Talk about extremes …

To be honest, I don’t quite know how to describe this last week and, more specifically, last weekend. stiff neck

On Friday I spent the better part of three hours watching the memorial service for Muhammad Ali. Never will I forget the sight of that flower- bedecked stage, filled with religious leaders, representing so many faiths, sitting side by side.

Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Baptist, you name it they were there, in peace and love, to remember and honour, to share thoughts and memories, to pay tribute to the greatest athlete the world has ever known, to pay tribute to the man and all that he stood for. To remind us of what greatness truly is, to teach us and to inspire us to respect and embrace the differences between us. To inspire us to find common ground, to choose good over evil. To stand up for what we believe.

They were joined by both the famous and those we’d never heard of before, but will now never forget. All specially invited to be there, to deliver their eulogies, to celebrate the life of this incredible human being. So touching, so personal, so heartfelt, so powerful. So true. Each and every one of them delivering a message the world so desperately needs to hear right now. Not their message, Ali’s message, the one he left us.

Divine intervention? 

Then there were the 90th birthday celebrations for Queen Elizabeth. Yes, I watched that too. And a magnificent display of pomp, ceremony, tradition and devotion it was. The flags lining both sides of The Mall, the processions, the flypast, the thousands upon thousands there to share in the moment, as devoted to her as she has been to them for more than 60 years.

There to say thanks to a woman who, while in her early 20s and newly married, was thrust into a role she may not otherwise have chosen for herself, given the chance to choose. But one she has handled selflessly, with grace and dignity.

And then, by contrast, there’s Donald Trump, who’s never done anything for anyone other than himself, who claims he wants to “make America great again.” How? By lying? Cheating? Bragging? Bullying? Threatening? Maligning? Hating? By being bad-tempered and foul-mouthed? By setting the worst possible example? By showing the world, over and over again, how dishonourable he is, how disrespectful he is and what an absolute disgrace he is?

Muhammad Ali, Queen Elizabeth and Donald Trump. At the same moment in time. It’s enough to give you whiplash.



8 thoughts on “Talk about extremes …

  1. Then we have the tragedy that is Orlando, this mornings killing in Paris – the hooligan element at the European football games again in France and a tragic death all in the name of sport – it’s a sad sad world Fransi.

    • Indeed it is Chris. This hatred is so out of control, I just don’t understand. I am not someone who, by nature, is filled with doom and gloom but it’s very hard not to be.

  2. Beautiful words Fransi regarding Ali and Queen Elizabeth , unfortunately I misesd both showings on TV however I had the privilidge to be in Connecticut to witness the marriage of two dear gentleman friends on Saturday, a stark contrast to the hatred of the hideous murders in Orlando which I only learned about upon my return late Sunday evening. The world has gone mad what the hell is wrong with these people
    And don’t get me started on Trump, you know my views on that dangerous nut bar
    Keep the words flowing Franci

    • Thanks Nicholas. Being a witness to your friends’ marriage sounds like a wonderful weekend to me, particularly considering the tragic and twisted events in Orlando. The world HAS gone mad. Such hatred!! It just doesn’t seem possible and yet it is. I am pretty sure the Ali memorial is on YouTube. Definitely worth looking for and watching. And it wouldn’t surprise me if you’d find at least some off the festivities in London there as well.

  3. Don’t have a functioning TV and doubt I would have watched either. But your expressions of admiration and sympathy for Ali and the queen are well written and touching. Yes, we have to remember that there ARE principled people in the world – even some in positions of influence.
    As for Trump (and the Orlando massacre)–yes there are many in the world who have no principles but who simply take a path of instant gratification and/or self-aggrandizement. And they, too, may affect too many lives.
    There’s something almost biblical (Ecclesiastes?) about the intense contrasts swirling in the world.

    • Thank you. You’re right, we must remember there are good and principled people in the world. It’s difficult sometimes, especially when the worst examples of humanity get so much media attention.

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