a humble letter to the people in power!

19 07 2008

[By Shideh] My mind has been preoccupied with a number of events lately. I am busy with my last experiment while the world around me seems to have turned upside down. I usually worry a lot about the state of practice in earthquake engineering and am passionate in thinking that I can make a difference in this field, in Iran and perhaps other developing countries. Here I am though, sitting in front of the TV watching CNN in my hotel in Davis, tired of hard work all day, witnessing the world turn upside down once more.  What is going on? Are Israeli authorities really planning to bomb Iran’s nuclear power stations (and other things)? Is Iran’s government really showing fake or real movie clips of its military maneuvers to threaten Israel back, to bluff, to defend itself, or to scare others?  Are American politicians really open to the military option against Iran? Does it seem like a video game to them or do they actually realize it’s people’s lives they are so easily taking?  Am I wasting my life trying to solve a tiny technical problem in earthquake engineering hoping to make cities safe, wishing to save lives, while our governments can blow up the whole world in one second?  Who am I trying to save?

I am helplessly writing to you, my governments, the authorities or decision makers of the world, you who think you can make decisions on my behalf to kill others, I am writing this letter to you hoping to make you realize that I am disappointed in how you have all used my tax money toward propaganda against each other, to promote our differences, and to create hatred.  When are you going to stop fighting and start solving conflicts without actual conflicts? How many more people do you want to see dead in Iraq, Iran, Israel, and other places? How many historical places destroyed? How many more soldiers are you going to separate from their homes and teach them to kill others for a “worthy” cause? How many more? How long? How much is enough for you all?  I am disappointed and am ashamed of calling myself human, if this is its meaning.

How insignificant all my efforts and the efforts of others around me seem to be right now, in the presence of all the damage that our governments are capable to cause.  I wonder if we can make a difference while there is so much destruction by the people in power everywhere.  I wonder…

We need your help, our beloved governments.  Without you, we cannot go forward in a meaningful way.  We cannot make changes while you, so abruptly, destroy our efforts, so easily.  How can I convince you to walk with me (and others like me) instead of other big powers that are thirsty for more power? How can I make you understand that together, and only together, we can start to walk our human path towards peaceful and safe societies?  We cannot do it without you!

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8 responses

20 07 2008
شادی

i loved this piece. it’s all most of us want but isn’t that only a dream that might never come true? or maybe due to what i study i am too pessimistic or better say hopeless
it’s all about money and power, isn’t it?

20 07 2008
koohestan11

very nice piece, and so true.

21 07 2008
Ehsan

Dear Shideh
Last night after reading your new post at Tehran Shake, while I was flipping pages of “Divane Hafiz (Hafez)” around, I came up with a nice Ghazal of Hafiz, and it may clarify what we are supposed to do for humankind. Even though the world is too cruel, wild and chaotic to be in the right way and what we want may look like a dream, the key to its change is in insisting to express our opinions and to correct what is wrong around us. All in all, I say we should concern our duties and shouldn’t be ignorant about our societies.
All the best
Ehsan
——————
Here it is:

Ghazal 243 from Divane Hafiz:
In the morning breeze, your scent, whoever inhaled
A close friend these familiar words, in his ear hailed;
O King of Goodness, glance at this beggar’s state
Of beggars and kings this ear heard many tales, quite detailed.
With this aromatic wine, I satisfy my soul’s appetite
I’ve seen robe wearing priests that many deceptions trailed.
God’s secrets that the godly man silently kept
How in the world the wine-seller so clearly unveiled?
O God where is the one who knows and sees
To open up the secrets that in my heart are jailed.
It was not fair to punish my godly heart
With abuse, my heart bitterly cried and wailed.
If I was deprived in my longing, say naught
Kindness of fate from this hardship, none bailed.
Come bring me wine, my love cries out loud
Heard it from ourselves, whoever our tale detailed.
This is not the first time we covertly drink the wine
Master of the tavern caught us in the act each time we exhaled.
This is not a first for drinking to the song of the harp
Many turns the Wheel of Fate this familiar turn scaled.
Advice of the wise comes from a deep goodness within
Beside the one who understood, even heavenly bliss paled.
>”Hafiz in duty the ocean of prayer sailed
Regardless of if his prayer was granted or failed”<

21 07 2008
Shideh

Shadi, Koohestan11, and Ehsan Jaans,
thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Above all, I am so honored to receive a word from Hafiz himself through a Shirazi friend.
Dametoon garm always

24 07 2008
fjv

Dear Shideh,
That’s true that articles of this kind never receive any encouraging feedback from those in power, but they rekindle the passion in our hearts that still there are some who have not lost their sense of humanity.
fjv

24 07 2008
Shideh

Dear fjv, thanks for your note; I agree with you.

However, I think sometimes lack of hope or anger may kill motivation in many of us for doing the right thing in many situations. I worry that my last post encourages hopelessness!
I have always tried to fight against hopelessness in the power of each individual and what each one of us can do to help our societies (in many ways). The reality of the world gets overwhelming at times though. I have been thinking a lot about this, about how to influence the politicians without being one.

It is frustrating to see that many in power are far away from the sense of humanity you talk about, while those who haven’t lost it have little power.
stay in touch…

15 08 2008
Mei

Shideh,
Just read your post from last month, but sadly even more bad news erupted since then. It is a very moving piece, and I at times share your hopelessness as well. Though I don’t know how little of a difference I make with my efforts in volunteering, I know that the alternative – do nothing – means zero difference. It is an uphill battle, but it is one that we must not give up.

18 08 2008
Shideh

Dear Mei,
how are you? long time no see. where are you right now?
thanks so much for your nice comment and encouraging words. I agree with you and know that you are actually making a huge difference with your activities. Are you still working with Engineers for a Sustainable World? What company are you working for full time? Can’t wait to hear from you,
stay in touch

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