Friday, November 14, 2008
Surprised by joy
A striking and pleasant sight on this morning's rush hour train: two high school boys, not more than 16 years old, very obviously more than friends. Nothing particular really one might say and surely even today they were braving something (though certainly not with an air of proving any point, just engaging in private happiness quite unselfconsciously). But I was suddenly struck by the thought of how much more they would have been braving mere 20 years ago (actually the whole scene would have been pretty much unimaginable) - there truly is a strong, forceful wave of tolerance and reason spreading through the younger generations all over the industrialized world. And in that moment I felt - perhaps a non sequitur - that there still is vitality and selfconfidence in the old enlightenment West. The tide of emancipation still is advancing, still alive.