Denial is a river in Egypt
This post really isn’t about Egypt. I heard last night that most Americans don’t show any interest in the Egypt story. (I’m just weird, apparently, in yet another way). So if you hate international politics, please indulge me and keep reading.
I have been thrilled and obsessed by the revolution taking place in Egypt. I put the Al Jazeera English live feed on my computer and left it on, watching people gather, chant, mass, get tear gassed and beaten. In my heart, I cheered them on toward democracy, proud of them for grabbing this moment to end their suffering under the present government.
Then word came that the dictator Hosni Mubarak was going to make a statement, and I rejoiced – he was going to step down!
Mubarak’s face was difficult to read as he spoke, partly because he didn’t have a TelePrompter, so he had to look down a lot, but it soon became clear what was hidden behind his politician mask – the man was beyond angry. His words made it clear.
He didn’t seem to understand what the protesters’ demands were. Instead, he blamed them and complained that the only reason they had the freedom to protest was because of reforms he had made – he had been doing them a favor and they just didn’t appreciate it.
He didn’t step down. He said he had dismissed the cabinet and that he would appoint a new cabinet. That would fix everything. Done. Goodbye.
I sat stunned by the man’s cluelessness. I tweeted that he didn’t know he was a Dead Man Walking. It was almost comical, his level of detachment as his world crumbled around him.
It took me a few days to see how the drama that Mubarak is playing out on a grand scale also takes place in my life on a regular basis. I’m a mini-Mubarak. Let me explain:
I see that something his wrong in my life.
I know I need to do something.
I put it off for a while.
The situation becomes more urgent.
Finally, I can’t ignore it any longer.
So then, I look for someone to blame.
I blame everyone I can think of.
I convince myself there is nothing that can be done.
The situation persists.
I decide to take a small action instead of addressing the whole, overwhelming problem.
I tell everyone my problem is solved.
I wake up. I still have the problem.
Ha ha! In so many areas of my life, I am as wrongly controlling and blaming as any foreign dictator. It is only when something rises up – back pain, my pants don’t fit, my bank account is empty – that I have to take notice.
I have to start governing more democratically, or face the mob of my problems.