Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander. – Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC.
I feel like a bystander.
I am spending my hours learning, reading, watching, and discussing conflict, wars, human rights abuses, poverty, and basically everything that’s wrong with the world.
And I am spending hours writing essays and preparing presentations on the topics….so that one single tutor can read/listen to them and mark them.
Massacres in Timor-Leste, endemic rape as a weapon of war in the DR of Congo, corruption in every government that exists, massacres (one last week!) in Guatemala, hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty, horrific treatment of asylum seekers in Australia, more slaves in the world than ever before – the world is a nasty place for most people who live in it.
And I am one of the lucky ones. But what am I actually doing about what opportunities I have for these issues?
I know I have chosen to devote the limited energy I have primarily to my studies so that in the future I can hopefully do something significant about some of these things. But I hate waiting – I feel such an urgency to be doing something concrete now – any injustice is too much injustice – any part of humanity suffering should mean we all feel their pain.
How can we incorporate strategic and change invoking activism into our every day lives filled with work and bills and sickness and housework and homework and family? There must be a way. Petitions and fair trade purchases and letters to MP’s barely scrape the surface…
Aaargh – the waiting game. I don’t like it. The clock is ticking.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.