A man, who had fasted for three weeks, held a large sign that read, “Love is a verb, not a noun. It is active. Thank you everyone for helping me.” The quote was taken from the lyrics of “Teardrop” by the band “Massive Attack” was reflection of his behavior.
This was a story of a British man named Richard Ratcliffe. His suffering started in April 2016. His wife, who had taken her young daughter to meet her parents living in Iran, had been arrested on charges of plotting to topple the government of Iran. Ratcliffe, who remained in the U.K., was very much worried. The British government assured him that they would take care of the issue and told him not to make a fuss of it. He refused to stay put. He met with local politicians, asked for help to the press and many other things that he could. He fasted with his wife for two weeks, his wife in the prison of Teheran and he in front of the Iranian Embassy to the U.K. in London. When this did not work, he fasted for three weeks in front of the British Foreign Service building in 2021. It was a pleading effort to implore people to not to forget his wife. He was worried that if his wife was forgotten, she may never come back.
His wife had been held hostage. When the British government did not return 400 million pounds (around 640 billion won), which the Iranian government of Pahlavi deposited to a British bank in 1979, Iran held his wife hostage. Ratcliffe risked his life to expose this news to the world, which motivated people and politicians. Eventually the government, pressured by public opinion, returned the money to Iran and his wife returned home to her family in March 2022 in six years. It was the result of Ratcliffe’s unwavering dedication. A female politician of his district joked that “Ratcliffe had raised the bar on the husbands in this world,” as she announced news of the release. Ratcliffe showed the world that love is a verb, just as Massive Attack’s lyrics say. Love is a verb and not inactive like a noun.