Saturday, September 8, 2007

we have it so easy

Let's revisit the last three evenings.

Thursday - I attended a book reading of The Shock Doctrine.
Friday - I saw a documentary called The Dictator Hunter which outlined the attempt to bring the former dictator of Chad to justice.
Saturday (tonight) - I watched the first two hours of When the Levees Broke.

In case you think your life is tough, any one of those three things would bring you back to reality. For the last three days, I have been constantly reminded of how much suffering there is in the world. Actually, I am always aware but it has been more acute this week. It's hard to believe what people go through and how they survive. I cannot even comprehend what the victims of vicious dictators or the tsunami or the levees breaking or war or famine or drought or torture or ....... go through. The list could go on forever.

Hard to believe that with all the wealth existing in the world, people still have to suffer the way they do. It's deplorable. We all have a responsibility to make things better.



RainyBow note: Word. As a woman, I'm particularly lucky to live where and when I do, because life sucks for so many, many women around the world. I'm just finishing up Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel, which is an incredibly sad account of what it's like to be a Muslim woman in sub-Saharan Africa. A choice quote: "... because I was born a woman, I could never become an adult. I would always be a minor, my decisions made for me.... I might have a decent life, but I would be dependent--always--on someone treating me well. " (Free Press, 2007, p.187) Bloody hell.

I agree; we all have a responsibility to make things better. However, we generally don't. Is that because we don't know where to start, or because most of us are ignorant and don't care to educate ourselves? I'd like to think it's the former, because at least then action is possible.

Btw, I also saw The Dictator Hunter and highly recommend it--if you can find it. Stories like that of the human rights lawyer it follows give me some kind of hope. If one guy who could have a really cushy life chooses instead to spend more than six years trying to bring a dictator who killed 40,000 people (to whom he has no real connection) to justice, then there must still be good people in the world.


Another RainyBow note: I just finished reading Trailing Technology's post about acid attacks on women in India, which are not as uncommon as one would hope. The women are doused in or are forced to drink acid. Those who manage to survive often lose their mouth, nose and ears. How does anyone make sense of this?

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