Monday, November 22, 2010

Caring About Others

For the past two and half weeks, I have been traveling around the Midwest, Ontario, and Eastern US. Along my way I saw friends in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Ontario, Vermont and New York. Also I attended a consultation on crossbranch intervisitation for Young Adult Friends in Richmond, Indiana, a friend's birthday party in rural Ontario, and hung out with half of the Young Friends in Residence community in New York Yearly Meeting.

The road trip ended up to be more of a journey and I had amazing conversations around life, love, clearness, next steps, uncertainties, as well as time to share food, drinks, and laughter with longtime and new friends.

Every night I had a roof over my head, but as I drove to each new destination, I had a lot of alone time to think, process and hold people in the lights, so in the next week, I will update my blog regularly with new posts.

Something that has been on my mind a lot as I have been driving around and listening to NPR is the new TSA body scanners. I think I first encountered these scanners in the Indianapolis airport back in August, but I am not totally sure. I thought they were cool in the futuristic way. I don't want to make any other comment for or against these scanners and the pat-downs, because I don't have all the information and I don't really have an opinion.

What has stood out for me is that this is another sign of how individualistic the US population has become. Within days the "Don't-touch-my-junk" guy became famous and a movement started against the pat-downs and the scanners. People are enraged, because they don't want this to happen to them.


Why isn't there more outage and movements about the 16,000 children who die each day due to hunger around the world?

Or for the three million people in the US who will experience homelessness this coming year?

...and I could go on

When I was in Ithaca, New York last week, I attended a talk about a new book, Consuming Mexican Labor. During the discussion portion, one of the authors, Alica Swords, talked about when Mexican laborers were bought to the US in the 1950s during the Bracero Program, the laborers were forced to strip and stand naked amid thousands of other men in an arena while doctors looked over them to see if they would be fit enough to be a good worker, like they would a farm animal. Talk about an invasive procedure. Mexican workers are still being mistreated and we, as US citizens, benefit from their labor in many ways.

I am not saying people shouldn't be outraged about the new TSA guidelines, but lets start also caring about the treatment of other people besides ourselves, because if we can work together, we can actually change conditions that would benefit other people than just ourselves.

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