An Egyptian explained why he was helping donate food and medical supplies to protesting Libyans: because people can live without food, without medicine, but not without encouragement.1

Survivors fresh from their own crises make the best comforters of others in similar straits. They know what to send in the care packages, and the caring itself is credible.

Maybe the Egyptians’ words of encouragement will be literally conveyed. If not, those weighty parts of speech in our universal language–meals, suture kits, medicines–will eloquently deliver the message.

1 I think it was on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” in a report similar to the following link, but I haven’t found the exact quotation in the transcripts. Let me know if you see it.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011