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70 Years From Now

In the year 1853, the Ottoman Empire had been in power for 554 continuous years. Abdülmecid I was Sultan and, shortly into the year, the Albanian-descended Governor of Crete Giritli Mustafa Naili Pasha took the post of Grand Vizier.

Queen Victoria was the Monarch of the British Empire and Lord Aberdeen was her Prime Minister, though the Queen favored one of his rivals, Benjamin Disraeli, as an advisor.

In France, Napoleon III had been elected President of the Republic in 1848, and had dissolved the National Assembly two years previously in 1851. In December of 1852, the Second French Empire was established, with Louis-Napoleon becoming named "Napoléon III, Emperor of the French."

Across the Atlantic, Franklin Pierce was the President of the United States of America and Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War. There were 31 states at that time, and the American Civil War had not yet been fought.

In mid-1853, the Russian Empire started maneuvering troops to key places on the Baltic Sea near Ottoman territories. Hostilities were about to break out into the Crimean War. The primary forces were Ottoman, British, and French fighting the Russians. The war ended with a decisive British/French/Ottoman victory.

"We are on the Side of the Good..."

On On the Side of the Good

While traveling to the Washington, D.C. area for a celebration of Excellence in Education, my mother and I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing an Armenian-American hotel shuttle driver. He was a lovely man, engaging in conversation, and simply joyful.

He was particularly delighted to discuss the accomplishments of his family. He was proud of his children's occupations and their extensive education. My mother and I were in awe of what his family had overcome and how they had succeeded in attaining their own American Dream. As teachers of non-speakers of English, we both appreciate the cultural mountains they had climbed in their pursuit.

As most conversations do in the Nation's Capital, ours dabbled in politics. We asked our new friend to describe the political aspirations and leanings of his hard-working children. His reply was simply beautiful: "We are on the side of the Good..."

In one unassuming reply, he enlightened me on a profound level. We live in a world programmed for polarity-- we are either this or that, one side or the other. We identify with labels, denominations, leanings, movements, sides... but have we lost the notion of being a force for the Good? I propose we haven't.. but I do believe we tend to overlook the Good around us.

Nearly a year and a half later, this beautiful man has not left my thoughts, nor has his reply. And a testament to his wisdom is my attempt to create a space celebrating everything On the Side of the Good. I hope to establish a venue for sharing things big, and not-so-big, that simply exist to fortify the Side of the Good.

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