Saturday, May 26, 2007

global citizen.

I'm becoming a global citizen. And it is painful.

I feel as though I'm in a season of awakening. I've begun to figure out who I am in the context of my family and friends, and this island environment that I've adopted as part of my own. I'm in this phase now where I'm beginning to discover who I am in the context of the world scheme. And boy, it is alarming.

I am part of one of the richest nations in the world. I am female, and I've completed 13 years of primary and secondary school, and I'm now entering my third year of post-secondary education.

In my lifetime, I have never, ever had to worry that I would be shot. Or step on a mine. Or that any member of my family would have to go to war.

I've never had to worry about what I say and who I say it to. I've never had to worry that I would get arrested or killed for talking about God or reading my Bible.

I have free health care.

I never have to worry about if I'm going to have enough to eat. I'm always warm enough. I'm always clothed.

I don't have to worry about clean water.

I. Don't. Have. To. Worry. About. Clean. Water.

In a world where 45% of children in South Asia suffer from malnutrition, the most taxing decisions I make on a daily basis are whether to have toast or cereal for breakfast, or whether that sweater will match these pants.

And it kills me that we North Americans attempt to “do our part” by fundraising, praying, fasting, lamenting, and meditating on the terrible status of the world. That’s not to say that those things don’t have value. But when we do those things, and then jump in our cars and drive back to our houses and our full cupboards and our telephone, electricity, cable, internet and credit card bills, and aren’t disturbed by all of those things, every single day, it means we didn’t really get it.

Unless we pick up and leave this country, there is no way we will ever know what it feels like to be without, to live in fear, to be uncomfortable as part of our daily lives. You can't pretend or empathize with that kind of suffering. We must be alright with the unbalance in this world, because we’re still here! We’re still driving our vehicles, wasting water, overeating, buying stuff, and turning a blind eye to the pain of the overwhelming majority of the world!

So. The next question I'm asking myself is .. where should I go?