Saturday, March 5, 2011

...I See You

“Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?… There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will. The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. The poor in our countries have been shut out of our minds, and driven from the mainstream of our societies, because we have allowed them to become invisible… No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for “the least of these”.

-Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nobel Prize Lecture, 11 December 1964)

So Baha'is the world over are Fasting right now. The Baha'i Fast lasts 19 days, and we do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. As it is in most religious traditions the Fast, physically speaking, is largely symbolic. And it's probably neither enlightened or particularly spiritual of me... but I don't mind sharing with you that it's not easy for me. I'm kind of like a hobbit in that I eat at least 5 times a day. But I always think, in the middle of the day when my attention is waning, and my throat is a little dry, and I'm dreaming about how satisfying even a tiny bite of anything would be... there are people whose daily reality is this.

And they're not dramatic [a la aimee piper].

And they might even live next door or go to your school.

How can we, as the world's
privileged few [don't kid yourself; if you're reading this - even if you're using dial-up, you've got it made.] learn to share the world's resources in a way that is just and dignified?

I think it starts with, as Dr. King suggests, not allowing people to become invisible.

We can not continue to establish and create cognitive dissonance from our fellow humans. There should be no such thing as disposable people.

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