Monday, August 06, 2007

United We Stand... Why not work together?

Think for a moment about all the time, energy, and power we spend fighting for a small piece of the pie. What if all the numerous groups worked together as one, combining that same time, power, and energy? It would be a force to reckoned with, indeed. We even have examples of people working together and the great things they can accomplish.

The Olympics. We love to see athletes coming together in the spirit of sportmanship and competition. Even here in America we manage to make note of the trimuphs, struggles, and efforts of others. The under dogs. Someone who has overcome incredible odds just to participate. New firsts. New records. Heoric feats and daring dos. The Kennedy Center Honors. Celebrating people in film, television, music, and the arts. Where else in one year can you honor Zubin Mehta, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Steven Spielberg, and Andrew Lloyd Webber? (Don't know them? Look them up. They're worth it.)

Here on campus we're starting to see it. Women's Action Network and Spectrum have co-sponsored countless events, and other groups along the way too. In the past, Spectrum has worked with Campus Ventures, Catholics on Campus, AAPISA, OMA, UMC, the Bahai's, Hillel, MEChA, several greek houses, and many departments. If we all worked together to bring in an event as could it be denied? I imagine funding would be thrown at an event.

One way or another, we have to learn to work together. The similarities between racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism, politicism, etc. far outweigh the differences. Oppression is the same, even if the particular flavor isn't. It's not about us and them. There is only us. We are ALL connected. Not matter how many little boxes we try to create to separate us from one another, we're all still in the same container.

What happens in Mexico impacts us in the U.S. Any conflict in the world has an impact on the entire globe. HIV crosses all boundaries, and the number of AIDS orphans who are coming of age and the number who will be orphaned in 10 years will certainly have global impact. How will nations of children eat? Learn? Govern? We must act now to prevent disaster down the road. And will take a concerted effort from everyone.

But the good news is you don't have to go to Africa and work with AIDS orphans. You do, however, have to get involved. In something. Find something you're passionate about and volunteer. Donate your time and your money. Think globally and act locally is a great motto! It reminds me of something a Lakota healer taught me once.

"First, I must heal myself. Then I can heal my family. Then we can heal our community. Then we can heal the world."

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