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Be the Change
I went to the community dinner called "Be the Change." The founder of Bread for the World - Art Simon - facilitated the session along with three other speakers. I was moved by their passion for individual and communal change.
Maryada Vallet shared about her experience with No More Death and the Tucson Catholic Worker. I met Maryada about two years ago in California during her senior year of college. It was awesome to reconnect and hear her words of wisdom. It is by working with people on the border, serving people daily at the soup kitchen that Maryada is sustained in the work for justice. She said, "Lots of people like to go around talking about justice, but there aren't a lot of people in touch with the masses." Preach it, sister! In closing, she quoted one of my favorite hip-hop artists - Lauryn Hill. "Wake up, Rebel!"
We need to learn together to visualize alternatives and wake up to rebel.
Chris Haw from Camden Community House rocked the house with his words about questioning the "system" and what actually causes poverty:
What we need to ask about these make poverty history movements is: what makes people poor? [Beacuse] we are the ones riding the wave on what makes people poor. Make affluence history needs to be on the other side of the argument. When we start to criticize what makes people rich, that’s what makes it messy. Make our way of life history. Our liberation is tied up with [poor] people.
Practically, they encouraged the group to ask questions and take small steps towards simplicity and solidarity:
- What makes people poor?
- How does my lifestyle contribute to the cycle of poverty?
- What lifestyle choices can I make to live more simply?
- Do you think people in this country feel that sort of deep unhappiness from benefiting from people’s misery?
Thank you Art, Maryada, Chris for your prophetic words. I'm grateful for your witness, your challenge to rebel, to have faith and to make radical personal decisions to follow the way of Jesus.
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