The following is a contributed post by my friend from Taiwan Bill Stimson.
“Today We Are All Proud Iranians”
by William R. Stimson
Day by day here in Taiwan I’ve been closely following the internet
images of ordinary people crowding the streets of Iran because they
touch my heart and make me know that in these days, around the world,
we’re all Iranian. In Taiwan, China, America – in all countries
everywhere – each and every one of us is having our deepest and truest
nature shown us by these grandmothers, daughters, and sons who are out
silently and peacefully walking the streets of Iran today to protest a
betrayal that is so much bigger than just a stolen election – and
exists in so many places besides Iran.
Their brave action functions as a reminder that in our own countries
we too are united in ways we don’t know but need to honor if democracy
is to work. We exist not as separate voters with different agendas –
but in reality are so much more. At root, we care about more than
just what we can get for ourselves. We have the capability and the
need to live and connect with one another in a freedom that can tap
our entire genius as a people, develop our deepest resource, and
enable it to shine out through our every small action in ways that
benefit the whole. The smallest of us are big in this way; though it
may only be at rare moments in history, and only in some locations,
that this bigness rises to the surface to make itself visible. Today,
thanks to the internet, all of us far and wide can benefit from one of
these miracle moments that reveal us to be one body, wholly
intelligent, unconquerable and free. Our real strength has nothing to
do with what separates us one from another; but comes from what unites
us. It isn’t revealed by what we can get, but by what we can give.
Those who have given their lives in Iran these last days remind us of
this. And, in doing so, they and the tens or hundreds of thousands
out walking the streets there today have done something equally
important for all of us all over the world. They have put their
country, religion, and culture back on the map in all our hearts and
made them stand tall and proud among all the great countries,
religions, and cultures — second to none.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.