Author: Deborah

The Power of the Word

The Power of the Word

Five global stories to watch as the US waits for midterm election results

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A man waves a Mexican flag in the crowd to celebrate as the historic result of the US midterms is declared, in Tijuana, Mexico, November 19, 2018. Photo by David Ramos/Reuters

MEXICO CITY — As the hours ticked on and the results of the presidential election in the United States grew increasingly uncertain and could not be ascertained, here was a moment for the young in the world to reflect on their country and their world. Some were there to celebrate a political reality that had been at the very heart of their lives for some time, while others, like me, were there to witness a moment of crisis that might well define their lives as they go forward.

My attention was captured by the woman I was with when she turned to my wife and said that she felt she and I would never be a father. I didn’t realize she was referring to us as married, but it was a devastatingly important moment. I was startled by what she said, because I knew it was meant as a compliment, given so well and clearly that it had to be sincere. I was startled by what I thought she saw in me, how I stood on the sidelines as a spectator to our lives, to everything that made us who we were in spite of where we had gone.

“I feel like a different person,” she told me on the crowded sidewalk, her arms outstretched as if to embrace the night air and me. “And you, you feel the same way?” I nodded. “I mean … You see these people in the streets, you hear their voices on the radio, and you realize they’re just … you’re just like them!” She paused as if she couldn’t find the words to say it. “They see you and they don’t see how you live, and they don’t even know how to feel about you the way you see them feel about you. And I want to know how you feel about them, and why you feel that way. I want to be like them.”

Her words struck me as so much more powerful than my own ideas about self-improvement and self-fulfillment. I

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