We attended a ceremony today to sign a contract between our organization and higher up funders of a proposal. We gave a short and to the point speech with the usual formulations of thanks and gratitude.
An old man (who came in with a classy leather hat) introduced himself as a person living with HIV/AIDS. He said he was in a meeting last week, and the speaker was making parallels between the epidemic and World War II, calling the virus a "silent killer". The old man said he preferred the imagery of a football game. Except it's a game with no rules and no referee. While the best line of defense is protection,, with the money given to his organization today, they will be able to devise a strong strategy for offense. Not a dry eye in the room.
He also premised his speech with a striking imagery :"In this world, there are three boats. One contains people who have HIV/AIDS and one holds individuals who are sero-negative. The third one is filled with people who are sero-ignorant. Which boat are you in?"
Wow. That comment still resonates 3 hours later.