I wrote a post in December relating some of my feelings about suffering and charity. These thoughts have continued to impress themselves upon me. I must use my talents somehow to improve the situation of those less fortunate in this world. So I have this blog, and am under the delusion that I can write.
In my sidebar, you’ll see that I’ve added a couple of new categories of links. Of particular interest to this post is the Philanthropy category. I’ll be adding more links, as I’ll be adding to all of my categories. And I’ve been researching charity and volunteerism. I’ll be researching that which has drawn my sympathies the most: the plight of Africa. Hopefully I can gather quality resources, both for me to act upon and to pass on to everyone else so that we can all do a little more good in this world.
For now, here is a little something to do:
From the ONE website:
“ONE is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans – one by one. So far, over two million have signed the declaration in support of a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world.”
I’ve often thought how very simple it would be for us, in this rich nation, to reach out and end the poverty in developing countries. How much would we need to give up? If every single household did this, I think it would be very little, actually. There are so many surpluses in this world. There is no excuse for anyone to starve or die of a preventable disease.
AIDS is the current scary disease (of the last 20 plus years), and these folk are focusing on it, perhaps because this is a contagious disease that is incurable even in the rich, industrialized nations. If it is scary in this country, how much more scary is it for them? It is a disease that is preventable by taking proper action and it really IS a bigger problem there. This is just a speculation on my part, but I wonder if the same social habits that spreads AIDS so widely is part of the problem that women in these populations experience: commonly suffering abuse at the hands of their partners, being considered lower class no matter their level of education, being denied education, and being denied basic rights that we women here in the US take for granted.
Still, AIDS is not the only disease afflicting these people. Illnesses that are completely preventable, such as those we are all vaccinated against, and others like malaria, parasites, and common infections cause much grief. Think of the mother who can do nothing for her child who is dying of diarrhea from drinking contaminated water? It happens all the time. If we were someone cognizant of the specific situation, I’m sure we would do everything in our power to stop it. But there is a curtain of ignorance, a fog of suffering so overwhelming that it is too difficult for us to see the unique and individual implications of it.
Signing the declaration didn’t commit much: just my name on a document that pretty much says something I believe. I’m certainly not depending upon it to assuage my responsibility to those in need. But it is one more thing we can to do to help, and it is easy enough.
But I will admit to the selfish desire to know if this has had any influence. If you do sign the ONE declaration because of reading about it here, leave a comment. Thanks.