“I write what I like” ~ Steve Biko.
April is National Poetry month. The poet has a particular way with words, chooses them with care and precision so as to paint a picture with as few brush strokes as possible. I have been thinking recently how fortunate the writer is. An artist has to buy expensive supplies: canvas; paints and paintbrushes. Often they need a particular environment in which to paint. A musician needs pricey instruments and if they wish to publish their music, they need access to a studio and all of those associated costs. Today a writer can reach thousands through a blog, and so long as they have access to the internet they can practice their art with very little added expense.
In the 1970’s, the price paid by South African Steve Biko to write what he liked was his life. An outspoken activist, he organized the Black People’s Convention, which worked to improve the conditions for South Africans, and provided legal and medical aid for the oppressed majority. He died as a result of injuries received at the hands of the ‘security forces’. What a contrast to the present time. Do we value our freedom? Do we make the most of these opportunities that we take for granted? Do we continue to speak out when we see injustice in the world? Or do we stay in our own comfort zones, and only speak out if one of our own is affected?
At the end of a week when our security has been shattered by an act of terrorism, it may be difficult to appreciate that we are indeed blessed. Despite this tragedy, for the most part we live our lives in expectation of being able to plan for the future. For the people of Syria, they live their lives with a totally different awareness. In the first week of April the death toll in Syria was 825.
As we sit transfixed by our TV screen, we need to be aware that we are still very blessed in contrast to many other areas of the world. Let us take a moment to appreciate what we have, and be grateful for another day, another opportunity to celebrate life. And let us also remember that life is precious and fragile. We need to make the most of the present, celebrating our friendships and our families, and finding joy in the many pleasures of our life.
Have a fantastic Friday, family, and a great weekend.