I have never wanted to meet someone and thank them for their honesty as much as this amazing individual. As a member of the uOttawa community, I keep up with the Humans of Ottawa Facebook page. On April 6th, this interview with a gentleman in the army struck me deeply. His words ring in my ears when turmoil strikes the earth.

“If there’s one situation that has always been in my mind, that has changed me as a person, it’d be this. When you do those intense courses, those hard physical trainings, there is always that one person or those few people that can’t keep up. What we’ll do is called the Ruck March. So what we’ll have is 50 or 60 pounds on our backs and we’ll march for fifteen kilometres at a time. For some people, that’s very hard. One time, we were at a soldier qualification and we had done around ten kilometres. People kept falling out, so what we did as a team was that we took the ruck sacks- so 50 to 60 pounds, and put them on other people. I probably had around 110 pounds on me marching after ten kilometres. At the time I thought ‘what am I even doing this for, if they can’t keep up then whatever’, but at the end I looked back and realized that that’s what real teamwork is. I feel that in basic society what you don’t always understand is that you always have to help out the other people that can’t keep up, because if the whole team doesn’t succeed, no one succeeds. Even just in basic things, like a math class for example. If you’re really good in math and the other guy beside you isn’t, it’s good to help him because as society grows, it will be better for all of society if we are all good in math.” – Adapted from Humans of the University of Ottawa 

I feel that in basic society what you don’t always understand is that you always have to help out the other people that can’t keep up, because if the whole team doesn’t succeed, no one succeeds.

 How much clearer does it get? When individuals are marginalized in society, they don’t get left behind. There is no forgetting about them. They are part of the worldwide team affectionately known as human kind.Only two outcomes are possible: success or failure. When communities are left behind, discriminated against and cast out from society, failure is inevitable. On the other hand, when life’s challenges are faced together and people help one another, then the team as a whole succeeds. This is a philosophy that guides humanitarian efforts, and someday I hope it infiltrates its way into the hearts political thinkers and world leaders as well.

Why search for this person, wise beyond his years, now after the post was shared three months ago? A community near and dear to many hearts was recently the victim of a tragic massacre in Orlando, Florida. Whether we blame this attack on gun control or religious opinions is irrelevant: a member of our international community has fallen behind in our Ruck March. Cooperation between political leaders and social movements is imperative if we want to help carry the weight of peace and equality that the LGBTQ+ community has so bravely burdened. If Humankind wants to succeed and complete the Ruck March, everyone must help one another.

Without teamwork, we, humankind, can’t succeed. It’s as simple as that. So let’s get started…

If you are this Human of Ottawa, please send me an email. I’d love to thank you in person.