Not To Forget

There is something we can do towards the many painful problems we hear about each day, remember them–If anyone knows Los Angeles, they probably know that at the corner of PCH and Chautauqua a driver is usually greeted by panhandlers. Each time it happens to me, I’ve been in a quandary, do I or do I not give them money? Each time I listen to NPR I hear of so many abuses towards people near and far, I ask myself what am I to do? And then there are problems like Darfur, like Zimbabwe, and those not in the news these days but still on the map of suffering, North Korea and Myanmar. What is my responsibility as a private citizen? I keep thinking of those cholera victims in Zimbabwe with no care and no food, of those women being raped in Darfur, of the famine in North Korea and it’s so easy to feel despondent, or at the very least helpless.
We are accustomed to feeling that such huge problems, ongoing tragedies and abuses are beyond the pale of our abilities. I’m no longer so sure. We can certainly keep informed, but beyond that, there is something important we can do, something that gives each of these suffering beings worth, relevance and dignity, we can remember them. We can hold them in our hearts like the brothers and sisters they are and keep holding them there until their lot improves. Would we want them to do any less were we in their shoes?