Monday, September 12, 2011

It Matters

In reflecting on 9/11 most of us thought of where we were, what we were doing. A friend’s FaceBook post about telling her children “why?” caught me eye. She said it was hard- I had not even tried to explain it to mine. However, the thought lingered: how to talk meaningfully about 9/11, not just about 9/11. This lead me to the thought that choices matter- through choices we make, we change the world which is a conversation to have with a child.
Collectively there is pain and suffering in the world. Sadly, some with blackened souls painted with religious overtones think grave acts of madness will cure their pain and others’ pain. Alas it has never been so, but every act of hate, selfishness, and even ignorance collects somewhere, festering. Part of 9/11 was about festering wounds- how about the Western powers dividing the Middle East in a meeting after World War I? How about tolerating haves and haves not? How about supporting oil strong men but not helping women and children with nutrition, health, or education? I think we forget a lot. I think we think it has nothing to do with us. But the Middle East and even problems in Africa do have to do with us who use energy resources and have so much. We spend our money on oil, diamonds, you know those goods that come from the earth somewhere creating wealth for a few strong men who control the fate of many who have little- little food, little power, little knowledge. 
We do bear responsibility for shaping the world far away from us just as much as in our home- choices have consequences, create feelings. No one deserves hate, pain, or ignorance, and neither we nor anyone else deserves violence and destruction.  Let us raise our awareness to the need for non-violence and voices by what we think, what we do, what we watch, what we read- it matters. Someone has to speak up for what is fair to all, to speak the truth even when it is difficult, to practice non-violence as a form of protest, to raise a hand to help those different from ourselves, to create a sustainable world, and to find ways to be the peace- to act in ways that need to be modeled; it might as well be you and me.

This TED Talk has been bouncing around in my head about the role we have in watching the news: 

Due to a recent typhoon and perhaps that not so distant tsunami there seems to be many things washing up on the beach. Sunday, a plastic bag came floating by while I was wading into the water to cool off. Inspired, I collected trash instead of shells as I wandered back and forth along the shoreline watching my husband and the munsters boggieboarding. It isn't about cleaning the beach, but about doing something helpful. What we do everyday matters to someone, somewhere even if we don't know it.

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