I’ve been a bit glum recently.
Bono summed things up for me with the query:
When you look at the world
What is it that you see?
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees.
What I’m seeing up here in the north, increasingly, is just how complicated is the relationship between Canada and First Nations peoples. And it’s bringing me to my knees, frankly. It’s pretty damn dark. And that’s probably all I can say about it.
Reminders that sometimes Big Ideas that Change the World actually do get realized and really do start to change the world provide welcome cheer to me on this rainy Saturday in Yellowknife.
The RED campaign initiated by Bono is one such Big Idea. Yeah, it can appear commercial. Yeah, it probably lets us all too easily off the hook. But as Raincoaster once pointed out (kicking my ass all over town, as only she can do! -I say with gratitude and affection), small starts can lead to deeper thinking about the underlying causes of injustice. So I say, YES! to RED!
What is RED? It simply offers each of us a choice as consumers, with several iconic brands, to select the RED brand item to purchase. A percentage of each sale then goes to a their global fund, and every penny goes directly to Africa, especially towards AIDS relief.
Products you can choose include:
Starbucks – RED card/mugs
Apple – RED ipod
Dell – RED computers
GAP – RED scarves, t-shirts
AMEX – RED card (UK Only?)
Hallmark – RED cards.
Sometimes when it all seems to overwhelming, and when I just can’t see how I can possibly be of any help to anyone, it’s nice to know other people with a whole lot more influence than me have done some serious legwork. The RED campaign has already raised millions of dollars, a scale I can barely comprehend.
Me? Sure, I’m in. I’ll buy RED when I can. That’s easy. The hard work for me is to find a way to serve (I am a civil *servant* after all) and not impose upon, the original peoples of the NWT – if it’s even possible.