So, here I am, sitting in our garden enjoying summer (in South Africa!), remembering how frail and helpless I was 12 months ago. I am extremely grateful that I have made significant progress since then, and am determined to walk unaided before the end of 2015. The physio and 1 other person still have to help me stand up, but I can now walk slowly for about 10 or 12 metres with my sparkly red granny-style rollator (with basket and seat!). We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, a great summer too, and I’m ready to tackle 2015 head-on.
In contrast to my self-indulgent feelings of well-being and serenity, the turmoil around the world is shocking and so, so sad. Watching the news channels really brings home how terrible life is for other people. Wars, terrorism, the ebola outbreak, and extreme weather conditions prevail; tens of thousands of people are homeless and stateless; and hideous crimes continue to be committed against women and children.
The “Je suis Charlie” campaign both appalled and confused me. Muslims all over the world are outraged by the actions of the IS terrorists who purport to follow Islam – which they don’t. The radicals are a small percentage of true Muslims. Why did Charlie Hebdo choose to play the man instead of the ball? Why did people march to support Charlie Hebdo instead of marching to denounce the extremists? I think all editors need to reconsider the responsibilities that come with freedom of expression. Christians and Jews would be angered if IS created jokes about their Gods. Would they kill people in retaliation? Most probably not (except for extremists, of course). Would anyone, however, taunt a rhino and not expect to be charged at and stomped on? No. And, Charlie, why didn’t you consider the ramifications of the ill-feelings that would arise against peaceful Muslims by tarring them with the same brush or the cartoon’s insult to the followers of Islam?
Je suis finished with my rant. We can only hope that sanity will prevail and leaders will make better choices.