We were on the deck, taking a break from summer camp staff training, when we heard the news. Pouring over the newspaper, my friend made the announcement, and everyone who was there got angry or sad or frustrated or all of those combined. I, however, stood there dumbstruck, not understanding how the 1989 events at Tiananmen Square had any impact on my life.
I still don't understand very well the politics leading up to this incident, and I certainly didn't at the time. What I do remember is being rather startled that people my age were so concerned about what was happening on the other side of the world ~ and my confusion was exacerbated by the fact that we'd just spent a week or more at staff training, almost completely isolated what was happening in the world around us.
Today I follow as closely as possible to what's happening in Washington, the Occupy movement, Tahrir Square and across the middle east, the Mexican border ~ but that day, on the deck, was the first time I began to realize that I should pay attention to what's going on in the world. It's the first time that I internalized the importance of having an opinion, and that my opinion be deeply rooted in my faith. Thanks, fellow summer camp staff, for sharing that piece of your selves.