound sweet. I'm sure you'll have an awesome and inspiring time!
ME: Umm...yeah. You know that...oh forget it. Thanks.

I have a greater chance of being crushed to death by a vending machine than I have of being killed by a terrorist, anywhere. I fear heart disease, cancer, credit card debt, drunk drivers, and bad decisions by leaders.