TBIMG Question #18 ~ Youthful Enthusiasm vs. Reality

by Dr. Madhi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

TBIMG Question #18 ~ Youthful Enthusiasm vs. Reality

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:00 am

pg. 35 Dr. Obeidi is remembering the time when he and his friend graduated from college.

“Hamid called me to say he planned to stay in the United States. He later married a courtroom stenographer named Patricia and took an oil exploration job with Arco in Houston. Because of those youthful decisions—his to stay, and mine to return to Iraq—our paths diverged to the widest degree imaginable.”

What happens when youthful enthusiasm meets reality? Is this just destiny at work?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
Betty Sue
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:37 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:27 am

What happens when youthful enthusiasm meets reality? Well, in the best of all possible worlds, that enthusiasm is welcomed and nourished and blossoms! Mahdi Obeidi "felt I could help my country bloom." He "entertained the hope that Iraq might once again become a leading civilization in the world." I can certainly understand his wanting to return to his home country, especially when he felt it needed him. There were warning signs, but should everyone just give up?
When his youthful enthusiasm met reality, unfortunately, he just had to figure out the best way to make it through each day. The dream didn't completely die, however. When his son mentioned he would like to return to Iraq when it becomes more stable to help in its reconstruction, Dr. Obeidi said, "I suddenly saw myself at his age, idealistic and dreaming that i could help my fertile country bloom once again. i would like to think that, unlike me, he will be able to use his engineering skills toward more peaceful ends."
I think this has more to do with making choices than destiny at work.
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

User avatar
ThirdArm
Posts: 2999
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:43 pm
Location: Monterey Bay

Status: Offline

Unread postby ThirdArm » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:52 pm

Betty Sue wrote:What happens when youthful enthusiasm meets reality? Well, in the best of all possible worlds, that enthusiasm is welcomed and nourished and blossoms! Mahdi Obeidi "felt I could help my country bloom." He "entertained the hope that Iraq might once again become a leading civilization in the world." I can certainly understand his wanting to return to his home country, especially when he felt it needed him. There were warning signs, but should everyone just give up?
When his youthful enthusiasm met reality, unfortunately, he just had to figure out the best way to make it through each day. The dream didn't completely die, however. When his son mentioned he would like to return to Iraq when it becomes more stable to help in its reconstruction, Dr. Obeidi said, "I suddenly saw myself at his age, idealistic and dreaming that i could help my fertile country bloom once again. i would like to think that, unlike me, he will be able to use his engineering skills toward more peaceful ends."
I think this has more to do with making choices than destiny at work.


I particularly liked the quote I highlighted. It evidences that idealism never really dies. Dr O had that same enthusiasm and now sees it in his son.

However, I think that enthusiasm has to be tempered with reality otherwise when the two of them meet up, there's disillusionment that can lead to cyncism, and nothing ever gets done. To be realistic and achieve goals, it is enthusiasm that keeps you going.

And, I agree with Betty Sue, it's choices rather than destiny, I think.
~No doubt the years have changed me.~

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby gemini » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:55 pm

What happens when youthful enthusiasm meets reality? Is this just destiny at work?

I think unlike his friend Dr Obeidi choose the more likely path to stay with his countrymen and family to build his life. His friends life in the US may seem like the better choice in hindsight but to live in a foreign culture must have it ups and downs. Each person has their priorities, close family ties, career, lifestyle, or even the adventure of a new land.

Because of those youthful decisions—his to stay, and mine to return to Iraq—our paths diverged to the widest degree imaginable.”

He is basing their life's work on the courtries political fate. With a war as the outcome it is hard to make any other comparisons but there are other qualities in life. His family is safe now and can make all the same choices for their futures.

Betty Sue said: I think this has more to do with making choices than destiny at work. I think she is right..

Destiny? Personally, I never did believe in destiny. I think you must make your own.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:51 pm

gemini wrote: Betty Sue said: I think this has more to do with making choices than destiny at work. I think she is right..
Destiny? Personally, I never did believe in destiny. I think you must make your own.


I am a believer in destiny. But I also believe that it was a deliberate choice on his part. So what I am saying here is that it was his destiny to choose to go back to Iraq. It appears that his loyalty to or ties to his country were stronger than has school mate's. So obviously the ties to his roots were always very strong in Dr. O. And I do believe that his intentions as a youth were quite honorable and commendable, albeit a bit naive.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:59 pm

ThirdArm wrote:
Betty Sue wrote:What happens when youthful enthusiasm meets reality? Well, in the best of all possible worlds, that enthusiasm is welcomed and nourished and blossoms! Mahdi Obeidi "felt I could help my country bloom." He "entertained the hope that Iraq might once again become a leading civilization in the world." I can certainly understand his wanting to return to his home country, especially when he felt it needed him. There were warning signs, but should everyone just give up?
When his youthful enthusiasm met reality, unfortunately, he just had to figure out the best way to make it through each day. The dream didn't completely die, however. When his son mentioned he would like to return to Iraq when it becomes more stable to help in its reconstruction, Dr. Obeidi said, "I suddenly saw myself at his age, idealistic and dreaming that i could help my fertile country bloom once again. i would like to think that, unlike me, he will be able to use his engineering skills toward more peaceful ends."
I think this has more to do with making choices than destiny at work.


I particularly liked the quote I highlighted. It evidences that idealism never really dies. Dr O had that same enthusiasm and now sees it in his son.

However, I think that enthusiasm has to be tempered with reality otherwise when the two of them meet up, there's disillusionment that can lead to cyncism, and nothing ever gets done. To be realistic and achieve goals, it is enthusiasm that keeps you going.

And, I agree with Betty Sue, it's choices rather than destiny, I think.


I like that quote too, ThirdArm. I think it indicates Dr. O's true feelings and what is important to him. I agree with you that he hasn't lost his enthusiasm and hope. And it shows that he feels remorse for the part he played. But it also shows that he hasn't given up on his country and hopes that his son will someday use his expertise for good.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:23 pm

I think youthful enthusiasm is a wonderful thing and has probably led to some of our greatest achievements. It usually ends up being tempered by reality but maybe not before some good can be accomplished. I think my generation that grew up in the 60's can relate to idealism and enthusiasm and what happens when reality sets in. Hunter's "Wave" comes to mind here. I was glad to see that Dr. O hadn't lost his idealism and was hoping to pass it on to his son.

gemini, that is a good point about his friend. Perhaps he regretted his choice and wished he had been there to help his country in a time of need. Who knows where his path led?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:36 am

I don't think it is destiny to lose the youthful enthusiasm. Just life. To borrow a line from a film: "you wake up one morning and say, 'World, I know you. From now on there are no more surprises'." At least, that's what it feels like to me. My youthful enthusiasm for a cause dissipated when I realised after 10 years that I hadn't changed a darned thing. My passion for my vocation took a hard knock when certain "suits" started interfering and destroyed some of the best things about it. But I am a lesser mortal than some. I envy those who can keep their dreams and their passions. And there are other priorities: "I suppose some of the burning idealism of my youth had already given way to the more practical considerations of a family man in his mid-thirties." Like I said the other day, you make a choice, start on a path, and before you know it, it has become a highway with no exit.
On the other hand, I think there may be a touch of destiny about him... It's that remarkable instinct that gives him success, such as when he suspects the man and doesn't met him. And not being at home when the bomb drops. But there is also luck: it could have exploded and his secrets dispersed, as he notes. Things could have turned out very differently, couldn't they? Perhaps in some ways, he was the right man in the right place at the time. he kept the secrets, after all.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."


Return to “The Bomb in My Garden”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest