It's not too often that an image will stop you dead in the middle of Costco on a Wednesday afternoon - but this one did - along with the book's title that came with the image - "They fight like soldiers, they die like children" - the new book out by one of our greatest living Canadians - Roméo Dallaire.
We have all watched Mr. Dallaire struggle with what he witnessed in Rwanda when he was there - and how he's overcome his demons to become one of Africa's greatest advocates - and with his latest book - I think he'll turn a lot of heads, I know he definitely turned mine.
Growing up in such a shangri-la like Nova Scotia Canada - my mind sometimes just cannot compute that places like Rwanda actually exist, and when I see on tv the things that go on, and the wars that happen - and that people have to live their whole lives like that - it just blows me away - I may sound naive and stupid, but I'm just being honest. Especially places like Liberia and Sierra Leone - and the photo for the cover of this book comes from Liberia.
It's photos and books and stories like this that give you epiphanies that show you that there are so many world's out there that are so completely different than the one we live here in our nice little protected world.
I'm sure that they wouldn't want to live my way of life, or would have any conception of how I've come to my value system anymore than I'd understand how it is that they can survive day to day and not want to have someone like me come and impose my western world lifestyle upon them - but I'm sure they wouldn't - even if it meant that there'd be eternal peace.
But I'm glad there's people like Roméo Dallaire willing to go out and bring attention to these huge "big world" problems so that people like me can do full-stops in the middle of Costco for a moment and read his books so that it's not only the people who are doing the actual suffering who know about what's going on in that part of the world.