We Interrupt Regular Programming …

You’d be right to some extent if you thought that sitting here lotus eating in Paradise I’m removed from the horror that keeps erupting in the outside world.  I’ve given up reading newspapers and switch to CNN, BBC, Aljazeera … as infrequently as possible.  It’s not that I consciously seek to remove myself from the world, but hardly a week seems to pass without someone using a gun (or a rocket launcher, or bomb – or penis or fists) to press his (usually) views or supposed rights on others.

I know it’s happening (I do watch the ABC* news each evening) –  I’m just too horrified, angered – sick to death! – of all this violence to be avid for the details.  Each story’s different, of course, but when you read through to the end of a list of what one news agency listed as ‘violent incidents’ that took place in the world in 2012 –  really, the details become indistinguishable.

Oh Ganapati, Remover of Obstacles

Oh, great Ganapati, Remover of Obstacles …

It seems the whole world is asking, as Isak Dinesen said, ‘Why is your freedom more important than mine?”  Well, in my book, if your freedom means other people must be forced out of their homes and livelihoods – killed, starved, raped – in order for you to be free, it’s just not on.

Was a time when I wanted to change the world.  Now I just try to change myself – to become more forgiving, understanding, generous, loving.  It’s difficult when you hear people shouting hate and intolerance so that your heart grows cold and still inside.

We can’t free hostages held by gunmen.  We can’t bring back children shot down by gunmen. We can’t halt the madness – or the greed and fear – of others, but there are practical things, quiet behind-the-scenes things we can all do to add a grain of goodness to the brew of hatred and turmoil swirling around the world these days.

The UN’s World Food Program – the group that brought us the vocabulary game “Free Rice” – has a new client courtesy of the ‘Syrian conflict’.  Currently, they’re feeding 1.5 million people in Syria and surrounding countries who have been forced out of their homes by the fighting.  Food supplies will run out by the end of March and what with their other, ongoing programs, the agency is running short of money.  They seek help from us, the fortunate people of the world.

Eighteen dollars, they say, will feed a Syrian family for a week where cost of a loaf of bread has soared from around 60c to over $3.50 due to the conflict.  How much did your family spend at the grocery store last week?  I know I spent a great deal more than that on myself.  If you can’t afford to donate, could you make a commitment to spend a little time each day to play Free Rice – tell your friends, ask them to play.

I will be so grateful if you would, could, add your grain of goodness to the world today.

Free Rice 2.0

*  Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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24 thoughts on “We Interrupt Regular Programming …

  1. meredith, a wonderful post … of course we can donate … and i am so with you on simply not watching the violence … for me it is the only way i can believe in peace for the world, and somehow i need to hold the view that is is possible and will happen .. perhaps it is a biblical view of the lion laying down with the lamb but i still think it is coming, otherwise how can we progress to heal a damaged world? more rice for the syrians, all of them 🙂

  2. Meredith, this made me feel better. Really. I’m onto the donation and Free Rice too. Everybody on Facebook plays some game or other. I’ll suggest Free Rice. Thanks. Cheers!

  3. Meredith, this is a wonderful post, and thinking of all innocent people that is being affected by small ( in mind) men’s ( most often) power struggles, makes me upset. I will donate.
    Did you hear on TedTalk about the palestine and syrian people ( I think it was) starting to send one another love messages on Facebook? That was also a beautiful thing to do. ❤

  4. My frustration at the greed of mankind and the damage caused by man’s insistence on enforcing political and religious beliefs on unwilling people.knows no bounds. I’m starting to adopt the ostrich pose as watching it all unfold is too dreadful.

  5. Thank you M, for reminding me of Free Rice.
    I too, have given up watching very much TV news, I usually scan through online headlines to see if the world is ending today, and then move on to more pleasant things.
    We can all do our little bit to move peace and love along in our lives, and the lives of others..
    Let us, the fortunate people of the world, pay it forward in any way we can.

  6. Oh, so beautifully said. And you summed up my own feelings about the world so well. Our monthly donations go to help refugees across the world. Sadly, the numbers seem to grow every year, not decrease.

  7. Exactly how I feel… although I have to say I do get involved in trying to change things for the better in Jamaica through volunteering and now serving on two NGO boards – quite demanding! BUT I understand. This week has been terrible, so many murders and the police have been trigger-happy since 2013 started. It must have been their new year resolution! Sometimes I can hardly bear to watch/listen to the news. As for the rest of the news… Syria in particular fills me with despair. But as you say, all we can do is try to make oneself a better person…

  8. I love the photo…. the colour is awesome.
    I too watch little news and never read the paper, unless it is the little local paper from home. There is usually a pic of someone I know 🙂
    There is enough hurt in the world, why do we need to show it and give others bad ideas?

  9. Reblogged this on Soulshine Traveler and commented:
    Meredith of The Wanderlust Gene discusses the familiar feeling of feeling helpless against hatred and violence, but reminds us of the power each of us has to create change within ourselves. Please consider donating to the UN World Food Program’s effort to feed 1.5 million displaced Syrians. I gave $20 and I’m asking you to match it!

  10. This is an outstanding post. I share your sentiments dearly. I too have a hard time stomaching all that is going on in this insane world. Especially when it comes to raising children. I wonder if I get more cynical as I grow older? But I’ll keep trying my best to change what I can thought my advocacy, volunteerism, and writing. 🙂

  11. Good Post. I used to play “Free Rice”, then stopped and forgot.
    Thanks for the reminder. I also agree with you about not watching all the violence.
    I write horror, but it is fiction. I hate real violence.
    Scott

  12. i love your post about free rice, my best friend used to play this all the time. i have to admit that i was not that interested back then, lovely blog you have here, i love your cover photo what kind of flowers are there ? Anyway keep up the good work 😉

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