I already wrote this post today, sitting in the ER at Royal Darwin Hospital. It was so much better than this; witty and clever, and inspired. But I forgot to hit save on blog press, and my phone turned itself off cause the batteries went flat.
What a first world problem.
#Firstworldproblem. It’s a hash tag that comes up almost daily in my twitter stream. A joke between the fortunate when something unexpected happens. Like your blog goes on holiday. Or the TV reception disappears. Or you have to choose between twitter and Facebook. What a dilemma.
Today as I sat in the ER I considered my good fortune. Whilst our health care system is not Perfect, it’s not too bad. Yes I had to wait three and a half hours to be seen, and yes I was kicked out of my bed once they decided that my vertigo was not going to have me lying on the floor and causing a possible law suit. And yes I do have to go back tomorrow because it was decided that my case was not as important as someone else’s.
But it cost me nothing to go. And my cannular needle came out of an unopened plastic packet. And I was five minutes from home, where my husband could be with our children, because he has a good job that provides him with carers leave.
We are so very blessed In this great south land.
Our country has seen it’s fair share of natural disasters. We know drought, fire, and flood. We have seen cyclones, and storm surges, and even the random tornado.
We know (if not personally, then from the media), the loss some endure. Homes, and livelihoods. Memories washed away. Lives cut short, and leaving behind broken hearts and homes.
Even in the places where we have not seen natures fury, we feel the effects. Fuel prices continue to rise. Food seems to cost more every week. Hundreds of Aussie Families are forced to foreclose on their mortgage because of circumstances, and when was the last time you could afford to buy a banana without taking out a small loan?
But despite this, we have freedom. We can worship who (and what) we want to. We can choose to go to church, or a mosque, or sleep in on a Sunday morning. We can attend rallies, and parades about causes we believe in. We can petition politicians when we are unhappy with their decisions. We can choose to show cleavage if we want to; our lives are not confined to a burqua. We can yell at our husbands, or ignore them if we choose. We can talk to our sons in public.
Imagine a world where you couldn’t? Where your three year old little boy was left at home because you’re not allowed out together. Or worse, where he was allowed out, but you had to stay home because you’re a woman.
Imagine a world where you lived under hold of Al Quaeda. Where the terrorists hold the balance of power and you don’t get to have an opinion on anything.
Imagine a world, for you Christians, where reading your bible (if you actually had one) is an invitation to suicide. Imagine a world, everyone, where you have to bow and pray to Allah five times a day.
Imagine no bacon.
Imagine no food at all.
Imagine walking for miles, leaving your home and country, carrying your skinny babies, in the hope of making it to a refugee camp, and then getting there, only to watch your baby die.
Imagine trying to live yourself after that.
Some people don’t have to imagine.
In the horn of Africa, the famine has lasted too long, and the terrorists have too much power. The Somalians are literally starving to death. 29 000 children under five in the last three months have slipped into the arms of Jesus. Gone. Forever. Victims of war, and greed, and a drought that never ends.
When I first heard these words, I admit, it didn’t move me too much. Yes, it’s horrible and terrible, but it’s over there.
But then I read this post by Deb at Aspiring Mum, and I realised it’s not ok to ignore it. I can’t hide behind, ‘well there is nothing I can do,’ because there is something I can do.
I have joined this years 40hr famine, and I’m aiming to raise $500. This money may not go exactly to Somalia, but it goes to people who need it, and children who deserve help.
But more than that it, makes a statement. It says poverty is not ok. Starvation is not ok. Children dying is NOT ok.
We do have the opportunity to make a difference. Even if it is only to one child.
I would love for you to help me. You can donate on-line to World Vision and sponsor my hunger strike. If everyone who follows me on line gave a dollar, I’d be close to the $500 mark. (But if you follow me on Facebook, twitter and the blog, you might have to give a few dollars CG)
I know that this is a sacrifice, and I wouldn’t normally ask it, but what is happening over there is heartbreaking. In Australia today, we all wore red to commemorate one little boy whose life was cut tragically short. Over there it is just another Tuesday.
So the next time you encounter a #Firstworldproblem, I’d encourage you to stop and think. Yes our lives aren’t perfect or easy, but we are so much better off than others.