Tuesday miscellany

Reading Martin Luther King’s views on hate are instructive. The energy it takes to keep up a hatred is debilitating. In essence, it is more destructive to the hater than the intended target of the hate.

Just think about it. There are people who truly despise some politicians, but it does not bother the politicians as much. It is just one more person. However, it bothers the hater more. The only thing that bothers the politician is public humiliation. That, and being voted out of office.

We have entered an age where politicians don’t pay much attention to voters. They pay attention to funders and what PR people tell them to pay attention to. The number of town halls has declined. When you email a concern, you check off on a subject from a list and you get a pre-worded response. I have gotten a number of the identical emails based on the box checked, even though the actual issue may be different.

It reminds me from a line from the movie “Hunt for Red October” where a commander said the other submarines were not listening to the response of their sonar “pings” as they were moving too fast. The commander said they could go right over my daughter’s stereo and would not hear it. That is how I feel about the elected officials. They are not listening.

So, we have to make them pay attention. We have to use every means of communication to say to these politicians the truth matters and we are not hearing enough of it from you. We also need to say we need you to work together and stop the tribal BS as that is precisely what it is. Truth be told, we have too many elected officials who may have won, but they exhibit time and again they do not belong there. They consistently make inane and mean-spirited remarks.

There is an old line I like which applies to any group of people. If someone acts like a jerk most of the time, they better be good at what they do, as most people will not tolerate their BS if they are not. Sadly, we have folks who do both. They have made their voices irrelevant and ignorable.

I know we are supposed to pay attention what politicians say, but for too many it is a waste of time. When I see the picture of these folks on an article, I pass it by. My reaction is this person either said one more dumb thing, denigrated one more person or group, or both. I will let you figure out who I am speaking of as they may match up with what you feel.

So, when one of those people use as means of defense, “they just don’t like me,” that trivializes the argument. In truth, I don’t like being lied to, especially when I know the person is lying. And, I certainly don’t like people acting like a jerk when they do. I have little time for such verbiage and action. If politicians want to be taken seriously, they should act in a serious-minded way. Otherwise, just stop talking or tweeting.

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Gumpish questions – a reprise

The following post was written three years ago in 2019. It still has relevance, in my view.

I have written a few posts on asking more why questions, but let me define a few dumb questions, in the spirit of a fictitious character, Forrest, Forrest Gump. It is amazing how these questions don’t leap off the news pages or out of cyberspace.

In know particular order…

Help me understand how the president can cause a problem, then get kudos (or claim such), when he solves (or lessens) his own problem?

Forrest Gump answered his drill sergeant’s question of his purpose? “To do exactly what you tell me to do, drill sergeant!” The drill sergeant called Gump a “genius” for his answer.

Help me understand how one of the largest US Christian denominations cannot resolve conflict and will be splitting in two? What message does that send?

Forrest Gump’s girl Jenny gave Forrest the best answer to danger. What should he do? “Run, Forrest, run.”

Help me understand how legislators, presidential candidates and current president don’t seem to care that our annual deficit and debt are exploding?

Forrest’s mama answered her son’s question of what is his destiny? “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.”

How can people not see the intense and elongated forest fires in Australia, Brazil and California and not think we have a new paradigm with our heating planet?

Forrest got a Purple Heart. When asked where he was shot, he said “I got shot in the buttocks. They said it was a million dollar wound, but I haven’t seen any of that money.”

How can people feel that putting a face on an opposing argument, then beating on that person can pass for reasoned counter argument (think Al Gore and Greta Thunberg)?

Lieutenant Dan showed up at dockside to honor his promise that he would be Forrest’s first mate if he got a shrimp boat. He told Forrest he wanted to get his “sea legs.” Forrest said, “But, you don’t have no legs.” “Yes, I know this,” Lt. Dan replied.

Help me understand why important people are so cavalier with their reputations by spending time with Jeffrey Epstein and underage girls (think Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton)?

Forrest answered Bubba’s mother when she asked “if he was crazy or just plain stupid?” Forrest uttered his classic line, “Stupid is as stupid does.” That is a profound statement.

Let me close with another Forrest observation. One of the key parts of the story is his relationship with Bubba, an African-American man he met in Vietnam. There is a metaphor in the middle of the movie, where Bubba asks Forrest to lean his back up against his, so that they both could sleep sitting up and stay out of the mud. Reminds me of a song called “Lean on me.” If we just do more of that, we can both stay out of the mud.

I’ve loved you so long – a movie surprise

My wife and I watched a French movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas called “I’ve loved you so long.” If you don’t mind movies with subtitles, this an excellent and unexpected movie, with Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein playing the lead roles as two sisters. Here is brief summary from Wikipedia, which holds back some as to not reveal too much plot

“When Juliette Fontaine, formerly a doctor, is released from prison, her younger sister Léa invites her to stay with her family – including her husband, his mute father, and their two adopted Vietnamese daughters – in their home in the university town of Nancy in Lorraine. Why Juliette was in prison is revealed slowly throughout the film,” but it is told upfront that she was in prison for fifteen years, so it was a serious crime (my editing).

“Léa, a college professor of literature, is considerably younger than Juliette. Because of the nature of Juliette’s crime, their parents denied Juliette’s existence and refused to allow Léa to visit her. In addition, Juliette had refused to speak throughout her trial. As a result, Léa knows nothing about the circumstances surrounding the crime and, when pressed for details, Juliette refuses to discuss what happened until the end of the film.”

The movie is primarily about two sisters who are rekindling their strong bond from before the imprisonment, especially with the younger sister not knowing many of the events and surrounding stories of earlier life with her sister. But, it is also about Juliette befriending two men who understand more about what she went through, without knowing all the details. Luc is a colleague of Léa’s (played by Serge Hazanavisius) and Captain Fauré, her parole officer played by Frederic Pierrot. Laurent Grévill plays Michel, Léa’s husband who shares his concerns over the arrangement early on.

We do not mind subtitles, so movies like this are enjoyable. Although Scott Thomas is an English actress, her French is excellent and this is the second movie we have seen where she speaks only French. We both think she plays melancholy roles so well. The movie is compelling and does require some tissue as the revelations are made toward the end. The title is indicative of the two sisters affection for one another that had been missing for so long. It is definitely worth the look. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 88 rating, while other watcher sources rank it highly, as well.

When sermons miss the mark so badly on a practical level

Loretta Lynn passed away during 2022. She was a prolific songwriter who someone once said she wrote uniquely with two choruses often in a song. She may also have been one of the first feminists per a documentary on her life. Why do they say that? She had four kids by the time she was 18 years old. And, after its invention and improvement, she wrote a song about taking control of her destiny for all women to heed – “The Pill.” Here is the second stanza:

“All these years I’ve stayed at home
While you had all your fun
And every year thats gone by
Another babys come
There’s a gonna be some changes made
Right here on nursery hill
You’ve set this chicken your last time
‘Cause now I’ve got the pill”

Strident ministers who want married couples to only have conjugal relations to procreate are very out of touch with their congregations, no matter how pious the followers might be. People are going to have these relations regardless of what any minister might say, especially if they follow along with Ms. Lynn’s line of thinking. By the way, those ministers who belong to the Southern Baptist Convention may want to explain why there was a sex scandal and cover-up therein for so many years.

Not to be outdone, the Catholic Church has long been a proponent of this same message, but at least recognized that married couples are going to have sex. Yet, the church strongly condemns artificial means of birth control advocating the very ineffective rhythm method where couples try to time conjugal relations with the wife’s menstrual cycle. There is a reason for large Catholic families. Of course, premarital sex is a preached no-no in the view of the church and in other religions.

Yet, the last poll I saw about American Catholic women noted that 90% of the women disagreed with the church’s position on this issue. They were more inclined to heed the instruction of Loretta Lynn using the pill or some other means. The result does not surprise me, but the 90% magnitude of support does.

Watching old movies and TV shows, it is not uncommon to see a plot line around a teen girl or young women who gets pregnant being an outcast, while the sower of the seed not being condemned at all. Even when said sower forces his will shy of rape, he is not held to the same standard as the woman who gave into the same temptation. In the Catholic Church there are numerous movies (see “Philomena” or “Oranges and Sunshine”) about a girl’s child being taken away without her permission throughout the last century. These movies made me ill that a pious group of leaders could be so mean-spirited.

So, we must ask our leaders to be more in line with what is happening in general society. It is OK to teach abstinence before marriage, but to not recognize that people are going to have sex regardless of what a leader might think is just naive and out of touch. Just think of that 90% figure for American Catholic women. And, taking this one step further what two married people (or consenting adults) do behind closed doors is none of a church leader’s business. It only matters if there is domestic violence and someone is getting hurt.

Having worked with homeless working families I know first-hand a statistically supported truism. There is a causal relationship between increased poverty risk and increased family size. It is not just a correlation, it is causal. Full stop. I have long been a believer of teaching pragmatic sex education, even if done in a church setting. If people want to call this planned parenthood, that is more than fine.

Teach boys and girls that self-esteem is not tied to having sex before you want to. Teach girls how to say “no” and to lessen pressure and teach boys what “no” means. Teach them that some partners are more about bragging on a sexual conquest than quietly expressing love or intimacy. Teach them the facts about how easy it is to get pregnant. Teach them the various means of birth control, their pros and cons and how to use them. Teach them not to take a drink at a party from someone you don’t know or to overdo it. And, it is OK for religious groups to teach abstinence, but they need to be realistic about its veracity and teach the other things.

Loretta speaks the truth from a position of knowledge and experience. Women must be in control of their bodies. When people in power try to deny this, they are doing a disservice to women. I do know if men could get pregnant, they would not favor a leader telling them what to do with their bodies. And, realizing what women go through, these men would be strongly in favor of birth control means.

A few thoughts on a rainy Sunday

As I type upstairs underneath a sky light which is being pummeled by the constant rain, it offers a serene mood inducing backdrop with the screen illuminated by a small lamp nearby. Since I use an older laptop, some of the keys are missing, so I need to see them as I type to assure I hit them. Missing a few keys does alter the passwords I choose.

In no particular order, I have a few rainy day thoughts.

I read where the actress and singer Irene Cara died yesterday at the age of 63. It hit me a little harder than some other celebrity deaths as I remember Cara as the young and youthful looking student from the movie “Fame” as she sang the title song. Around that same time, she also sang the theme from the movie “Flash Dance” called “What a feeling.” Both of these movies were about the newfound angst of young adults and older teens as they made their way forward, so to see Cara pass before I did is unsettling.

My wife and I caught the beginning of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony after seeing only the last two-thirds before. In particular, I wanted to see Pat Benatar and her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo get inducted. Not only did the two make powerful music using her marvelous voice and chutzpah and his excellent play, but they have lived a wonderful life as a couple complete with kids and grandkids. They obviously are in love even still and also can still belt out some good old rock and roll.

The other thing that struck me about this year’s awards, is the number of top-drawer female artists who attended to honor the inductees such as Benatar, Dolly Parton, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon and a couple of music producers that helped women with their careers. Just to name a few, Pink, Sheryl Crow, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Mary J Blige, and Brandi Carlisle, all took active rolls in honoring the new inductees. These women were inspired by the inductees and it was nice to see them sing word for word the songs performed.

During the ceremony, they also paid tribute to lesser known African-American artists who influenced many, but never got acclaim due to the Jim Crow era. One such person was Elizabeth Cotten, a left-handed guitarist who played a right-handed guitar upside down. We saw footage of Pete Seeger speaking with her as well as watching her enormous skill as she played, rhythm, lead and bass at the same time on the guitar. Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family used the method called the “Carter Clutch,” but she self-confessed learning it from some African-American players in the mountains where she was raised. As an aside, Duane Allman, an excellent guitarist, taught his kids the “Carter Clutch” years after she passed.

I was fortunate to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland with my oldest son. We were there four and 1/2 hours and never were bored. The best part is where you get to listen to snippets of who influenced these performers in contrast to how and what they played. If you love music, I encourage you to go.

Now, stay warm and dry today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cotten

From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes – Robert Clary’s story – an encore (may he RIP)

The following is an encore post from this summer to honor the amazing life of actor and holocaust survivor and advocate, Robert Clary, who passed away yesterday at age 96.

For those of us who grew up in the 1960s or watched a lot of reruns on television, there was a comedy show about a prisoner of war camp in Germany during World War II called “Hogan’s Heroes.” One of its stars was a diminutive and funny character named Corporal LeBeau, played by French actor Robert Clary. Yet, while a POW camp is a not a concentration camp where Jews were exterminated, Clary also had the horrid experience of being a survivor of the real Holocaust in a camp called Buchenwald.

I learned this watching a movie made in 1982 called “Remembrance of Love” starring Kirk Douglas, Chana Eden and Pam Dawber where two young lovers were split apart by the Nazis and Douglas’s character went to a Holocaust event in Israel to see if she was still alive. Clary played himself in the film as an ambassador to these Holocaust survivors.

Per Wikipedia, here is Clary’s early story:

“Born in 1926 in Paris, France, Clary was the youngest of 14 children, 10 of whom would die in the Holocaust. At the age of twelve, he began a career singing professionally on a French radio station and also studied art in Paris. In 1942, because he was Jewish, he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Ottmuth, in Upper Silesia (now Otmęt, Poland). He was tattooed with the identification ‘A5714’ on his left forearm. He was later sent to Buchenwald concentration camp.

At Buchenwald, he sang to an audience of SS soldiers every other Sunday, accompanied by an accordionist. He said, ‘Singing, entertaining, and being in kind of good health at my age, that’s why I survived. I was very immature and young and not really fully realizing what situation I was involved with … I don’t know if I would have survived if I really knew that.

Writing about his experience, Clary said,

‘We were not even human beings. When we got to Buchenwald, the SS shoved us into a shower room to spend the night. I had heard the rumours about the dummy shower heads that were gas jets. I thought, ‘This is it.’ But no, it was just a place to sleep. The first eight days there, the Germans kept us without a crumb to eat. We were hanging on to life by pure guts, sleeping on top of each other, every morning waking up to find a new corpse next to you. … The whole experience was a complete nightmare — the way they treated us, what we had to do to survive. We were less than animals. Sometimes I dream about those days. I wake up in a sweat terrified for fear I’m about to be sent away to a concentration camp, but I don’t hold a grudge because that’s a great waste of time. Yes, there’s something dark in the human soul. For the most part, human beings are not very nice. That’s why when you find those who are, you cherish them.'”

Clary published a memoir, From the Holocaust to Hogan’s Heroes: The Autobiography of Robert Clary, in 2001. Rather than summarize his career before and after “Hogan’s Heroes,” I encourage you to link to the Wikipedia article on his behalf. He was often asked to distinguish between the fictional POW camp and the real concentration camp he survived.

“Stalag 13 is not a concentration camp. It’s a POW camp, and that’s a world of difference. You never heard of a prisoner of war being gassed or hanged. When the show went on the air, people asked me if I had any qualms about doing a comedy series dealing with Nazis and concentration camps. I had to explain that it was about prisoners of war in a Stalag, not a concentration camp, and although I did not want to diminish what soldiers went through during their internments, it was like night and day from what people endured in concentration camps.”

To this day, there are people with hard-hearted and hateful motives who want people to believe the Holocaust did not happen, that over 6 million Jews, gays and lesbians and gypsies were not exterminated by the Nazis in World War II. This is not only a blatant attempt at disinformation, it truly is evil. It is on par with people trying to white wash all the bad things in history committed by humans against one another and the Holocaust ranks as one of the greatest atrocities in our history. These Jews and others were arrested, stripped, starved and gassed, because of some lunatic idea set forth by Adolph Hitler and his henchmen.

Interestingly, Clary remains alive and well at the age of 96, one of the last two survivors from the “Hogan’s Heroes” show. Yet, he said he still has nightmares at this age and lost many of his siblings due the Nazi genocide. We must never forget what happened to Clary and his family among the multiple millions of Jews and others that were impacted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clary

Anna’s Time – a movie about mental illness and romance

My wife and I often watch foreign films with subtitles due to interesting storylines and dialogue. And, at our age and state of hearing, we don’t mind subtitles to begin with. We came across another movie that touched our hearts called “Anna’s Time,” about a true love story in Switzerland written by the granddaughter of the couple. The theme of the movie involves mental illness long before it became more appropriate to recognize and discuss.

In French, the movie title is “Le temps d’Anna.” The story was written by Noemie Kocher and was directed by Greg Zglinski. An overview of the films follows:

“Canton of Neuchâtel, 1917 to 1933. A young watchmaker falls head over heels with a mysterious young woman. Jean and Anna get married, love each other madly and go through all life experiences together, supported by their happiness and friends at their side. Jean wants to invent a new waterproof watch, and the future looks promising. But Anna suddenly seems to suffer from a strange sickness which gets worse each day. Will Jean’s love for her be enough to save her?”

Jean is played by Mathieu Simonet with Anna played by Gaelle Bona. Theirs is a love story that begins with two chance meetings about three years apart. Yet, Jean’s friendship with his two watchmaking colleagues, Abraham (played by Jean-Charles Clichet) and Gaspard (played by Baptiste Coustenoble) and Anna’s with her friend Elisabeth (played by Isabelle Caillat) are key parts to the story.

Without giving too much away beyond the challenge you sense Anna has reasonably early in the movie, the movie draws you into the life of a loving husband, but work-alcoholic inventor of watches, who realizes after much urging by his friends he must make more time for his troubled wife. Anna loves him dearly, but something is not right as she hears voices and goes into a depressive state quite easily. At first it is written off to post-partum depression after she has each of her four children, but it does not go away.

I will stop there. The movie is compelling and evocative. The love is present and obvious throughout, even though the husband can be distracted with his watches. Bona plays Anna well and takes you through a range of emotions from love, lust, anguish, confusion and ultimately realization. Check it out, but keep some tissue close by.

My guess is mental illness was just as present then as it is now. It is just recognized now and treated and managed. Per a behavioral psychologist colleague, one in five people will have some bout of mental illness in their lifetime. It may be depression, anxiety or paranoia they must deal with or it could be something more challenging like schizoid affective disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Often, people have multiple diagnoses.

The stigma still exists, but it is not even close to how it once evoked a reaction as evidenced in the movie. Fear of the unknown creates a denial defense mechanism all too often. Today, there is no shame in seeking help from a therapist qualified to offer it. Medication helps but is also best to govern that treatment with therapy. Talk with someone.

A few Gumpish questions – a reprise from January, 2020

I have written a few posts on asking more why questions, but let me define a few dumb questions, in the spirit of a fictitious chatacter, Forrest, Forrest Gump. It is amazing how these questions don’t leap off the news pages or out of cyberspace.

In no particular order…

Help me understand how the president can cause a problem, then get kudos (or claim such), when he solves (or lessens) his own problem?

Forrest Gump answered his drill sergeant’s question of his purpose? “To do exactly what you tell me to do, drill sergeant!” The drill sergeant called Gump a “genius” for his answer.

Help me understand how one of the largest US Christian denominations cannot resolve conflict and will be splitting in two? What message does that send?

Forrest Gump’s girl Jenny gave Forrest the best answer to danger. What should he do? “Run, Forrest, run.”

Help me understand how legislators, presidential candidates and current president don’t seem to care that our annual deficit and debt are exploding?

Forrest’s mama answered her son’s question of what is his destiny? “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.”

How can people not see the intense and elongated forest fires in Australia, Brazil and California and not think we have a new paradigm with our heating planet?

Forrest got a Purple Heart. When asked where he was shot, he said “I got shot in the buttocks. They said it was a million dollar wound, but I haven’t seen any of that money.”

How can people feel that putting a face on an opposing argument, then beating on that person can pass for reasoned counter argument (think Al Gore and Greta Thunberg)?

Lieutenant Dan showed up at dockside to honor his promise that he would be Forrest’s first mate if he got a shrimp boat. He told Forrest he wanted to get his “sea legs.” Forrest said, “But, you don’t have no legs.” “Yes, I know this,” Lt. Dan replied.

Help me understand why important people are so cavalier with their reputations by spending time with Jeffrey Epstein and underage girls (think Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton)? The other sad part is Ghislaine Maxwell should have known better than sourcing underage girls for Epstein’s exploitation The truth would likely frighten and repulse us.

In the middle of all the Vietnam shooting, Lt. Dan offered this pertinent advice to his troops. “Take care of your feet and don’t get yourself shot.” Amen, brother.

One of the traits of a narcissist is a defense mechanism known as projection. In other words, to deflect criticism, a narcissist indicts others with his faults to paint others in a bad light before he is so painted. There is no better explanation as to why the former president name calls and denigrates others.

Forrest answered Bubba’s mother when she asked “if he was crazy or just plain stupid?” Forrest uttered his classic line, “Stupid is as stupid does.” That is a profound statement.

The Hour – a British miniseries that captivates

“The Hour” is a miniseries which only lasted two years, but in my view it certainly was not due to the quality of the program, the actors or the story. More on that later.

Filmed about ten years ago, “The Hour” is set in the mid-1950s when the BBC was launching a “60 Minutes” type news show called the same name as the title and advertised as the most important hour of your week. It is well casted starring Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Domenic West. Here is the Wikipedia summary:

The Hour is a British television drama series broadcast on BBC. The series was centred on a then-new current-affairs show being launched by the BBC in June 1956, at the time of the Hungarian Revolution and Suez Crisis. It stars Ben WhishawDominic West, and Romola Garai, with a supporting cast including Tim Pigott-SmithJuliet StevensonBurn GormanAnton LesserAnna ChancellorJulian Rhind-Tutt, and Oona Chaplin. It was written by Abi Morgan (also one of the executive producers, alongside Jane Featherstone and Derek Wax).”

Whishaw is excellent in his role as Freddie Lyon, the sharp-minded crusading journalist looking for the truth and the real story. West is Hector Madden, the camera-friendly host who learns a great deal from Freddie and his boss Bel Rowley played by Romola Garai, as well as his patient and supportive wife Marnie played by Oona Chaplin. Madden’s philandering and drinking require as much as tolerance from Marnie as possible.

Garai is excellent in her role as she is supportive of Freddie as he often rubs people the wrong way. She is also human, so she makes relationship mistakes that make her job more challenging. Other key roles are played by the spin-doctoring PR man for the Prime Minister Angus McCain played by Julian Rhind-Tutt. The remaining recurring cast is excellent, as are the guest stars for the two seasons, especially Anton Lesser and Peter Capaldi.

The first season focuses on a underlying story of a Russian spy being somewhere in the BBC along with the other news stories of the day, in particular the Suez Canal crisis. In the second season, the underlying story is bribery and corruption in various halls of power.

The show is excellent and when it was canceled it caused a lot of consternation. I think the ratings fell off in the second season for one reason I won’t mention so as not to spoli it, but I found the storyline just as compelling as the first season’s. Outside of Freddie, my favorite character is Oona Chaplin’s Marnie. The stuff she has to put up from her husband is on a long list. Yet, she reveals what she always was, her own woman. The chemistry between Bel and Freddie and the other crew members on the news team (Anna Chancellor in particular) makes the show. The kindredship is compelling.

Give the show a try. There are only twelve episodes, six per season, so it won’t take long to go through them. If you have seen the show, tell me what you think. If you have not, beware of spoiler alerts in the comments.

Noble – a movie about a real hero named Christina Noble

My wife and I like to explore movies that ran beneath the radar. One called “Noble” caught our eye and it was well worth the watch, as it is a true story about a relatively unknown hero.

Per Wikipedia,Noble is a 2014 film written and directed by Stephen Bradley about the true life story of Christina Noble, a children’s rights campaigner, charity worker and writer, who founded the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in 1989. It stars Deirdre O’KaneSarah GreeneBrendan CoyleMark Huberman and Ruth Negga.

The film is set in Vietnam in 1989, fourteen years after the end of the war. Christina Noble flies into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), a country ‘that she wouldn’t be able to show you on a map.’ With a few dollars, her own hard-won courage, she is about embark on a life calling. The film explores her tough upbringing in Dublin and her early adult life in the UK. It is the inspirational true story of a woman who believes that it only takes one person to make a difference.”

Per The Guardian article called “Christina Noble: the woman who transformed the lives of 700,000 children,” by Joanna Moorhead, here is a quick summary of Noble.

“We all have dreams, but Christina Noble had a dream that was to transform not just her own life, but that of the lives of 700,000 children (and counting). At the height of the Vietnam war, in the 1970s, Christina went to bed after watching the news and dreamed she could go there and make a difference.

At the time she was raising three children of her own in Birmingham, working all hours as a waitress and coping with the fallout from an abusive marriage. She wasn’t rich, she wasn’t highly educated, she knew next to nothing about Vietnam and what was happening there and she had no skills that might have singled her out as someone who could do something useful in a country thousands of miles away. When she called an aid agency to tell them about her dream and to offer her services, they listened politely and said they would call back. Unsurprisingly, they never did.

The aid agency people weren’t to know it, but there was one qualification Christina had for the work she was volunteering for. She had endured a childhood of appalling suffering and from that had sprung a passion to help other children. ‘It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a gutter in Dublin or Ho Chi Minh City, it’s still a gutter,’ she says when we meet to talk about a film that has been made about her life. ‘What I want to do is get children out of the gutter because it’s no childhood at all – every child deserves love and cuddles and kindness and warm food and a bed, and every child has the right not to be afraid.’”

In today’s time, where we look to superior athletes and celebrities as heroes, it is awe-inspiring to see a real hero. Noble’s heart is matched by her tenacity to serve these kids, often not taking no for an answer after it is offered up time and again. I encourage you to either read-up on her life, watch this movie or both. Her name is apt as she has a noble cause which she fights for.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/13/my-700000-children