So, it begs the question… why am I moving to Central Asia? I’ve had several people ask me this, and yes, I’ve asked myself this same question at least twice a day since the opportunity had the inklings of reality. One of the main responses that people have had when I tell them what I’m doing is that they say “Wow, that’s crazy” or just simply “you’re crazy.” And you know… it’s true. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like being crazy.
Come to think of it, it is crazy to think that a place so torn by so many factors could unite and become a functioning nation and people… but you know, crazier things have happened. In the next 5 or so years, a lot is going to happen over there. The next years will determine whether Afghanistan will be able to stand on its own two feet or whether it will go the way of the failed state. I intend to do everything I can, and I know my ability is small, to make sure that the Afghan nation prospers. And no, I don’t just mean that it becomes part of the world system, but really prospers. I want to be an influence that will raise up the next leaders of Afghanistan to lead it both into its own identity as a nation and culture, but will also show the world that a nation can truly become a beautiful and wonderful place.
I want to see the culture preserved, if changed somewhat, but preserved. Culture is beautiful in its diversity and rich in its identity. While I am decidedly American, I can’t begin to think how woefully boring the world would be if everyone was like me. The diversity in humanity is one of its greatest blessings, while also part of one of its greatest curses. I desire peace and understanding, not assimilation. A cultural genocide, while I can’t equate it with actual genocide, is still a horrible tragedy. Cultures and their diversity are a reflection of their maker, and I have no desire to tamper with that, simply to try to be a reflection of him and help others to do so if I can.
So, my purpose in going? I want to be a part of what is going to happen in the next years, for better or worse. I’ve always wanted to visit (and I’ll be doing far more than that) Afghanistan and the surrounding nations and I’m overwhelmed at the opportunity to do so. I want to help build this nation, not a measly Westernized nation, but a true Afghanistan. I want the vast resources there to be used to create an oasis of culture and prosperity in that nation, to see a war torn area united in its own identity.
My training the last few days here in Mississippi has, in large part, shown me the excellence of each culture. While none is perfect, its all beautiful. There is need in Afghanistan, I want to help meet that need. I want to use all the blessings I’ve enjoyed in the US to better my world.
This transition time has been interesting. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’m doing and I just keep getting more excited. I can’t wait to get there. Although I’m sure this will be one of the most difficult years of my life to date, I’m going into it with eyes wide open and expecting great things.
So, that’s why I’m going. I don’t know if this makes sense, but I don’t much care. I’m sober minded in this, but so stinking excited. I’ll be leaving on the 7th or 8th of August and not returning to the US until next June. I wish you guys could see the stupid grin on my face as I write this. Anyway, more to come later.