On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I have learned much. It’s only been a short six weeks, but I have learned perhaps the greatest lesson I will ever know, and that is this: that I have much to learn.

When we are young, we think we know it all. I have to constantly remind myself not to argue with my son because he is so sure of himself and his views. I was in his position once, young and invulnerable. What has changed is that his surety in his ideas is not based on some archaic idea of black and white, good or bad, moral or immoral. He has more tolerance for imperfections and finds blame (and glory) in both sides of every issue. His truth is malleable. He will be a good lawyer.

I remember black and white: the world was divided into good and evil, into right and wrong. When did we discover those gray areas that creep insidiously like so much night fog curling around our feet?

Tom Brokow wrote of the Greatest Generation, the one that went through the Depression and World War II, as having the greatest courage and stamina. But they had it easy: the enemy was as clear-cut as a swastika. Today the enemy can be anyone, anywhere, can look just like “us.” Even those of us who denounce any bias walk a little more cautiously nowadays. Life is uncertain—that’s been proved again and again.

Knowledge is the key. The phrase “know thy enemy” has taken on a new meaning—not just to recognize our “enemy,” but to understand him. The more we learn about the world, about others, about how people think and how they become what they become, the closer we can move to peace.

But I digress. Back to my main point: School is great!

I look forward to discovering even more how little I really know, and then working to begin remedying the situation.


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