The tension in Egypt and those with loved ones there must be nearly beyond endurance. But when I look at what’s happening right at this moment, I remain stubbornly–guardedly, quietly, nervously–optimistic.
Why? We tend to look at the developments of the moment and focus on The Way Things Ought To Be, and on The Way Things Could Be, without noticing the Way Things Are. We notice what’s bad, but we don’t notice what’s good.
Would these demonstrations have gone on like this 10 years ago? Not likely. And what are all the players doing? Obstinately refusing to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Even while issuing stern warnings, the Egyptian military itself is not actually, y’know, acting like the Syrian military. It’s quite apparent no one (well almost no one) wants bloodshed.
It’s tense. It’s nervous. Tense and nervous to the point where if I was Egyptian I might have a breakdown. It must be excruciating.
And yet, the worst is still not happening. No matter how exhausted they are, the democracy advocates will not stop.
Democracy is a process, not an event. I remain hopeful. Guardedly but resolutely hopeful. The Egyptians have my prayers.