I think there’s a mythology that if you want to change the world, you have to be sainted, like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ordinary people with lives that go up and down and around in circles can still contribute to change.
Category Archive: October 9
Landmines are different from other conventional weapons. When a war is over, the landmines stay in the ground and continue to kill – for decades.
My desk, most loyal friend thank you. You’ve been with me on every road I’ve taken. My scar and my protection.
Landmines distinguish themselves because once they have been sown, once the soldier walks away from the weapon, the landmine cannot tell the difference between a soldier or a civilian – a woman, a child, a grandmother going out to collect firewood to make the family meal.
Even soldiers from the Vietnam War had said that when they were fighting in that war, the landmine was just one of any number of weapons to use in the fighting. It wasn’t until they began to think about the aftermath and the legacy of landmines that they recognized the long-term, indiscriminate impact of the weapon.
By the late 1980s, there was the beginning of awareness about a significant global landmine problem, and small steps were being taken to try to deal with the problem.
And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity, which is after all where this train is going.
Since World War II, most of the conflicts in the world have been internal conflicts. The weapon of choice in those wars has all too often been landmines – to such a degree that what we find today are tens of millions of landmines contaminating approximately 70 countries around the world.
I believe that worrying about the problems plaguing our planet without taking steps to confront them is absolutely irrelevant. The only thing that changes this world is taking action.
To learn to get along without, to realize that what the world is going to demand of us may be a good deal more important than what we are entitled to demand of it – this is a hard lesson.