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“Come From Away” and Charlottesville

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A lot is happening right now in our country, and much of it makes me feel disheartened, angry and sad. With the recent events in Charlottesville, I’ve been overwhelmed with a new understanding of the hate that exists around us. — My extreme privilege has hindered my ability to effectively address the facts of life for so many individuals. ‘Staying woke’ has taken on a new meaning for me. What am I asleep to? What have I ignored in my zombie-like state of home to school to home, and then home to work to home?

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This evening, I saw “Come From Away,” the Tony-nominated sensation slightly overshadowed by this year’s “Dear Evan Hansen.” It’s a shame, because “Come From Away” is so exceedingly relevant to today, and in an unusual way: It displays the practice of unbridled, un-reciprocated kindness. It tells the story of a people who, in the wake of tragedy, come together and welcome strangers into their homes, onto their rock.

I needed “Come From Away” today, partially for it’s Irish-inspired, foot-stomping, fiddle-heavy score, but mostly for its message. There is goodness in this world, and in spite of terror, we persist, pushing onward in support of our fellow human beings.

“Come From Away” takes place on September 11, 2001, and the days following it. With 7,000 passengers stranded on the island of Newfoundland, as all planes were ordered to be grounded, Newfoundlanders Gander.jpgcame to ‘the plane people’s’ rescue. Donating time, space, food and clothing, Newfoundlanders were of profound service in a time of great sorrow and confusion.

When the musical ended, I saw a crowd of Newfoundlanders in the audience, waving their flags, and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. How beautiful! There is goodness and love in this world, and it flies proudly in the face of terror and hatred.

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