A Promise For Change

As I get ready to call it a night, the sun has risen over Egypt.  What will the day bring there?  I wonder … and pray.

Protesters in the United States claim the Egyptians want democracy, virtue, and freedom.  But all I see is thousands of Egyptians protesting what they don’t want.  They don’t want any more of Mubarak.  They’re tired of police corruption and poverty.  They’re very clear on what they don’t want.  Without focusing on what they do want, however, they’re leaving themselves open to the possibility of far worse conditions.

We know someone who was a young man in Cuba when Castro took over.  Everyone was excited.  They wanted change, and Fidel promised it.  Changes came indeed, but for the worse.  Business owners were forced to leave the businesses they’d built by the sweat of their brow.  People who joined Castro’s party were placed in the businesses to run them, without any experience at all.

People were forced to move, so no neighborhoods would be left intact.  They were forced to live on the other sides of towns and cities among people they didn’t know.  And they weren’t allowed to gather in groups to talk.  Their children were taught to turn them in if they spoke against Castro.

Our friend initially embraced Fidel and the change he promised, but soon realized life would now be far worse for him and his young family.  So he planned his escape.  A friend helped him, but thought he was nuts for leaving.  A few weeks later, it was determined this friend was a dissident, and he was killed.  Our friend safely made it to the U.S., found work, learned English, and built a new life here.  He loves this country, and worries when he sees changes here similar to those which took place before freedom was lost in his homeland.

He has learned to be wary when someone promises change.

It’s easy to get people fired up about what they don’t want, and to promise change.  But change isn’t always a good thing.  If you want to improve your situation, you need to focus on what you do want, and then make decisions and take actions which bring you closer to your desired result.  But if you only know what you don’t want, and aren’t clear on what you really need to make things better, someone with a good speech could probably get you all fired up … for change … for their advancement, and not yours.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.

Yes, some Americans are confident they know what Egyptians want, but it doesn’t line up with what the Egyptians are saying.  They want Mubarak out.  They want an end to police corruption.  They want an end to poverty.

Who will give the best speeches about change?  Who will get the people fired up to support them?

I pray they’ll focus on what they do want, so they don’t simply grasp for any change, which could result in far worse oppression, corruption, and poverty.

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6 Responses to “A Promise For Change”

  1. catamountcarpet Says:

    Amen, Judy

  2. http://slowdancejournal.wordpress.com Says:

    The desire for change drove our own midterm elections here. It was also a loud cry for things to be “different” without much realistic discussion. Americans, like Egyptians, were stirred by heated rhetoric.

    Humans are emotional first, thinkers second. I worry about our ability to deal with complex, long term, or solutionless problems. We need more maturity, more patience, and greater honesty about what is possible.

    That said, the voices of the people of Egypt have been suppressed (like the voices of anti-Castro Cubans). Perhaps the only way to speak up in such a country and survive is to do so in great numbers and all at once.

    In America we may be foolish, misguided or rude, but we are free to speak our minds. May we never lose sight of the rarety and value of that priveledge.

  3. June Haywood Says:

    This would have been applicable when Obama was running for president in our country. We know what kind of change we got.

  4. Catina L Wilson Says:

    This is terrific, Judy and oh so true. God Bless you, my friend.

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