17183802267_f93427a13e_o.jpg

Maddy Douglass

Knitter and lawyer in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, culture, and cheese plates.

"Say what you mean, mean what you say." 

Β 

An elephant never forgets (man is not an elephant.)

Ok kids, here we are again. Maddy has a blog, Maddy is all pumped to write, Maddy hopefully does not flake on it after only two weeks and after resorting to various lazy picture-posts. ALLONS-Y.

I've decided to make some pre-New Year's resolutions in the hopes that, unlike all other resolutions which fall by the wayside somewhere between the egg nog season and spring break, they will actually turn into habits and thus be sustainable. One of these pre-NY's resolutions (a "pre-habit" if you will) is to wake up early enough to make coffee and read the newspaper.

This morning, I succeeded! Success! It happened. And thus, I read an article entitled "Remembering the terror in Mumbai" by Warren Kozak. People, here is where I would link said article. I CANNOT FIND IT. Wall Street Journal can plug its subscriptions ten times per page but cannot produce an article I read TODAY in print. Anyway.

This article was short, but it impacted me greatly for several reasons:

1. It reminded me that the Mumbai terror attacks happened. At the time, I remember reading all the news articles, all the updates, watching all the TV specials. It terrified me. I am NOT a comfortable traveler and my mother's predisposition (sorry mom) to presume the worst has kept us all safe but (for me at least) slightly afraid of all the crazies out there. So, imagine, my worst fear splashed across the news - getting taken hostage in a hotel. IN A HOTEL. Where you think, there has to be security, or some measure of safety, because who cares about a hotel? And then getting shot in the head. With no warning. These are literally my worst fears - being murdered in a completely unlucky act by people with whom you have no possibility of reasoning. And somehow, in the hustle and bustle of law school (which wipes your mind of all things real world), it became just another news story that had happened one day. I don't think I'd thought about it since 2008, even though countless lives were changed because of it. That is saddening.

2. It reminded me how quickly the WORLD can forget about events. HELLO there was a giant Tsunami in Japan not so long ago, and yet it has lost all of our attention. HELLO Haitian earthquake anyone? Miley Cyrus is the only one who still visits. And let's not forget that HURRICANE KATRINA, which happened a measly 6 years ago, is still affecting residents of New Orleans but the only thing most people remember about that town is that Bourbon street rages on. It seems insane that so much can happen, all the time, and the news cycle obsesses about it and then drops it. How is anything supposed to improve when the audience has such a short attention span? How can problems truly be resolved, relief aid truly be given, when the average crisis is given 3 weeks of reporting (my made-up statistic) and then dropped because it's not a "trendy problem" anymore? It makes me feel so confused (and a little sickened) that our culture has gotten so out of whack that even world crises are commercialized and then discarded. (However, let me admit my pseudo-hypocrisy: I definitely bought little stretchy bracelets to support the oil spill relief effort for the Gulf. I participated in the commercialism. Fact.)

3. Finally, it reminded me that there is always hope. I have always been a glass-half-full girl, but sometimes it's easy to get lost in the complexities of life and begin to doubt - yourself, your contribution, your purpose. The reason this article resonates so deeply with me is the last sentence: "Great darkness must be challenged with bright light." Through the story of a couple who was murdered in the Jewish Chabad House during the attacks, the Rabbi being interviewed conveyed the most hopeful, inspiring message of perseverance. Though the scale is off when applying that message to my own life, it is never cliche to remember that the only way to survive all of this is to persevere. Giving up - on life, on love, on bettering yourself, on striving for greatness - doesn't accomplish anything. The Rabbi talked about how these Chabad couples are sent into the community to set an example, to be a role model for a better way of living, not to simply proselytize. Directly after the murder of this generous, loving couple, another couple stepped in to take their place. Instead of fearing the potential horrors of life, and backing away from their cause, they continued to hold fast to their beliefs. I wish this article could be mandatory reading, for everyone. Ever.


Let those bright lights shine on, readers. They'll do good someday.

md

Learning about the "Statement Nail"

Until I have more energy

0