You’ve probably been seeing these beat cancer selfies all over the internet recently. I did mine a while back on facebook, but I thought I’d post it here as well to further raise awareness!
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Over six days an enormous £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK by this wonderful campaign. Cancer is a disease that affects so many lives and the work needed to eradicate it still needs so much money. I have had family members affected by cancer and in fact I know very few people who can say that it has not affected their lives in some way.
There are those that will tell you that donating to cancer charities is a waste of money, that pound for pound, more good is done in relieving poverty, hunger, malaria, AIDS etc. And while this is indisputable and while these are good causes also, we need to be feeding money back into research if we are to hope that things will get better. I wish everything could get better but it can’t, not in this current state of affairs.
I wish I was better at giving to charity. I picked up a £30 playsuit from River Island a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it, but do I need it? Absolutely not. There are people dying of hunger for goodness sake, how do we live like this? According to USAID $10 can feed a family of six for two days, so my overpriced please of fabric could give roughly thirty hungry people a whole days worth of food. But did that stop me from buying the playsuit? No. Do I feel guilty? For the most part no. It should be disgusting, we should all be disgusted at ourselves, but we aren’t.
I’m not a psychologist, I’ve never studied psychology or sociology so I can’t tell you any of the reasons why. I can’t tell you why we’re allowed to grow up in this heartless culture of consumerism and not one person, not one faction has gained the support to stand up and contest this hideous way of life. I’d imagine you’ve seen the hunger games (hopefully you’ve read it, but that’s not the point right now), well think about how the people in the Capitol make you feel. Think about it, because 99% of people reading this are not too dissimilar from those blissfully ignorant fools the novel so delicately depicts.
According to Hope Africa, AIDS turns a child into an orphan every 14 seconds. According to World Hunger the world produces roughly 2720 kcal of food per person per day (the RDA is 2000/woman and 2500/man) and yet around 870 million people suffer from undernourishment. The shocking statistics go on and on and on. I don’t know how we let it happen. And I’m certainly not here to preach about the issue, I am as much a part of a problem as you are. But it’s 2014, how haven’t we got to a point where we recognise that all humans are fundamentally equal? How are we still clinging to these foolish notions of state sovereignty and national identity. What is it going to take to bring us together? Yes our cultures are gloriously different but they come closer every day and our genetics are the same. We are citizens of the world and we owe ourselves that title. We owe it to those who aren’t empowered enough to use it.
But at the end of the day when I’ve wrapped up this blog post am I going to sell all my material possessions and travel far away to live the life of poverty I deserve? No. Am I going to return that River Island Playsuit? No. And that’s all you need to know about the sad state of the modern world, really.
So raise awareness about Cancer, raise awareness about poverty and hunger and AIDS and all the things you are about, but I think what I’m really saying here is something that I’ve come to know only recently. Just be grateful. For every small thing, for every victory and all the things you’d forgotten that you need to be grateful for. It’s easy to forget and I don’t ever want to forget again.
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