Tag Archives: elephant

on elephants and mice

What side are you on? There is no middle.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it quite plainly. He stated it both forcefully and succinctly.

“If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has his foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

And this is really at the heart of the matter, isn’t it? Where do we stand? What side are we on when it comes to the issue of justice for all?

We live in a world unbelievably blessed, a world with enough food for every one of our human family. Justice demands that all of us have access to those life-sustaining resources. The fact that over a billion people on the planet live in extreme poverty without access to sufficient food is morally unacceptable.

Knowing that we live in a world where injustice holds a billion of our family hostage to hunger demands action. And that demand for action brings us back to that original question.  What side are we on?

We can say we are neutral if we want. But, as the good Archbishop has pointed out, that clearly places us with those who are the oppressors. That’s not where I want to be. We have to make that elephant move.

I am on the side of the poor and hungry. There’s enough food for all of us. Isn’t it time that we learn to share? Isn’t it time that we start living more faithfully, and actually start practicing a lifestyle more reflective of God’s love and care for all of creation?

Lent is just around the corner. I, for one, think that will be a perfect time to take some positive steps toward living more justly. Maybe if I deny myself just a little I will have a little more I can share with those who need it far more than I do. At least then I can demonstrate a little more clearly that I am trying to get that damned elephant to move his foot.