Last night our local Cinema Club showed the film White Material… not sure I’d recommend you Netflix it.  It’s hard to watch… haunting in what it stirs in your insides.  It’s the story of a woman coffee-plantation-owner in Africa and how she copes when civil war breaks outs.  Rebels and corrupt government officials… child soldiers and racial conflict… family struggles and the will to survive.  Not just relegated to movie plots anymore.

It made me think of a video that I ran across the other day.  Here take a look…

Did you watch the whole thing?  It feels a bit monotonous I know… but try to go back and watch it again.  This time, put yourself in the place of all those people trying to leave.  Is it possible to imagine yourself being in that situation?  Really?  As citizens of developed nations, can we even begin to conceive of packing everything we can carry and crossing the border into another country to go live in a tent because we are not safe in our own homes?  That is a completely foreign idea to me.

Or what about the thought of hiding in the basement listening to gunfire and bombs exploding through the night?  Or not being able to drive down the street because there are whole sections of buildings in the road?  Not working because all the businesses have closed… no school because the children have scattered… no food… no water…

For us, these are movie scenes… not real life.  And yet, the internet and television tell us that it’s happening today in Libya and Egypt and Tunisia and Bahrain and Yemen and Iran and Iraq and Israel… and soon to be in many more places that are remotely foreign to all of us here in the West.  Does any of it really affect us?  Should it?

It’s a hard pill to swallow…  that we somehow need to understand/ empathize/ figure it out/ engage more deeply in global issues.  It’s messy and chaotic and irrational and there are absolutely no easy solutions to any of it.  But it should change us on some level… move us toward love… toward justice… toward compassion.

Will you allow it to change you?

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

2 responses »

  1. Michael says:

    what changes you is the felt presence of immediate experience

    technology promises connection, but the reality is that it abstracts, detaches. I can leave this blog and immediately divert my attention to less intense thoughts… war permits helicopter pilots to fire at 9 blips on a video screen display

    so, we need to teach ourselves and the next generation that technology _calls_ our_ attention_ to _someone

    that is the first step

    we’ve got that one down

    now, time to imprint step #2 into our collective psyche

    step out from behind our hi-res partitions

    and behold the man, the woman, the child standing before us

    • elmenardi says:

      Well said Michael! Thanks for the push toward real relationship… reminds us all that we shouldn’t delegate that task to technology. Peace on the journey!

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