Random Blog A Musing Farf

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I WISH FOR WORLD PEACE...AND FOR SOMEONE TO TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Last night Husband and I went to see Blood Diamond. As I sat in the theater, acutely aware of the diamond rings on my finger and the diamond studs in my ears, I took away the message that although the person from whom my diamonds were purchased certified them as “conflict-free,” you can never really tell where a diamond was mined and I am likely wearing these diamonds at the cost of someone’s life. But, while I sat there feeling guilty (admittedly, a fleeting guilt since I am wearing those same stones today), I also took away the message from the film that there is really nothing I can do (besides ask for a conflict-free certification for my diamonds, which I already do).

For some reason, the problems in Africa have been a particular focus for me lately. I recently finished “What is the What” and have been reading articles and watching documentaries about the conflict in Darfur. I wrote a $100 check to a relief organization and, for a brief moment, felt good about myself.

I remember learning about the Holocaust and the death of 6 million Jews. I remember my Hebrew School teacher lecturing us that the true evil at the time was not Hitler, but that the rest of the world stood by and did nothing. Now, I find myself in the same situation.

While I have been alive, genocide has been an on-going problem. Without even going into conflicts in the Middle East, approximately 2 million people have been killed in Sudan, 200,000 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and one million in Rwanda. I was not a small child in during these conflicts, but an adult who could act on behalf of others. Yet I did not.

Why? Well, what can I do? I donate money and goods to groups like UNHCR but other than that, there really is no way to help. It’s not as though I can fly off to some far away land and broker peace talks. And, Hebrew School Teacher made it clear to us that it was the fault of individuals as well as governments.

While I have no problem blaming the various governments, the UN and NGOs, for not getting involved sooner in conflicts and stopping them before then escalate, as an individual, I have little power.

“Save Darfur!” the banner at the JCC declares. Sure. I am all for it. I just wish someone would tell me how.

4 comments:

Peg said...

I wish I knew, too. Here I am, in my cozy little neighborhood, without having to live with the every day spectre of such atrocities happening in my own back yard, and I, too, feel helpless. And guilty--we can donate money, but what else can we each realistically do?

BROTHER said...

They're probably fighting over the fact that the ESPN Corp. keeps putting big games on ESPNU even though NO ONE GETS THE FREAKIN CHANNEL. There will be a civil war in this country before too long if the cable companies don't add that channel to any sort of cable package.

So, come on, ESPN. Save Darfur, and my sanity, and give us ESPNU.

Mara Clarke said...

Sometimes I think the best thing to do is change your corner of the world and try and be content with that. Like you do with Haven Coalition. You can't turn the tide of anti-choice sentiment in America, but you can help one woman at a time. Also, for issues like Darfur, talk about them. How many people in your circle knew there was a genocide in Darfur before George Clooney made an issue of it?

DR vidyardhi said...

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Vidyardhi Nanduri
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