On August 3rd, 2015 (exactly twelve months ago as I write now), I set off on a much-anticipated holiday to London. It was a trip that I had put into motion twelve months before that, when a few friends and I agreed to meet there to see British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch return to the stage to star in Hamlet. It was unusual for any stage production to start selling tickets a year in advance but Cumberbatch’s popularity was on the rise (and continues to do so) and the anticipation for his return to the stage was beyond belief.
I love travelling and seeing the world. It is one of life’s privileges that I do not take for granted. These days, travelling seem to require a little more care and thought. I remember my first solo trip some twenty years before, when my biggest concern was being mugged or losing my traveller’s cheques. Getting lost was not such a big deal as you know you can always rely on some friendly locals to help you out. The world has changed a lot since, some for the better and some for the worse.
Terrorism is the word on everyone’s minds – you cannot help it really, when reports of injury and death are shoved in our faces constantly. When politicians declare war on certain groups or point their fingers at one specific religion as the cause of all evils, it is hard not to wonder where in the world you can go without fear of being attacked.
There will always be people standing on soap boxes or platforms that give them voice who will spread hate and tell you that it is someone else’s fault for all the ills of the world. But regardless of what your political views are, or what religion you follow, or what the colour of your skin is, we are and have always been stronger when we stand together as one people, one human race.
And so, today, I am dedicating this song by singer Matisyahu to everyone around the world who yearn for peace and love. Listen carefully to his words. Spread the message.
One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence
Down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free
And proud to be
Under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like