This Wednesday’s Shout-Out is to two very interesting articles about which friends and I furiously sent emails back and forth… I’m still thinking about them… You can find them here:
Why Are the Comics Pink from Christianity Today‘s blog and Small Change, Why the revolution will not be tweeted from The New Yorker.
The idea in both articles is that what passes for “activism” now-a-days: turning everything a shade of pink one month or reposting a Facebook status because “you support this” statement has the activists of generations past – the generation of sit-ins and costly nonviolence – turning over in their graves. We purchase an $8 bag of coffee to give a dollar to such-and-such a charity or hit a “Like” button somewhere in cyber space, and feel we’ve done our part. We’ve somehow sacrificed for “the cause” and our consciences are cleared.
Yet all of the money and energy we pour into such endeavors does very little practically for those facing the concerns we purport to be advancing. Instead, what we’ve done is helped ourselves. We’ve made ourselves feel better. Now when we see a picture of a starving child in some faraway place or hear of a lonely woman dying in her house with no one to notice – we join a Facebook group, send out a mass email, rant about it on a blog and call it good.
So I wonder… after ranting about my weak “like button” involvement in causes that matter – will I too call it good? Feel like I’ve somehow helped change a small corner of my world by spewing these thoughts over the handful of people who’ll read it?
I think that’s why those articles are still stuck in my mind… Because if I really take their message seriously – that true change in the world around me will come only after true sacrifice on my part… then I can’t simply post this blog it took me thirty minutes to write and call it good. I’ve got to roll up my sleeves, dig in and somehow try to prepare myself for some sacrifice that goes beyond giving an extra $1.50 at the grocery store check-out.
Really? How much change does one buy for $1.50?
So, this year’s resolution is actually more of a question, I suppose. How do I move beyond written rantings and mental games to somehow really making a difference? This year’s resolution is to be on the look-out for ways to dig in and sacrifice for someone else when my natural impulse says to look away or simply “like button” a cause.
I think it will be hard and messy. I think I’ll get tired and feel awkward and become discouraged.
And I think I might find it was worth it.