Jul 3, 2011

Mouth Wide Shut

Wanna hear me shut up? Put your money where my mouth is.

This Tuesday I'm participating in a Day of Global Solidarity. For 24 hours I'll not eat a thing, to symbolically stand beside the millions of people who go hungry each day. And also hopefully to raise money to support the great work of VIDEA, our nearby international development agency.

AND, if enough of y'all sponsor me to total $500, I'll also go silent for that full day, to symbolically stand beside the millions of women, children, people disproportionately affected by climate change, global victims of our excessive Western consumerism and predatory trade practices, etc etc - the millions of people who do not have a voice.

I said "symbolically" twice because doing something (a) voluntarily, and (b) for a limited time, is nothing like having it forced on you with no end in sight. There have been times in my travelling days where I was genuinely hungry, unable to get enough food, and that was an entirely different feeling than choosing to fast. But even then, I always knew that I had money in the bank and a Canada to return to, so even though my body felt some of the fatigue and powerlessness that a hungry child goes to school or the fields with every day, my soul still felt hope, felt alive.

The same with my voice. While I do succumb to deep despair at what I've labelled the Fascist Harper Regime, as a white middle-class educated Canadian male I have one of the most powerful, effective voices in the world. There is no way I can ever truly walk beside the 15-year-old third wife my cook in rural Tanzania, but I can take this day to at least acknowledge my voice in relation to hers, and stay silent long enough to re-think how I use that power.

Please join me on Tuesday, or any day, in this creative way of recognizing our place in and impact on the world, and this symbolic and monetary support of our global sisters and brothers. And please do take a minute to pledge your support - I can personally vouch for the good work of VIDEA, and the only thing that will keep me from shouting it from the rooftops will be enough pledges to make me shut up.

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