Sunday, June 3, 2012
There is this young man at work who has always been very friendly in the hallways. One day we happened to be in the elevator alone together, so I took the opportunity to finally ask him where he was from. He told me that he was from Iraq, and without even thinking about it, I said, "I am so sorry about what happened in your country", and then I burst into tears, and then I had to get out of the elevator because it was my floor. He kindly emailed me later in the day to say that he does not blame Americans and that I should not feel bad, and I thanked him for his kindness, and said that I felt that Americans should bear some collective shame for what has happened in Iraq, and that at least I, as an individual, could express my sorrow and regret when I have an opportunity. He didn't email back to me, but the friendliness in the hallways has continued, although perhaps tinged now with some awkwardness. The other other day, I read a recent interview with Dennis Kucinich that I felt compelled to send to this poor chap from the elevator. I had no reservations about sending it to him at the time, it seemed like what I absolutely had to do, but the result has been an intensification of the awkwardness on my side: I had forgotten that I had sent it to him, and then, there he was in the elevator when I left from work that same day, apologizing for not having read it yet, and I felt terrible! I really don't know what possessed me. I have always tried to follow my heart in my life, but sometimes it leads me in strange ways.
Posted by marain at 12:07 PM