Uh oh! That was my single thought as the dark coloured Toyota drove straight into the side of my car and pushed me onto the other side of the road. My thoughts rapidly advanced when my eyes focused on the two lanes of on coming traffic and I somehow managed to steer my half caved in car to the edge of the road. I think I even managed a head check.
Only a few days earlier I had played a dying car crash victim for a training course and the whole life imitating art really scared the crap out of me. Noticing the car just before it hit, hearing the screech of his tyres and the smash of metal and feeling the loss of control do not count among my favourite life moments. Though I am very grateful for the kindness of my family and friends (special shout out to DA, MS, JC, SS, BP, RH, BW, & SC) and for the comfort chocolate I justifiably consumed afterwards.
The accident happened on a Friday. Fridays are my day to pulled together our internal Global Emergency Monitor, which is a summary of all the current and breaking emergencies around the world. Between the ongoing nightmare in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the food crises in West and East Africa, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Haiti and Syria I selfishly didn’t feel like doing this report. I sat at my desk and took a moment to look at the picture of one of my sponsor children. She is eight years old and she lives in Gaza. A Google search told me her village is situated right in the middle of the bombing.
I don’t know enough to talk about the politics of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I am not smart enough to really understand my car insurance policy let alone the history of this troubled area. I am not even sure if I should be happy or concerned that Palestine has just been acknowledged as a state by the U.N.
I do know that the eyes of a young girl stare out at me from a photo that has travelled half way across the world to my letterbox. And they make me care more than I thought possible. Her hand written ‘I love you’ with a smiley face in bright pink texta makes me pay more attention to the news and to our government policies on aid, development, and foreign affairs.
I’ve had a lot of stupid thoughts over my life. When I was a kid I thought I could re-jig the toilet flush to sound like a car engine so it wouldn’t scare me as much at night. As a teenager I thought stuffing my bra with tissues, money and my house key was a practical solution to increasing their size and not having to carry a hang bag. As a sometimes-mature adult I continue to have stupid thoughts. I often think the packaging on the Lindt chocolate wrapper would make an awesome wedding dress. As I am writing this though my thoughts are only of a little girl in Gaza. Will she receive the Christmas card and stickers I just sent? Will she ever know that a stranger on the other side of the world has spent the past two weeks searching the Internet to try to understand why she is living under the threat of bombs?