I'm not usually one to recycle blog posts... but I'm doing it with this one. I wrote this last week for Ashin-Mettacara.com and it was also published on Ashin's blog.
Thanks Ashin for giving me the opportunity to reach more people than this little blog ever will!!!
Here it is:
Making Them Accountable
A few months ago I came across a blog by a young man named Ashin Mettacara. The man whose website you are reading this text is published. Back then I was a complacent observer, a bystander, a man horrified at the atrocities of the world from the confines of his basement living room. Now I’m angry man with a keyboard who has finally discovered citizen journalism and his highly acute sense of right and wrong. I am no in way shape or form a writer, or a journalist, or a philosopher. What I am is someone who up until very recently had lost faith in the world; I say recently because a few short months ago I discovered that there were people in the world that are worth defending and others that are worthy of opposition.
Through the website of Ashin I discovered the plight of the Burmese. Like most other Canadians who rely on mainstream media for news and information about the world, I thought the Saffron Revolution was over. I thought that the monks and the people who joined them to protest the junta had been at least semi-successful because the news no longer reported about them being beaten and arrested. Like most people, I put it out of my head and I almost completely forgot about it. Thinking about it only if someone ever brought it up and then I’d say something along the lines of “I hope they do something about that... it’s just so wrong.”
Then one day I figured out that there was no “they” and that some people, not so unlike me, were doing something about it. They were writing, blogging, reporting, at the risk of their own safety and at the risk of their families’ freedom. They were sitting in temples, in cafes and in writing from their cellular phones. The way the images of the protests in Burma over a year ago had been shot from cellular phone cameras. They were the very definition of citizen journalists. These were the people who had become the mythical “they”... They were the ones trying to help themselves, trying to broadcast their message to a world that didn’t listen or didn’t care. They were the people that I wanted to help.
Any of us can give money to amnesty international and feel great, anyone of us can have a “free Tibet” bumper sticker and think that we’re creatures of the world that care about our fellow man. Up until a few months ago I was one of those people (minus the bumper sticker). Now I know what I’m doing... I am writing almost everyday about things that happen all over the world that no moral person should rightly be able to accept. I sit at my laptop and read emails from around the world, read news and enter discussions and then I blog about it. It’s not enough though. It’s not exactly what the world needs. But at least everyday I am donating my time, I am receiving messages from those trapped behind enemy lines and I make sure that their words escape into the vast global community that is the internet.
Imagine a world where everyone living in privilege (i.e. living in the free world) donated 15 minutes per day or even per week to a cause like Burma, or any other cause. Imagine a world where every government was held accountable by everyone? Can you imagine the fear that would be driven in the heart of the corrupt, the cruel, the vile and the unjust if the billions of citizen with access to a computer suddenly stood together and called them out? As the old song says "If the kids are united they can never be divided." Ladies and gentlemen... this is the time; this is the moment to take up your keyboards and make the world accountable!