One important lesson I learnt as a trade unionist, negotiating on behalf of my members, and, currently, seeking resolutions between opposing parties at work, is to avoid stereotyping. It's so tempting at the moment to think 'everyone over there is like that' or 'everyone who voted for that believes this'. We need to take the time to understand more about the deeper views and experiences of those in opposition to one another, and these can rarely be summed up in a single sentence or headline.
The first amendment in the United States is a wonderful thing. It means you can say whatever you like about anything... But with the increasing popularity of Facebook comment section fights, and chatroom brawls, I'm seeing more and more often that people seem to forget that freedom of speech goes both ways.
When is it time to dive in? Recently, in the case of one London man who saw another floundering in the Thames, the answer was clear. After trying to help from the riverside to no avail, he took the plunge, even though he didn't consider himself a strong swimmer and remembered Emergency Services' general advice to wait for them.
The right communication can drive the world to talk, but the wrong interactions can severely challenge a person's world. With social media and modern technology driving opinions, we often forget to work on person to person interaction which is the foundation of communication. It is great to be heard on such a global scale but for most of us daily connections can prove a mine field.
I smelled the decaying bodies in Haiti after the earthquake and I got ill because of the terrible fumes of the dead buried under buildings in Lebanon after the bombings. That was nothing compared to the massacres and violence happening in South Sudan now. I won't go into the details; they're too gory, too much everything.