World AIDS Day 2017
1st December 2017
1986, thirty one years ago at the height of the global AIDS crisis, I first sat in the Dominion theatre, London to watch Dave Clark’s musical “TIME”.
Sir Cliff Richard played the role of a rock star sent to the High Court of the universe to defend the Earth in a trial brought by the Lord of TIME. A powerful case was put before the judges against the people of Earth. Famine, war, greed and destruction.
Should we be allowed to live?
“Beauty … Truth … Love … Freedom … Peace … These are your ideals. There is not one person on the entire Planet Earth who, in his right mind, doesn’t want these in his life.”
“So … where do you go wrong?”
Then came the defense and with it a feeling of hope and empowerment. We, the people hold the power to change. We give our votes to form governments who are there to serve us the people, yet we are not the ones who start wars or inflict harm on others in the name of “special relationships”. Our voices can be heard and change can happen if we see people for who they are and not what we are led to believe through propaganda.
The visual affects and powerful words have had such a profound impact on my life, so much so that I have always tried to live with others in mind. The words spoken then are equally as relevant in these hostile days we currently live in.
Stigma, intolerance, discrimination, hate and fear can all be applied around our world to so many aspects of numerous lives. Fueled by growing political aggression, communities are not simply becoming more divided but torn apart with devastating effects. Basic human rights so many have died for are being eroded away and once again we witness the lives of the most vulnerable made worse simply because they are seen as an easy target.
Those born differently to what civilised society calls “normal” are met with cruelty, abuse, isolation and labels. But do any of us ever stop to think what impact our actions have on others? Not so many I am sure.
The last time I returned to the Dominion theatre was in 1988 for an AIDS charity fundraiser of “TIME”. For one night only the part of the rock star was played by three huge celebrities, Sir Cliff Richard, David Cassidy and the amazing Freddie Mercury. I can’t put into words exactly how I felt at the end of that show, except to say there was a real connection, an inner peace and a sense of direction. If my actions, no matter how small can make a positive difference to just one life then something good will have come from the darkness injected into my body.
As a long term surviving British haemophiliac, World AIDS day for me is one of great sadness, reflection and of pride. One of only two hundred and fifty, from a shattered community forced to cope with unspeakable loss and pain. But what an amazing group of people. We are strong, we are intelligent, we will get justice and most of all, we know the power of love.
So, on this World AIDS Day I will return to “TIME” and the wonderful words of Akash, voiced by Sir Laurence Oliver.
“It’s entirely up to you, for the quality of your life is brought about by the quality of your thinking.
Think about that.
Thoughts produce actions.
See the pettiness and the envy and the greed and the fear and all the other attitudes that cause you pain and discomfort.
Realize that the one thing you have absolute control over is your attitude. See the effect that it has on those around you, for each life is linked to all life and your words carry with them chain reactions like a stone that has been thrown into a pond.
If your thinking is in order, your words will flow directly from the heart, creating ripples of love.
If you truly want to change your world, my friends, you must change your thinking.
Reason is your greatest tool. It creates an atmosphere of understanding which leads to caring which is Love.
Choose your words with care
Go forth… With love…”