The Gaza conflict has worsened dramatically, leaving many civilians (including children) dead. I’d like to think that I live in a world where, when children are blown up while playing football on the beach, there’s some sort of regulatory body (called the UN or something) to hold those responsible accountable. Apparently not.

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a missile while flying over eastern Ukraine. I’d like to think that you’d have the right to live freely and safely – including the right to travel freely and safely – despite political tensions, but again that seems too much to wish for. Again, there seems to be a lack of will to bring the perpetrators to justice, with people spending more time saying who didn’t launch the missile or preventing teams from investigating the crash site than actually trying to find out who was responsible for 298 deaths.

It’s easy to become disheartened with all of this happening around you. There’s so much ugly in the world that sometimes we forget to look for the beautiful.

There’s always something nice in the world, though. The smallest thing can make you realise that things aren’t so bad after all.

This happened to me on Sunday 20 July, when I participated in a cycling event called Freedom Ride Jozi.

First of all, there’s something about riding a bicycle that makes the world seem like a better place. Endorphins are real. It was also incredible to see so many people from all walks of life participating in the event.

What I enjoyed the most was being able to experience parts of Johannesburg and Soweto in a way that driving through just doesn’t let you do. It would be great if a similar initiative could be organised in Pretoria.

Forgive the doom and gloom. Hopefully the next few weeks are more cheerful.

Max

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