Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Global Community - Strength Through Solidarity

It's been a while since I've written, and I know this is a bit harsh of a post after such a long sabbatical, but I feel quite passionate about this topic and would like to share it with you.

Not long ago, when our parents were young, people got out of life what they put into it. If you planted a garden, you reaped the harvest. If you chose not to plant a garden, it might have been because you bartered or helped with the labor of harvesting. If your neighbor made jam, you might have traded her some of your fresh eggs for a jar of strawberry marmalade. You may have even looked after each others children. And you ensured that - if your neighbor's house was broken into - criminals were brought to justice. Of course, it wasn't always altruistic. You knew that you, too, would benefit or - if nothing was done - that you, too, would suffer. Everyone had their role and was invested in the fruits of labor and the good of the community.

Today, we reap, but we don't sew. Our waste is deposited somewhere far away, where we cannot see it, therefore it matters not how much of it we produce. Our oil is taken from somewhere far away, and it matters little if there is an oil spill. Our coffee comes from places where children have their childhoods stolen from them. And somewhat closer to home, shootings and murders take place. Other people's children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, husbands and wives are killed... often solely because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grotesque crimes - to humanity and nature - are reported on our televisions and in our newspapers daily, but they are too far away to effect us. Or so we think.

Think small. Today, the world is our neighborhood. Unless, of course, we say the the food, oil, paper, and other goods are no longer of value to us. Things happening far away do effect us. It is our duty to know what's going on in our global community and to demand that - when crimes are perpetrated, be they near or far away - the criminals are brought to justice.

Newtown, Connecticut. Aurora, Colorado. These are the most recent unspeakable crimes to cross our headlines. They are terrible. Enraging. And will hopefully move the U.S. slowly in the direction of gun control. But their communities are our communities. Their crimes do effect us. No matter how close or far we may live from these communities, we are their neighbors. We need to come together in this time of crisis and work towards change.

Here's another recent example of evil that makes my blood boil...
A family of 11 elephants was found slaughtered in Kenya a few weeks back. A mother was found lying next to her calf, killed while she tried to lead her baby to safety. The poachers pursued them with a helicopter, meaning the elephants didn't have a chance. These beautiful, kind, incredible animals were murdered only for their ivory, and left to rot. Somewhat surprisingly, what bothers me most is not the deed. There have always been evil people in our world and there always will be. But what is terrifying is the apathy of others and our inability - as a world community - to bring these criminals to justice. The world has become a small place, but we allow people to ruin our beautiful planet without suffering consequences. You say it's too far away? That the Kenyans must get this under control? To that I reply that in a few decades we will be lucky if there are a handful of surviving elephants in zoos for our children and great grandchildren to see. As a species, they are no match for the humans that poach them and the ivory trade. Fortunately, there are some people fighting for their survival: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/.

We are one, WORLD, community. And we can make a difference -- by caring. About more than just our city, our state, our country.

We have ONE planet. The world is OUR oyster. If we don't treat it as such, we will suffer the consequences. Through individual action and solidarity we can overcome apathy and evil, and make our communities - and the world - a safe place once again.

Again, sorry for the rough beginning, but I felt so compelled to address this, and it feels great to be writing again! Wishing you and your family a happy and successful 2013!
(And hopefully one filled with much more blogging, in my case!)
~Liz

1 comment:

Melissa Moore said...

We are one in the same, my passionate sister. And you are doing right by your kids, who will be just as passionate and who will also find ways to make this world a better place. In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight :)