Two experiences - a radio program and a movie - have opened up a new part of my perception that I had not recognized before.
Last week while driving home I heard interviewed a Canadian man who had been an official presence in Afghanistan
for the past six years; he was ambassador or some such official representative. His enthusiasm for the people and the country was infectious, and he celebrated the changes that have come about since the military presences from the West have been present, freeing
people from the oppressive rule of the Taliban. What moved me was his closing sentence: " Afghanistan is a country of the most developed civilization I have ever seen." "Civilization?" I was almost shocked to hear the word, and what the shock did was to remind
me of how small and set and unexamined is my view of certain parts of the world. I think of Afghanistan as a war torn country on subsistence survival, poor, uneducated, military focused. This is obviously not the case, and I needed that reminder and want to
Then last night I watched "The Book Thief", one of this year's crop of movies. I had read the book a few years ago and loved it, loved it. Again, I was shocked out of my unconscious thinking patterns, for this movie shows the hardships and
good-heartedness of the German people during the rise of Naziism before and during the Second World War. The German people themselves...creative, poor, loving...just as much victims of Hitler as his other victims. And it was during the scene of the villagers
taking cover in a bomb shelter while the English or French or Americans were bombing that village, that I realized with an inner shift that German people were victims of the war as much as all the rest of us. Their goodness shines through, and made me very
It's all of us - the whole of the world - who live and think and move together.