Archive for July, 2011

How Much More News Can We Take?

There is an old superstition that things happen in threes. I am not by nature superstitious but this week has given us three tragedies, one individual, one caused by one individual, the third caused by a freak accident of nature.

The death of Amy Winehouse was a tragedy. Lots of words have been used, troubled, vunerable, tragic, addicted. So many people have said they hope that she will now have peace. Much has also been made of the ‘curse of the talented 27 year-olds’ with comparisons to Janis Joplin et al. I just find it sad. It proves that money and talent do not guarantee happiness or that gilded lifestyle that so many young people assume is at the end of the ‘fame’ rainbow. My thoughts go out to Amy’s family.

I have struggled to think, never mind write, about the events in Norway. I have no desire to process the thoughts of Anders Breivik who has been arrested. It is tough to comprehend making and planting a bomb in a capital city but the attack on Utoeya island leaves me shaken. All those young people, there to meet and discuss, taken by surprise by someone dressed as a figure they would trust? It reinforces my belief that fundamentalism that denies the beliefs of others is wrong. One of the things that makes this world such a strange and interesting place is the variety of religions and belief-systems that abound. People should be free to think and act as long as they do not injure others, it is that simple. For that reason, I will waste no more of my words on Mr Breivik.

The train crash in China is yet another illustration of nature and how it can devastate infrastructure and therefore people. One lightning strike was all it took to cripple one high-speed train and set off a disaster with so many dead and injured.The reports are limited but harrowing, the image of the carriages hanging from the bridge near Shuangyu town shows the aftermath only too clearly. So many families again affected by nature, my thoughts are with them and those who were injured.

So many lives in one week, it will be so hard for those left behind to mourn.

I will close this post shortly but I cannot stop until I mention one other item of news from earlier in the week. With the headlines that have taken over I see the official announcement of famine in southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle in Somalia has slipped down the headlines. No life, or death, is more important than any other. I urge you therefore, think about the 10 million under the threat of hunger, disease and death.

I close with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

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July 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

News Confusion.

The news today has been shocking for me. Two stories in particular stand out.

The first story is the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa. Crops are failing, livestock dying and, for those living  this nightmare hope is heartbreakingly absent. I did blog on Somalia last week but the problem is more widespread with Ethiopia in crisis too. We all remember the stories that prompted Live Aid. It is hard to believe that this was 1985 and we are heading back into the same kind of crisis 26 years later.

Watching the news this morning one section of the report brought it home, causing me to stop in my tracks. One mother realised her six children were in severe danger and knew her only chance was to walk her family many miles to reach a refugee camp. However, as they walked her children became weaker and could not go on. This amazing woman who was herself starving did one of the bravest things I have ever heard. She left four children to wait and carried two at a time to make progress. She then returned back to carry two more, repeating this again and again until she made it to the refugee camp with all of her children. I cannot think of any better example of the power and sheer will spurred by love.

The other news story is one that broke this evening. It is alleged that an investigator who did a lot of work for a Sunday tabloid hacked into the mobile phone of Milly Dowler after her disappearance. If this is true then I am lost for words. Legalities aside, this is a truly abhorrent act. We do not know all the facts as yet but one thing is very clear to me. The family of this poor young girl may have been given false hope as a result of messages being deleted to create space for more voicemails. Imagine the torment, fearing for the worst and seizing on anything that brings the slightest light to the darkest of times. This to me is the worst thing of all.

I can say no more today but this. Tomorrow I will donate to Save the Children. I don’t talk much about my own donations as I don’t think that is what should prompt anyone else to donate. However, this is one time that I think we all need to help.

I close with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

July 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm 7 comments


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