A new discovery in my own backyard – The Pirate Festival of Vallejo! So impressive to see so many people and such elaborated costumes in the 105 degrees’ weather. Luckily, ice creams, drinks and water melons were available everywhere, but the parrots and pet monkeys had to stay home!
60 million people are currently displaced because of war, persecution, famine, climate and other disasters. For those of us who cannot grasp numbers of such magnitude, that is roughly the entire population of France or that of the US West Coast if we include Arizona and Nevada.
You may feel helpless or think that it is not your problem. I would like to be bold and say that it is everybody’s problem. Not only is none of us an island – rather, we are all interconnected as humans and have a moral duty to help each other. These people could be us, might be us sooner than we know it. I truly feel that we cannot ignore the fact that there are 60 million souls out there who are traumatized, desperate, hurt, afraid, hungry, and angry. Many of them are children who have been separated from their families and have not received any love or education for years. What kind of people do you think they will grow up to be? Balanced, loving people ready to take on a job and participate in a daily routine? How do you think they will feel about us, the people who turned their backs on them? We are creating a whole generation of children who are living through horrors we cannot imagine and who are in deep need of a future. We must help ensure that this future holds kindness and hope. Failure in doing so, and pardon my cynicism, may very well create an army of millions of angry people and disillusioned souls who may not think very kindly on us.
I sadly have no children of my own, but am fully convinced that children are our future and that nothing is more important than our kids. History will judge how we chose to ignore refugees, how we refused to treat this planet like their (and our) future home and how we are at risk of failing the kids in our own backyard.
To this I say:
Unfortunately, it would seem that we will be covered in most needed rain tomorrow and so I will not have the great photo ops that I had last year in the little town of Benicia. People get very creative decorating their shops on Main Street for the annual competition and it is a fun and colorful experience to stroll up and down the street.
Each year, the town of San Rafael in Marin County closes off a couple of blocks for artists to show their immense talent at street painting during a weekend in June. I visited on the first day and would probably opt for the second day next time in order to see more finished works, but it was still amazing to witness all the talent, creativity and colors on this extremely hot summer day.