Things I’ve been silent about

I’ve been silent for many weeks, but not because I haven’t felt the urge to blog about current events.  World affairs have pounded my consciousness like a nor’easter savaging the Atlantic Coast.  In the face of this onslaught, my words were blown away before I could type them into this little box.

I tell myself, “It’s doubtful that my trickle of words would be noticed in the drenching, downpour of diatribes anyway.” And so, I’ve been silent.

Everyone has an opinion; some worth more consideration than others.  I have to admit that I don’t have the stamina to sustain a flow of hard-core political commentary. Yet, I long to influence ideas and attitudes to improve the human condition. Even though I feel deeply about issues like health care for all, environmental sustainability and world peace,  after awhile my reasoned opinions begin to sound shrill, strident and annoying.

I long for thoughtful, honest dialogue. I believe that civil, enlightened discourse can have a lasting positive impact on our world.  So when I was searching for music a few days ago and happened to tune in to C-Span, I stopped to listen to an interview by Dr. Trita Parsi with Dr. Azar Nafisi about her newest book, “Things I’ve Been Silent About.”

Nafisi’s courage to honestly explore her family dynamic, former political affiliations and her regrets was impressive and inspiring as she responded to Parsi’s insightful questions. Their quiet conversation was artfully unfolded and a joy to hear.

One thing that Nafisi said which resonated most prominently for me was her admonition to avoid becoming too political and entrenched in ideology. Regimes change. We’ve had regime changes (elections) in America and in Iran in the last year. But, how much of the political landscape and our everyday lives have been affected by these regime changes?  Not much, I think.

I began 2009 with a lot of hope for change, which did not materialize.  My challenge for 2010, is to find the courage to keep cultivating a vision for a better world, to find the words to honestly express myself instead of sitting silently and to cultivate enlightened conversations whenever and where ever the opportunity arises.

3 responses to “Things I’ve been silent about

  1. yes, it’s sad, and infuriating.
    Especially since, as Audre Lorde said, “our silence does not protect us.”
    Yet i still do have hope.
    I was talking to someone i thot an apolitical nerd yesterday and found him very open, surprised me, to my analysis of how we must be change agents for the change we want to see in the world. I thought he’d be uptight with me stating that as a TEACHING goal i have,w ithin academia, and he wasn’t, so hurrah.

  2. I haven’t read Dr. Nafisi’s current book but loved Reading Lolita in Tehran. “World affairs have pounded my consciousness…, I don’t have the stamina…, my reasoned opinions begin to sound shrill, strident, and annoying…,” I imagine these words ring true for every progressive minded person reading them — they did for me. And you end with “…hope for change, which did not materialize.” I was expecting a miracle, that’s how hopeful I was, I think that’s true for may of us. I like to think Obama sincerely believed he could change things and is just as disappointed. Maybe not, but I feel better believing it.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this.

  3. A rewarding post! I was unfamiliar with Nafisi and Parsi. The error of becoming entrenched to rigid ideology and political discourse is a great thought to keep close as we continue forward in the world and our personal think-space.

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