You can’t calm the storm, Stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass. ~ Timber Hawkeye.
With all that has to happen in the womb, it’s amazing that anyone is ever born at all.
~Coleman Haggerty, CP~
William was born in the usual way to the delight of his family, relatives and their friends. He appeared as a beautiful baby boy and everyone rejoiced. On his second day of life a nurse found him gray and crying in a high pitched tone indicating distress. His caregivers switched into emergency mode and immediately transferred him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The staff closely monitored him and conducted tests to rule out the most likely reasons for his distress. The tests were all came back normal. He stabilized and returned to looking and acting like a healthy baby.
When a baby is born we all expect or at least hope that no difficulties will arise. When a crisis arises for a newborn, we suddenly face the fragility of life. Babies are delicate and need a great deal of protection. We all accept that. But how do we react when a baby is faced with an unknown threat? We want to do what we can but we don’t know what we can do. We are left to rely on the medical experts and prayers to God to help the baby through the crisis.
Few of us remember a time when infant death was common. Physicians and medical researchers have made tremendous strides in dealing with infants in crisis but there is no guarantee that their knowledge and experience will get any particular infant back on a healthy path.
Such a crisis reminds us that we are all fragile. There is much we can do to keep ourselves as well as our children healthy. Yet there is no guarantee that our efforts will be successful. A crisis also reminds us how precious any life is, especially the lives of those who mean the most to us.
I once heard a sermon by Father Brendan Breen reminding us that whatever we do ripples out through the world with effects on everyone. We obviously do not affect the whole world directly. What we do, good or bad, affects those who come into contact with us. Our actions affect those in contact with us and modify their outlook on life and their actions toward others, again for better or worse. Then those we have affected pass on to others what they have gained or lost from their experience with us. In that way we are all connected, even though we will never meet most of the people we affect indirectly.
As I just mentioned, we tend to see babies as fragile and helpless. Yet William has already had a wide reaching effect on many people most of whom he will never meet. As word of his distress spread from his family to relatives and friends, others who were told of him gained an opportunity to turn their thoughts and prayers in his direction. All of these people got a chance to consider the fragility, wonder and connection with others we all share.
Thank you William for helping all of us to stay connected and human. Good health to you. We look forward to seeing how the rest of your life enriches us.
Life Lab Lessons
- Treasure the lives of those you love.
- Show them you care every chance you get.
- Care for yourself. You are precious to others.
- Care for people you don’t know when you have the chance.
- Remember that we are all part of the human community.
Dennis Edney has dedicated the last 15 years of his life to defending Omar Khadr in court, pro-bono, and listening to him speak out about Omar Khadr’s life is an amazing experience. On one hand it’s a narrative, a story of slow success in the face of aversion. On the other, it’s a painful reminder of the horrors of our world. Most importantly, however, it is a gentle and polite call to mobilize against injustice. To Edney, this is the rampant disregard for civil liberties to enforce policies of security and fear. He claims our achievements in human rights are in jeopardy, and that America and the West are in violation of their international obligations.
Breaking: Sheikh Al-Nimr, a Shia political activist, leader and Islamic scholar in Sunni majority Saudi Arabia was executed by royal decree for peacefully advocating for the rights of Shias in the conservative kingdom.
Protests have broken out in Iran, Iraq, Qatif and other Shia bastions; it seems the toxic Sunni-Shia divide has churned out yet another polarising incident that threatens to deepen the rifts within the Islamic world
I live in, and love, the United States of America. A land of freedom built on a short history of great successes and unfortunate mistakes. I am prideful of our growth, but not blind to our failings. And while we live in a turbulent times, I will not let fear steal my compassion or humanity.
We are a very young nation, continuously growing and evolving. And with rapid growth comes inevitable mistakes. The gravest of which we have perpetuated on our own citizens; forced relocation of Native Americans, a civil war, Japanese internment camps, and most heinous; the enslavement of other human beings.
And through the lens of hindsight we look at our history of intolerance based on religion, nationality, economics or personal lifestyle and shake our heads thinking; “How could they have be so blind?”
Why the US should accept Syrian refugees.
As the holidays approach, we remember the simple joys of giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. Millions of Syrians are fleeing their war-torn country in hopes of finding refuge in Europe. Families are being torn apart, parents killed, children sold into slavery and boys forced to become ISIS soldiers- these are just a few examples of how ISIS uses terror as a tool.
The attacks in Paris have left the world in mourning. As the leader in providing humanitarian aid, the U.S. has agreed to allow Syrian refugees into the country. However, the nation is split. Currently, 31 states do not allow refugees within their borders, for fear of subjecting its citizens to terrorist attacks. If we want to continue to have faith in humanity we must first show compassion towards those who wish to be seen and live as humans.
The Holocaust “still has lessons for humanity today”, Boris Johnson has said on a visit to Israel’s official memorial to the millions of victims.
The London Mayor placed a wreath in Yad Vashem’s Hall of Remembrance, where a stone crypt contains ashes of those who died in the extermination camps and a flame burns continuously.
With wars, atrocities and the desperation of refugees dominating the daily news, it’s easy to feel despair about human nature.
French filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand hopes to restore movie-watchers’ faith — or at least awaken their compassion — with Human, a documentary that compiles the extraordinary stories of ordinary people from around the world.
Arthus-Bertrand, the aerial photographer behind bestselling coffee-table bookEarth From Above, interviewed hundreds of people from more than 60 countries, including Rwandan genocide survivors, American army veterans, Syrian refugees, Afghan farmers and the President of Uruguay. Victims and perpetrators tell stories of killing and vengeance, while other subjects speak of love, forgiveness and pride.
Our good friend Dr Stephen Roe, former head of music manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London, was taking a family break on the Greek island of Samos when he found himself in the thick of human desperation, obliged as a decent human being to help others in need. Here are some excerpts from the diary he has been keeping this past week. Impossible not to be moved by the disaster.
Driving towards Vathi, the capital of Samos today, we passed 30 or so refugees, men, women, young children, but probably mostly young men. They were miles from anywhere. It was 7am. Probably just arrived. Then we took boat to Turkey and saw scores of life-vests on the shores, and further up the beach. I hope they were only abandoned after the poor people thought they needed them no longer. They were in remote bays, with sole access from the sea. What is to be done?
Excerpt from Norman Lebrecht’s article in Slipped Disc- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/09/exclusive-report-a-musicologist-strikes-a-human-note-among-syrian-refugees/#sthash.erjC32kf.dpuf