In the first, a man shared his experience as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. They had landed in a field, and two prisoners were presented. No one seemed to know what to do with them. One was a grandfather, weighing maybe 100 pounds. The other, his grandson, was perhaps twelve. They had offered water from their well, but because it was dirty, there was a fear of poison, so they were brought in. Water offered. Water rejected, or received. When do we offer water to others? When do we trust? What do we drink?
In another of the speeches, a man spoke of what it would be like to live in Syria. He created what life is like there by using members of our club. Two members were absent. He said they were in jail. One man, who is likable and well-loved, was pointed out as a moderate, and therefore a threat. He was jailed. Another man's son had thrown a stone. He was jailed, and his father was given the good news. He wasn't tortured before he was killed. I can't convey how chilling this all felt. It was visceral, and I still feel a little sick.
What I've gained is even more appreciation of my life, and of where I live. We quibble over a great many things in this country, but we are still allowed to quibble. I am grateful to live where I can still speak without fear of torture, banishment, death, or jail. I am with the glass of water. I pray we recognize we share one planet; we drink from one glass.