We grumble about the price of a litre of gas, whine because the weather's miserable, discuss which wine to have with dinner, and then jockey for the remote, insulated from the horrors and the truths of living in poverty, in Africa, with AIDS. We are insulated from the cries of the children whose only parent has wasted away, and from the desperation of the surviving grandparents, already tired and old, now faced with raising grandchildren with even fewer resources than they had when raising their own children.
Stephen Lewis can't enter a room and leave it without casting a broad net, even if he only speaks a few words. In one breath he is hopeful, even joyful, over small strides made to improve the lives of a handful of children, and in the next, his audience is weeping as he shares the last few words of a woman dying of AIDS. I would be ashamed of myself if I admitted to sitting there without emotion. I wept, I laughed, I ached, I smiled. Stephen Lewis held us all in the palms of his hands, enchanted with his words but devastated by his message.
There are many things to be done. I need to contribute. We all need to contribute.
I have always wanted to be part of something that would make me think beyond my own life. I believe this may be that thing.