Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Long View

I was reading some comments over at Sami's blog -- An Iraqi's Thoughts -- when I saw that one of our regular commenters Louise had stopped by to comment. After reading Sami's somber blog entry called Not in My Lifetime, Louise wrote this:
Sami, you are still young. Take it from someone who is in her 56th year. Sometimes you'll be amazed at what can be accomplished and how much change can sweep through a society in one person's lifetime.

In my lifetime I have witnessed the American Civil Rights Movement, which ushered in tremendous change in the way White Americans and others viewed people of African descent, which paved the way for Martin Luther King Junior's vision of seeing his people judged by "the content of their character" rather than the color of their skin. We have highly influential people right now, like Condileeza Rice and Thomas Sowell, who are the product of that movement.

I have also witnessed the women's movement which gave Western women rights and a position in society that was previously unknown and I have personally benefitted from that movement in untold ways along my journey through this life.

I can also tell you that a spectacularly sweeping change took place when the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed.

Some things have to build up until they are so stressed that they will let go with the suddenness of an earthquake. I believe that that earthquake has started in Iraq.

Young folks tend to be very idealistic, and God bless them for that, but this may make them too easily discouraged if things don't happen as quickly as they would like. I was an idealist, too, when I was young.

But taking the long view, I can tell you a lot can happen in one lifetime and I believe it will for you.

I don't doubt for a minute that when you are 56 years old you could very well look back on the things you have witnessed and you will be able to say to yourself that you would never have believed it when you were only in your 20s.

Too bad I won't be around when you are 56 so we could see which of us gets to say to the other "I told you so!", but let's hope I'm right and you can be happy to admit you were wrong. Maybe you'll think of me, and imagine me saying it. ;-)
Being around the same age as Louise, I can vouch for that. I remember living in West Berlin back in 1988, one year before the Wall came down, and no German I talked to then ever thought that the two Germanies would ever be reunited.

I don't know what's going to happen in Iraq and the Middle East. I don't know if the people in the region will ever be able to break the death-grip mind-meld of the Arab Parallel Universe. There are, however, many in the region like the ITM brothers and Sandmonkey whose intelligence and clarity of vision make me hopeful.


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