Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Amnesty - Ed's journal
It's been an odd sort of an evening.
I left the house, to go to a 'leaving do' of a workmate. Via the beer engine, of course.

I came back, signed up to Amnesty International.

It's kind of an odd experience. On my way to yon pub, I was accosted. As one often is. I figured I'd a few minutes before the person I was supposed to meet, so I stopped, and 'had a chat'. Normally, the 'salesdrones' that one encounters are wanting this that or the other.

I typically pay them little heed, not wanting to waste their time, and mine. Occasionally, out of sheer bloody mindedness, I try and 'challenge' their argument. Often they degenerate to the point where their given cause is worthier than that of the guy, sitting in the doorway across the road.

This time, was different though - I stopped and had a chat. And I listened, and largely agreed with what was said.

I've posted much crap over the last ... well any given time period really. One thing that sticks in my mind is this: "However good and valid your opinion, don't make the mistake of assuming that it'll carry any further than the sound of your voice.".

Yes, some voices carry further, their opinions more weight. But for each of those, there is a silence that does not carry at all.

And so, I had a talk with this person, trying to 'sell' the cause to me. It may have been a good sales pitch, but now I find I am committed to a thing. And better still, not something I'd willingly relinquish.

You see, the thing I have learned is that whatever your angle on life, the greatest value on all is the lives of others. The person who, by sending a bunch of flowers, brightens their day. The friend who is stuck and alone many miles from home, who is rescued. The lonely soul who has shattered all that they have, and you give what they need to rebuild.

These things matter a lot. In the bloodthirsty world of the 21st century, the things that are truly touching, are those that offer assistance to a friend in need.

There are many people that the world has forgotten. They are living in hell, because no one cares any more. And that is the purpose of Amnesty. To be the voice, that reminds you. A campaign is more than a letter, but a letter is all that is needed to remind this person going through misery that their life is important to someone. There is someone out there who cares.

And more importantly, there is someone out there who is willing to show the world that horrible things happen. Just because they do, does not mean we should accept them. A single voice in the night is nothing. A million voices, cutting through the darkness may bring light to those in dire need.

There is no higher purpose.

A friend in need can just as easily be one you have not yet met.

Make no mistake, I believe in consequence for your action. I believe that if you are a deeply nasty person, then a price is due. The price of the pain you inflict on others, be it through terrorism, murder, petty crime or otherwise. If the penalty if death is mandated, then so be it. But not without a fair trial. The world is not a just place, and never will be. A trial is a way of getting closer to that goal.

My voice and opinion may not carry very far. But by putting voice and money behind a cause I feel is just, then maybe it carries that little further. I will carry on shouting, and I will continue to try and change the world. But in the meantime, the trivial sum of money I give to Amnesty is serving to remind the world that there are people tortured, imprisoned, oppressed. In many countries, from the prisoners in the US in guantanamo bay, to the victims of a corrupt regime in Darfur. There are always those that are oppressed. It is the way of the world. But maybe by my shouting a little louder, and offering support to those truly prepared to fight for their cause, I can change the way things are.

I am prepared to stand in politics, as an MP. Maybe not this general election, but the one after. I am prepared to put money where my mouth is, stand and be prepared to sacrifice 4 years for a cause I believe in. In the meantime, I'm now prepared to offer what little I can.

It is easy enough to find a cause to die for. To find a banner to carry unto the grave. It's much much harder to find a cause to live for. To find a thing that you believe so well, that you are prepared to walk through what is literally hell on earth in order to put it right.

Today, maybe little changes. Tomorrow, maybe everyone on earth will realise that some things come at too high a price. That's what hope is all about.

Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.
8 comments or Leave a comment
wildwolfy From: wildwolfy Date: October 27th, 2004 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do believe you may have finnaly found what you have been looking for. You have been a bit restless to say the least, somewhat dissatisfied with how your life has been, I think you said it was rather mundane. I think its wonderful to realize that a simple smile, or a gentle touch of reassurance can bring about a difference in someones life. Its great that with that realization you can take it a step further, financially, helping out a cause that is for the good of humanity. In a world that is full of cold and uncaring people, it does a heart good when you see not all of the mortals on this earth are cold and uncaring. I know from first hand experience, today, a simple gesture, restored a bit of my faith in people and life in general. Your further insights into this very thought process helped me along too, made me see that while to me my life hurts are very overwhelming, that there is so much more, so many more that have far greater problems then mine. I hope to be able to keep seeing that and reach out to someone that is in need, rather then to keep letting my needs overwhelm and blind me to others.

sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 28th, 2004 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
One of my flaws is that when I've had a few beers, I tend to waffle about stuff. This was the result :). However the decision was made before the pub, so it's not something I doubt.
paulw From: paulw Date: October 28th, 2004 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
If you entered parliment then it wouldn't be long before we had 2 MP's fighting over the love of an intern! Nothing to do with you though, oh no! ;)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 28th, 2004 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack! Such an unfair allegation to be leveling at an innocent Ambassador citizen.
jorune From: jorune Date: October 28th, 2004 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Is this an alignment change from true neutral to neutral good?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 28th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing so simple I'm afraid. I hold to the fact that there are no absolutes of good and evil, right and wrong, so to claim a label as such is pointless.

I do it for my own ends, because I am arrogant enough to want the world to change, and am prepared to try and make it happen.

Who is to say, that the torturer who is gaining information about the location of weapons that will kill millions is not justified in his actions? He is as entitled to his opinon as I am. Just as I am entitled to try and change it.

So yes, I seek some changes. My views are not, and will never be the same as everyone elses. And so I put forth my views, and intend that in putting them forth forcefully, I shall change the world as I see fit.

It doesn't matter if this is "good" or "evil" as it is my choice to make. I choose a different world.
jorune From: jorune Date: October 29th, 2004 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Who said anything about Absolutes?

The alignment is wide and deep with many shades and subtleties, IMO your choice takes you to a 'good' place.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: October 31st, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
If that's your opinion, then so be it :)

I don't think I could ever describe anyone in terms of a D&D alignment - it's just so much more complicated than that... ;p
8 comments or Leave a comment