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Kindness Odds and Ends

I wish us peace

The tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight has moved us to tears, and our hearts go out to those who are left behind, grieving.

I wrote last time about the ordinary act of packing a suitcase. For me a suitcase is a strong metaphor. It represents ordinariness, something we all do when we travel. But far more, it represents hope, that we will finish the journey and use the things we have packed. It represents trust, that the carrier will get us there safely. So, to see the images of the spilt suitcases shows us how that trust, hope and ordinariness were violated.

But I worry about the reaction from leaders around the world. Our world changed dramatically after 9/11, and not for the better. I can feel the world shifting once again. Surely this is now the time to find another way to solve problems.

Ardysz published a thoughtful post just recently titled We’re the people. Go over and have a read. However I would like to take a quote from her blog, because I think her words are so wise.

In the coming weeks when we are listening to the various versions of the Malaysian Airline tragedy, let us all remember to keep cool heads and encourage our leaders to keep cool heads. Those who do these things are the minority, not ‘the people’. There are myriad options, other than war and bombs. Whoever shot that missile and killed 298 people, were desperate rebels, which in no way justifies their actions, and they should be accountable. But let us remember, those who pick up the pieces and rebuild and go on forever, are the people. It is just so, everywhere.

The news footage has shown us images of masked men with guns harassing the investigators at the crash site. But we have also seen the miners come to help search the site. We have seen locals laying flowers in tribute. It shows me that we have more things in common that we have things that divide us.

To leave you with another quote that is resonating with me:

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Maya Angelou

I wish us peace.

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Back again

I haven’t posted for a while because I had been busy and then away in Sydney. Now I am back and have time and lots of things to show you and tell you.

However, this one will be a little different.

On Sunday we flew to Sydney for 6 nights (more of that later, I promise) and came back yesterday. I woke up yesterday to the terrible news of the Malaysian Airlines plane being shot down. All lives were lost, including quite a few delegates to the HIV/Aids Conference happening in Melbourne. A commentator made me think when he said “What if the cure for HIV/Aids was on that plane?”

But as I was packing my suitcase to make the short hop between Sydney and Melbourne I was thinking of all those people who had packed their cases before their tragic flight. Slipping in the souvenirs; packing the presents to bring home; wondering whether it is worth taking home that old pair of shoes or could the space be used for the new handbag; carefully checking that all the documents for the conference are packed; squashing in another jumper for the Southern Hemisphere Winter.

We know what they would have been thinking as they packed, because we all think the same. Those returning home would have been reflecting on the holiday, the joys, the disappointments; those heading off would be thinking about the adventure to come. All would have been thinking about loved ones, saying good bye, saying hello, never realising that they would not get a chance to say a final goodbye. And that is the tragedy of sudden death, never being able to say goodbye.

So all those suitcases packed with thoughts and memories and hope, packed by people who never had a chance to say goodbye.