Deploring the evil that we see happening in the world isn’t enough. We are not spectators. Silence in the face of evil places us on the side of the perpetrators.
All of us have a voice. All of us have the ability to speak out for those who are oppressed, those who are disenfranchised, those among us ignored and powerless.
Those who only watch are partners with those doing the evil. Our silence in the face of injustice is tacit agreement.
All of us have a voice. We just need the courage to use it.
I have two enemies in all the world,
Two twins, inseparably pooled:
The hunger of the hungry and the fullness of the full.
This little poem I recently came across by Marina Tsvetaeva well describes my own feelings. After 40 years of walking along side the poor and hungry I still cannot reconcile myself to the apathy of those that have sufficient resources yet refuse to help those of our family in need. Here is an equally short poem I wrote over 30 years ago.
Hunger is an obscenity,
a four-letter word
scrawled across the lives of millions
by those that could, but do not share.
Every week a tsunami rips through poor towns and villages all over the world.
It claims 25,000 lives a day, 173,00 a week.
It sweeps children from the arms of their mothers, robs hundreds of millions of any hope for the future.
That tsunami is hunger.
Global hunger is the perfect storm. We don’t need to tune to the weather station to get an early storm warning. It hits every day, and kills thousands. And the only shelter necessary is for us to share the abundant resources already available.
But for some reason, even in the midst of this ongoing tsunami, we don’t care enough to act. I wonder what single word might best describe our apathy.
I am torn between two choices. I think our lack of response to the cries of the hungry is either “pathetic” or “repulsive.”
What word would you use to describe such apathy?