Posted by Unknown |

I wrote this on 2nd June but I'm only posting it now. I had plans to fix it up and make it nice but I don't think I'll bother. I don't think it's written very well but I agree with my sentiments.

Rather Useless

I've been thinking a lot about Africa lately. Bono talked a lot about it in his book. Every question he managed to twist back to Africa. And now I'm reading the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. I have Africa on my mind.

Africa is a continent that is so sad to consider. It's being torn to pieces by AIDS, and we're not giving it the drugs it needs. We're not allowing the Africans into fair trade agreements. We're keeping the poor poor to keep the rich rich. Africa is a living, perpetual inditement of the oppression of the rich West.

For the past few weeks I've been thinking poverty, AIDS, water, fair trade. But I don't know what to do with it. Technology has made the world my neighbour. I can't ignore the poverty of this world, and I can't ignore my participation in a society that's built on the backs of the developing world. My clothes are made by children for a pittance and my cheap resources come to me at the expense of my marginalised fellow human beings.

I live in a system that's too big to change, I live in a country where I'm too far away to do much to help, but I'm close enough to be condemned.

I spent $555 on a computer monitor today. And how do I justify that when people there are people who don't earn that all year.

My toilet water is cleaner then the drinking water of 1 billion of the world's people.

6500 people die of AIDS every day.

30,000 children die of preventable diseases every day.

I get a headache and get a paracetamol out of the cupboard that's probably being made by the same people who aren't giving the drugs to Africans.

But in the end what can I do?

I look at my world and all I feel is rather useless.

How can I do anything, living and working in middle-class suburban Sydney? I'm a rich man working for rich people, eating at rich people's tables. I declare myself guilty because of my place of birth. My mother didn't die in childbirth and neither did I. I'm guilty.

My life doesn't suck. What did I ever do to deserve this? What have I ever done to pay off this perfect life that's been loaned to me.

I can't get Africa out of my brain. Maybe I should just drop everything and move overseas. Maybe I should be taking food to refugees, maybe I should be delivering AIDS drugs, maybe I should be walking around Africa just apologising. And when I'm finished there I can move on to India, and Asia, and South America and keep going till I've met every person I've indirectly exploited by living in Australia.

I feel rather useless.