|God willing, I'll be there some day
||[Jan. 15th, 2004|03:29 pm]
I have previously mentioned Fred, one of the older attorneys still working in the office. Fred is very Jewish. I spotted three different dreidl ties during the holidays. He is active in his temple, and he keeps kosher.
Fred just got back from his annual winter vacation yesterday. I stopped by his office to consult on the project we're working and asked him how it was. He smiled, "Sun and sand and reading. I must have read 5 or 6 books."
"Oh, what did you read?"
He reeled off the titles of 5 or so scholarly books, all on the subject of radical Islam. He told me that he and his wife are participants in a group of Jewish people studying Islam, because they all want to understand better why there are such differences in the hopes of encouraging respect and the ability to live together. He has looked at a people who would prefer to see his people wiped off the face of the earth, and instead of answering hate with hate is trying to figure out why.
Fred was immediately transformed in my mind from a really sweet older guy into a hero. He is unapologetically old-school liberal, but his opinions aren't formed by some sort of working group sloganeering. He is investigating, learning, working to understand. It's not just because he's supposed to think this way. His opinions are formed though study and thought, discussion and debate.
Fred may be slowing down some, but he is still intellectually keen and interested in the world. There's no resting on his laurels - he still wants to help the world change, see justice done, and he's willing to put in the brainpower it takes to impact his little corner of the world. He's a great role model for what I want to be like when I reach his age.