Friday, August 12, 2011

A mother's cry.... all of us cry

I have watched the news reports of the famine and drought in Africa with horror, sadness and pure sobbing grief. 30,000 sons and daughters already buried and an estimated 600,000 total children may die before the end of the year if this crisis is not changed. Dying... of hunger. Dying... of diseases that are completely preventable or curable like whooping cough... I find it sadly ironic that we are battling obesity in the West and children are dying from hunger in Africa. How did our priorities on this planet get so incredibly out of whack??
The most heart wrenching story I saw on CNN was that of a mother in grief after burying her child. Her cries were universal and touching. That has taken place 30,000 times already in this crisis, 600,000 is totally unacceptable. Think about all of the kids in your town, city, state dying- that is the enormity of this situation.

Take a minute now to then factor in the number of adults who have and will also die and then add to the mix the atrocities being done to women in the midst of the tragedy - this is a time of unbelievable loss. The atrocities I refer to are the rape and gang rape of women refugees by soldiers or bandits. Imagine- you are starving, fleeing for your life across a desert with your children and it is not safe to gather water or find a place to use the bathroom or you could be abducted and brutally violated- some women reporting attacks by gangs of men that last hours.

Perhaps the death and sadness are just too overwhelming for people to watch or to care about. Imagine for a minute if this situation were happening in our country-it would be the top news story every night, people would be outraged. The childish antics of our elected officials would pale in comparison to these events in terms of news coverage. I am not naive. I understand that this is a poor and misundertsood part of the world. I understand that there are political issues, corruption and religious and racial differences in Kenya, Somalia and Ethopia. But children are STARVING. That one simple fact should cause any human being with a heart or conscience to stand up and demand action. And yes, they aren't in OUR country- so what? They are people- children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents with a heart and soul just like ours. That mother's cry could be our own expect for geography. The human race is all connected- through energy, physics and spirit. What are the ramifications to those of us outside of this tragedy if we sit by and do nothing?

There is so much brilliance, talent and drive among human beings across the globe. We have collectively created an international space station, cured diseases and designed super computers and new technology. We can develop Viagra and the space shuttle...but can't figure out how to navigate political and logistical problems to get food and water to a starving baby? Someone help me understand this.

What can we do? It does seem overwhelming and easier to bury your head in the sand. But it isn't. Do what you can:
* get educated and learn what is going on
* share this horror story with others
* make your kids aware- perhaps their generation will do a better job one day
* make a donation (10 dollars can feed a child for 10 days) by checking out the reputable charities listed on CNN
* if you are spiritual- say a prayer
* call, email or write your legislators and make sure they are informed and active (about time they did something of value)
* remember how incredibly blessed and lucky you are

A mother is crying. Can you hear her? I can't get her voice out of my head.