Monday 21 January 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Humanity is stronger than violence
Truth is stronger than evil
I have been enjoying reading Kate Adie’s autobiography, about her life as a reporter, journalist, and war correspondent for the BBC. Specifically, I have appreciated how her forays into risky areas inundated with human conflict of international proportions, significantly overlaps with the experiences and purposes of mission/aid workers. Here are some of her final thoughts from the book (p. 425, The Kindness of Strangers, 2002).

"I never expected to be a reporter…It’s an honourable trade, whose practitioners exchange a privileged position at significant events for the obligation of telling others exactly what has happened…you take away with you a sense of the wonder that survival and humanity are stronger than violence and suffering….Occasionally you get a little too close to stories, and your fellow man tries to swat you out of existence."

Reflection and Discussion
Change the word ‘reporter” in the above excerpt, to “mission/aid worker”.
Now comment on how one or more of the statements below can apply to mission/aid settings for you and others.”
**Speaking the truth—“telling others exactly what has happened”
**Knowing the limits of evil—“survival and humanity are stronger”
**Taking risks to know the truth—“your fellow man tries to swat you out of existence”

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