So I started drafting a post about International Week (which was for the most part - wonderful), but it is going to have to wait... because I haven't had time to finish - and I am feeling something angry with the world. While I am not so arrogant to assume that my ranting leads to much of anything other than a bit of catharsis for me... on the off chance it causes you to also feel a certain amount of rage and take some sort of action - here I go.
I have been blessed with so much fortune in my life. I didn't do anything to deserve to be born into the life that I was, to be raised the way that I was, to enjoy the opportunities I have had offered to me... I have been lucky - for most, if not all, of my life. Through this luck - I have met some incredible people who have changed and shaped my perspectives and heard speakers who have blown me away (you could read about some of those here, here, here, or really - throughout my blog... in some way - if you wanted to).
I have tried, in response to many of these experiences to live a life that is governed by conscientious choices. I tried to be aware of the ways my life impacts others - in both small local ways and again in the big - global manifestations. I am not perfect, no where close. I screw up, more often than I'd like... but it's my goal - and regardless of how often I screw up - I can return to that goal and begin to try again.
Lately, it seems that every time I read the news, I am mad about something new. I feel that perhaps, my life has become too comfortable again. That perhaps the rage that I feel is also a bit of guilt, as I am not working in the same way to create that active, concrete change, that I so desperately want to see in the world. Instead I am sitting in a classroom... questioning my choices. I sometimes wish I was one of those people who could easily become content with my choices, certain that they were the right ones... (that's another rant, for another time though, cause without a doubt, I am not that person).
So - my latest rage? (or most ongoing rage?...): the government that is supposed to be representing me and is doing one hell of a bad job. Today I read two articles: 1 - about the gag order on CIDA employees to not say anything against the agency or government and 2 - about an organization that is presently funded by CIDA that is spouting hate about the queer community. Some of you may remember the bruhaha with Minister Oda, when KAIROS got the "Not" funding agreement which ended CIDA funding for their amazing work. They do incredible work with environmental issues, with human rights, with solidarity... Check them out - http://www.kairoscanada.org/ At the time, one of the things I kept hearing from people is that 'religious organizations shouldn't be receiving Canadian tax money'. Yet so called Christian organizations (I use italics, because I really do believe that the teachings of Christ are of love, acceptance, kindness... about moving away from judgment, blame, and hate... yet there are these groups who call themselves communities of love - that enact hate against those who they feel aren't as saved or blessed as themselves, which I really don't think Christ would ever condone or participate in... calling themselves "Christians") are receiving funding. It's maddening.
ESPECIALLY at time when funding for organizations who ARE doing rights based, partnership rich, work are losing their funding. While money for education of Canadians about our own roles in creating a culture of peace is vanishing. There's this campaign Reverse the Cuts (which I hope you'll sign) that is trying to show the government that Canadians aren't for this kind of action. That Canadians do not stand behind actions that move money designated for international cooperation into the hands of corporations who feel that they can use it to do PR for their disgusting business - and then call is International Development. That Canadians do not believe that the work of building solidarity and peace is done - and therefore can be phased out. That Canadians do not believe that there is ANY justification for inflicting more harm on the world - due to embellishing our own greed.
I don't know what I really want you to do - in response to my ranting... but I hope you'll think about it. Think about if it makes you mad or not (and why - or why not?). I hope that you'll be in contact with you representatives, regardless of your beliefs. That you'll support organizations that ARE making positive contributions in the world whether that is in your neighbourhood, city, province or elsewhere in the world.
I'll let you know if I can come up with something more concrete... but right now - I am stuck somewhere between furry and heartache.
peace to you~