Meanwhile, in Tehran

Today seems to be the climax of the conflict in Iran, and I’m up far too late following the news.  What’s it about?  The truth.  Huge numbers of citizens are risking their lives to create a more truthful society, one needing fewer lies.  If we think about what we advocate as environmentalists or urbanists or transit advocates, it’s ultimately just that, I hope.  We’re looking for clarity, truth.  We’re trying to see through the murk (some natural, some man-made) and give others the courage to do the same.

Concerning courage, then, I just want to pass on one of the thousands of voices that have come out of Iran in the last day, and which Andrew Sullivan has been blogging in real time.  It’s a brief note by an anonymous young person, written last night after the Supreme Leader threatened the demonstrators with deadly force.

“I will participate in the demonstrations tomorrow.  Maybe they will turn violent.  Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed.  I’m listening to all my favorite music.  I even want to dance to a few songs.  I always wanted to have very narrow eyebrows.  Yes, maybe I will go to the salon before I go tomorrow! There are a few great movie scenes that I also have to see.  I should drop by the library, too.  It’s worth to read the poems of Forough and Shamloo again.  All family pictures have to be reviewed, too.  I have to call my friends as well to say goodbye.  All I have are two bookshelves which I told my family who should receive them.  I’m two units away from getting my bachelors degree but who cares about that.  My mind is very chaotic.  I wrote these random sentences for the next generation so they know we were not just emotional and under peer pressure.  So they know that we did everything we could to create a better future for them.  So they know that our ancestors surrendered to Arabs and Mongols but did not surrender to despotism.  This note is dedicated to tomorrow’s children…”

May you never need so much courage in your own work, and may you find it if you do.

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