Friday, 19 December 2008

White Envelopes and Fatigue

I just read a story about a Christmas tradition that involved placing a white envelope on the Christmas tree. In it was a note telling the husband that his wife had bought helmets for all the members of a poverty stricken church's young wrestling team in his name, and that was her Christmas present to him that year. She did it because her husband had been upset by the plight of these young wrestlers and because he hated the empty commercialism that Christmas had become. His wife continued to make a donation in his name to an organization or people they knew were in need every Christmas. When he died the family continued the tradition.

Every day I read the blog of a friend who is completely immersed in the injustice that has put a young Australian woman in an Indonesian prison for twenty years or so. She wants her readers to help.

Today I received a forwarded letter from a friend of a friend who is living through the injustices in Zimbabwe. He asks that people get the story out so that help can be found before this becomes a genocide that is a fait accompli instead of one in the making.

Every so often I receive word from friends in Kenya about children who need help ... they are often orphaned ... all are poor ... and education is seen as the key to their lives becoming something more than battles to survive. They need monetary help.

Another blogger whose posts I read every day is telling the story of police wrong doing directed against a poor young woman on the streets of downtown Ottawa. This blogger with the support of her readers is trying to do something about the problem by making it public.

The family who have established the white envelope tradition, the bloggers whose hearts and minds have been touched by the plight of young women hurt by institutionalized injustice, and the people who are trying to help people they don't know halfway around the world are all trying to do the right thing in a world that too often allows the wrong things to happen.

Right now I am feeling worn out and worn down by so many just causes. This fatigue has happened to me before and it will happen again, but even if right now I can't stand up and fight the injustices myself, and even if I can't find the financial resources to help people, I am glad that others are fighting on behalf of my belief in equality and justice.

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