Reflecting on Egypt

I do not have a super fluffy outlook on the world. Without diving too deeply into my thoughts on global politics and our collective future on this watery rock, I’ll just say that anyone who may feel anxious about the direction of the human race should not come to me for reassurance that everything is going to be all right. I am a pretty positive person from both my individual perspective and as a member of my family and community – my tribe – but as a member of the global whole of humanity my expectations for the future dip a shade or two below optimistic.

I struggle with this. Before I had children my malignant geopolitical views didn’t take an emotional toll on me, but times and perspectives change. In one sense, my daughters have shown me a light in the vastness that I wasn’t able to see before. Their brilliance has illuminated a kind of beauty in the world that casts a sweeping shadow over hate and selfishness. But shadows only obscure, they don’t erase. My daughters will grow up amidst the suffering born of these human failings – they will suffer from them, too. As will all of our children. As we all do.

But suffering is a funny thing. Sometimes it feeds itself and despair and hopelessness are the lone result. Sometimes, though, suffering itself is consumed and life and beauty and hope are invigorated. Sometimes suffering can birth a revolution.

Egypt has captivated me. Watching people rise together in peaceful chorus has reminded me that, above all, we are one. We are all part of the same energy. We are all bound together by something much more powerful than politics or religion or race or class. And, together, nothing is unattainable.

Today the world changed just a little bit. Revolution is a long and troublesome road and the Egyptians have only begun their walk. Stumbles are certainly ahead, but they have begun. I am buoyed by these people on the other side of the world finding their first steps as I see in them the same light that my daughters have shown me. I have seen that light shining on the beauty that is still here. I have seen the shadows falling further across that which has so often left me cynical about our future.

So maybe I’m just one shade below optimistic now.

Congratulations to our brothers and sisters in Egypt and good luck.

We are one.


About Mitchell Brown

I am a stay at home dad with my two daughters who are a lot stronger than they look. When I'm not cooking, cleaning, dancing, reading, teaching, playing or protecting my eyes and groin, I am writing about this whole experience in all of its ridiculousness.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reflecting on Egypt

  1. Meka says:

    This is beautiful Mitchell. Those tinier versions of ourselves really make us look at things in a different light. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. Maggie Batt says:

    Studying Egypt with the kids now and reading an adult history concurrently. Really without even thinking about the current crises there. Egypt is so past life–the birth place of civilization–I can’t get enough of it. Today we’re making monuments out of white bread and glue (ouila clay).

    I too cheer our brothers and sisters all over the MidEast for usurping their leaders and standing up for their rights. We do all belong to one race…the HUMAN race.

  3. Jack says:

    I enjoyed your post and your outlook but I am very skeptical. During the past 90 years or so Egypt has been ruled by two kings who were followed by Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak.

    They have never experienced democracy and I am reluctant to see how that is going to change. The military isn’t going to just ride off into the sunset. The Middle East is a different sort of place and they think differently than we do.

    We sometimes forget how things we take for granted aren’t always viewed by others as being beneficial. But I hope to be proven wrong in my skepticism.

    • I am very skeptical, too, of the real political future for Egypt. My optimism was born more of a positive step (emphasizing the word ‘step’) forward made by an enormous body of people peacefully expressing their will. I hate to say it, but my less than fluffy outlook on the world in general remains largely unchanged – lifted for a time, but unchanged.

      I do not think for a moment that democracy in any form is the answer for all and I most certainly don’t think our ‘democracy’ is anything approximating an ideal system for us or anyone else.

      I am moved by energy, by the spirit of people – not by political rhetoric.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s