Democracy

loud-hailerI’m easing myself into work today – slightly reluctantly doing the things that really DO have to happen this side of the weekend, and I’ve just had an exchange with a quite extraordinary person.  I’d like to nominate what he told me he did yesterday as my daily moment of note.

The man in question is a campaigner and human rights activist who kindly agreed to contribute to a project I’m managing (doubtless more on which throughout the year), by doing a tiny bit of embroidery.

He agreed to stitch one word; DEMOCRACY and spent his entire first day of 2015 trying to do it.  He managed just the first three letters.

Reason being – through the course of his work he has sustained major eye and brain injuries through being beaten at the hands of Mugabe’s thugs and by neo-Nazi’s in Russia. He has received arson threats at his home, yet still tirelessly campaigns.

His hands shake, and his eyesight is limited. So of course stitching small letters onto a very feint pattern would be hard. Each time he threaded the needle it took 20 minutes.

It astonishes me that a man like this would give over a whole day to contributing to a work of art.  Not only because his time is precious and the work he does is so vital, but also because he put himself through pain, stress and anxiety trying to do so. His efforts, magnanimity and respect have given me pause for thought and made my day.

His motto: “Don’t accept the world as it is. Dream about what the world could be – then help us make it happen.” Now there’s a new years resolution to think on.

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