Sometimes you lose your voice. And I lost mine about a month ago.
When I was a child in Bangladesh, 2 days before it saw peace, I cowered with my family on a rooftop in Dhaka. It was the middle of the night and there were men with guns in our house. In the darkened house below us, my father stood on top of the landing holding what little money we had with us. Al Badr were downstairs. They never came upstairs. Instead they beat my cousin who had answered the door. Then they left – too afraid to climb the darkened stairs.
That day I almost lost my father. We were saved only by the cowardice of those who had come for him. Last winter I went to New Jersey to hear from those who had their fathers taken away that night.
When I was just a few years older, in independent Bangladesh, I saw a man in a bazaar lying on the ground. He was in pain. He had some sort of tubes coming out of his abdomen, and he was just lying there screaming in pain. No one helped him. Curious onlookers gawked and then moved on. I moved on.
One day as we were driving from the city to visit our village we came across a traffic jam. Apparently a truck had broken down and a line of cars had formed behind it. While we were waiting a short stubby man came out of the car in front of ours. He had the air of someone important. He approached the broken down truck, opened the door, and pulled the driver out. He then took off his shoe and started hitting the driver with it. The truck driver, a much bigger man, never once struck back.
This is the world we live in. And that day when I saw the truck driver being struck the child that I was vowed to change that world.
Sometimes I forget that I made that vow. Life can do that to you.
A little over a week ago I was blessed to finally meet my blogging friend Ingrid, her wonderful husband James, and their two lovely children. Ingrid and I have been communicating since I first started blogging. She is one of the original members of Bloggers Against Torture. It was a joy to finally meet over that coffee we have been planning for about two years.
It made me want to start writing again.
Today I heard from a friend in distress. The video above is for my friend. Don’t despair. Life is about possibilities. And I’ll walk that mile with you.
In the meantime, I have some writing to do. I hope you will keep reading.