One less-covered part of this story is why do we do what we do? Why do I do what I do? And how can we/I help?
Long ago and far away, before Ronald Reagan gave us the word "homeless", there were hoboes and bums. My grandma took me along when she took meals to these men in her village. I began assembling the 1970's version of personal care kits. I was told to "eat your peas and lima beans because the children in China are starving."
I was taught by actions and words to think of other people from my earlier memories.
This altruism stuff is tricky. I went to college and learned about Maslov along the way.
I believe that humans are made, genetically wired, to live in community. Whether you believe in humanity, or not, or believe in a high power, or not, doesn't really matter here. There's a reason the hermit is an exception.
My friend AD put it this way:
from anotherdemocrat's comment: I do what I do because people I love desperately are affected by this disease & I want to help them. I want people I don't know to have the help they need.
The big movement in this country is to make health care a basic right. We can all agree that food, water, and shelter are basic human needs and rights. It's 2011, and it's sad that there are hungry people in this country (the USA) and around the world.
This East Africa famine is a HUGE problem - root causes going back decades. Planet-wide climate change. Religious war. Tribalism. It is nearly endless. And so overwhelming. It will take a lot of hard work and clever people to solve this one.
And if you are reading this diary, there are things you can do too. That make a difference right now.
Thing one: be aware.
Thing two: Click to donate. If you're rushed for time, I recommend "children" and "global warming." Click here to donate for a hunger campaign, and there are other links at this site as well.
Thing three: Donate. I am matching 50 cents to each of your dollars. And I will draw for a knitting toy.
I don't care if you give up a fancy coffee. This gal raised big bucks by not buying yarn, and asking her friends to not buy yarn too.
Maybe you don't like Obama. Maybe you do. Maybe it's your birthday. Maybe you can eat one less expensive meal this week. Maybe you're wearing purple. Maybe you hate purple.
My point is, we can all do something. And if my match isn't met, I might donate the difference to Orrin Hatch's campaign. ;-)
Cartoon Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide/Africa. The group featured in the cartoon, Al Shabab, is the radical Islamist group engaged in a civil war with the Somali government. It has been compared to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.