Sunday 26 July 2015

Are you alright, Jack?

Let me share a few words with you. If I read something that delivers a tad of inspiration, it is only fair to share it.
Regrettfully as a result of excessive exploitation of natural resource by wealthy nations, those who are poor experience poverty, lack of access to clean water, hunger and disease. We are one human family and we have the responsibility to eradicate this abuse and to protect, cherish and care for the Earth and to ensure a true and viable home for all people for future generations.
These are words which strike a chord with me. In the wealthy nations, we live a priveliged life. What is strange though is just how far we are from meeting even this rather humble aspiration. Even on our own doorstep we have poverty. These fine words were written by Fr Kevin O'Shea in the Sacred Heart Church newsletter today. If you turn it over, you see just how far we are with the following notice
Foodbank dates
Next foodbank dates August st & 2nd and September 5th and 6th.

The following items are needed. 
UHT Milk or powdered
Fruit Juice (long life carton)
Sponge Pudding (tinned)
Tomatoes (tinned)
Rice pudding (tinned)
Instant Mash potatoes
Tinned meat and fish
Tinned Vegetables
Tinned fruit
Biscuits or snack bars
There is also a need for toiletries and babies nappies size 3, 4 and 5
Currently they do not need pasta or teabags.

 This collection is held monthly at the church for the Colindale foodbank. It is non denominational, the church is simply the Mill Hill drop off point. If even in a wealthy nation, we need such collections, it shows just how far we are from even meeting the basic aspiration above.  I for one think that a society that can afford nuclear weapons can afford to pay for clean water and a basic diet for people in impoverished countries. Is it any wonder so many citizens of the planet hate and resent the West?

There is much talk in the right wing press saying "charity begins at home" and calling out the injustice in this country. We are a rich nation and if we wanted to we could fix the issues in our nation and the worst privations in the third world. The 1.7% of GDP is to me a low target. The right wing press gives numerous examples of where this is not well spent. Strangely there are no examples of where it saves lives and mends broken societies. This is not because there are not numerous examples, it is because they don't fit the politcal narrative of the billionaire owners of the papers who print the stories. These are people who'd rather see their spare millions spent on new yatches and cars rather than helping those who have nothing to eat and polluted water to drink.

We will never fix all the injustice in the world, but is that really any sort of excuse to not even bother trying?

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