Sometimes I think there is an extreme lack of good in the world and often, we wake up to all sorts of violence. This week has been no exception. Nature’s wrath has only come to distract us from the reality faced by our brothers and sisters in various parts of the world. I don’t know how it happened that this week passed me by. Perhaps I was too busy, neck-deep reading emails, writing notes, fixing plans, crying, talking to people–but I have not forgotten.
Today a friend (in spirit) from Afghanistan sent a message to his people begging for a stop to all this violence. He wondered where all the hope had gone and pleaded for better a tomorrow for his people.
In the middle of relief operations and getting people to suggest long term plans for my country, this mans voice arrived and allowed me to regain my own. In a state of calamity so much more complex compared to our own, this man permitted himself to be the vessel into which hope and compassion might reside. His story is one of many but again, his conditions are what draw me closest to him. In Manila, floods come and go. They take away homes and lives and I would build homes non-stop if only to give people shelter. But in Afghanistan the story is different. Bullets, bombs and landmines are their everyday and lives lost hardly ever count. Families expect to lose members and children are never sure of their tomorrows.
There is nothing I would want more than a voice I could use to shout, As-Salaamu Alaikum! Peace be upon you! Ghandi often said that whatever we do is insignificant but we must do it anyway. I disagree. I think everything we do is significant. So yes, I will scream and write and carry on because I no longer want to live in a place where people hate more than they love.
It is violence that must end. If only we could remember how to be young again then perhaps it will be clearer to see that in our youth, we only needed peace and joy and hope and we all collectively cried out against pain, violence and hate. If only we could all remember.