it’s been four days since the riots erupted. i heard of the first incident on the day before i was set to leave for london. and here i am now, writing this post after having been sent home from my office due to warnings that there may be a riot in our area.
i sit and write (safely, i hope) in the confines of my hotel. it’s been quiet in this corner of the city so far. there are no visible signs of an imminent threat. but co-workers this morning shared stories of sirens and police cars throughout the night, local haunts being looted, store owners standing in front of their shops with baseball bats getting ready to defend against the mayhem threatening their livelihood.
from the chatter, i came to find out that the westfield mall in shepherd’s bush, where i went to grab a quick dinner about five minutes away from my hotel, was on riot alert based on the escalating violence. ummm, guess i missed that memo as i cluelessly meandered around the mall peering into store windows!
“i was just there.”
not that we need reminding—but this circumstance is a nasty reminder—that these are crazy times. and you never know what might happen, where you’ll be, and why you were the “lucky” one to be there when the shit hit the fan.
the reality is london is no different than home. who ever would’ve thought there’d be flash mobs on the hallowed “magnificent mile”? across the world, the economy is under pressure. people are disenfranchised. the systems are broken. and the new “normal” is anything but normal. it’s wack.
hopefully moments like this are few and far between. but these kind of moments remind us why all the other moments matter.
“be there, when you’re there.”
where is “there”? in those moments that you live every day. in the quiet times. in the simple things. don’t wait for your world to be set on fire to wake up and be present. for the smiles. during the sunset. after the rain. with your kids. at your home. in those moments that are right under your nose.
be there when you’re there—because when you’re not there, they’ll be with you.