Anthony Shadid Dies
ANTHONY SHADID, NY TIMES FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, DIED TWO WEEKS AGO IN SYRIA, apparently of a severe asthma attack for which he was unable to receive help in time, due to being in a remote, mountainous area. He was reporting on the Free Syrian Army and other groups’ resistance to President Bashar al-Assad’s year-long brutal efforts to stay in power. The outcome of that battle is still undetermined.
Many war correspondents are injured or die, but Anthony Shadid’s death in particular is noteworthy and felt by so many, because no one brought stories to us with more power or truth. He focused his unique talents and background to bring us perspectives we may never have realized otherwise. Anthony wasn’t just another journalist.
When we’re born, we’re all given a bundle to work with: family heritage, personal and physical characteristics, talent, and intelligence. What we do with it is up to us. Anthony took what was in his bundle: Lebanese descent, fluent Arabic, writing talent, and heart, pulled all these together through education and effort, to become a uniquely qualified person for his job, someone who reported with great compassion. In 2004 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his series of personal stories of the people of Iraq as they lived through the total upheaval of their country. He has also reported eloquently on Cairo, Israel, Libya and other areas in the Middle East.
Whenever I think that my own efforts are not that important or that everything has been said and done before, I remind myself that each of us has something to give to others. Our job in life is to develop whatever natural talents and life experiences we have been given.
So…Take Stock. Are there talents you have not developed? Urges you haven’t followed?
Life starts to get exciting when we develop and grow with our strengths, instead of fighting our natures and doing something we’re not suited for. And as a bonus, success becomes suddenly very doable, and within our reach.