Saturday, March 13, 2010

What are we doing???

I've had a month of very mixed emotions. One of those times when a host of things happen that drag you through sad times, you seem to flit through good times, some more sadness that leaves you wondering why and then a bit of good that lifts you back up. And we have to deal with it, mull it over and find some sense to it all. This all sounds very cryptic....I'll explain.
I started my new job at The Salvation Army - a good thing
My father-in-law has cancer that is invading every part of his body - a very sad thing
A friend of mine has started a University course and is doing great - a good thing
My oldest son hurt himself at work - a bad thing BUT has made a full recovery - a great thing
My youngest son is trying to decide what he wants to do in life - a good thing if he chooses the right path
My father has to have surgery on his cataracts - a bad thing BUT the outcome will be good (he'll get to see mum in focus again - should be a good thing)...just kidding mum!
My poem, 'The Burden of Choice' has been published in a Human Rights journal - a very good thing
My friend, along with all Palestinians in the West Bank have been "sealed in" for 48 hrs - a very bad thing
And that is where my dilemna begins....How do I celebrate something as trivial as having a poem published when I know that the person I wrote it for is being held captive, humiliated and suffering to provide for her family even while I write this. She is ordinary in that her story is no different from anyone else's in The Occupied Territories but she, and everyone else there, are extraordinary in that they survive those conditions. My friend is witty, generous, thoughtful and always has kind words. She hopes that one day she will be able to return to Gaza, where both of her parents are buried, and see the beach where she grew up.
It sounds like a reasonable request, doesn't it? At this point, her request is impossible to achieve. By putting a human face or name to the plight of these people, or by just recognising that they are people like you and me with the same needs and desires, we should realise that they deserve the same respect that we would want for ourselves. Religion and ethnicity aside, they are you.
So when do words stop being just words and become something more? What makes a word into a plan then an action? Anyone can write a poem or a song or a book or a letter but if they don't do anything with it it remains words and nothing comes from it. My passion for the people of Palestine drives me to make words become an action. I have no fear in contacting my government or other governments and world leaders about what I feel are injustices and illegalities. The world is so small now and it is so easy to find contact details for these perpetrators of crime. I know I'm not the only person on this planet who advocates for peace and human rights so I like to imagine thousands of me's sending off emails to foreign leaders letting them know that we are not buying their propaganda or their false statements about security. Peace talks, peace processes and road maps made up by elected officials who have agendas very disparate from those of their constituents bear no fruit. I'm delighted to announce that the time has come for anyone who has ever been desribed as annoying to be just that.....ANNOYING. I will continue to annoy politicians and world figures with my words. This will be my personal protest march and hopefully one day emails from all the annoying me's will reach somebody with an iota of humanity and things will change for the better.And that person will be great.

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