Edinburgh Fringe Day 7 — On Courage and Kindness.
Last night a friend sent a £100 donation to help pay for my accommodation costs in Edinburgh.
Some months back former colleague in Australia sent me a huge donation to pay for the vitamin C therapy that I had in London.
My host yesterday here in Colinton went to the supermarket to buy me some food supplies and has opened up her larder, her freezer as well as her heart both to me and to the other guests here.
Such love and kindness still makes me cry. Many years ago, when my second husband left, a work colleague said, "You're don't expect kindness do you?" She was right; I hadn't experienced a lot of it back then.
But human beings are kind. We just have to realise that ... and to be kind to ourselves so that we can get used to it a little more and attract it to us. And, where we can, give it out ourselves.
These people, who have been kind to me this last year, say that I'm brave. Well maybe ... it probably is brave to come to Edinburgh as a middle-aged first-time comedian with a LED especially when your financial backer has fallen by the wayside and you've got absolutely no idea how you are going to pay for it!
Other people would simply call it foolhardy.
But I have had years of studying prosperity consciousness and, even though I never used to expect kindness, I do know that prosperity comes when you step up and step out and believe... The universe conspires to help you, firstly (a little) when you take that first step of committing to your goal and then (a lot—but not immediately) as long as you keep walking. It's fear that stops us from doing that but fear is a thought-form, not a reality. It just pretends that it is a reality. And, of course, when we believe it, it turns into a reality.
And, as a journalist, I have had years of walking onward while being wracked by fear—including reporting on conflict situations, being in the middle of riots and being ridiculed in public by top politicians. I was on duty in the newsroom at the BBC World Service on the night of 9/11 and although we were right out of any physical danger, we made some very courageous decisions that night on what it was right and constructive to report and what it was not ... I actually put my own hand on the all-important button and said to CNN and Fox News and the rest of the world: "This is the BBC World Service in London. We are black on this and will not report until we know the source and can verify. Are you with us?" and, being the BBC, which still holds authority at times of international crisis, the world's news followed our example. That was very, very scary and it was the right decision.
So I'm a professional dealer with bravery in a way. My adrenal glands were fucked a long time ago (!) and I eat the protein and take the magnesium every day that they need to keep them feeling okay.
There are news reports every day about terrible things that happen in the world (even though the world itself us usually 90% or more at peace). Some of them require incredible—and public—courage.
But let me tell you a bit about the simple courage that will never make the headlines...
Courage is not being trained in fear-manangement as a reporter—but going with your husband who has a LED to Peru for three months to put yourselves in the hands of wonderful healers on the other side of the world in a completely different culture with a different language—because there is no hope being offered here in the UK. And then, lovingly, holding him in your arms as he dies and dealing with all the Peruvian authorities in order to be able to bring his ashes home.
Courage is not being used to travelling around China in the days before tourists visited there—but getting up at six every morning and making lunch and walking for half an hour with your husband who has another LED to catch a bus ... then a train ... then another bus to hospital and back every day for three months for his radiation treatment. They were out each day for five hours.
Courage is not having to face up to a crowd of hostile Argentinian men in Buenos Aires just one year after the Falklands conflict—but having to cope with your elderly wife's post-operative anger and despair with her own LED when you have your own version to deal with and also have to travel daily for treatment—this time completely on your own because she is not well enough to travel with, or support you—when the treatment and the stress are leading you to a meltdown.
Courage is whenever it is needed. Courage is when your guardian angel wraps her wings around you and whispers "I am here..." when you feel you can't go on but still make that last, superhuman effort.
These three people are my friends and I am proud to call them so. The very least I can do is be some of the kindness that they so very much deserve. And I pray every day for their guardian angels to be guided and strengthened so that they can wrap their loving wings around them—and for all those others who, every day, deal with what the world would call 'small' issues—so that they may be comforted and strengthened and know that they are loved.