We live in an ADD culture. From one minute to the next forgetting what happened in the last. We move on and the last bit of shiny thing quickly becomes unimportant and then forgotten. It is, I think, how we manage to maintain some semblance of sanity, if we can call it that, as a culture. Some make the argument that without this forgetfulness we would look back at the things we have done, and we may well reach the conclusion that we have given up the right to exist. Others point out that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. We have certainly seen plenty of examples of that!
We really have to have some middle ground on this. Forgetting those things that are important leads us to making the same mistakes over and over again. Results in the classic definition of insanity.
On Friday, 12/14/2012, a disturbed mildly autistic 20 year old man in Newtown, CT killed his mother and then went to an elementary school where he killed 26 other human beings, mostly 6 and 7 year olds. My heart goes out to those families that are touched by this horrible event. I know all too well how many of them are feeling. Many describe this as a national tragedy. This is a horrible crime. It is not a national tragedy. A national tragedy would impact the nation as a whole, would involve a terrorist element, would be carried out by external forces, etc. This was the act of a sick individual. It was carried out by one of us. And, it is horrible.
You know what is a national tragedy? What is a national tragedy is that we have children starving in American every day. (According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.) We do not hear people making the noise and expressing outrage about that fact, which we should be hearing every day. It is an international outrage that we have people around the world starving every day, while we have perfectly edible food being thrown out in the garbage every day, or rotting in our refrigerators and shelves.
It would take you literally seconds out of your day to help with that situation and cost you absolutely nothing other than that time. Sure, you could contribute a lot more, but you could do something as little as load a web page and click on a link. Doing so would result in a contribution being made by sponsors to The Hunger Site which then gets distributed to Mercy Corps, Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), and Millennium Promise which then distributed food aid to people in 74 countries including America. According to their “About The Hunger Site” page, they have given more then 671 million cups of food since their founding in 1999 and they average 220,000 individuals from around the world visiting daily. Imagine if you will that average was consistent from day one, and that they were founded on January 1 of 1999, that would mean that from that day until the day this was published, they’ve averaged 131,620 cups of food. Now, imagine if you will, the impact of 3 million visitors a day. 3 million visitors a day clicking on their link and donating that food. That is less than 1% of the population of the United States, yet it is more than 10 times their current daily average. Take it a step further and visit their sponsors, because those companies are doing some good in their communities. Shop from their store, because those items, too, raise funds to help with the cause, and will further help raise awareness.
Or, to look at it more broadly, because we can, it is also a Global tragedy that people are starving around the world. Though the Hunger Site clicks do contribute world wide, you can have a little fun while still contributing positively, though this one will require you to actually spend some time at the site. It isn’t a hit and run. Free Rice is a vocabulary game that donates rice to hungry people around the world via the United Nations World Food Programme.
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