Sunday 14 August 2011

Truly Humble

Relatives of those killed in Birmingham riots again appealed for calm.  Tariq and Abdul also talked about being 'truly humbled' by the response from people, nationally and internationally, writing to their families. It was moving and inspiring to hear them speak with such clarity so soon after his loss.

We're on holiday and have missed the riots in our home town of Birmingham. Here on the Isle of Skye we have experienced a different sort of 'humbling'. The weather has been pretty mixed, but whatever it's brought, together with the colossal landscape, we have felt humbled. Looking out to sea, across the glacial landscape, or up to the ever changing skies, we've felt pretty small.

Feeling humbled isn't just about feeling small. It's also about feeling a small part of something bigger. The people who wrote to a father in mourning felt the need to communicate their feelings and offer their support.

I didn't write to Tariq or Avdul's family, but I do write letters for Amnesty.  Writing letters for Amnesty sometimes feels like a futile gesture - there's not much we can achieve as individuals or even as large groups, and that's frustrating. It is humbling to know you can do so little. Sometimes we get some good news about a campaign. What you write or do will probably have little or no effect, but feeling only a small, humble, part of the world, or humanity, means everything.

Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media