Monday, August 18, 2003

vacation, privilege, and hunger revisited...

posted this to the SAS list just now:

Came across this today – quote from Gandhi – IMO, this is the level of attention we need to bring to all things we encounter on a daily basis. Note that Gandhi focuses on the personal (“…the step YOU now contemplate...”). I however, think that WE can take it on a personal and a professional level – we KNOW what social conditions contribute to the “poorest person you have ever seen” so the steps that we take, as applied sociologists can have an even greater impact…and SHOULD, IMO.

"Recall the face of the poorest person you have ever seen, then ask yourself if the step you now contemplate is going to be any use to them"

And I saw this face and others like it just yesterday. I and some friends prepare and serve the evening meal at a homeless shelter once-a-month. Standing behind the serving counter, getting ready to pass along some garlic bread, I see a tiny face staring up at me. The MOST beautiful child in the whole friggin world, with the MOST beautiful eyes, the MOST precious sense of innocence and she is HUNGRY and has no place to live. I came home, told my wife about it and cried, it broke my heart so much. And I am grateful that it did and it still does.

I find it beyond belief that we live in the most privileged country in the entire world and we have children that are hungry, every damn day. IMO, this is insane and morally reprehensible and to the extent that we KNOW how to make it different and take NO action to do so, we are responsible for it. Sorry, but if you disagree, you go down to any homeless shelter, look in some child’s eyes and tell her that you’re sorry, but there is nothing you can do about her being hungry. And then get in your car, drive home, sup, and watch TV.

Stepping off of the soapbox now, but hoping that the outrage and disbelief that I feel spreads far and wide.

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