Saturday, May 21, 2005

Seeking Democracy or just Having it?

“Seeking is more fun than having” were the words said by James Wagner president of Emory University at my sister’s college graduation a few days ago. I got into thinking about these few words and how they relate to Iraq, since everything I hear these days I try to connect to Iraq somehow.

“Seeking is more fun than having”- how true are these words…think about freedom and Democracy, isn’t seeking freedom and Democracy way more “fun” and meaningful than having nothing else in your life other than freedom and Democracy? Sure it is much harder as well, but since when are easy things fun? Most people love challenges and in seeking there is a challenge involved, whereas there is no challenge in always having what you want. In addition, I think that by seeking and then obtaining something people will value that thing more than if they had it all their lives and took it for granted.

For example, let’s be hopeful and say that the current generation of Iraqis is successful in bringing Democracy and freedom to Iraq; the next generation of Iraqis will know nothing of the Saddam era other than stories they hear and lessons they get from their history class…they would be born and raised under Democracy and freedom and will know nothing else. Who do you think will treasure that Democracy more? I really believe that this generation of Iraqis will value it more seeing as they had to seek and fight for it....they did not just HAVE this future freedom but they worked hard for it and they will be reaping what they sow (again I must say hopefully).

With that said, I think that the current generation of Iraqis has a big burden on its shoulders (that is in addition to continuing the fight for Democracy). They have the responsibility of making sure that the next generation does not forget nor devalues what the Iraqi people had to endure to get their freedom. We have to make sure that they realize that our fight for the Democracy they will be enjoying was arduous, and that many people lost their lives in order for them to be enjoying that Democracy. We cannot say we do not want to depress them with such stories and that we fought to give them better lives and keep them away from all of that. Sure that is what we want to do, but we have to make them understand that the value of their good lives did not come easy. That way history does not repeat itself as they say.

I know I am thinking way into the future by saying this, and that we have too many current problems to be talking about and solving now before we talk about the future. However, I just feel that if and when what we dream of happens…the day when Iraq becomes a Democracy and freedom is granted for all…that our children or our children’s children do not enjoy it too much that they forget about the suffering we endured to give them the freedom they will hopefully be enjoying. We WANT them to have that freedom, but we also must make them appreciate its value!

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