Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Think Globally. Act Locally for the Common Good.

This is the 165th essay for In Atticus’ Shoes, a blog begun in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s wonderful novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.  In the beginning, I also celebrated ordinary and extraordinary people doing right by each other--just as Atticus did, just as he taught his children to do.

In time, this blog also became a lament, decrying the wrongs done to ordinary and extraordinary people by one of the three branches of government and the media. Congressional action and inaction, corporate influence, injustice and downright head-scratching judicial ruling, and the media’s inability to fact-check or spend more than 22 seconds in meaningful analysis--each and all were called out, critiqued, and often condemned. I have striven in each of 165 essays to explain issues, people, and characters, and I have striven to use reason, logic, and evidence, often making the same point:

We must be aware. We must find the time to become informed. We must act by speaking up, even speaking out. We must care for the common good and so, in the future, this blog will feature those in need of our care. 

May they inspire you to think again about policies related to those among us in need. May we learn to walk the path that Nelson Mandela or Leymah Gbowee has established. May we heed the call of Pope Francis I even if we are not followers of the Catholic faith:

“There is another important point: encountering the poor. If we step outside ourselves we find poverty. Today—it sickens the heart to say so—the discovery of a tramp who has died of the cold is not news. Today what counts as news is, maybe, a scandal. A scandal: ah, that is news! Today, the thought that a great many children do not have food to eat is not news. This is serious, this is serious! We cannot put up with this! Yet that is how things are. We cannot become … those over-educated Christians who speak of theological matters as they calmly sip their tea.”

This blog will now reveal the faces of the poor.

Meet Art. Learn Art's story next week. Say hello to the least among you--every day.