Monday, March 31, 2008


What makes me different from the 28 million Americans receiving food stamps or from the mother wondering whether to feed OR clothe her children?How am I different from the 1 in 10 African American males in our jails, or from their families that worry each night what the next day will bring? Why am I different from the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance and fear that injury or illness will wipe them out completely?

Am I any different from the woman in Darfur who has somehow survived this long and wonders why the world hasn't come to her rescue, or from the Tibetan monk who fears the ultimate reprisal for having questioned the authority of the Chinese to repress him, or from the villager in Africa who has seen his whole village systematically wiped out by the AIDS virus and who feels the loss in the deepest recesses of his soul? Am I any different?

Because I am able to sit here and write this essay on a clean sheet of paper, under bright lights, feeling warm and sitting in a comfortable chair, does that make me any different? Because I drive the right car, to the right places, does that make me any different? Because I have and they do not, does that make me any different?

If they are cut, why shouldn't I bleed? If they are hit, why shouldn't I fall? If they are scared, why shouldn't I tremble? If they are hungry, why shouldn't I be too? If they suffer, why shouldn't I know it and feel it?

If these questions aren't asked, then where is the future? If we remain in isolation in our own little world, where is the progress? If we don't have one mind and one heartbeat, then where will this lead us? If we never think as one, then what have we done?

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