The opening ceremonies of the Olympics are tonight. How many things bring together almost every nation in the world — in a way that’s peacable, festive and transcends differences? For that reason and also the fact I’m a frustrated jock, I love the Olympics.
While I can’t afford to attend the Olympics in person, I can still contribute to international relations and transcending of differences. My household’s contribution to international relations is hospitality. Thor and I love hosting people. Our guest for two weeks (and newest friend) is Lubna Mohammad from Babylon, Iraq, via a program of Oregon’s World Affairs Council. She is calm, sweet, a steady producer of luminous smiles. You would have no idea she is from a country torn by war. Lubna just became engaged (through choice, not arrangement) and is already a doctor, at age 23. “My mission is to help people,” she states simply, happily.
Part of my diamond-cut life is visioning, i.e. imagining good or beautiful situations that could potentially exist. Today, I am visioning that our world could at some point mount an Olympian-scale response to global warming. Given that it threatens all nations, it seems that global warming could be a supreme motivator to transcend our differences, and work together for sustainable ways to live on our planet.
To be honest, though, I’m not betting on this happening. We human beings have much more historical experience with sports, and also hospitality, than with globally-coordinated responses to global disasters. For today, I’m going to be grateful that the Olympics can happen, and that I can host a wonderful young woman named Lubna from Babylon, Iraq.