09 March 2009

Every 3 Seconds

Well, among today's international radio news headlines, after the news of Japan's lowest stock market level since 1983, and China's skyrocketing unemployment rate, and the Canadian Auto worker's concessions to avoid bankruptcy at GM, Barbie's 50th birthday made it as international news. It's pretty dire out there, and I think most of us are re-evaluating our plans and household economies to pull through the next few years. We are more grateful than ever that we have the ability and opportunity to grow our food and keep the pantry stocked. With our minds and hearts usually swimming with reports on the spike of world poverty and hunger, we would not normally give Barbie more than a passing thought. But a statistic caught my attention With one Barbie(R) doll sold every 3 seconds somewhere in the world, Barbie(R) remains the world's most popular doll and a powerhouse brand among girls of all ages.

I found it sadly ironic that Barbie's sales match the rate at which a child dies of poverty in our world. One child receives a toy, and one child dies for want.

"Sometimes, it breaks your heart, but you realize your guilt is only futile since you see the tear stain on her face, not your own. You look at the image you've made, and it breaks your heart again. You know that nearly half of all kids in this country are malnourished and stunted, but you, yourself remain nicely cushioned around the bones. You come from a country where people worry about getting fat, not malnutrition. So you stay. You want to help. The guilt remains, even after more than a year in this country. But the guilt soon begins to blur with responsibility. And then responsibility begins to blur with action." -quote from the photographer Wen-Yan King

It does break your heart, it breaks ours. But I love what this photographer says, guilt blurs into responsibility, and responsibility blurs into action. We try to take this responsibility into our hearts, and make decisions about the way that we live that can, we believe, make the world a better place for children to be born.

As much as the "bad news" crowds for space in our minds, we also see much talk and action around Social Responsibility. There are a lot of people working on these issues, and we are reaching out to make connections with them. Our little homestead has been a necessary step along that path, because we believe it is the strongest base from which to act. We are trying to reach a scale of subsistence that buys us back our time and resources, so that we can contribute more to resolving the devastating, heartbreaking state of our world. This is our approach, and there are as many paths and solutions, as there are beating hearts.

Sorry about the sad blog. Keep hope alive. Plant seeds. Encourage friends. Grow.


Pampered Mom said...

Very powerful post. Most especially where you said: "I found it sadly ironic that Barbie's sales match the rate at which a child dies of poverty in our world. One child receives a toy, and one child dies for want."

So very true.

farm mom said...

My friend, you have an amazing gift with words. I wish more people read you, you are truly moving. xoxo

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

Pampered Mom, thank you. It certainly struck me as a powerful paradox.

farm mom, thank you again, dear friend, for you constant encoragement.

crossn81 said...

Thanks for the insight and making a statistic more real.