Monday, October 10, 2005

now you can do something too

Thank you for the comments. Those are actually getting through to me big time. I really appreciate them. Particularly about my influencing others through the professions I may end up in (although I always have to wonder, where does that circle stop - do I influence others who influence others and so on, but then who is the person who actually goes and does something?).

J said I am crazy. Really, direct quote.

Well, we'll see what happens. Today Bread for the World came to Ethics class (I handed them my resume). A cursory glance around the room at the future pastors during their presentation: Dude next to me is playing solitaire. Two rows in front of me is writing emails. Fortunately most people are paying attention and even taking notes.

The Millenium Development Goals are really important. So is Jubilee. Here is what they are: - cutting world poverty in half in our lifetimes - debt cancellation

I never thought about this, but controlling infant mortality will control population explosions. People who fear their children will die will have more children. That makes some amount of sense, huh?

More education (this stuff was fascinating to me, especially because you hear all about things like ONE but you don't really know what it is):
The US spends not 15% of our annual budget (which is the amount that most Americans answer when asked) on fighting poverty, but 0.39%. The ONE campaign is asking for 1% more ($25 billion). Most of this money goes to NGOs on the ground receiving US government funding. The ONE campaign is all the major US NGOs getting together and working toward one goal: lobbying the US government to up commitment by 1%. That's all.

The G8 summit (the 8 powerful leaders who got together to discuss Africa), all these things going on this year (Sept's World Summit: a review of progress toward Millennium Development Gods, Dec's WTO ministerial/Doha Round of trade negotiations) are the focus of different campaigns from different countries (ONE is the US one): Millenium Campaign website is hub for these. Thank God some of these disparate organizations are finally working together. How much more effective is everyone going to be??!!

The M-Goals are set for 2015 - cutting poverty in half in our lifetime. "Do we want to be remembered for the Internet, reality TV, or demanding that child poverty be eliminated in our lifetimes?" (so says Bono)

Here's a great one for many readers: you can have a free membership in Bread for the World if you're a seminarian. I'm going there right after I post this. And you ex-seminarians, consider this: churches are invited into covenant partnerships with Bread for the World.

Bread opened their talk with this video, and I have to tell you, it's powerful. I especially plan to send it to all my friends in the entertainment industry. Not to make guilt or anything, but it's just a really powerful thing to think about.

Seriously, people. Take 5 minutes and watch this. It's one of the best things I've seen in ages and you know I'm quite the little media hog.

Then I came home and found this article by NBC news anchor Brian Williams (hope you can see it, but if not, here's an excerpt: "While we yearn for clarity and authenticity, we are awash in choices and distractions. Never before have there been so many tempting incentives not to pay attention to what's important. We have created staggering, historic amounts of noise, all the while yearning for more substance. There's never been more to watch — and yet the odds are slim that any two people in any given community are watching the same thing at any given time. These days our shared experience is the fact that none of us shares an experience with anyone else."),0,5419689.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Okay, that's enough for one morning. Now I have to read Ron Sider's Just Generosity and go to death class. Woo-hoo!

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