Before my cardiac symptoms forced an early retirement, my entire adult career was spent in the field of public relations, in corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Which is to say I’ve had decades of firsthand experience speaking publicly on behalf of all kinds of people. I was paid to both defend the indefensible stupidity of certain industry presidents, and also to pitch engaging human interest stories to help promote good causes.
In her Netflix comedy special, “Not Normal”, Wanda Sykes recalls having severe post-operative pain following the double mastectomy she underwent after her breast cancer diagnosis. She asked hospital staff for pain medication, but was offered only ibuprofen (or, as Wanda now describes it, “ibu-f***ing-profen!”) Her white male friends, by comparison, told her that they’d each been given far more effective meds for far less severe pain after their own hospital procedures.
Except for those blissfully naïve months of January and February when we had no clue what was about to hit us, 2020 has seemed like a dumpster fire called All-COVID, All-The-Time. Everything we knew and loved changed in ways few of us could have ever predicted. But I’ve noticed another big change overall – and that’s been in me.
As World War I raged on in the trenches of Europe in 1914, Christmas Eve arrived cold and bleak. But German soldiers put up Christmas trees decorated with candles on the parapets of their trenches. Although their enemies, the British soldiers, could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out where they were from. Could this be a trick?
British soldiers were ordered not to fire, but to watch closely. Instead of trickery, however, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols and celebrating. Here’s what one young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event: Continue reading “The Christmas Truce – 1914”→