When I arrived at Sky Auditorium on Wednesday night, I was expecting to hear a speech on the political aspect of the situation the United States is currently going through with Iraq. I was quite surprised when Kathy Kelly talked for an hour about her personal experiences with various organizations such as soup kitchens, the Missouri Peace Planting team, a peace team set up at the Iraq Saudi border, and “Voices in the Wilderness””, an organization set up to break economic sanctions. Kathy Kelly wasn’t there to inform us about the details of the possible war between the United States and Iraq, yet to familiarize us with various personal stories, which explain to us how the people of Iraq are hospitable and caring.
Overall, I was very impressed by Kathy Kelly’s speech and her heartfelt stories of compassion and generosity. Kelly is definitely an example of a leader for justice in this world. She not only has the experience, understanding, and imagination necessary to be a great leader, but she also acts to achieve justice as well. The action is the most important step in the process, and she has succeeded in that aspect. I was very overwhelmed when listening to the stories she told about her experiences with the people of Iraq. There were two stories in particular that have stuck in my mind. One was the story of the soldier who was holding the gun at her head and most likely put it down to give her a glass of water. The other story that was extremely touching was the story about the mother who watched her son die and then said to Kathy, “I hope this never happens to a woman in your country.”” By attending this speech, I have become more conscious of the fact that most of the people in Iraq have no association with the dictatorship under which they live and are in most situations great people. Furthermore, I was also quite impressed by her knowledge and involvement in all the peace organizations concerning Iraq. She seems to be on top of things with current events and is extremely involved in any organization she has time for. It was also inspiring to hear how hard she has worked and progressed to help so many people. If there were just a few more people like Kathy Kelly out there working for justice and peace, this world would be a much greater place to live. In conclusion, it has become apparent to me how real the situation over in Iraq is and how war with the United States would cause much more distress and suffering for the people.