Sunday, January 4, 2009

If you like the blog Obama IS America!...

...then you should care about what is happening to the people of Zimbabwe. Well I (the blog Editor) think that all humans should care about all other humans regardless of where they are from, but this blog entry is specifically about the people of Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

If you like this blog that you are reading right now, I think that you should care about the people of Zimbabwe. My grandma was born in Zimbabwe - my mom's mom. What does this have to do with anything? Well, say that this outbreak of cholera had happened 50 years ago and it affected my grandmother and she had died. I never would have been born. This blog would not exist.

So if you like this blog, to some degree the mission of this blog resonates with you. Even if another person would have created a project just like this, chances are that their experiences and pool of knowledge would be way different to mine, so while the concept at its core might have been the same, the actual thoughts and concepts explored in the blog would probably be WAY different.

I think that each person is an individual, because no two people can have the same sum total of things that make them who they are: set of experiences, personality/genetic code, the way they look, the family/country/city they were born into, etc. Considering that in the United States so much emphasis is placed on individual freedom, individual success, the protection of individual rights and the rights to be individuals, we as a society have decided to embrace the idea that that each individual (at least each American individual) should be considered valuable. Well, someone in my direct lineage - my grandmother - was born in Zimbabwe. If the spread of cholera had happened 50 years ago, chances are that she could have caught it and I would not exist. The possibility of me impacting the world would have been less than a dream

I think that every person in the world impacts the world because of who they can be, who they are, what they do, and what they choose not to do. If you look at anything that exists - it is the way it is because of every part it consists of - from its smallest subparticle, to its largest and most obvious characteristic, to the set of energies that binds it together. Everything is like this, from the tiniest atom to WHOLE UNIVERSE (see image at end of post). So why are we spending our time and energies killing each other, or getting distracted by other things while other people kill each other? While destruction may be a part of the natural order of things, we as human beings have these big beautiful brains with limitless expanses to where our minds can take us. Senseless human death seems like a tragic waste to me

I think that we take other human beings for granted, which allows us to placidly assume that people are expendable. Well I really don't think that they are, and the first part of this blog post will tell you why not. The second part of the blog post will then provide you with information on things you can do for the people of Zimbabwe through the international organization for change, **.

So here goes:

The thing about War and conflict happening all the time everywhere around the world is that it dehumanizes human beings and it makes those of us who are not living in conflict situations numb to the fact that people out there are dying - that many people are dying horrible deaths - that many children are growing up seeing people around them dying, and that this is their reality. (This sad reality is also the reality for the people being butchered in Iraq, dying for us along with our soldiers in this *never ending war*.)

The major thing that I want to say about all of this is that the Zimbabweans (people of Zimbabwe) dying of Cholera (an easily preventable disease), and all of the other people out there in the world and in our own cities and neighborhoods dying because of War, Famine, Disease, Genocide, Crime, Drug wars, Poverty and other types of violence and hate are not just bodies:

They are each soulful individuals -
Irreplaceably Unique and more precious than gold - every single one of them.

They are sculptors, musicians, dancers.
They are architects, doctors, professors.
They are students and teachers.
They are moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins.
They are kids with their whole lives ahead of them.

They are the potential future creators of the best invention known to humankind, who will never get to create this invention because their government is letting them die of a preventable disease.

They are your potential soul-mate.
They are poets, thinkers, lovers, dreamers, healers.

They are the potential future fathers and mothers of future American Presidents.

They are all the spectrum of humanity and human creation, love and existence that is imaginable - but their existence is not spent on the development of their mind or their soul.

Their existence is spent trying to not die. Trying to eat. Trying to keep their children alive. Trying to fight disease and raw poverty. Trying to maintain some dignity in the face of governments that judge their lives to be expendable.

So if you value your life and if you value life in general, the best way for you to express your understanding of the value of life is to care about the lives of others and try to make their lives better.

Click *here* to link to an article discussing the Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

Click *here* to learn about Cholera

Click *here* to connect to the University of Pennsylvania's Africa Studies page on Zimbabwe, which contains links to all sorts of information about Zimbabwe

Click *here* to link to a Zimbabwean's blog that talks about beautiful Zimbabwe

Click *here* to learn about Mugabe, the soul-less dictator of Zimbabwe

So, if you want to know what you can do for the people of Zimbabwe and for other people in the world who are suffering, I would say that the first thing to do is to start giving a damn about these people's welfare - as if they were members of your own family. You may not know them personally, but all of us humans come from the same place. We are family, and right now we are divided and killing each other.

The next step, I think, is to truly examine how you think about other people. Yes, you. Each person's lack of knowledge and lack of caring about the world and all the things that live on it contributes to the continued destruction of these things.

Try to analyze how you think about other people - different ethnic groups in your own country, people of different income levels, religions, physical appearances, sexual orientations, and people from different countries or neighborhoods.

Analyze what you think about people from the developing world. Do you think of them as real people? As people equal to you? As people who live, think, dream, and pray as you do? If not, why don't you think of people that way?

I would say that the next step is to then read everything you can get your hands on about the world, its people and its history. In speaking about Zimbabwe, try to get your hands on all available information about it's history to give you a deeper understanding of what colonization was like and the residual impact it still has on this beautiful nation.

Try to make sure that what you are reading is not written by the US state department, the CIA, or a website sponsored by the Zimbabwean government (or the government of whatever country you are looking into). Also, please make sure that you don't get all of your information from Wikipedia.

Each individual open-mindedly analyzing, questioning and challenging his/her own mind and accepted thought processes is key to any kind of human growth, progress or change.

I think it would be useful to throw away any preconceived notions you may have about the nations and people of Africa, and the rest of the world at large. Try to see people from developing countries not as expendable, unimportant, or irrelevant to what is important to your life. Train yourself to think of others as fellow World Citizens who deserve their rights and wellbeing to be respected, who deserve safe homes, clean water, no disease, and good educations where their minds and souls can develop, flourish and thrive.

This process may bring some passion and clarity into your own life.

Please read the article/letter below:

Dear friends,

As we approach the holiday season, the people of Zimbabwe need our solidarity and support. For many, this will be their tenth New Year's Eve living in fear, their third without clean water, and their first amidst the spiralling cholera epidemic. So many have died that it is no longer clear what is the population of the country.1

Ultimately, it is the people of Zimbabwe who will bring change. Right now, our friends on the ground say that crushing hardship and isolation are the greatest threat -- that the most powerful contribution we can make is to cry out our solidarity with their struggle, and let them know that they are not alone.

While Mugabe and his generals might control the borders and the newspapers, the airwaves are still free. Sign our global message of solidarity now -- it will be turned into a radio advertisement and broadcast across Zimbabwe in the new year--and then if you choose, write or record your own ad for broadcast using our online tools:

Zimbabwe's people are wracked by a cholera crisis which has already killed over 1000 people.2Three months after Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai signed a power-sharing agreement, Mugabe's still clings to power, even denying there is an epidemic.3 And as the regime cracks down, with increasing numbers of journalists, human rights defenders and ordinary people being abducted this week4, the prospect of a unity government seems more remote than ever. The Zimbabweans who risked their lives to vote against Mugabe in March this year are exhausted, hungry and terrorised by violence.

We have campaigned throughout the year on different levels with a range of targets, tactics and strategies, but Zimbabwe will only change if, amongst the dread and fear, Zimbabweans themselves believe they have the power to overcome hopelessness and lawlessness.

With our radio-broadcast messages of international solidarity, let's let them know our eyes are on Zimbabwe and send them hope and strength to carry on strong into 2009. Our voices aim to uplift Zimbabwean people who have lost their hope or loved ones, helping a people who are desperate for democracy and ravaged by hunger and disease. These messages will be heard by hundreds of thousands across Zimbabwe and the region: sign our collective message here, then leave your personal message:

It is up to us to get our messages of support to the people of Zimbabwe. As citizens of the world, our only interest in ending the Mugabe era is that which led us to struggle in our own lands for political freedoms, and which brought many of us to stand with the South African people in the anti-apartheid struggle: a common humanity, a duty to fight repression and a commitment to the universality of rights. Let the Zimbabwean people know we stand with them:

In hope and solidarity,

Ben, Ricken, Alice, Brett, Pascal, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Luis, Iain and the whole Avaaz team


1John Hughes, Christian Science Monitor: "To save Zimbabwe, South Africa must step up"

2 AFP -- Zimbabwe Cholera Death Toll Passes 1,000: UN Cholera Outbreak Blamed On Mugabe Sanitation Policy

3 Al-Jazeera: "Mugabe - Cholera Crisis is Over"

4Activists go missing in Zimbabwe crackdown,0,381855.story

P.S. For a report on Avaaz's campaigning so far, see:

ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368 Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!
You are getting this message because you signed "" on 2008-12-18 using the email To ensure that Avaaz messages reach your inbox, please to your address book. To change your email address, language settings, or other personal information,, or simply go here to unsubscribe.

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to You can also call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US) or +55 21 2509 0368 (Brazil) If you have technical problems, please go to

To help keep hope alive in Zimbabwe this holiday season, we're running radio ads across Zimbabwe with messages of solidarity from citizens around the world. Click below to put your name to the campaign--or even make an ad of your own!

REPORT BACK: Last week, 200,000 of us succeeded in shifting Germany's position in the climate negotiations! It's just a partial victory, but a crucial one;click here to learn what happened!

No comments: