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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

No Small Thing in This Big World

March 07, 2003

On Monday morning my wife left for Afghanistan. She is on her way to see, firsthand, what the conditions are truly like for the women in Kabul. And then, knowing what they need, to help them.

Driving anyone to the airport in these times carries with it so many fears. Added to what I always considered a reasonable fear of flying, we now have fear of hijackings, shoe bombs, luggage explosives, gas and anthrax. Forget about the fear of mechanical failure and weather -- we now fear our fellow passengers. Some of us hunker down in the face of fear while others decide to attack.

My wife has no "business" doing what she is doing. But there she is, making the plight of strangers on the other side of the world her business so we can all fear a little less.

I'm scared, and so is she. Our two children are too young to understand. Most of our friends think she's daft. Perhaps she is. But think about it -- because I have to. Isn't this exactly what the world needs right now? I'm so proud of her, because even one set of eyes and ears and one heart that beats for all mankind can save mankind. There is no such thing as a small thing in this big world.

Peter Kjenaas

Frazier Park

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