Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stop talking, start doing.

Over the last few weeks I’ve come to recognise a sense of desperation for justice within my community.  Even strangers, those far removed from an extremely complex situation, are demanding answers of us. Onlookers are stopped on streets and are asked for their opinions by provocative journalists, they are asked to serve the local paper by giving uninformed answers that are dripping with judgment. I am growing tired, as I’m sure many others are, of the accusations of hypocrisy and dishonesty.

I too long for truth and justice in a greater sense, don’t we all? Well if we’re a country so hungry for truth and justice, it’s time we faced the world’s greatest injustice and most swept under the rug truth, the one my friends died fighting against: poverty.

Take your eyes off controversy for a second, off your neediness and so-called right to know the details, and focus them here. The tragedy of this situation goes beyond the four lives lost, the tragedy of this is that the very cause the team were fighting for is being ignored- by you. Justice was and is at the very centre of this trip. Meet an incredible team of nineteen individuals determined to witness firsthand the truth of poverty, and then further serve in any and every way possible. Meet the kind of people who could change the world and deserve to be honoured.

You want truth? Here’s truth: People are dying and we are not doing enough. You are angry because you think you have right to information and you think you’re being denied this? Get angry because helpless children born into broken situations have the right to be healthy, to be educated, to survive, but are being denied it every single day. You want justice? Stop talking about who is right and who is wrong and start acting. Start acting on behalf of millions of helpless human beings and join the fight against poverty. Get your work boots on and go.

For the injured, for the hurting, for the families of the lives lost: do something. Before you point the finger, take a good look at yourself. Can you afford to impose such judgment upon people when the greatest injustice known to man is taking place everyday while you sit and do nothing?

Caitlin Dickson, Brian and Grace Johnston, and Christopher Mmata died fighting against poverty. The Kenya 2012/13 team were injured in the same battle. It isn't easy but it's more than worthy and it's your turn, your time. Grab hold of their torches and go forwards, honour their memory by carrying the crosses they so faithfully shouldered. Stop talking, start doing. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lesson 183. Life just keeps going.

Life just keeps going.

This is a concept that we accept with great ease when life smells of roses and throws sunshine on every path we tread. Or even when smiles don't ride ear to ear, even when we become complacent with our somewhat stereotypical lives, it's easy to simply nod when faced with the realisation that life just keeps going.

It's when grief strikes that the thought of life continuing to move at the same pace that we are faced with a mountain to climb. We often cling to pieces of tragedy left behind. We don't want to get out of bed in the morning, we don't want to see anyone living outside of our nightmare, we don't want to smile at the supermarket cashier and politely declining a flyer from an overly zealous stranger seems completely out of the question. But the truth is, it continues. We have to return to work, to study, to supermarket shopping, because life just keeps going. It does not stop and ponder, it does not eagerly await your return, it simply continues and expects that you do the same.

I'm living in limbo. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm absolutely terrified of the life that lies ahead of me. Moving forwards without someone who has always been beside you is scary, not impossible, but at the very least an extremely difficult concept to come to terms with. But I'm determined more than anything else to learn to love that life keeps going, not in an unhealthy shut-all-the-grief out kind of way, but simply in a way that honours the lives that I loved that were lost.

I'm determined to quit second guessing, to stop dreaming and start actively pursuing. I'm determined to stretch my arms further and to say I love you louder. Life just keeps going, so jump in and start doing it better. Let yourself feel, let yourself have bad days, recognise that it's okay to feel like this, but don't stop living because of it.

Life is going to break your heart and be breathtakingly beautiful at the same time every single step of the way, so here we go, headfirst, straight in. Fight with it, figure it out a fraction more and then celebrate the terrible wonderful truth that life just keeps going.