Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Squandered Good Intent and Charity

So today I threw some money in the direction of the Red Cross (in Sweden) to show some support for the people in Japan. Such a small country with so many people, and they get hit not only with a tsunami but nuclear reactor meltdown in the midst of it which some say is as bad as the Tjernobyl incident.

Now, these are not the only ones in the world right now needing help. Let's not forget the unrest down south where dictators send in air strikes on his own people for protesting against him. While monetary support for these is probably good, one other good way of helping is actually awareness. Exposure. The media has turned its eyes towards Japan and their crisis, forgetting for a moment places like Libya which in turn makes it easier for their president to strike without as much media attention. Not that his actions aren't already bad enough.

Anyhow, I have seen a "campaign" a few days now called "Pray for Japan". It leads to a site (twibbon) which says something like "Japan needs our support so lets pray for them". Pray? Pray? How about actually helping? How about at least inform viewers in how to help? Spreading that kind of information?

So today I sent a donation. I certainly haven't got a solid economy at the moment, but I felt that in the midst of good intentions getting squandered on "praying", at least I could do the right thing.

And yeah, I know, that's very un-Swedish of me to say. You should just get back to your place in line, don't make a sound, don't sound like you're better than anything or anybody else, and be a good citizen (and today, ironically, the Swedish government will vote about the "data retention directive" - a law that ultimately allows them to track our every step, when and with whom we communicate with).

For information on how to actually help the people in Japan (or for example Libya) you can go to Red Cross (Sweden) or Red Cross (America). Remember though, even if you can't help directly, you can always indirectly help by informing others. It's definitely worth more than a million prayers...