I wrote this in 2006 when I was using a different blogging platform.
[info from worldaidsday.com]
1981 had the first documented case of AIDS (then referred to as GRID). “Around forty million people are living with HIV throughout the world – and that number increases in every region every day. In the UK alone, more than 60,000 people are living with HIV and more than 7,000 more are diagnosed every year. Ignorance and prejudice are fueling the spread of a preventable disease.”

if you’ve spent much time online today i imagine that you’ve seen something or another about (red). it’s something Bono helped get started. you buy things from companies who are (red) companies and part of the money they make from your purchase goes to buying medicine that can help people with AIDS. i think this is a great idea. i like this idea because it plays on the consumerist nature of our culture. it’s like saying, “all you have to do is keep spending money and you can help people.” this is the type of cause that the US can get behind. it takes no commitment, other than having a red phone or t-shirt, and it’s a really easy way to feel good about helping other people. “i really want to help people, so i bought a t-shirt. now whenever i wear it i’ll remind myself how i helped someone else. i’m such a good person.”

i realize that i might come across as annoyed, but that’s cause i am. why is it that we need to receive something in return to help someone else. i often find myself saying that it’s not about what i’m getting in return, it’s about helping a particular person or cause. but when i get stopped by the waist-high cub scout, standing in front of King Soopers nervously asking people to buy popcorn for $15 a box instead of buying the same amount of popcorn for a fifth of the price inside, why don’t i just hand him the money and tell him to keep the popcorn? instead i take my box of popcorn home with me and complain about how the popcorn wasn’t even worth $15.
i get the feeling that (red) is playing off this psychology. for some reason, people wont give money to people in need unless they get something in return. shame on me. me, who believes that all i have is a gift from GOD. me, who says he trusts that GOD will provide all i need. how did i get here?

for the whole of my life AIDS has been a part of the world. i want to be a part of helping AIDS loose the devastating power it has had over the world for the last 25 years. i want to do something. but i want to do more than buy a GAP t-shirt. i want to be with people. i want my life to touch theirs. how do i do this with where i’m at in life right now. is there anything i can do beyond buying stuff? what do you think?

 

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