29 October 2014

'Love is a physical act and kindness is tangible.'

"I was having a Skype chat with my mother on Sunday. She was smiling from ear to ear, pleased that I was clean-shaven for the role I am currently playing. “I can see your lovely face,” she kept saying. She was also trying to share a bowl of peanuts with me by bumping it into the laptop’s monitor every few minutes. She has stage-two Alzheimer’s, you see. In that futile gesture, however, laid a thought. Love is a physical act. Kindness is tangible.

It seems to me that this is a concept that largely eludes many of us nowadays. We talk about the prudence of military action, of participating in the bombing of this faraway place or that. We use terms such as “surgical strike” and “collateral damage”. Anyone who is unsure about the wisdom of war is met with the response “fine then, let’s do nothing and let innocent people die”. But inaction is not the opposite of bombing, and indifference not the only alternative to war. Pointing to actively working to bring about peace as the alternative, in such a conversation, one is frequently met with a look or a comment that implies you live in some dreamworld where concepts like this exist.

Yet it is not so. To the thousands of people who volunteer at home and abroad, to the people marching to preserve a free and universal national health service, to the millions who care for their elderly relatives, to parents staying up with a child who has a fever, to my confused mother trying to feed her son through a Wi-Fi connection, love is a physical act and kindness tangible...."

Read the rest of this article by Alex Andreou at The Guardian 

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