Police, secret service agents & FBI are everywhere. And those are only the ones I can see. I wonder how many snipers are stationed out of sight. Roads are blocked with huge cement bomb blast protectors. Traffic is cordoned off & diverted, while the streets are a colourful riot of every skin shade you can imagine, surpassed only by the array of wildly colourful & diverse garb that folks are wearing.
The last 3 weeks I’ve written about:
- guidelines to wrap your head around before wading into difficult subjects,
- ways to reflect & have a good hard think on the pressing issues facing our world &
- ways to take action.
So it seems fitting that I close this mini-series while I’m in New York City, ½ a block from the United Nations General Assembly.
I’m not sure which side of the equation I fall on
I’m not sure which side of the equation I fall on – hopeful that world leaders can gather for dialogue & debate or despair that for such to happen, such an armed presence is required.
But then I think about the following:
Pessimistic or optimistic?
“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data.
“But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.
“What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.”
Our different faces
We all have “many different faces, and some are ugly and self-absorbed/narcissistic. But each moment is another opportunity to love again, to ‘become’ more. And as the times seem to grow increasingly fractious and fragile, I’m also seeing people dive into danger without a second thought to help someone else. I see great sorrow, loss and pain and I’m seeing so much light in the ruins of the world it takes my breath away. Light like I’ve never seen before. And as the struggle continues to keep going, I’m so grateful to witness the extraordinary and the hope that rises, that won’t be denied.” – An edited quote from a reader named Sam.
Medical emergency in the sky
I think about being jolted awake on the flight here to New York by passengers yelling. A young man was having a grand mal seizure. I rushed towards him & together with a wonderful Egyptian surgeon, we managed to stabilize him & keep him safe. As I yelled for help (for someone to get his id so we knew what language he spoke & to determine if he was carrying any health records, which he was) people were only too willing help. Many coloured hands helped to hold him steady as we all knelt together in cramped quarters so he didn’t hurt himself as he flailed about. I watched male airline staff quietly caress him & kiss him on his head after he was stable. The doctor & I stayed with him until we landed & the paramedics boarded & took over.
I revise my wonderings.
I am grateful that world leaders can gather together to work towards peace & justice for all.
Despite our wobbly world, it is a beautiful place, as are the people in it.
Including you dear reader. Including you.
So do take up the reigns of reflection & match them with action so goodness outweighs evil, inclusion becomes the norm & there is peace, justice & equity for all.
P.S. Take action:
- How many times have you stood by when witnessing something that conflicted with your values because you didn’t know what to say, didn’t want to say the wrong thing, were embarrassed etc.?
- Or how many times were you the victim of racism, sexism, gender based violence etc. & weren’t able to stand up or advocate yourself because it was too risky, or you didn’t know what to say?