Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gandhi

I'm one of those people who cares about what's going on in the world. I know, it's obnoxious right, why does every one seem to care about starving children and recycling and stuff? Why should I take an interest especially considering I'm just fine? (Note: if you are reading this blog and actually agree with the last two sentences I wrote, please, KEEP READING!)

After returning from Cambodia almost a year ago, I have a new found interest in the global community. Those aren't just kids on TV anymore, those are my kids. That isn't sex trafficking in their country, that's sex trafficking on my earth.

I might have the habit of going to they gym at 3pm, because Oprah Winfrey is on. Whatever your beliefs are about Oprah, put them aside, she's doing good things and very well might be a personal hero of mine. But that's a whole 'nother blog, that is unless, she is reading and in that case I'd like to say, Yes, yes, you are a personal hero of mine! Yes, I would adore having afternoon tea in your garden, and yes, you can send money to Cambodia. I digress.

So in watching Oprah, I've learned a few things. Monday she did a show about child pornography in the United States, tracking them, and catching them. Yes, yes, child pornography again. We're immune to it, we've heard it. An 18 year-old boy was arrested last week for downloading, spreading, and filming child porn. The videos could not be shown on TV and even Oprah could not even see them, that would only further the crime. But before the cop began describing the videos he said, "What I'm about to describe is sexually explicit and if you don't want to hear it, you might want to leave the room."

Oprah jumped in, like the hero that she is, and said, "No, don't leave the room. This is supposed to sicken and enrage us. We need to hear this because nothing is being done, nobody cares enough. It's not our children."

He continued. For example, one video involved a 4 year-old girl, wrists duct taped to her ankles, screaming and crying, as she is raped by a male adult. Another video showed an 8 year-old girl being forced to suck on a dog's genitals.

I stopped pedaling. My cardio machine could go no further. I cried. Why aren't we talking about this? What is wrong with the world? I left sick to my stomach and I can't stop thinking about it. By seeing we become changed. By feeling we become enraged.

Today's show featured Jacque Cousteau's grandson talking about our oceans: the pollution, the junk, the irresponsibility.

"Currently, scientists believe the world's largest garbage dump isn't on land…it's in the Pacific Ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches from the coast of California to Japan, and it's estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

In some places, the floating debris—estimated to be about 90 percent plastic—goes 90 feet deep. Elsewhere, there are six times more pieces of plastic than plankton, the main food source for many sea animals.

Where did this trash come from? Marine biologists estimate that about 80 percent of the litter is from land, either dumped directly into waterways or blown into rivers and streams from states as far away as Iowa."

How mindless can I be? The pesticides that we spray on our dandelions runs off into the oceans and ends up in the food chain, which ends up back on our plates. It's a closed system. Everything's connected. We're all connected with the planet in very fundamental ways. How have we avoided this for so long?

On the treadmill, watching in disbelief to another issue that overwhelms and frustrates me, I thought, again, Why don't people care about this? Am I the only one?

As soon as the thought left it's...ummm...."thought area"....and drifted to my...."comprehension area", I realized something.

If I claim to be so interested in water shortages in Africa, sex trafficking in Thailand, child pornography in the U.S, climate change, recycling, sustainable living, GLBT rights, and responsible media:

WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING ABOUT IT?

Nothing. I'm doing nothing. I'm talking about it. I'm writing a blog about it. I am angered by it. I get frustrated by it, but I'm doing absolutely nothing about it. And before I go blaming everyone else for the crap in the world, I have to be doing my part. Gandhi had it right, Oh Gandhi, how did you know?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

I'm seeking possibilities. I'm probing for solutions. I want to be seen as an individual for change, not just talk. I want to hear about the issues facing our world and be glad to know I'm doing what I can. But not yet, oh no, not yet.

I'm just getting started.

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