Editorial: Keep it Real
by Kevin Sims
Keep it Real
I’m always getting teased for writing about my family in my editorials. If I don’t mention one of my boys I get people pretending to faint in front of me, holding the Noah-and-Zachary-free editorial in front of them as they fall!
‘Ha, ha, very funny!’ I say, rolling my eyes and trying to look genuinely hurt.
So why do I tend to write about my family? I guess for the same reasons that people like Major Cedric Hills and Captain Mike McKee can write about emergencies or Captain Richard Oliver about the children in a shanty town in Brazil. We write about experiences that shape us and cause us to see life in a new way. We write about things that are real and things we care about.
Now I haven’t been to Kenya, Pakistan or Brazil so I’d be hard pushed to write convincingly about those places. My reality is far more down-to-earth – and probably far more like that of the majority of people who read this magazine. But it’s still important to me, to my development, to my growing understanding of my role as a father and husband – and to my developing Christian faith.
Perhaps there’s more to link my everyday experiences with those you can read about in this issue of All the World than is immediately obvious. When I write about my family, I’m writing about something I care deeply about – something that helps make me the person I am. And when Cedric, Mike, Richard, Duncan, Rudi and our new General sat down and started typing their articles for this issue, their relationships with the subjects they wrote about weren’t totally ‘journalistic’ or objective. Heaven forbid!
These people care about their subjects. They’ve written about people who are, to them, as real as my boys are to me.
And thereby hangs a lesson. With the media apparently sensationalising every disaster and conflict, it’s sometimes easy for us to become hardened to what we see. People ‘over there’ become just another picture, just another statistic, just another body. Suddenly, they’re not real any more.
To the writers in this magazine, those people have voices, smiles, a particular way of standing – things that make them who they are. Things that make them really ... real.
In Kenya, 3.5 million people need food aid. Three-and-a-half million! It’s almost impossible to visualise such a number.
Retired General John Gowans wrote a song that included the lines, ‘There are hundreds of children, thousands, millions, and yet their names are written on God’s memory ... God knows every one and God knows me.’ It’s a simple idea wrapped around a great truth. Forgive the grammar but it’s obvious – to God, everyone is real ... and everyone is real important.