RadJoy’s focus is on wounded places. But we can’t forget that sometimes places are wounded because people are wounded. In other words, it is the wounding of the people that inflicts a wound on the place, rather than the other way around.
There are so many such wounded places in the world these days—Syria, Palestine, all the lands in the western U.S. where people’s homes have been devoured by fire. Afghanistan is suffering greatly, as it has done under decades of occupation and violence. Ferguson, Missouri was a wounded place after Michael Brown was murdered there. Surfside, Florida, where a condominium suddenly collapsed, killing scores and leaving more homeless, is grievously wounded.
How do we respond? As many acts of bold kindness and compassion have shown, we can respond both by acknowledging what went wrong and taking simple, meaningful, and direct steps to make repairs.
After many women were harassed and assaulted by emigrants in Cologne, women traveled to German cities across the country and hand out roses to residents as a way to affirm their awarenessthat the bad actions of a few did not symbolize the good hearts of the many.
After Hurricane Sandy doused the power in New York City for several days, those whose neighborhoods still had electricity snaked surge protectors out of their windows, so others could recharge phones and computers.
And just this week, in Manchester, England, people came forth by the hundreds after a mural of Marcus Rashford was defaced after the British soccer star fumbled a play. Adults and children flocked to the mural to leave flowers and messages of support as the artist, Akse, hurried to repair the painting displayed on the brick wall of a coffee house. “We were really sad about [the graffiti],” said a nine-year-old girl after leaving her own offering at the mural. “He was trying his best.”