Molly in Africa

Thursday, June 04, 2009

An uncomfortable truth...

This excerpt is written by Bono as part of a foreward to Jeff Sach's book, "The End of Poverty," but I thought it was really telling...

"He helps us make sense of what senseless really means: fifteen thousand Africans dying each and every day of preventable, treatable diseases--AIDS, malaria, TB--for lack of drugs that we take for granted.
This statistic alone makes a fool of the idea many of us hold on to very tightly: the idea of equality.  What is happening in Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern, and questions our commitment to that whole concept  Because if we're honest, there's no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else.  Certainly not in North America, or Europe, or Japan.  An entire continent bursting into flames?  Deep down, if we really accept that their lives--African lives--are equal to ours, we would all be doing more to put the fire out.  It's an uncomfortable truth."

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Ugandan Martyrs and when I was having prayers with the Brothers yesterday, Adoka gave a really powerful reflection.  He asked what we are willing to sacrifice for our faith, for what we believe in, to say "amen."  He said we often joke that living in Karonga is sacrifice enough but really, we live comfortably here.  I thought that was so telling.  He mentioned that while we don't always have power, we do most of the time.  While we don't always have water (we just spent the last two weeks not having water), that we do have running water here.  We never are too hungry.

I guess I'm sharing that second part because I want you all to know that I am still faced with that same uncomfortable truth even though I am living here.  I will be the first to admit that these past ten months have not been an experience of living in solidarity with the people around me in many ways (mostly due to the amenities afforded to us in our house and through our volunteer program).  Lately we have been doing some things that I like in terms of interacting with surrounding people more.  We've started having people over for dinner finally (we've been talking about it since we arrived).  It's been really neat to share in some social time with some people that we work with and to get to know their families has been a great way to build stronger relationships.  I hope this is something we'll continue to do (and maybe even do more often) for the next 14 months that I'll be here.

So my two challenges of today's blog:
1) In what ways are you willing to act in order to show that you feel people ARE equal?
2) Are you comfortable with how you live?  What about when you think of it in comparison to your neighbors? the people in the closest inner-city? the people living in rural America? the people living in Africa?


Post a Comment

<< Home