In 1994 over one million men, women, and children died in the Rwandan Genocide. Two weeks into this mass atrocity a journalist, aware of the slaughter, called congress woman Patricia Schroeder. The journalist asked Schroeder point blank, why is our country not responding to this travesty? Why is this not on the front page of the New York Times? Schroeder responded honestly, “I have had over 100 phones calls to my office about the endangered ape population in Rwanda, I have had zero about the people.”
We have organized frequently and effectively to fight for the rights of endangered animals, but seem to ignore the fact there are endangered people all over the world. Edmund Burke said, “the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” In a world where men, women, and children are endangered I am hopeful to see a generation, who refuses to do nothing.
An event like the Rwandan Genocide will happen again unless we are fully present, revere dignity, and live with humility.
The Rwandan genocide didn’t make front page news in the states. Until the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda most of the western world was oblivious. Our freedom must beckon us toward advocacy for the endangered people of the world. Look beyond the headlines and turn your full attention on the world’s need. Let me encourage you to be present to the stories unfolding today and those of the past. Aegis Trust, a fantastic organization, (http://www.aegistrust.org/) has lead a noble effort to tell the stories of millions of families torn apart by the Rwandan genocide.
I believe there is a great nobility in the soul of every Human being. Too often our efforts to “help” others insult that very nobility. If we are truly focused on helping the world we must first learn the stories of those we aim to help. Only after we have obtained a great respect for people and a depth of knowledge from their story can we begin to offer them a hand.
Live with humility
Every time I speak to a group of people I have the mindset someone in the audience has a better idea than I. It will take many minds to prevent future tragedies. There is no room for ego when children can not live in safety.
I am often criticized for going into active war zones with two precious little ones at home. The paradox for me is that because I do have those little ones at home, I can only begin to imagine how desperate the mother’s are who aren’t in a position to protect their children. I believe we owe them our best efforts to alleviate what we can. We must show up for them, I would expect nothing less if my children were the ones at risk.