I write this blog about Darfur to my three children, Boston 6, Capri 3 and Cayman 2. My desire is that through my writing, they can know me, know the world and learn how they can achieve anything in order to change it. To the reader, I hope by giving you a transparent look into our lives that you may learn something about yourself in order to help heal the world.
My last blog was about the infectious disease of the indifference that is affecting humanity. There are so many reasons why this happens, and maybe we can touch on many of those, but one reason is due to our desire to remain comfortable.
“The world is full of miserable places. One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, send money.” – Tracy Kidder
I came across this quote this week, and for me it truly sums up the Genocide in Darfur and the world’s reaction to it. Darfur is a miserable situation and one that is extremely difficult to even think about. Maybe at times this is due to our selfish desires to remain in or own comfortable bubble, maybe others it is due to our fear or the doubt of our inability to do something about it.
As a parent, I will always try to make your life comfortable. To give you the things that you need to learn and grow in this life. Most importantly, I hope to give you a foundation that is needed so that you can go out and make a difference for humanity. At the same time, my focus and desire is that this is possible for all children around the world.
Though I strive to give you the comfort that you deserve, I also hope to give you a real sense of the world and what is going on. I hope by looking at situations such as Darfur that it makes you so uncomfortable, that it actually moves you to do something about it.
The reality is, whatever sense of comfort we may have about life, there is an illusion about it. Our lives can never fully be complete and whole while genocide is happening on the planet. We can never fully achieve greatness as individuals, or humanity while genocide is taking place. These false senses of comfort will eventual catch up with us if we don’t extend our hands to give basic human rights to humanity.
I read a quick story of Suad Ahmed this week, a 25 year-old Darfuri refugee that was out collecting firewood with her sister Halima. Upon seeing the Janjaweed militias close by, she told her younger sister to run while she created a diversion that drew the attention to her. She saved her sister, at the cost of being captured, beaten and gang-raped by eight men.
The story pulls at you, a reality that is sure to make you feel uncomfortable. Our choices are to ignore it, as the world has, or realize that we can do something about it. This isn’t happening to a person on the other side of the globe, this is happening to us, humanity. Don’t allow these atrocities to happen to the collective us.
The quote is from author Tracy Kidder – the book Mountains Beyond Mountains – and it is the story of Dr. Paul Farmer a Doctor of diseases who has labored with people whose lives are lived in poverty. His philosophy is “the only nation is humanity.”
The story of Suad Ahmed is from Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky.