Thursday, January 06, 2005


The Long Kiss Goodnight

On the 9th of this month the Palestinians go to the polls to elect a new president. The gentlemen with two first, and last, names (Mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen) will likely be the winner. One hopes that Mr. Abbas/Mazen's duplicity ends with his name, unlike his predecessor Mr. Arafat. This tells us that he is, at least, upfront about some things. But, since hope springs eternal, I'm sure many rivers of goodwill will wash Mr. Abbas into office.

In my line of work I am witness to the lives of a lot of children. I get to see them grow into adults, which is usually an enjoyable experience. Sometimes it can be quite painful though. Some kids are born with their backs to the wall, that's just the way it is. Through no fault of their own they had the misfortune of being born to really bad parents. These kids always seem to start out strong, especially if there is someone (anyone) in their lives that care about them. However, that voice in their heads, the black message passed on to them from their parents that says "you're not loved" or "you're not wanted" can't be drowned out or ran from. That message begins to corrupt them and turn them towards self-destructive behavior, many times the same behavior that drove their parents lives into the ditch. Until one day, all of us that were rooting for them and praying that they succeed, realize they have wandered off into the darkness and all that there is left to do is leave the light on for them.

I see this same behavior from the Palestinian people that I see in these troubled kids. Arafat may be dead, but his message lives on because it's a message that has been with man since his fall. It's the seed that grows to bare the rotten fruit of destruction and loss. However, there is always hope, always a choice, and if the Palestinians choose to turn toward the light we should be there for them. But, if they choose not to turn, if they choose to allow that dark seed to continue to grow and bare it's black fruit then we should say goodnight, but let's leave the light on for them.

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