Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Drink the Tea

My soy milk tastes different this week,
as if they changed the formula
without asking my permission.
The packaging doesn't acknowledge this change,
that only bothers me in my green jasmine tea,
where now the strong flavor of the soy milk
over powers the delicate jasmine blossoms
in my Numi Monkey King tea; the only
green tea for me. But I may as well use
up all of that bad green jasmine tea that
I have purchased this year to try to
replace the more expensive Numi brand.
I cannot bring myself to throw out tea or
soy milk, even if it is bad.

My parents always made me clean my plate,
because there were starving children
in Africa. Back then, I felt helpless
to do anything and didn't see how finishing
my food would benefit the poor kids in Africa.

I am no longer small and I can no longer say that I am powerless to help.

This past week, I have been
both humbled and tormented
by the sheer amount of stuff
that I have. My fairly modest,
by American standards, four
bedroom house is a mansion
by global standards. And my
fairly modest backyard could
grow enough crops to feed a
family of twenty for one year.

I (who was that person?)
once dated a man who was
tired of keeping up his lawn.
He offered it up on Craig's List
for free for a family to come
and farm. I thought it was rather
ingenious although his neighbors
didn't agree. We all need to think
differently in this country.
Our current ways do not sustain
the present global population,
(about 6.5 billion)
much less the future.

And then there are the orphans.
I used to think, "well, I have my
own kids to raise so I can't really
do anything for all of the world's
orphans." I guess I was relying on
only the childless to care for all of
those orphans.

But here's the thing, it is only the
parent's heart that can know how
difficult it would be to die and to
leave your child here on this earth
to grow up without you. Yes, that's
painful. But what if you were to
die knowing the other parent was
also gone? Well, I guess in this country
you hope you have a good will and
family and friends that would step
in and carry on the task and the joy
of raising of your child.

But it could even happen here;
a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina.
Perhaps both you and the other parent
dies. Or, for a time, you are separated
from your child and depend on the
kindness of others to protect your child
until long-term arrangements are made or
you are reunited? No where else does
"do unto others as you would have
them do unto you" ring more true than
when it comes to the treatment of your
own child.

And so you see, I am responsible for
the world's orphans. They are my
children too. My eyes are now opened
and cannot be closed. I must act. I am
not helpless. I will drink the tea, bitter
as it may be. I will drink the tea.

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