Recently, I watched a movie that I will probably post about in my next Friday Night Movie Review that I would never had watched if I had not decided on a policy of watching any 99 cent movie on Apple TV as long as I had not seen it before and it did not sit in a genre that I really cannot stomach.
With this in mind, I scrolled through the feed of podcasts from Scroobius Pip that I had skipped over when I first discovered it and decided to listen to a couple of interviews with names I did not recognize, and one of these was Jodi Ann Bickley.
This was a young woman, who at the age of 23 was beginning to carve out an identity for herself as a spoken word artist and who had attended a number of festivals over one busy summer in the UK. Two weeks after returning home, she finally visited the doctor because she was feeling so dreadful, only to discover that red marks on her arms had not been caused by a mosquito but a tic. In that moment her life changed forever.
Since the 9/11 attacks, I have a strict policy on not watching the news before I go to work, because arriving at your desk after you have been crying for half an hour is not always the best way to start the day, but today I started listening to an interview with a quietly spoken, unassuming woman, who decided in a dark moment that she would change the direction of her life and although it did make me cry, it was also so lovely that I did not care about the mascara running down my face.
If you want to follow the story, then you can do what I did and listen to the podcast or you can visit a blog about the project that she has done, which is called One Million Lovely Letters – as if she is not writing enough. She also did a TED talk about the project she set up.
I have a lot of conversations with a lot of different people and someone today said to me that the world, in all its madness, with the divisions and terrorism is not a place they recognize from their youth. I understand that sentiment – there seems to be a lot of hatred about.
But babies are not born wth hatred in their hearts, they learn it. Lines are drawn, sides are taken, friends and families are torn apart and yet the human capacity for love is also strong. There are many more than one million lovely people in the world, all of whom experience love. Maybe every now and again we could remind ourselves of that fact by focusing on what we have in common, other than by what divides us. It would certainly make turning the news on in the morning a more enjoyable experience.