Every quarter, my Bank (and employer) cuts a cheque to Amnesty International, thanks to members who use an Amnesty Visa Card. Every time they use it, the bank sets aside 10¢ which pools into a three or four grand every quarter (inexact estimates). That’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about Citizens Bank of Canada.
My path is crossing Amnesty again today: It’s a day many bloggers have set aside, in partnership with Amnesty, to draw attention to human rights.
Readers will know that I am increasingly politicized. From time to time I write and rant boldly about topics like: City Hall taking a thoughtful approach to my inner-city neighbourhood, or my disillusionment about the Olympics in Vancouver or my reminder of basic human rights that Canada signed off on, but falls sadly short in keeping.
Having spent a number of years working directly with people and their money, either in my money coach capacity or at the bank I can’t help but notice how oblivious we can be (me too, trust me) about broader, and imho much more weighty issues around the world. We stress out and lose sleep over money but we don’t lose sleep over things like honour killings of young women, or China’s arrest of journalist Hu Jia who was simply calling attention to human rights.
I don’t blame us: our own context of life presses in on us and sometimes our worries about money are very real. But if we care about the fact that some of us can blog freely without fear, and if we take some comfort in the fact that while our money may cause us the occasional troubled sleep, we’re none of us wondering if the police are going to pound on the door and take us away in the middle of the night … maybe its time we do a few bare minimums:
1. Increase our alertness to global issues. If there’s an opportunity to read about or listen to or discuss global concerns, take it. One inspiring place is Ted.com – see both the issues and also creative, intelligent responses.
2. Take 10 minutes to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. Make a promise to yourself that next time you see an Amnesty volunteer on the streets, you’ll give them 5 minutes of your time and listen, really listen.
…and if you want a visa card that gives all the points as you’ll get anywhere else AND the bank will donate 10¢ to your choice of Amnesty or Oxfam every time you swipe it, you know where to go 🙂
Readers: do you agree? we are disproportionately concerned about our financial well being compared to the acute violations of human rights around the world? Why is that?