Before I left for Kabul my niece Leah and nephew Garrison (both 8 years-old) were very concerned and asked me why I wanted to go. I told them that we always hear bad news, but we don’t often hear the good news and I was going to work with people who were doing really good things. Mema, (my granny-in-law) sitting behind them, nodded and said, “that’s right”. Leah and Garrison seemed to accept that idea, though their little faces still registered concern. We all know that there is more out there – that the world is a good place – but we are constantly bombarded with information and images that replay the negative, the painful, and the depressing.
The news media’s driving policy is, “if it bleeds, it leads” meaning that blood, gore, freakish events, and the most depressing information gets front and center placement. (There are people and groups that will play into it and get big, broad coverage. I’m talking about extremists here in the US and around the world). “If it bleeds it leads” is not OUR mantra. We need to remember our human center, and remind ourselves of the compass we are guided by. With the internet and through our networks we can find lots of hope in action. I am just reading “Stones into Schools” by Greg Mortenson http://www.stonesintoschools.comand he talks about thousands of people coming out to a stadium in middle America to know about the lives and struggles of poor Afghans. I’d love to see a news story about 3000+ people donating money for educating children in Afghanistan.
I’m not saying that we should stick our heads in the sand and “think good thoughts” as if that will make everything go away. But how about seeking out information about the real-life efforts people are engaged in to change the world for the better? There are ideas and initiatives we can join, people we can support, proof of all the important, humble, noble acts of everyday human beings that extends beyond petty lines of identity and affirms the broad truth of human equality and dignity. Dr. Little gave 30+ years of service to the people of Afghanistan. He and his colleagues should have made international headlines in life, not only in death.
This is a wonderful photo essay that show’s his life’s work.