Allow me to click on the BBC app on my phone. Four of the top nine headlines for this hour are: “Egypt launches Sinai air Raids”, “South African guilty of Dewani murder”, “US temple shooter’s ex arrested” and “Argentine ‘stolen baby’ recovered”. Of the top stories, only one is in the least bit uplifting and that is about the Olympics. With news like this, it isn’t surprising that I ask the question, “Where is the love?”
That is a question with which I have wrestled for a very long time. My head shakes in disbelief and fear as I think about where the world is heading in terms of such things as religion, politics, corporations, family values and education. I am afraid. Not so much for myself, but for my daughter and the generation of children that the world is raising. This fear has had a very real and quantitative effect on me and my family. I actually used my anxieties towards humanity as a rationalization against having a second child.
I have since come to realize, however, that this type of reasoning and rationalization is not helping anyone, least of all my daughter. Nobody should instill that sort of trepidation on one so young. Anyone can be a realist and focus on the many atrocities that are committed every day. However, it takes someone with insight and courage to focus on the everyday beauty that is around us. I am not saying that I possess either of these qualities, but they are two of the many things that I strive to achieve.
And in saying that, allow me to share a few of the random places where strangers have shown me where love lies:
…in the bonnet of my scooter. This is the place where a number of people have hidden my scooter keys upon seeing them left in the ignition of my bike. (I never said that I was a single trial learner.) I might have been walking home after my workout had it not been these people. Thank you!
…on the seat of stranger’s scooter. A kind gentleman once found me walking home in the pouring rain and offered me not only a spare raincoat but also a ride. Thank you!
…on the rocky shore of the Ju Dong River. As a friend and I munched on a couple of McDonald’s hamburgers waiting for friends to arrive, a young Taiwanese girl invited us to sit and share lunch with her family. Although we couldn’t speak the language, we felt the love. Thank you!
…in a random 7-11. I found myself short on cash as I was purchasing a snack. Without saying a word, the next customer in line paid the teller the remainder of my bill. Although I probably didn’t need the chocolate bar, the kindness was exactly what the doctor ordered. Thank you!
…on a mountainous trail in Taipei. I was jogging up a lung blasting stretch of my first 10 km race and about to call it quits when the smiling face of another racer greeted me. It was nothing more than his encouraging grin that gave me the push I needed to continue to the top. Thank you!
Where is the love? is a song that brings me back to Savannah, the bar that Rachel, Claire, Ahe and I started many years ago. After two years of living the dream of owning a bar, we decided to close our doors. This was the song of our closing night. I don’t think that I made many fans of the Black Eyed Peas as I played it for the seventeenth time; however, I guarantee that I was feeling the love! (as well as the effects of copious amounts of whisky!)
The love is there! Keep it alive!
Where is the Love? youtube link