Who are we without empathy?

I might loose some friends with this one, and part of me is scared wants to hit delete instead of posting this, but there is this other part of me that is fuming inside, ready for some real change to come about and wonders where the matches are so I can start this fire.

In just 8 days we are going to be participating as a family in the $2 dollar day challenge and with many friends from all over the world we will be eating on only $2 for the whole day. I am excited to see what happens, but when I go look at the site and see how few people have signed up to take the challenge, I have to be honest that I am frustrated. I wonder why it is that we run from reality, why it is that we shy away from the truth, and hide when we see a chance to learn. Thousands have visited the site in the past weeks, thousands have seen the challenge, have read at least a little of the needs of the world’s poor, and nearly everyone of them has left, decided for one reason or another that they are not up to it.

I know I am ranting here, but bear with me, I think there are some truths here that we need to discover.

The 2 Dollar Day Challenge was an idea that Jerry and Christy Shannon had to help people see the things that their family deals with every day.  They run a project called Embracing Hope Ethiopia that is making strides in helping the poorest of the poor in Korah near the garbage dump here in Addis Ababa, and not a day goes by that they don’t work with people who face some of the most extreme poverty in the world. From those lessons and struggles they decided to pose a challenge for the rest of us, a way for us to get a taste of what life is like for these who live on so little.

I know its uncomfortable, I know its complicated, I know there are other causes and that this just feels like one more.   But I ask you this; Where else are you gaining empathy? What are you doing to help yourself understand the plight of the poor, is there anything in your life that brings you closer to finding what your place in their need you might be able to meet?

A little to forward for you?  Does this post makes your squirm?  Do you read this and you want to leave the page and go read something a little more lighthearted?  We all go through those feelings, we all battle with not wanting to open our eyes, but if this world is going to change, if those of us who can are going to help those who cannot, we must first understand their need.

Please go sign up for the challenge, commit that you will eat for one day on December 8th for only $2.  Then help spread the word, change your profile to this picture to let others know that you are taking the challenge, press your friends to do the same with you.

If we don’t start somewhere, if we don’t decide to get a little uncomfortable, we will never expand what we see, and if all we see is what is right in front of us-we will never change anything.

Levi