Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'll keep saying it...

If you haven't figured it out by now, I have issues with a multitude of things. Lately, my mind can't stop considering the current state of our world. I think about it all the time. Especially American culture. It makes me sick. We make me sick. I make me sick.

My friends keep talking about how I can be a downer sometimes, but my mind is always thinking about it. I hear people say these ignorant things or people praying these cliche mindless prayers, and it hurts. I said after a men's church league softball game the other night we should think about the 1200 children who starved to death in the hour we played softball.

Maybe we don't wanna hear about it. But that's the problem. We want to stay separated from the poor. Poverty makes us "feel bad" when we have to face it. The Feed the Children show is on and we change the channel as fast as we can. We see the family sleeping beneath the overpass on the highway and we say how sad it is and drive quickly away. We see it. We don't like it. But we won't face it.

My main issue is that we allow ourselves to stay separated from it. And organizations encourage it. United Way and the Salvation Army and all the rest of the list wants you to give to them. That's great. I don't have an issue with giving. But all you do is write a check. Jay-Z in his song Minority Report says that "We forget the unfortunate. Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time. So in reality I didn't give a dime or a damn."

We stay separate. We stay away from it. We give. We donate. We may even promote. And a lot of times its with good intentions. We wanna help. We want things to get better. But we don't wanna get our hands dirty. People will give to the homeless, but they won't hold a homeless woman while she cries about the boys who threw rocks at her earlier in the day. People will give to the Salvation Army, but they won't pick up a homeless person and try to help them by actually taking them to get food and find a place to stay. People will buy Christmas gifts for kids in an underprivileged family, but they aren't gonna check up on them two months later to see if they need any help with the light bill or buying groceries.

We have had a tendency in our churches to do the same thing. To encourage people to give money for the church to do the work. Too bad that about 75% of most churches budgets are internally focused. Anyways, we tell people to give. And thats not a bad thing. But that's not what's gonna change our world. People doing something about the problem physically, tangibly, with their hands... that's what will make a difference. Don't separate yourself anymore. Get involved. Support the organizations and campaigns and movements that need our dollars and voices. But support it with your time and actions too.


dahl said...

I totally agree man. We need to do more with our hands and really invest in people not just make the impression of investment!