A bit different post today. A more personal note.
I work at a large university and there is a large concert hall on campus. I picked up the schedule thinking I might find something to go see.
One of the speakers that will be coming in the next year is Kim Phuc.
The name meant nothing to me...until I read down further and remembered the photo. Kim Phuc is the burned, naked, little girl running for her life when her villiage was napalmed in the Vietnam war (see story and link below).
Tears filled my eyes and I felt the pain of knowing what men are capable of doing. I felt the hurt and pain of seeing into that little girls eyes. I have three girls and I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in a town that was napalmed; to see my children running in terror for their lives.
Men are capable of so much. We build things. We create ideas and inventions. We create life with our women. We send people into outer space. We tell stories in all kinds of media.
We protect and love. We kill and mame.
I am asking you to look at your life and see where you can make change. Can it be that today you step up to make change in yourself? Are you the man to do that today?
I am different now than when I started writing this. The ManKind Project didn't make this happen for me. I did. But having MKP in my life, by my choice, has allowed me to see and feel and grow.
I offer that to you.
From the Kim Foundation
"Phan Thi Kim Phuc was born and raised in the village of Trang Bang, 30 minutes north of Saigon. During the Vietnam War, the strategic Route 1 that runs through the village became the main supply road between Saigon and Phnom Penh. On June 8, 1972, an American military advisor coordinated the napalm bombing of Kim's village by the South Vietnamese. Nine-year-old Kim fled from a pagoda, where she and her family had been hiding. Two of her infant cousins did not survive the attack, and Kim was badly burned.
Kim was photographed running down the road, screaming from the burns to her skin. Nick Ut, the Associated Press photographer who was there to cover the siege, took the photograph of young Kim. Moved by her pain, he rushed her to a South Vietnamese hospital. She then spent 14 months recovering in Barsky Hospital, the American hospital in Saigon, where her care was paid for by a private Foundation. Ut's photograph of Kim remains one of the most unforgettable images of the Vietnam War.
Kim Phuc was not expected to live. Third degree burns covered half of her body, and she would require many operations and years of therapy. After two years, against all odds and with the help of doctors who were committed to her care, she was able to return to her village, where she and her family began to rebuild their lives."