People are asking me why I am doing my thesis-and-beyond work to benefit Iraqi widows even though I am not Iraqi, knew no Iraqis personally when beginning this work, and have never been in a war.
I answer in a lot of ways: about my previous work, my outrage at injustice, global society where we are all neighbors, my formative years watching the Vietnam war and so on.
I woke up at 1:30AM thinking of a very old story in a new light. When I was a boy - maybe 2nd or 4th grade - some argument ensued, resulting in me being tied for a time to a telephone pole. I do not remember exactly what it was about, how long i was there (not long), or -most importantly - how it felt. But I can never forget that my brother never forgave himself for letting his friends do that to me, and not stopping them. He didn't help them or encourage them, but he didn't stop them. I did not blame him, but he never forgot.
I don't want my life to continue without doing something to stop injustice. I just have trouble sleeping knowing that I haven't tried, when I have the opportunity. Sometimes circumstances peresent themselves and we have to choose to participate or pass. No one can fix everything, and not everything can be fixed, but it is the trying, the effort, the caring that makes life a little more worth living. This is the opportunity. I have the statement, the time, the support, to do this and so I must.