This post has been brewing for a couple of days and I’ve just now settled in to write it. I can only hope it makes as much sense in print as it does in my head.
When will the suffering of the world be enough for us to take notice? Some of us have, but I would wager my next paycheck that the majority of us have not. There is political upheaval in Burma, genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty in Bangladesh, HIV/AIDS in Africa, global warming that threatens the very existence of life across this planet, and more than 3500 of our own men and women have died in an ill-conceived war. And yet, we’re concerned about who Anna Nicole Smith’s father is, whether Barry Bonds took steroids, the need for a $500 iPhone, and if the Spice Girls are going to make a comeback. When does the conflict, the unrest, the murder of innocents…when is it enough for us to pay attention?
I’m not even pointing fingers on this one, because I’m just as guilty as most of you who will read this. I have tried to make a dent in the global warming, but I concern myself more with whether the Red Sox win than if women are raped and children are killed on a daily basis. I feel swamped by the inability to affect change in any part of the globe. And every time I see a movie regarding an area of the world that could use help, the same theme rears its ugly head: “Americans may or may not see this, but if they do, they’ll simply shake their heads and go back to their meals before the late show.” People, it is time! It is time we stopped simply shaking our heads and started giving of our hearts. It’s time we elected officials who are in a position to make changes that will help others. And if we can’t elect people who can or are willing to do this, then we need to change the system so that something can be done. Two hundred thirty years ago, a few brave souls decided they were going to change the system and they did so by dumping some tea into the ocean. One hundred forty-five years ago, a lot of brave souls decided that the system really wasn’t working right and they fought with each other, brother against brother, to get it straightened out. Forty years ago, they had to tweak the system again because apparently some people didn’t get the message the first time. Now is the time that we fix what’s not working. Now is the time when we have to come together, ALL OF US, on equal footing, regardless of how we believe, who we have sex with, or what country our great-great-grandfathers came from originally and we have to understand that the earth is a shared resource and everyone can benefit from the goodness of the earth AS WELL AS having the earth benefit from our ability to understand how things work. We have to become one people in search of the betterment of each other in order to continue to exist on this planet.
I think that it’s been enough. Let’s see to it that someday we don’t have to worry about these sorts of things anymore.