Tuesday, March 7, 2017

One Love.

This photo was taken in 2004 during my time in Baghdad, Iraq during an actual war. 127mm rockets (those are not small btw) crashed into our compound less than 100 meters from where I was standing within days of this. Ali Hashimi is an Iraqi, a Muslim, and one of the most kind and good hearted men I have been fortunate to know in this world. Last I heard he and his family has fled Iraq to the UK where his sister was living with her British husband; basically he became an Iraqi refugee. Every single day he braved the ever dangerous streets of the capital to bring much needed supplies and goods to our unit to help improve our quality of life. 
I'll never forget the day he rolled up to our headquarters with a washing machine tied to the roof of his little car. Finally, after months of washing clothes by hand in buckets we could at least have somewhat fresh uniforms to wear. The washers sucked, but at least they were 10x better than sloshing around clothes in a bucket like Little House on the Prairie. The good part was it was so hot and dry over in July and August everything line dried in about 30 minutes (albeit dusty; sand was a big problem). Ali also brought legit Iraqi food to our unit on several occasions, once even introducing us to his family. 
 As the unit's intelligence officer I was tasked with "vetting" this man to ensure he wasn't a threat to our security. I had a list of questions to ask him, but I had known him for a while and had no doubt about his intentions. We went through the process anyway. He had been a low level Baath party guy (all males were Baath party guys in Saddam's regime). Long story short: Trump's cabinet has more dirt on them than my homie Ali. 
 Where am I going with my random Tuesday night writing? I don't know, it's cathartic for me to let this stuff out every now and then. I'm saddened by the state of fear that exists in our nation today. There is a growing sense of being easily offended and attacking anyone with a differing belief system than our own. We are afraid of our neighbors, other races, religions, beliefs, anyone with contradictory values, and we have a regime... I mean adminiTwitterstration that flies off the handle with every damn thing. The lines separating us as humans are becoming ever so remarkably clear, and it's got. to. stop. There are two choices people. Love (or) Fear. That simple. Pick one. Look at life through the lens of love and you'll probably be much happier. Look at it through the lens of fear and you'll doubt everyone and everything. Even the hashtag #resist going around right now has negative connotations. It strikes a confrontational chord. We can do better than resisting. We can broaden. We can reach out. We can lend a hand. We can give. We can love. We can teach. We can soften. We can. We can. 
Bottom-line is people are people are people. We connect on a heart level, we all want to be happy, healthy, safe, and free. My heart goes out to those who suffer, in any of its' manifestations. May your thoughts be pure, may your words be kind, may your hearts be free from pain, may your actions be good, and may all beings everywhere know peace. One Love.