I've been rather captivated by the events in Egypt since they started. I can't help thinking that this is really big deal. And every day, the stakes are raised.
Millions of people coming out across the country in protest of their dictator is amazing. Doing so in spite of coverage being hidden from state television is more amazing. Continuing to do it after the internet was taken away is still more incredible.
These people participated in peaceful, unarmed protest and managed to get the entire world's attention. They stood tight when counter-protest forces came to attack them. They've held their position after being attacked by a rain of rocks, a hail of Molotov cocktails, and even after hours of gunfire.
Thousands have been injured already, and several have died. Yet still, these people remain in their unarmed protest, holding their position. They refuse to be removed, insisting they will leave when Mubarak leaves, or when they are killed.
It makes me think.
How many of us have no clue what's taking place right now?
As an American, I'm accustomed to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, all of which are laughable for what they call "news" and "reporting". I can't tolerate the news in America. When the protests began in Egypt, I was in a hotel that had BBC, which I found isn't really any better than the garbage in the US. (Oh yes, Brits, you like to judge us, but you're no better.)
Occasionally, though, I've had access to Al Jazeera. Wow. Now that's reporting. And more interestingly, their broadcast is streaming for free on their website and iPhone app. Can you imagine? They're more concerned about reporting than profits!
It's really inspiring to see people acting on what they believe to be right, for the good of the world, rather than trying to find ways to milk every last penny out of people. Money isn't everything.
How many of us have any idea what it means to be repressed?
I hate the political situation in the US. Most of us there do. But we're not even close to the point of millions of people protesting without end, risking our safety or even our lives to have our leader removed — even when that leader was George Bush.
Mubarak has been in power in Egypt for more than 30 years, and in control of everything as his country decays around him — a description that I find eerily fitting as I'm here in Italy, where that description fits Berlusconi. But Italians aren't anywhere close to the uprising that Egypt is experiencing.
This isn't the turnout for a live episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, or the line for Avatar on opening night. This is a huge, world-changing event. What does a man have to do to his people to provoke this?
How many of us believe in something strongly enough that we would die for it?
We love adventure. Our bucket lists are filled with fear-facing goals like bungee jumping and skydiving. We take on slogans like "extreme" and "no fear." We use tough language like "conquer" your fears, and "destroy" your competition.
We have self-appointed gurus telling us to "be extraordinary", to "build an empire", and to "change the world", but how many of them have a belief for which they are willing to die? How many of us do?
What would it take to make you join your neighbors in overthrowing your government, unarmed, while you're under attack? What would it take to get you to stand unarmed in harm's way, to put your life on the line, to risk death for the good of your people and what you know is right?
I'm sorry this post isn't about language. Deal with it.