Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to be a Warrior


Be like Sean Casey.  Sean Casey believes in something.  He believes that gay people around the world should be safe.  Since in many countries gay people are in danger of being killed or arrested for their sexual preference, Sean Casey goes to countries such as Rwanda, Pakistan, Lebanon, and coming soon, Afghanistan to help those people who live in constant fear.  Sean Casey doesn't sit around in his pajamas watching TV and thinking about what he could be doing but what a pain it would be to actually do it.  He just does it.  I want to be like Sean Casey.

Sean Casey is a suspected spy in some parts.  He's now in Rwanda where the general line about homosexuality is, "Oh, we don't have that here."  He is openly gay in a place where it is basically illegal.  He is a warrior for a cause he believes in, traveling a good 80 percent of his year to help people who live with out protection.  Sean Casey is pretty cool.

Sitting next to him I wonder to myself what, if anything, I feel that strongly about.  To go to Afghanistan you have to really freak your parents out.  You may even be just a bit scared yourself, and you would have some valid reasons to feel that way.  Afghanistan is a place you go because you have to.  You go there because what is driving you is so strong it gives you no choice.  If you had a choice, you'd stay home.  Who are these people who risk their lives and distance themselves from their loved ones to go to the most desperate corners of the earth and give help where help is needed?  I want to know more about them.

I left Rwanda this week and said goodbye to some pretty amazing warriors.  Some I met just briefly and others I encountered early on and saw on a daily basis.  Many I've mentioned in my weekly postings though a good deal remain unnamed.  My students are among them. The women I taught are heros.  What they have seen and survived would turn the strongest toward despair, but they carry on with beauty, grace, and laughter.  They are warriors and they are my heros.  They have shared their stories, given their time, and taken a risk by trying the practice of yoga, an exercise they had never heard of, with a young woman they had never met.  I wonder if I could do the same in their position.

How to be a warrior?  Be like Sean Casey, or be like them: take a risk, don't fear, be present, be open, be a beginner, believe in something, make it happen, be persistent, smile, laugh, love... LIVE



(Pictures from Rwanda and Stories from India coming soon.)

3 comments:

Savannah said...

So true Lara. It makes me ask myself, "How to I push myself?" I've got it easy because many people think living in Rwanda is daring and self-sacrificing, but you and I both know how tough life is here when we're enjoying yummy pizzas on beautiful terraces in Kigali, right? I don't mean to down play the difficult things that are happening here, but your writing is good reminder to me to not become complacent. Thanks chick!

ebean said...

You are amazing!

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