Kevin P Clements
If you are a reasonably open, sensitive empathetic person its pretty hard not to be weighed down by the weight of the world at the moment.
Gaza is a 21st century nightmare which challenges all of our humanity. But there are many other places where violence trumps non violence , fear trumps fearlessness and where people are living in 14th century conditions in the 21st century. Its hard not to be weighed down by all of these “realities”. They sit like a storm cloud or a sombre incubus on our shoulders.
The UNDP has just issued its 2014 Human Development Report. In this while there is some improvement and progress overall,there are more than 2.2 billion people near or living in multidimensional poverty, with 1.2 billion people currently living on less than $1.25 per day. Approximately 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, and more than 1.5 billion workers are either informally employed or hold unstable jobs.
These kinds of figures challenge all of us living in relative and absolute affluence. How can we sleep easy in our beds knowing that others dont have beds to sleep in or if they do they will wake to no food, ill health, and an existential insecurity that none of us in the global north can even begin to imagine.
How can we fulfil that biblical promise of Micah “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” when we are living with such realities -available to us in the blink of an eye or the click of a mouse? We will only be able to rediscover that lightness of being if we work to understand and remove the burdens that sit much more heavily on other people’s shoulders. Our common humanity demands that we do this and that we do it now!