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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Nutrition for the soul

Something happened yesterday that reaffirmed my belief in humanity. It was food, not to assuage my hunger, but to nourish my soul.

I found an unusual comment on my blog when I logged in yesterday morning. Someone I didn't know from Michigan was looking for a mutual friend, a retired professor who splits his time between Paris and his home in Michigan. He apparently failed to return home from Paris as scheduled last Friday.

Some google sleuthing turned up a mention of his name on my blog, so I was contacted. I saw him last month in London and Paris, and knew that he had not been feeling well so I became extremely concerned.

A few phone calls and emails later, dear Isabelle and Ethan in Paris were off to check on him at his last known address in Paris. Another well placed call to London revealed that he had been there the week before, and was last seen leaving our friend Vanessa's house, where he had been staying, for Heathrow last Friday morning.

Before long, dear Vanessa was making all sorts of calls trying to find out if he made it to the flight. I relayed the message about his last known whereabouts to his friends Laurie and Jim in Michigan, who continued the search over there. When both Vanessa and I came up blank due to the stupid “security concerns” that prevented the airport and the airlines from revealing to us if he had made the flight, another good friend, Anny, volunteered to go to the police in London to file a report so that they could wrestle the information out of these uncooperative bureaucracies.

All of this in the course of merely a few hours, mobilizing the web of technology and old-fashioned simple kindness. Friends from far and wide joined in the concerns and search, which was ultimately successful. Our friend was finally found. He had been taken ill at the airport and admitted to a hospital, unbeknownst to any of us. I am very happy to say that he is now safe and sound, and resting happily at home.

We definitely live in interesting times. Despite the inhumanity that is so prevalent in our world, it is wonderful to know that there are still people, many of whom I count as dear friends, who are willing to go out of their way to help someone in need, and expect nothing in return. Thank you so much everyone, I am ever so lucky to have you all as friends.

“To have friends coming from far places, is this not delightful?” --Confucius

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