Friday, May 8, 2009

Mentoring Bill

"I haven't wanted to talk about my past because of my 'guilt and shame.'...Much of what the Weatherman did had the opposite effect of what we intended. We disorganized SDS while we claimed we were making it stronger; we isolated ourselves from our friends and allies as we helped split the larger antiwar movement around the issue of violence..."

Mark Rudd,UNDERGROUND:My Life With SDS And The Weatherman

Rudd kept mum about his past for decades because of this shame, so he says. He seems to have come to grips with his share of stupid, dangerous, mistaken ideas and actions on behalf of fighting against a terrible war. Could he be a role model for Bill Ayers staying true to big values and beliefs while admitting mistakes. Maybe we could all learn from him?

We'll see. I'm only a third of the way through his saga. But only a few sentences later after the "shame and guilt" stuff Rudd says,"But in conversations with young people since 2003, I've found that Weatherman's failures are less important to them than the simple astonishing fact that we existed."

Maybe he means by "we" the broad antiwar movement. I hope so. Nothing worse for recovery than an enthusiastic audience that wants to listen to your war stories.

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