4.1 miles

“Every hour, 10 of us are asked to go rescue an influx of 200 people.”

I can’t stop thinking about the short documentary 4.1 Miles. It follows the day of a coast guard captain on the island of Lesbos, which sits 4.1 miles from the coast of Turkey. Every day, thousands of refugees attempt to cross the gulf in cheap inflatable rafts. Many capsize in the strong waves. The Greek coast guard tries to rescue as many people as possible.

The documentary reveals the incredible courage of the coast guard and refugees, and the unfathomable toll the struggle takes on both.

4.1 miles is roughly the distance between Penn Station and the top of Central Park. Facebook headquarters to Stanford Stadium. The length of the Bay Bridge.

Our brains tend to equate size with power, distance with struggle – an echo of our ancestors’ lives in the wild.

To endure so much sorrow in so short a span – our imagination fails us here. We must observe.