So I’m not usually the kind of person that speaks up and voices my opinion in a public setting. I may have a different opinion, a strong one, but I just never have felt comfortable speaking up. Today, however, something was sparked in me. I spoke up.
I have family and friends on the island of Chios in Greece. They are currently trying to fight a wildfire that has now caused the people in 10 villages to evacuate. From what I understand, they are trying all that they can to stop the fire, but “all that they can” isn’t quite enough. The wind is strong, the conditions are dry and their fire “departments” are volunteers with flatbed trucks carrying huge tanks of water with what look like garden hoses attached. Airplanes and helicopters are trying to dump sea water on the fire, but they don’t fly at night and the winds are strong enough to keep their efforts from being fully successful. Earlier today, a friend of mine (that lives in Chios) sent me a link to an article so that I could see what was going on. I had already watched a few videos prior to seeing the article and my heart was breaking as I listened to people from the villages talking about how they were losing their land (olive groves and mastic trees) and their animals and feared that they were going to lose their homes. So when I read the article and scrolled down to see the comments, I was blown away. There were many people who were commenting about the grammar or bad use of English in the article; others that were making political jabs and jokes about the recession in Greece. All I could think about was the hundreds of people there (and hundreds more, like myself, who have family and friends there) who were scared. I was pushed beyond my limit and couldn’t help but write a comment basically saying what I just said here.
All this being said, what I realized is this: I have been spoiled by this wonderful community that I have been surrounding myself with here in the blogging world. Lately, when I’m not writing (so let’s just say it’s a lot!) I have been reading. I was about to insert a list of all the amazingly inspiring blogs that I have been reading, but I have to say, the list would be rather large and honestly, I’m a little worried I would leave someone out. But the idea behind this is, I have found this community of like thinkers, “kindred students” as Gina from Professions for Peace said the other day. I didn’t realize that it was happening, but these blogs that I have been reading have given me hope. They have shown me that there is indeed a large population of people who care, who love, who try to live this life the best they can…and when their best isn’t great, they learn, share and keep living and trying to do better. It is inspiring to say the least. It is beautiful. And then I went out into the world and read this article and the comments attached to it. And contrast slapped me in the face. But this time I had the strength and the guts to speak up.
So thank you my dear blogging friends. You know who you are because I follow your blogs. I show up, I “like” and I comment when I am moved to do so. You give me hope and shine your lights so brightly that it’s contagious. Thank you.