U2’s Bono, when receiving the TED Awards, blatantly proclaimed that if African’s didn’t look so different from Westerners, we would have found a solution to their problems immediately. With 70% of the worldâ€™s HIV/AIDS population, and half of the world’s poorest countries, Sub Saharan Africa does look very different from the rest of the world.
9000 miles away, at a Compassion Cell in Orange County, volunteer Nirali makes a similar insight. “If I can care for the person next to me, with the same enthusiasm and gusto that I show for myself, then that is true selflessness”. But can that kind of selflessness truly exist? With this mind always being attached to this body, is it possible to care that deeply for others? Yet, when I find a Printer-Scanner-Copier at my doorstep with nothing but a smile card, I begin to think that maybe it is happening. When countless volunteers around the world engage in senseless selfless acts of kindness without any expectation of reward, I think that maybe a better world is possible after all.
… and no-one knows this better than the people of Africa. Yes, we do have to make leaps and bounds for the sake of humanity on that continent, but they have something that we can never dream of. While a few of us were in Kenya we were asked to make a presentation at a local church. We stood up in front of the audience and declared that we as westerners had nothing to offer them, but instead only had something to learn. The people of rural town Mbita, Kenya knew each other by name, by family relationship and by friendship. They left their doors unlocked and cared for each other’s siblings as their own. Inside that church, we admitted that we Americans did not even know the names of our closest neighbors.
As we make plans for more world changing projects, I hope we will not forget that true change must begin within. With the walk for hope coming up in September, I wonder if more people will be inspired to engage in senseless selfless acts. I wonder if I will be one of them.
– Manveer created the Be the Cause photo gallery. Check out all of our pictures to date!
– The Houston and Los Angeles Compassion Cells, in addition to Orange County, are now monthly affairs.
– Gianna and Vincent are going nuts on the on-line calendar and web content.
– Michele and the rest of the SAevent team is gearing up for the Evening in Africa this Saturday! Plans for the next Evening of Awareness are already in place as well: Refugee Resettlement and Human Trafficking on June 25th.
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
carry each other
PS Check out one.org to fight global AIDS and poverty