The enjoyment of watching our favorite shows doesn’t always stop when we come to Peace Corps. Oftentimes we get hooked on new ones. We live alone and there’s only so much reading and playing solitaire one can do on a Saturday night. My current show of choice is The West Wing.
Season 3 Episode 1 aired right after September 11th, so they deviated from the normal storyline and shot a completely different episode. In it, many members of Senior White House staff talk with a group of high school students about Islamic extremism. The students ask the main question many of us were asking at that time: why do they hate us so much? During the conversation, the White House Communications Director tells a story from his childhood, evoking the Holocaust. It really struck me.
“A friend of my dad’s was at one of the camps. He used to come over the house and he and my dad used to shoot some pinochle. He said he once saw a guy at the camp kneeling and praying.
He said, ‘What are you doing?’
The guy said he was thanking God. And my dad’s friend said, ‘What could you possibly be thanking God for?’
He said, ‘I’m thanking God for not making me like them.’”
Somehow having the grace to maintain my humanity at a time like that? I’d thank God too.