Linda Norgrove laid to rest must make us all stop and think about why we are here and what we can do to make a difference

Posted in SharonSpeak on October 29th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

For someone who has lived in the Highlands of Scotland, the sight of the slow, dignified, mourning party moving across the wild windswept landscape with the coffin of Linda Norgrove, evokes a thousand memories. The bleak, bold beauty of the Scottish Hebrides, with the low lying mists draped across the mountains, is an all pervading image. I found the people, the Highlanders, to have immense dignity, grit, and endurance, the quiet fortitude which can bear the blizzards and the death of one of their own in a tortured silence. Their wailing comes out in the wonderful Celtic song and poetry, when those the whisky driven nights explode with sudden unexpressed emotion, a bit like the the wild extremes of weather and landscape they live in from generation to generation.

They carried the coffin along a single track road passing the frame on which the box rested along the line of mourners in the Highland custom known as The Lift. This was a young woman who grew up in a village of 30 people, and went to help others on the opposite side of the world, returned to her own people, in death. They trudged in silence, a long way from the blinding white explosion that tore Linda Norgrove apart. At her funeral they said she brought Hope to the Hopeless. Were that there were more people like the dedicated Dr Norgrove in this hopeless world, and may her spirit live on, her compassion, empathy and devotion to the human race be an example to anyone who cares to stop and think about why they are here and what they can do to make a difference.

Gilad Shalit still languishes in a dark place where no one has had access to him for four years. On the other side of the world the chilean miners are freed

Posted in SharonSpeak on October 19th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

The Chilean miners are free, but Gilad Shalit still languishes in a dark place where no one has had access to him for four years. The Israeli soldier must be going through an unimaginable hell as the years tick by, his youth evaporates and his fear is a daily phenomenon. The Israeli Prime Minister must make this more of a priority. Shalit is a symbol of the push pull between Israel and Gaza and in the end Israel has to get her son home. There is a massive obligation to this soldier and his family and time must mean something entirely different to Gilad, than it means to the rest of us who wake up with choices. Human beings need to be psychologically and emotionally in touch with each other, our families, friends, society at large. It is crippling and killing to be in isolation and must test the deepest parts of oneself. None of us who are free can ever imagine what it must be like to be cut off from everything, in the hands of an enemy, and without any contact from the outside world. I think of Gilad a lot, not just for him as Gilad, but for the situation, for the many people suffering such a hideous fate.We must put huge pressure on the Governments and the influential powers that be, to help free this young, frightened, isolated man. Even the Chilean miners, in their subterranean hell, had each other and formed themselves into a society, and had the help of a nation and the sympathetic world. Gilad is all alone, inside his cell who knows where, and with so few voices crying or screaming out for him throughout the world. We must scream louder so someone will hear. God knows he must have cried and screamed enough times, with no one to listen.

Chilean miners, it’s a miracle

Posted in SharonSpeak on October 14th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

One by one they came back to life, out of their subterranean blackness into the light, 33 men who hung on buried under the rocks and kept each other together against the odds. It’s a story of immense courage and endurance. ” I was with God and with the devil. I fought between the two. I seized the hand of God, ” said one of the 33, Mario Sepulveda, the second man to be rescued. Such a tale has the power to make one weep, rejoice and believe in the goodness of humanity in spite of the rapes, massacres and killings we have come to digest on a daily basis across the planet. Such tales come back to remind us that men can cling to life and make it count and value it above all else, even when on the other hand they dispose of it with such hideous disdain. It makes one ask, What would you have been like underground for 69 days. Would you have given up in despair, gone mad, become aggressive, desperate, suicidal, unbearably claustrophobic ? These men pulled together and created a society with different roles and meaning. That was important. They lived down there in the underworld, the place that claims the souls of the departed, and knew they needed to keep to a routine and give their days meaning. For 17 days they survived on spoons of tuna and sips of milk. They lost an average of 22 pounds each. Every day was black as night and must have felt like an eternity. Now they are free but forever trapped inside the memories. Who knows how the offers of money for films, books, stories will affect their next 69 days. But they have come back to the world and it is a miracle. ” We are all Chilean rescuers and family now, : said Diego Maradona on Twitter from Argentina. ” Miracles do exist. ”