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Friday, May 17, 2013

Congregating.....it's what we humans do

I've been to two large events recently.  Both affected me significantly, though in different ways.  The power of a large number of people is impressive.

The first event was the Avon Walk for Cancer.  I walked last year and volunteered to crew this year.  They were very different experiences and I'm glad I did both (and might even do them both again).  I was struck during closing ceremonies that nearly 25000 people were gathered by the Washington Monument because of one shared sad common event that happened to them all.  Either they themselves or a family member or a friend had experienced the devastation that breast cancer brings.  For some it wasn't all bad.  Others were still obviously coping with it all.  But overall it was a very positive event.  While I was cheering the walkers - several of whom were obviously still in treatment, others were survivors and others had different reasons for walking - the sadness was there but there were so many smiles, so many stories.  One man had a pair of sneakers attached to his back pack.  He used to walk with his wife when she was going through treatment.  Then she died.  He keeps her shoes with him.  One woman walked past, cane in hand, slightly stooped and walking slowly.  But she was WALKING.  It was pretty amazing.

The second event was seeing the Dalai Lama at the University of Maryland.  Nearly 15000 peaceful people were there to hear his words and his laugh.  It was this large arena full of love.  His words were calming yet clear. His demeanor was charming.  He's not threatening in any way - yet there were tons of security. Living in the DC area, security is nothing new.  But this was impressive.  State police everywhere.  Local county police.  Other kinds of police that I didn't readily recognize.  Big time security.  But so much love that when I went to the ladies room following the event, women were holding the stall doors open for each other.  So much love it extended to the restrooms.  There was SO MUCH LOVE that when I asked one of the people I was with if she would share her pictures with me (we point had small point and shoot cameras), the guy sitting behind us offered to share his professional pics with us.  And then he did it!

Now, if only I could get this love-will-change-the-world feeling to stay......


Thank you Cyrus Ameri!

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