Friday, 8 February 2013

The Weight of the World


I received an email this morning, unsolicited, from an organisation claiming to address major world issues. They talked about the terrible plight of women in India who are afraid to walk along the streets for fear of being attacked. They talked of saving the bee who is vital to our existence but is slowly being poisoned by our use of neonicotinoid pesticides. They reminded us of the continued existence of sweat shops and their use of young children who should be learning and enjoying their childhood. The sorrows of the world are both endless and unfathomable.

But this email, unsolicited, then asked me to donate money. I hesitated before sending it to the Spam box. I know that all these troubles exist. I know that my money could help. But I’d rather donate to one or a number of these worthwhile causes by sending my money to recognised charities rather than give it away online to an emailer, an unsolicited emailer.

It’s sad that we live in a world where so many injustices take place. Closer to home there have recently been yet more revelations about neglect in hospitals, people being left for days in their own urine and excrement, frail elderly left to die of dehydration for the want of nurses who care.

It puts all our hype about Richard III into perspective. Even so, I’m pleased to read that York has backed down and Leicester will now be able to keep his body for reburial in Leicester Cathedral. At least that’s a good result but how do we go about tackling all the real injustices of the world? We could start by caring about each other rather than just ourselves, or am I asking for too much?

23 comments:

  1. I suspect that your unsolicited email was a spammer trying to get money out of you. I don't think you need to beat yourself up too much as long as you do your 'bit' to help some cause some where.

    I have to admit I'm torn on the burial question. Richard wanted his final resting place to be York. But if he ends up in the Minster he might as well be behind bars - because their extortionate entry price will put him out of most people's reach. York doesn't need him. It has enough 'attractions'. But I think it's sad that he won't get what he wanted.

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    1. I do know what you mean about Richard's last requests but he will be respected and adored here in Leicester.

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  2. I talk about this a lot with my students - we've got to make our world more just, stronger, kinder - and a lot is being left to the next generation.

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    1. It's just that basic act of one person caring for another. If we can get that through to the children then tomorrow will be better than today.

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  3. It's terrible and heartbreaking to hear of what is going on in the world. I've always declined sending money to people/organisations like the ones you mentioned. I do contribute to the needy through my church. I think that what I can do is at least take good care of my own family, and if everyone in the world did that, it wouldn't be such a bad place!
    Duncan In Kuantan

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    1. Agreed, and in taking care of your family you'll instill in your kids the need to care for others and so it will or should spread. At least, that's the theory!

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  4. Hi Ros .. that irritates me - Bl bombed me out ... I hate it - as I've never saved the comments that get rejected ...

    Succinctly ... I totally agree with Anne; so pleased to read Richard will be reinterred in Leicester ... that seems right - York haven't done much to help apparently ...

    Looking after our own, our nears and dears and our neighbours could help greatly .. care and compassion should be at the forefront of our daily living experiences ...

    Enjoy the weekend ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I agree that the Richard outcome feels appropriate after all that Leicester has worked through. You have a great weekend too :-)

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  5. Hi Ros, I hadn't heard the good news that Richard III is staying in Leicester. I think it is fitting under the circumstances.

    Regards caring and being kinder to each other - about seven years ago, I became very disilusioned with people and their 'throwaway' attitude towards each other.

    I made the decision then, that I would try very hard to do a 'good turn' every day, if I could, and I can't express the pleasure I've had in helping others. It isn't always a big thing, perhaps carrying something out to the car in the garden centre for someone I see struggling, or visiting an elderly neighbour I know may not have many visitors, or giving away a magazine to someone I know can't afford a copy.

    Today, a complete stranger needed someone to listen. I really needed to be somewhere else, but I spent ten minutes. The irony is we don't have to do much to make a difference.

    Regardless of if its a lift to the hospital, or writing a reference for a teenager so they can get a Saturday job, I believe we can all help each other. There is great joy in putting a smile on someones face, and I feel so much better about myself too!

    I long feared I might become one of those uncaring individuals who live their life in an emotional wasteland,and I think somehow, the message needs to get out to the masses, its not too late to start caring for each other.


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    1. Oh Maria, that's a really moving response and an excellent way to live your life. I wish I could say that I do the same but I fear that a lot of days recently have been spent in an 'emotional wasteland'. I'm going to think carefully about what you've said and see if I can turn things around. Thanks for sharing that.

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    2. you can do it, I am sure.

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  6. I'm with you, Ros - I think we need to begin by caring more about each other. I work on the premise that if I'm kind to you, you'll be kind to the bloke next door, and he'll be kind to the mother struggling in the supermarket ... Naive, I know, but it gives me a sort-of hope!

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    1. I agree with you, Jo, and it's not naive. It's just that the world has moved so far away from perfect.

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  7. What can I add that hasn't been said here? I agree with you, Ros and with Jo about the ongoing ripple that an act of kindness can start. I feel guilty for not doing more for my fellow men too, but there is just so much injustice everywhere we cannot hope to carry it all. Being kind to those around us, our families, our friends and strangers we meet, is probably the best most of us can do other than by giving money to causes we have faith in. I suppose the lesson that Richard is sending us down the centuries is that injustice has always been with us. We just do what we can and hope the dots of kindness will join up eventually.

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    1. Thanks, Val, and I love that phrase 'hope the dots of kindness will join up eventually'. I hope too.

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  8. Me too. Agree with every word of this. One of the reasons I'm risking my all to defend the local community's field from the council's unscrupulous plans to develop it. And kill all our wildlife. As a bonus, I've met so many lovely elderly people and others.

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    1. I too hate the thought that there are lots of lonely people out there, and not only elderly. We should definitely live more communal lives, share our time, be there for others.

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  9. I'm one of those people who believes that throwing money at a problem is no way to try to solve it. I'd rather volunteer my services for a couple of hour than just hand out money. Fund raising is a business in itself and if you have a pet charity to donate to, fine, go ahead. But unsolicited donation requests I will not entertain. My mother aged 70, was recently telephoned by the fund raising office of a major office in my home city (Dublin). She, against her better judgement, allowed herself to be talked into selling a book of tickets to the family. To her horror, three books of tickets arrived by courier, all worth around fifty Euro each. My sister who lives near her, dropped them back unopened the very next day. I also emailed the office to show my disgust and asked them to make their fund raising staff more aware how cruel it is to manipulate the vulnerable elderly.

    There has to be a better way to build up support than this.

    Maria

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  10. Sorry, in my comment above I meant to say 'fund raising office of a major hospital.'

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    1. Why does it not surprise me that a hospital isn't caring about the feelings of an older person. Sorry to sound cynical but I campaigned long and hard over neglect of the elderly two years ago and it's still going on. I'm so sorry that your Mum was bullied into those tickets but she's very lucky to have you and your sister to help her. Lack of caring in hospitals seems to have permiated every department

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  11. Hi Rosalind,
    Nice to be here, I am here via A to Z blog challenge.
    As said in the first para, such things are happening in India, but such request mails are to be cross checked before responding to the request. Good, that you posted it here so that many may come to know the reality. Thanks for sharing this.
    Keep Inform.
    Best Regards
    Phil

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    1. Hi Phil and welcome. It's sad that injustices go on but somehow it's almost sadder that people try to make money for themselves out of it.

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  12. You're so right, Rosalind,
    However, it's not physically possible for one person to correct the injustices of the world. (A little aside - Liliha in my book Still Rock Water attempts that.)The best we can do is to help those around us. If everyone did that, the world would be at peace.

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