I’m having a real war of words in my head as I decide what to write about for this issue. The news has two objectives it seems: to report what’s just happened and to rehash, in the most sensational terms, what is apparently always happening. Like the obesity beat, the “what gives you cancer” scares, and most recently the sexual harassment scandals and the shooting frenzy horrorshows. I’m feeling so tired of it all.
You’ll often hear me saying “things happen for a reason” and with this we can learn some life lessons. But you have to be present for them, want them and then learn from them. I’m not saying we should have to go through all these terrible tests in our life, but we have to adapt and get stronger. Do I want us to fight a war against each other? Of course not.
My 92-year-old friend Rudi Hoenson continues to teach me so many life lessons and I really listen. Mostly he has taught me that it’s not how to fight a war, but it’s how to live a life. In WWII Rudi fought in the Indonesian jungle before he was caught and imprisoned. He remained a prisoner of war for over three years. How many people in our day and age can ever experience that and still want to live a life of peace?
We always talk together like old friends. I asked Rudi about conflict today and he closed his eyes, bowed his head and remained silent, as in disbelief over what’s going on around the world. Among the majority of the world’s nearly 200 states, conflicts are much more likely to take place within states than between them. It’s really about people against people now. And not just wars, it’s everything in between! When will it stop?
Why all this talk about war? Well, it’s not so much about the war, it’s more about what we can learn from those that have endured the trenches. And that’s not just the Rudis of the world: it’s also our family, friends, and neighbours that have been through difficult times.
I love what Deborah Rogers, my editorial director, says at the end of her “Last Word” (pg 86) about changing up our narrative and trying to find a different way to look at the world. This could mean so many different things to so many people. It got me!
What’s the story that you want to be a part of, and how will you tell it?