Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

The devastation in Myanmar and China has been so overwhelming as to render me silent on it all. But this morning I caught a segment on the news, and later read in the paper, about all the Chinese parents who have lost their only child. And I lost it.

There's a Bloggers Unite for Human Rights challenge going on today and so here I am, still wordless, carrying unspeakable grief in my heart all the while knowing it's nothing compared to what the victims of the cyclone and the earthquake are feeling on the other side of the world.

Amnesty International has posted links to a number of their campaigns--ways to get involved in human rights and aid efforts around the globe. And here is a link to the Red Cross' donate page.

But here's my lingering question for this day, and I know I have much to learn from others on this front: When devastation is so emotionally overwhelming that your impulse is to turn away, what can you do in that moment, really do, to stay human and not just let yourself turn away?


Marjorie said...


That's a question most frequently raised (after "How can I help?") after mega-disasters such as this one. I've no real answer other than to say that it's a step in the right direction to at least acknowledge our connection to each other. I think that too many times we forget our membership in the greater community of humanity, that the petty issues that seemingly divide us obscure the fact that we all live on one teeny-tiny planet in a vast, infinite universe. We could conceivably solve all the problems that beset us, we just won't let our egos and self-interest step aside in order to accomplish that.

One thing that I urge people to consider is to take a deep breath, remember that common thread that binds us and not succumb to the understandable but misguided urge to just do something for its own sake. As someone who's worked in nonprofits for most of her professional career, I've seen so many, many otherwise goodhearted people thwart their own efforts by making donations that ultimately prove either useless or even detrimental to their intended recipients. Remember the tsunami and the subsequent flood (no pun intended) of bottled water donated by the ton from all corners of the world? The Red Cross and other aid groups had already restored sources of potable drinking water in the area within days after the tsunami hit. The nonbiodegradable plastic bottles that arrived from overseas in the aftermath ended up either cluttering up waterways and formerly pristine areas, or they were left languishing in aid warehouses because no one wanted them. A waste of millions of dollars that could have gone towards urgently needed medical care, housing and food.

I've also seen abandoned but otherwise gorgeous new schools erected by well-meaning foreign governments in rural areas in the Philippines where the number of children had dwindled to almost nothing. I've seen people donate microwave popcorn bags to church food drives for the homeless. I can think of many, many other examples of people who give without really considering whether their gift will make an impact, or if they're simply assuaging their guilt at their relative privilege.

This isn't to knock our philanthropic natures. America really is one of the most generous countries in the world. But I do hope that as we contemplate the horror and tragedy that have befallen Myanmar and China, we consider truly lasting ways to give that will do more than simply provide a moment's relief, if at all.

Note: If there's one thing that aid agencies need the most, it's money. Always, always money. Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross and various children's organizations are great places to consider a donation to.

By the way, love the idea for Bloggers United for Human Rights. Thanks for the link! I'll go check it out right now.


Anonymous said...

How do you not turn away? By not turning away. Just squash the impluse. It's that simple and that difficult.

On the large scale as marjorie mentioned, money is always a very good thing to raise and donate.

Anonymous said...

Both Margaret Wheatley and Pema Chrodron write about this 'not turning away". Wheatley says to turn toward suffering with all of our attention. Pema suggest breathing in the pain and then breathing out compassion,comfort, love.

Deborah Siegel said...

Marjorie, Anniegirl, Candeebasford, thank you for wise words, all.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Charleston turned a pair of double plays to do the trick. The spyder jackets had at least one runner on in every inning but the first and outhit the RiverDogs by a 12-6 margin cheap columbia jackets.Lawal should be a focal point of the Yellow cheap polo shirts along with highly touted newcomer, 6-9 Derrick Favors, rated as the No. 1 power forward on the ESPNU 100. The Yellow Jackets
PayPal Payment. Enjoy your shopping experience on mensclothingstore.Usnike max shoes, one of the world's three major brands of Puma shoes, will build its factory in Lanshan county next year, Hunan province. Taiwan Diamond Group of Footwear production chooses its base in Lanshan county, which is one of top 500 companies in the world.

Anonymous said...

A study last yearnike tn, the author in the essay read NIKE , a reporter at the Shanghai headquarters in an interview, nike chaussuressee a pr in high school to read a league plans, employees interviewed told reporters in Beijing's streets, they children to interview, the children said, "truly understand them." tn chaussures These words, if the author touches product function, brand spirit and culture is to become part of the consumer of two basic methods

Anonymous said...

Lacoste Polo Shirts, ralph Lauren polo shirts , Burberry Polo Shirts.wholesale Lacoste polo shirts and polo ralph laurenwith great price. offers lot of 10 lacoste polo shirts and lot of 20 cheap polo shirts. offers classic fit polo shirts. polo clothing

Anonymous said...

Cheap Brand Jeans ShopMen Jeans - True Religion Jeans, Women JeansGUCCI Jeans, Levi's Jeans, D&G Jeans, RED MONKEY Jeans, Cheap JeansArmani Jeans, Diesel Jeans, Ed hardy Jeans, Evisu Jeans, Jack&Jones Jeans...Bon March¨¦Chaussure PumaChaussure Sports Shop:baskets pumaChaussure Puma Femme,Chaussure Puma Homme,Chaussure Nike Femme,Chaussure Nike homme,nike shoxChaussure Sport et plus. Livraison Rapide.

Anonymous said...

There are ed hardy shirts
,pretty ed hardy shirt for men,

ed hardy womens in the ed hardy online store

designed by ed hardy ,
many cheap ed hardy shirt ,glasses,caps,trouers ed hardy shirts on sale ,

You can go to to have a look ,you may find one of ed hardy clothing fit for you
Top qualitymen's jacket,
These cheap jacket are on sale now,you can find
north face jackets inmage on our web
Ralph Lauren Polo Shirtsbuberry polo shirts

Do you wannaghd hair straighteners for you own , we have many
cheap ghd hair straightenersin style and great,you can choose one from these
hair straighteners
Authentic chaussure puma
chaussure sport
And chaussure nike shoes
Come here to have a look of our Wholesale Jeans
Many fashionMens Jeans ,eye-catching
Womens Jeans ,and special out standing
Blue Jeans ,you can spend less money on our
Discount Jeans but gain really fine jeans, absolutely a great bargain.


China Wholesale
wholesale from china
buy products wholesale
China Wholesalers

Anonymous said...

Do not mean bad.Thank you so much! I just want to show some fashion wedding dress to all of you. I like wedding dresses, because wedding for a girl, it is the most special day in her life. Do you want to have the beautiful wedding dresses in perfect day??

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! God bless you! Meanwhile, we have the highest quality but the lowest price fashion cheap wedding dresses. Here are the most popular designer wedding dresses and lace wedding dresses for all of you. Also the cheap evening dresses is a great choice for you. Let you dream come ture!!

Anonymous said...

Perfect!! You are a outstanding person! Do you want to wear stunning discount wedding dresses and join the party wearing beautiful cheap prom dresses?? Or you want all people's eyes can't move from you? The evening formal dresses are the best gift for you!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for you! May be you are interested in party cocktail dresses, and you may need cheap bridesmaid dress for you special Occasions. We can provide cheap cocktail dresses, cheap flower girl dresses even the plus size wedding dresses. You can choose that you like!

2010 Wedding Dresses said...

thanks for your sharing! great helpful!!!Thank you
Louboutin Shoes 
Christian Louboutin Shoes
Christian Louboutin Pumps 
Christian Louboutin Boots 
Christian Louboutin Pumps
Christian Louboutin Heels 
Christian Louboutin Sandal
Pigalle Christian Louboutin 
fur boots
christian louboutin fur boots
louboutin pumps
louboutin fur boots
coyote fur boots
christian louboutin heels
silver strappy sandals
christian louboutin toundra
loubitan studded bow peep
Wedding Dress Shops
vintage wedding dresses 
wedding dresses
cheap mobile phone
Wedding Dress Shops
Wedding Dresses 2011
Wedding Dress Shops
Off the Shoulder Wedding Dresses
bridal jackets
wedding jackets
bridal jackets
halter neck wedding dresses
off the shoulder wedding dresses
vintage wedding dresses
wedding dresses with sleeves
wedding jackets for the bride