One Complicated Question:
It has been about thirty years we Iranians search for answers to one complicated question.
One may say, maybe you better speak for yourself. I will. Still, I am sure in our private worlds; many of us do spend some time to feel pity for ourselves. We wish that we would wake up one morning and see an end to this helpless question. We keep asking why? This question occupies our minds from dawn to dusk and nothing changes because of that.
This question has a negative energy within itself. Asking why, it forces us to dig deep and find some good excuses to help our anxiety now. Our life in Diaspora requires us to find learn, listen, and learn again. We should develop coping strategies that helps us improve our lives to the most. How else can we cope? Without having some convincing reasons and satisfying strategies we cannot continue being healthy. On the other hand problems remain the same because we are in trouble. Our mental health is totally impacted by this why question.
Walking in the malls of any city in North America or in Europe you will frequently see these elderly Iranians who have left home to be close to their children. You can see the doubt in their faces, if you spend some time; they will tell you how much they miss the old days of Iran. Nostalgia is within us, it is intertwined with our notion of thriving, family, health, and education, function, and dysfunction.
Many of us will never go back to our home country, even if Iran becomes the most stable country in the world. Some of us have found deep roots to places we live in. We still wonder why? This question walks with us, moves with us, talks with us, and it reapers every single day, anywhere we Iranian are. We get together and we chat about daily life. Always, depends on our comfort zone, we keep going back to one question: Why did this happen to us? We ask one another in case someone else could really convince us to a better resolution. Some of us are all lost in the news about Iran, who said what and who did what. Most of us are grieving on the wreckage of a culture that is buried in a shallow contaminated soil. However we know that cultures cannot be dead. To help our anxiety we blame our ancestors or those in power back then.
We are all confused and ambivalent in searching deep:
We do not know more than we know. We have no real tools for change. Our options are limited, while we confuse ourselves with the lies and promises by those who have shown all their cards.
The concerns we Iranian are dealing with are not one, not two, it is about head to the toe, and it is about every molecule of ort embodied home country. We are overwhelmed with news containing cruelty, stupidity, irrationality, and irresponsibility from those who have only one mission; to get us all burn with the fire of hatred towards others.
We Iranian are fragile more than ever. We feel betrayed and we have lost our trust. We keep asking: Why? We read articles and we listen to the news. We try to conceptualize our situation; there is no way we can make sense of what is going on.
Those living inside Iran are looking for a way to flee. Those Iranian residing elsewhere sing the nostalgic songs. We question: Why?
Why did this happen to us?
The answer relates to a concept or phenomenon beyond definition, close to a notion of regret beyond imagination. Our young generation keep asking us: Why. And, we have no concrete answers. Those of us who are honest we say: We made a huge mistake.
We struggle to explore how this mistake occurred. Was this mistake possible because we got too emotional over something we lacked knowledge about? Or, was this mistake due to a perpetuated and patterned part of our spontaneous culture?
Those of us who came out on the streets in those turbulent months of 1978-79 remember our parents saying: Don’t do this, we have seen these days before, we do not get anywhere. Our parents or elders had already witnessed the level of ambivalence and instability that had cost many retreats.
Just a couple decades prior to 1978, our parents had seen how easily people could be lured into anything. Why again? We cannot create change by any revolution, by any uprising, by any chaos. Change has to happen within us and among us, slowly and gradually. Change has to come with contemplation and dialogue. Change grows with healthy and stable roots. Our basis for change back then was too shallow. Still is.
The good news is that never before we had this many individuals and agencies among us working for democracy. We know that we have to create ground for democracy. It does not happen overnight. Never before, our young people were this aware of their own values. Our younger generations are willing to do anything to create a life worth living it, a dignified life. We know that change is possible; however we have a hard and long way to go. We need to stop to get emotional. We need to sleep over our decisions and start to discuss, consult, and search for our options to keep our heritage alive. Not even this is the only answer. We have to use our common sense.
Instead of emotional decisions we need logical discussion. Who knows how we get there? We will see. We should just remember that no one has the definite answer. No one knows the whole truth but small, biased, and subjective parts of the truth. What is significant is that we have to move on and find new tools for change. Our time for conceptualizing our misery is very limited. We have a choice now and ever.
December 30, 2008