My wife Louise and I had decided to move to Europe. Since at the moment we didn't have enough money for both of us to go, I was going to go in advance and she was going to follow later. How strange it had worked out so that we were finally going to go. It seemed destiny had ordered it that way.
I went ahead to a place in Germany very close to the border of Russia. The place where I was staying was a rural area. Learning that one could take a tour of an exhibit there, I decided to go; I met with a tour guide and a number of other people to go on the tour. Many of the other people were Russians who were visiting the West.
We began walking around on the tour, which turned out to be about Christian subjects. As we walked, we were shown various exhibits dealing with Christianity. Our tour guide was a Japanese girl (around 25 years old). She spoke English and was obviously a staunch Christian.
She used a few Russian words as she went along. I remembered the Russian word for "good" was "xorasho."
The tour was quite long; the tour guide explained the various exhibits and pictures about Christ as we moved along. I found the entire affair to be rather bizarre. I thought about how adamantly I disagreed with the Christian religion because it was obvious to me that it was so untrue.
I began thinking most of the Russians here were probably repulsed by the whole idea of Christianity since they had been brought up in the communist way of thinking. It was a shame they might think what they were seeing represented what the West was really like.
The Japanese girl walked on ahead of everyone by herself and I began talking with her. She asked me what I thought about everything. I told her I frankly thought the whole thing was quite stupid. I expressed how much I disagreed with the concept and she seemed quite surprised that I wasn't a Christian. I told her I thought it was a shame that the Russians would visit exhibits like this when they came to the West because they would get the wrong impression of the West.
I thought about what it would be like for Westerners to go to India and see exhibits of Indian religion. How foreign and strange it would seem to us and how difficult it would be for us to understand how people could actually believe such things. It was very similar when the Russians saw these Christian exhibits. It was sad because the Russians would see how much of Western belief was founded upon something so untrue. Therefore, rather than live with something so untrue, they would want to return to Russia.
I said something like, "Don't get me wrong. I hate communism. But life for the average Russian is not so bad in Russia. The average Russian is not unhappy because he has so many rights that are taken away from him in Russia. For example the right to protest and the right to write what one wishes does not affect the average Russian. How often do you yourself need to protest or write something that would be prohibited in Russia? Those rights, if they are denied, hurt society as a whole and hurt the individuals who wish to exercise those rights. But the average person does not need to exercise those rights and therefore does not miss them."
We continued walking along; I was unsure she really understood what I was saying. I was simply trying to point out that the average Russian didn't regret the lack of certain rights. Therefore if he were faced with so much untruth in the West, he would choose to live without those rights in Russia rather than to live with so much untruth in the West.
When we reached the end and turned left away from the exhibit, I saw some giant anthills as tall as I. They were made from white sand. I walked up to one and looked at its top; ants were scurrying about and running in the holes. I thought how interesting it would be if someone could tie a magnifying glass onto a long tube so one could look inside the anthill and see what it was like inside.
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