It is normal for me to care for my extended family and for people in my social group. But why do I care about people I have never met?
- Why do I care about a bonded labourer, treated as a slave in India?
- Why do I care about a child in Africa, denied an education because his parents cannot afford to send him to school?
- Why do I care about a young woman in Thailand, forced into prostitution by ruthless traffickers in human misery?
- Why do I care about a single mother in England, working on a minimum wage, facing the humiliation of visiting a food bank to feed her children?
But I do care deeply about these things.
- I care about poverty trapping so many people in hopelessness.
- I care deeply about injustice when the rich and powerful prey upon vulnerable members of society.
- I care about war and conflict that blights the lives of millions of people.
- I care deeply about sickness and disease which affects us all.
- I care about people living their lives separated from their creator God, in spite of, or even because of, their religion.
Care and Compassion
It is one thing for me to care about people; it is another thing to have compassion. If I merely care I am passive. If I have compassion I put care into action.
Caring deeply sometimes hurts me. If I am unable, or unwilling to do something about a situation that I care about, then care becomes a burden. I remember, 30 years ago, when I started being aware of the issue of poverty. I did not know what I could do about world-wide poverty. I cared, but felt an enormous weight on me. Caring hurts. But, when I founded the charity, Kingscare (now Karuna Action), the weight and burden lifted, as, in a small way, we found ways that we could help individuals.
By and large, people do care, but so often do not know what they can do. Basically we have three options:
- To shut our heart to particular situations so that we cannot be hurt.
- To care deeply and allow ourselves to be hurt or burdened by what we see.
- To find some way of turning care into compassion by our actions.
I know that I have done all three!
What can I do?
- Direct action. Meet the need by helping directly, turning care into compassion.
- Give. Give money to charities or others who are helping the people we care about.
- Volunteer. Give our time to help a charity or community action group.
- Boycott. Avoid purchasing products, where slavery or exploitation is involved in manufacture or supply.
- Awareness. Raising awareness to change our community so that it does not tolerate an injustice or situation. This could be by public speaking, writing or using social media such as Facebook.
Me and my blog
I believe that for some reason, God has given me the ability to ‘take in’ or ingest world problems such as hunger, poverty and injustice. Not being particularly gifted verbally, I have found that I can write about things that I care deeply about in my blog and other social media.
I do not want to just burden my readers with situations they can do little about. I do not want people to avoid reading my blog posts because they cannot cope with yet another issue.
I do aim to list simple pointers indicating what actions we can take to diminish these problems. If you do feel challenged but feel powerless to help, please write to me, or comment on my blog article.
In historical terms we have unparallelled opportunities for change. Caring and acting together, we can change our world.