Darn you for making me think!(You know who you are)

All afternoon, I have been mulling over what my brother-in-law had to say about one.org and the absurdity of the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from our glitterati. A few things are rattling around in my head, and I am trying to make sense of them.

First of all, I hate those stupid bracelet thingies. Can I just say that? I am forced to admit that I had to look online to see what that yellow rubber band was that John Kerry was wearing during the last presidential campaign. Personally, I thought it looked a little silly- grown man in a suit that costs more than I make in a month with a yellow bracelet that made we wonder if he had been to Shipwreck Island or something. Ok, that is out of the way.

Secondly, how nice that these celebs get such lovely photographs. It reminds me of the early days of the "Got Milk?" campaign, when everybody and his uncle was vying for a spot in the campaign. Why? To promote a healthy lifestyle? Nope. They wanted to have a session with the great Annie Leibovitz! I think that it is great how Bono has made Africa sexy again. Wasn't that what you thought of when you saw Penelope Cruz draping herself across a table? How the children in Africa needed help? Yeah, sure. Looking at a pensive Brad Pitt sure made me think about fair trade, let me tell ya!

On the other hand, I have to say that it warms my little pea-picking heart to see such a diverse group of people coming together. If nothing else is accomplished, that alone is a significant feat. Where else would you see Pat Robertson and Elton John on the same side of the table? Michael W. Smith and Michael Stipe? (I think this might be a sign of the apocalypse!)

But lets strip away the rubber bracelets, the nifty t-shirts, the clever portraits. Let's dispense with the grandstanding and the photo ops and get down to the nut and bolts of the ONE Campaign. What is left? If you ask me, a lot of really complicated problems being oversimplified. I think that we can see that money is not the answer here (but perhaps it is an answer).

J and I live in a neighborhood which causes some eyebrow raising. No less than five different people have asked us why we don't find a "better" place to live. Well, we are content here and this is what we can afford right now. Pretty simple. Our standard of living suits us at this point in our lives. Do we want to be here forever, heck no! Will we settle until I graduate? Yep! You see, it is a matter of priorities for us. We don't need as much, we are content to make the best of our current circumstances.

Now my brother teaches in Tampico, Mexico. He doesn't have hot water. His computer gets infested with ants. And yet, he doesn't feel the need to leave. He is content with less. Will he one day return to the developed world? I hope so, but for now, he is where he is.

It is extremely arrogant of us to impose our living standards on developing nations. Not everyone needs what we "need." The ONE Campaign describes "extreme poverty" as living on less than one dollar per day. Well, I think that is extreme if that person is living in the US. However, there are people in this world who manage to exist, no live, little (by our standards) to no income.

All this aside, no one should have to worry about when their next meal will be. No one should have to take his life into his hands to travel for water. No child should go without his basic needs having been met. These are basic human needs and we, as individuals, have a moral obligation to meet them. Note, I said "As individuals." I will go one better and say that we, as Christians (those who are ) have an obligation to God to meet these needs. We are to be good stewards of that which He has given us. I must admit to falling far short of that charge, though I keep trying. Perhaps one day...

But why should I expect (or even trust) the US Government to do my job? If money were the answer, don't you think the problem would have been solved by now?

I don't pretend to have the answers, but I do feel certain that putting this into the hands of the phalanx that is our bureaucracy will not ameliorate the situation. Though, if someone can show me one example of something that has improved by the gov't stepping in and I might be forced to reconsider.

Ok, my brain hurts. I think I will go play with the cat.


wolske said…
ha ha, I made you think.

of course, I only stumbled on one.org because of your post on Mr.U2's prayer breakfast. so thank you.
wolske@adelphia.net said…
Hi there.

As one of the poeple who may have asked you about living where you do, please be advised that it is only out of concern that any question regarding that came about. After all, you have to consider that you have had your apartment broken into twice and after 2-1/2 years (almost) of living there, still do not seem to be receiving your mail properly! As long as you feel safe where you are, that's all that matters.


Popular posts from this blog

7 Foods for 1 Entire Month?

Still Daddy's Girl?

To the zit at the lower right corner of my mouth...