I do not take the time to consider my circumstances every morning, as I stretch and yawn, and shudder at the thought of slipping out of my blankets into the chilly air of my apartment. I don’t think I’ve ever, in that moment, covered my mouth in amazement that I not only lie on my very own mattress, but that that mattress is accompanied by a layer of memory foam, pillow cased pillows, a plush comforter and soft throw. I’ve never rubbed my eyes to check the reality that my head is actually covered by a roof, that my front door has a lock and that when I turn on the bathroom faucet, clean water will run for as long as I want it to.
We Are The World
I don’t consider who made my clothes- how much they were paid or how long their work day was. The same goes for various ingredients I use in the food that I eat. I take advantage of the fact that there are books on my shelves that I can- and have the time to- read, and that somehow, through the miracle of technology, I have the world at my fingertips.
I’ll occasionally browse tiffany.com and think how fabulous it would be to have that diamond around my neck, and I’ll certainly worry about my suede heels when it starts to rain.
There are nights that I have been irritated by how late it is and that I am not yet snuggled deep within my sheets. Regardless, I know that that moment will come, and know with such surety that I could successfully put all of my earthly possessions on the fact.
And when I close my eyes for the final time that day, I can be 99.99% sure of the fact that in a few short hours they will open again and I will be where I left myself, undisturbed, with a day of comfort and safety ahead.
Maybe you don’t browse tiffany’s. But that you most inevitably can relate to my temperament is the disaster of human relations and global economic imbalance.
I went to sleep one night pondering Haiti, being satisfied with the manner in which America at least had responded. Celebrity telethons, charity music records, every high school bake sale, country club benefits, ward fundraisers, substantial personal contributions by every member of the elite in and out of Hollywood. Teams of reality and drama show actors along with r&b singers flew in to clean up the mess. John Travolta flew. A natural disaster struck and we saved the day.
I finally drifted out of consciousness and into an experience I can only describe as exhausting. In a dream, I was taken from country to country, thrown into the midst of their problems and then yanked to another. I watched in horror as I witnessed disaster- both natural and manmade. I saw the faces, faces, faces, all night long until I awoke, a little shaken, and very guilt ridden. Surely these issues did not exist? Nothing I had seen could ever be that real. world relief organizations must be mediating these hardships?
It took an earthquake for people to realize Haiti existed. Do we really even contemplate the poverty they lived with before this disaster? I admire our A-listers for speaking up and leading the way in humanitarian service. But if they so clearly have the power to raise multi- millions in one three hour telethon, why is this not at least a monthly effort? What about the other suffering third world nations? It’s all well and good for us to prick up our ears and take notice of one small country. But what about the other countries? Countries we have drained of their resources and continue to exploit in the name of our western comfort. Will it take an earthquake before we make conscious efforts to give aide? What needs to happen to Chad before 35 solo artists come together to record a single for them?
What have you done today that could benefit someone with social and economical conditions that are the opposite of yours? What will it take for you to start now to make a difference? I know that the chances of the individual changing the face of a nation are small- I’ve never felt smaller in my life. But is that an excuse for doing nothing?
I believe there will come a day when I am responsible for something much bigger than me. I will be responsible for life. I will have the ability to form and direct whole solar systems of opportunity, risks and hope. What use is that knowledge if I never get any practice? I invite you to do something about your world: I invite you to practice. Get involved: learn about your earth, your brothers and sisters, and your own potential.