Saturday, November 24, 2012

Israel, Palestine and America's Compassion

Unless you've been under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know that there has been an ugly war going on between Israel and Palestine, possibly the deadliest since 2008/2009. In one airstrike, an Israeli bomb hit the home of Jamal Dalu killing his wife, sister, two daughters, daughter-in-law, four grandchildren and his grandmother.

As I watched the devastation of the war and the response, or lack thereof on social networks, my mind reminded me of Trayvon Martin, Hurricane Sandy and its' aftermath and how Americans rallied together to support and comfort one another; then I wondered, where is our compassion for Palestine?

Day after day various news reports rolled in on Gaza and I could not understand how people weren't moved by this war. One would think that the loss of lives is reason enough to be concerned, but, perhaps it's different when the lives lost aren't those of American citizens.

How can we live in America and see abuse, poverty, and injustice in other countries and be indifferent about it? Have we become desensitized to the ills of this world or is it that we just don't care until it directly affects us? Are our minds so narrow that we only focus on what's directly in front of us, making us incapable of being concerned with the sufferings of others?

We talk of being a great nation, but how can that happen if we fail to look beyond our own backyards.
To be this great nation, our compassion must extend beyond America and to our brothers and sisters in, what we may consider, foreign lands.To be a great nation, we must truly care for our neighbors, for all of humanity, all of the time; not just when wars or natural disasters happen. To be a great nation, our hearts must be in tune with the broader concerns of humanity and not just our individual concerns. 

We cannot prosper as a people, nation or world when we see people dying and we choose to look the other way because it doesn't 'concern' us. We must start caring enough to care for others.

America, put humanity at the forefront of your mind and let's see how far we can go, together.

Kim Moore
Twitter: @SoulRevision

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

What About November 7, 2012 ... The Day After The Election

What you do tomorrow, matters!

A couple of weeks ago I tuned into The League of Young Voters event and the most profound thing I heard came from a powerful activist, Rosa Clemente. The statement was a simple, thought-provoking call to action, "Voting is in 12 days, but what are you going to do on the 13th day?"

Well, election day is here. You went to the polls, you cast your vote, great! November 7, 2012 comes, now what will you do?

Veterans will still need jobs, students will still need financial assistance to go to college, what are you going to do to ensure that this can and will happen?

That change that we so desperately seek, the change we have so desperately longed for; it happens as a nation working together. What you do or don't do tomorrow, matters. The work doesn't stop at the polls; the work cannot stop today. The campaign for jobs, change, women's rights, veterans, college students, immigrants and other social issues must go on.

We have an individual responsibility to challenge our elected officials and see to it that they keep their word. It is our accountability that helps make our leaders great. But it is not the President alone that we must hold accountable; our local officials, as well as ourselves must be held to that same standard.

Your candidate will either win or lose today, but regardless of the outcome, what will you do tomorrow?

If we should see tomorrow, what will you do to ensure that our new President, whether he was your choice or not, upholds the promises he's made to America? What will you do to ensure that the Mayor of your city acts in your cities best interest? What will you do personally to implement the changes you would like to see on a local level?

If November 7th comes and we go back to doing nothing, we will have defeated our purpose at the polls today. Remember, change is an ongoing process that requires constant and consistent action from the collective!

Let's maintain continuity by continuing tomorrow what we started today, because the day after the election matters just as much as election day.

Kim Moore
Twitter: @SoulRevision

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Bystander Effect

Bystander: One present but not taking part in a situation or event; a chance spectator

The Bystander Effect: A phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs, observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses.

In 2010, a good samaritan saved a woman from a mugger with a knife, he (the good samaritan) was then stabbed multiple times in the chest and collapsed on the sidewalk. Within an hour and 20 minutes more than 25 people walked by and did NOTHING and in one case a man took a picture with his cell phone. 

The bystander effect is more than just standing around watching as someone is hurt and not offering assistance; it's also about watching injustice happen and choosing to remain silent, it's about driving past the homeless and feeling 'sorry' for them but never being compelled to act on their behalf, it's about knowing that someone is suffering from an addiction and choosing to say 'that's their problem'.We, as a nation, have in some ways become apathetic to the issues of this world, and our apathy is killing us!

I am of the opinion that if you see wrong, injustice etc and you willing choose to do nothing about it, you are guilty of inaction.
The Bystander Effect
The next time you see abuse happening, the next time you see a poverty-ridden community, or even if you hear about the famine in Somalia, or the lack of resources in Haiti... DO SOMETHING! There are victims that are depending on you to be a voice for them when theirs has been silenced. Make the conscious decision not to standby any longer. ACT, and act now!

As of August 2011, 29,000 kids under the age of 5 have died in Somalia due to the famine

Our action doesn't always have to be money oriented. I personally believe it's the accumulation of a large amount of small acts of kindness that will help to change this world. It doesn't cost any money to stop and help the elderly woman you see struggling with her groceries, nor does it cost any money to sign a petition to protect funding for clean water, but yet, we don't do these things.
All it takes are a large number of small acts of kindness

My ongoing question for 2012 will be, 'What role will you play?'. We spend too much time standing by and complaining about our current state of affairs but not enough time DOING something about it. If your community is infested with violence, what role will you play to make your community safe? If programs are being cut at your local schools, what role will you play to save or create new programs for the students? If the parks in your community are unsafe for your children, what role will you play in helping to clean them up?

Stop watching while people around you are hurting. Don't be a bystander, get involved!