Tag Archives: sword

distilling feelings into action

"I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale:

We all have been told that the pen is mightier than the sword. And although I agree, words in and of themselves cannot change the world.

Yes. We need to express ourselves, and speak out against injustice in every form. Yes. We need to speak up for the oppressed and those unable to speak up for themselves.

But speaking up, speaking out, is not enough. We must come to the place where we distill our feelings into pure action. We need to translate our compassion and need for global justice into the pure eloquence of action. Only then will we achieve the global good we all seek.

“And flesh and blood so cheap!”

 

Happier were those pierced by the sword than those pierced by hunger, whose life drains away, deprived of the produce of the field. – Lamentations 4:9

The words of the Prophet Jeremiah echo loudly today as we witness the brutality and senseless violence in South Sudan. The echoes can be heard in the headlines as the world’s leading relief providers have already started warning of an even uglier tragedy beginning to unfold in that young and reeling nation.

Famine is coming to South Sudan. Unless immediate response is mounted we are being told to expect the starvation, not of dozens of children, not of  hundreds of children, not of thousands of children, but to prepare for the unnecessary death of tens of thousands of innocent South Sudanese children.  These are the children who will  starve to death within the next six months, pierced by hunger, unless we act to prevent it.

Already malnourished and weakened, these children cannot survive the agony of their life draining away as it will during the hunger season. Once the rains begin the hope of these children, the life of these children, will wash away.

I am reminded of the words of Thomas Hood, the 18th century English poet. In The Song of the Shirt he wrote:

“Oh, God! That bread should be so dear!
And flesh and blood so cheap!”