Saturday, 4 September 2010

Doing the rights

Its the middle of the night. I'm having a bad one and can't sleep. All day I have been distracting myself.

It is the anniversary of when my dad died suddenly. Its been two years but feels like it was yesterday. I have been distracting myself all day reading. I read so much today. Devoured articles online about all sorts of things, I read a lot of survivors stories, it was as if I was looking for reasons, for answers. As if somewhere in amongst the crazy stories, the miracles and the sad tales I would find some explanation.

But its beginning to feel the same ways as what they say to those visiting Auschwitz that you will find no answers there, only questions. For those that search for understanding in the red brick reality, you only find incomprehension. It seems the same applies to all suffering. A nagging turmoil, a mystery, a why?; an old you you grieve for and/or try to forget, a new you who sees with different eyes.

People frustrate me who are just concerned with their own lives, their own families, the latest music/gadgets. They're happy, they seek fleeting pleasures. I feel like an alien. I want to yell at them 'Look at all these people out there suffering' Why don't they want to help them? Until violence or suffering happens to someone or their loved ones it strikes me that most people don't give a damn. It's amazing when you find people who do, and then I think that there must be a reason; they experienced some kind of loss or confronation with the 'realities' of life.

Sometimes I feel like I am so ineffective, I want to wake people; 'sensitise' them as Elie Wiesel puts it. I have been sensitising for twenty years. And the monster only seems to grow larger and more malign. But you can't put down the torch. Not when you've seen the suffering of others and felt it as your own, or when you have suffered and suddenly you see others as yourself. They hurt, you hurt. It is that simple. What I am learning is that we are not to blame for the state of the world. Indeed much of it is beyond our control, it would take many lifetimes to change all of it. Now and then supreme leaders come along apparently just when they are needed. Not all of us are born to be them, but so many more people are doing gigantic jobs in their limited spheres of influence. There are many lives, many lifetimes of people working heroically together on this planet to make it a better place. We may feel that we are one person swatting at an elephant, when actually there are hundreds of thousands of us, day in, day out, trying to undo the wrongs, and do the rights.

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