A friend this week expressed fear and uneasiness with all the change and
happenings occurring in the Middle East. I responded optimistically and view the changes occurring as a positive. Many pundits and prognosticators are stoking the flames of pessimism by pouring the fuel of fear onto the fires of optimism. I look at the changes occurring in the Middle East recently to be just as important as the historical changes that began in Europe in 1989 with the toppling of several communist bloc regimes; the destruction of the Berlin Wall; reunification of Germany in 1990 and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. Were there issues and difficult situations to resolve as a result of the changes in eastern Europe and the end of the USSR? Absolutely; civil wars broke out in what was then known as Yugoslavia, between a vast array of ethnicities and peoples that culminated in new nations coming on to the map and some old ones being re-established, but Europe and the world weathered the storms and the pessimistic talk of Europe's 'tinderbox' igniting into a much wider conflict was all for naught.
There's usual noise out there that makes me think of the R.E.M. tune, 'It's
the End of the World as We Know It'. Let's focus on the positive aspects of the changes occurring in the Middle East. Let's pray for peaceful transitions and
let's be supportive of the young people who, because of social networking via the Internet and the ability to communicate freely with others around the world, have chosen to make social and political advancements we Americans all too easily take for granted. Of course there will be obstacles, but if we're optimistic and supportive of those who seek a better life for themselves and their countries, then we stand a much better chance of working and prospering together in a world that is becoming smaller and smaller and more connected ever day. Isn't that a good, positive thing?
OK...I'm in the mood for that song now: