I came across this quote by Confucius:
Tell me – I forget,
Show me – I remember,
Involve me – I understand.
This goes a long way toward capturing what we are trying to do with Darfur Fast for Life. It’s about getting people more involved. It is no longer about sitting passively at one’s computer and collecting e-mails. While that plays a role in any campaign, how do we convince the world that crimes against humanity, mass atrocities, and genocide are horrors that needs to be stopped immediately? How do we convince the world that even one death is one where we were too slow to act?
Here at home, Americans need to be more concerned about the peace, safety, and livelihoods of others on our planet. Today more than ever, the world is so very interconnected, with every nation dependent upon another. I’ve always believed that Americans have too much of everything. We use so much and waste so much. We rarely take stock of what we truly need. The fast definitely has brought that message home more, at least for me.
How do we get more people to care about the many wars devastating millions of lives around the world, even if most of us remain unaffected by them? How do we find ways to tell our leaders that war is no longer a way to resolve government quarrels? When will we come to realize that any war anywhere threatens our common humanity, even as it destroys lives, devastates both land and culture, and tears apart the fabric of society, with no means of repairing it?
I often wonder if part of the problem lies in the flaws of our modern democratic systems. How is it that, even as democracy has spread with unprecedented scope and scale, governments have come to respect the will of their citizens less and less? Some day the will of the people must come to trump to the seductions of power. We all must demand that of our leaders. We all have a voice that we can use to demand better behavior from those in power. When we do, we’ll be one step closer to seeing meaningful peace and progress on our planet.