Thursday, May 8, 2008

Barefoot and Humble

May 8, 2008 - Remember High School? Remember those year books when you were supposed to list you future ambitions, favourites, pet peeves? Looking through my old year books, it appears I had it in for wet socks. Today, my pet peeves include sock suspenders, black socks with sneakers, short socks, and long socks. So today's celebration is especially near and dear to my heart. May 8 is No Socks Day. When you get ready this morning, think twice as you reach in to the sock drawer. Black socks? Nope. Short socks, long socks? Nadda. Socks with sandals? Out. No socks. Think Tubbs and Crockett without the pastel blazers. EVERY day is No Pastel Blazer Day.

But what about red socks? Today is also World Red Cross Red Crescent Day. It is an opportunity to "call attention to the plight of people affected by disasters, armed conflict and other situations of violence."1 A volcano dormant for 2000 years erupts in Peru and causes yet unknown damages and disaster. Cyclone Nargis has completely devastated Burma, killing thousands and destroying entire villages. There are wars being fought around the world, and children are being orphaned and used as pawns. I don't believe that World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is 24 hours. It is a daily event. I think we need to be reminded on a daily basis that peoples "safety, health, dignity and well being" 1 should be our number one concerns above all else. Open a newspaper, turn on the news and see the tragedies that surround us. Now... can you tell me that we have put the safety, health, dignity and well being of each other first?

It may not be a coincidence that Red Cross Day is on V.E. Day. The Red Cross Red Crescent's history is wrapped up in the Battle of Solferino. It was on that battlefield that Henry Dunant began helping wounded soldiers. That was the beginning of a movement that became the Red Cross. V.E. Day (Victory in Europe Day) signaled the end of World War II. Nazi Germany surrendered, and the world now celebrates in bare feet.

1. References to the Red Cross from the International Red Cross Red Crescent website (

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