This morning started out with the terrific news that Jill Carroll was alive. Lately mornings have not brought good news in the pages of newspapers and on web sites. But, today was different and somehow brought some sanity back into an otherwise insane situation in Iraq.
Her captivity struck a chord with people in all countries of the world. Sometimes we see in others caught up in extraordinary circumstances something of ourselves or something of someone dear to us and we, without contact or proximity, form a bond with that person. I think such was the case with Jill Carroll. She, through the grainy videos from her captors and through the home videos of her that we were privileged to see, spoke to the most human part of all of us. All around the world, in the United States, in Europe, in the Middle East, in Africa, the Far East, people whether they be Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews or any other creed spoke up in support of Jill Carroll and demanded in one voice that she be released unharmed. It was a truly extraordinary moment – the world speaking with one harmonious voice in opposition to the plight of one innocent soul.
Sometimes it is hard to put our minds around all the chaos and killing and injustice happening all around us. At these times, when we are most overwhelmed, the disparate and sometimes powerless masses of the world collectively channel that anger, frustration and hope through the image of one who is able to lend focus to our hope. Jill Carroll, in her plight, caused all of us to pause and reconsider our spin into madness. In her plight, she did more good for this world than we could do for her. She did, for a brief moment, what Robert Kennedy asked all of us to do: "to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world." For that, Jill, my family and I celebrate today your freedom and wish you and your family peace and happiness for many years to come.