Tag Archives: social justice

A Little MJ Inspiration

But The Heart Said No

They saw the poor living in cardboard shacks, so they knocked the shacks down and built projects. Huge blocks of cement and glass towered over asphalt parking lots. Somehow it wasn’t much like home, even home in a shack. “What do you expect?” they asked impatiently. “You’re too poor to live like us. Until you can do better for yourselves, you should be grateful, shouldn’t you?”

The head said yes, but the heart said no.

They needed more electricity in the city, so they found a mountain stream to dam. As the waters rose, dead rabbits and deer floated by; baby birds too young to fly drowned in the nest while mother birds cried helplessly. “It’s not a pretty sight,” they said, “but now a million people can run their air conditioners all summer. That’s more important than one mountain stream, isn’t it?”

The head said yes, but the heart said no.

They saw oppression and terrorism in a far-off land, so they made war against it. Bombs reduced the country to rubble. Its population cowered in fear, and every day more villagers were buried in rough wooden coffins. “You have to be prepared to make sacrifices,” they said. “If some innocent bystanders get hurt, isn’t that just the price one must pay for peace?”

The head said yes, but the heart said no.

The years rolled by and they got old. Sitting in their comfortable houses, they took stock. “We’ve had a good life,” they said, “and we did the right thing.” Their children looked down and asked why poverty, pollution, and war were still unsolved. “You’ll find out soon enough,” they replied. “Human beings are weak and selfish. Despite our best efforts, these problems will never really end.”

The head said yes, but the children looked into their hearts and whispered, “No!”

by Michael Jackson, from Dancing The Dream

The Waiting Game

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.

Frustrated.

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.

Bystander.

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?

Bystander.

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.

Another vid. This time a brilliant World Vision offering…

what impacted me today….

I read a lot of blogs (free tip: excellent way to procrastinate from assignments).

Most I just skim over.

Today this one hit me in its simplicity.

[Excerpt: “Oh wait, she probably never had a teacher, because she probably never went to school. I wanted so badly to rip the scissors and pants out of her hand and look her in the eyes and and tell her that everything would be okay. But I couldn’t. Because it’s not true.” …read on.]

Worth a read. It’s short. do it.

Australia = Largest Houses in the World…

check out my more detailed blog about this over on squidoo.

It’s official, we have the biggest houses in the world.

According to Commsec, our new homes averaged a whopping 214.6m2 in the last financial year (the US average is 201.5, the UK is 76.0).

But for 1 in 6 people in the world, their houses look something more like this:

(And according to UN-habitat, in 20 years 1 in 3people could be living in urban slums).

And then there’s the 42 million (twice Australia’s population!) who are refugees/internally displaced people who’s ‘homes’ look something like this:

Gets you thinking hey.

I’m not suggesting burning our houses down and moving into cardboard boxes just to even things out a bit.

But I do think one of the worst things we can do is to just, take it all for granted.

And I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tone things down just a bit where we can.

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:17-18