At the start of the New Year, all people wish upon one another is good health. I don’t know about your part of the world, but here, not a sentence starts without « Health first, the rest will take care of itself ».
True, even in a country where medical care is (still) affordable and of a high standard at the same time. However trite the wish may be, we, French people continue to favor food over health, even when the holidays are over!
But instead, peace is really what we should pray for and wish upon our friends and family, for without peace, what would we have, on a daily basis?
Death, as a result of war. War, which lurks on our doorstep, and we do not even think of it, so confident are we that we shall live forever in a world that is safe from its hell, behind the protective walls of our supermarkets. Yet, not a day goes by without our being made aware of its existence, a few hours away from us, living in Europe.
No way I intend here to ruin your New Year’s resolutions. You know, the ones that have you pledge to eat healthily, go to the gym’, swim regularly and tidy up your closets; to stop procrastinating, kvetching and schlepping; to take better care of our elders, of our teenage kids, of our neighbors, and of our various projects…
We do swear we’ll act on those promises. Don’t you? But where is peace in that fabulous program? How can we possibly work towards it, without getting involved in some political party - an involvement, which, we know it in advance, we won’t stick to, for lack of time, for plain laziness, or because of our workload. We know our own excuses too well. At least, I do.
So, now – let’s talk business. If you haven’t heard of it, let me introduce you to another lot of our French Doctors! They work within an association (actually an NGO) called in French UN CŒUR POUR LA PAIX, which means "A HEART FOR PEACE".
This NGO helps treat, in Israel, Palestinian children by performing cardiac surgery on them. The operations are done in an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem – Hassadah –, by Israeli teams, with the help of Palestinian doctors and caregivers, who are trained there, as well, so that they will become able to do the job themselves later on.
By putting all their hearts into saving these children (who would otherwise die), these professionals and volunteers also bet that these actions will have consequences way beyond the survival of each child that is taken care of. The result is that, de facto, a genuine relationship is being woven between the little patients’ families and the Israeli environment. Of course this all leads to better mutual understanding, and to a bridge being built over rivers of hatred.
You may wish to take a look at their website (click on the Union Jack for the English version if it does not appear immediately) - the « donate funds » banner there is clear enough, and any currency will be welcome, I can vouch for that! So far, 458 families have been helped, with an average of 6 children being operated on each month, since 2005.
So, for once, gratitude will be your lot, if you click on that link there!
Having said that, I wish you all a wonderful New Year, filled with magical encounters and dream music, rife with tasty food shared with loved ones, a whole year made sweet and soft by the warmth of friendship and generosity.
You can trust I mean this, with all my heart!