I remember visiting Yellowstone as a teenager and being upset that I was not allowed to take even one tiny little insignificant rock home as a souvenir. Up to that time, I always brought a rock home from places I enjoyed. What difference could my little memento make?
Then I looked around. Thousands of people were here with me, and if I was the only one who ever took a pretty stone, there would be no problem. But what if half of them wanted rocks, too?
Read more at Leaving a Light Footprint in a Far Away Place.
(For more thoughts on Far Away Places see As Far Away Places Edge Closer, Caring About Far Away Places, The Courage to Embrace Those Far Away Places, and Those Far Away Places Could Be Next Door.)
So I get to write a book about human trafficking but you don’t? Who decides when enough about a subject is enough, or whether the handling of a difficult topic is sensitive or exploitative?
I can’t answer that question. I do know that I never want to see ugly topics like disease and assault (and poverty, racism, domestic violence, homophobia, child neglect, human trafficking, war, and gun violence) swept under a giant collective carpet. Awareness can lead to solutions. But I also think it is fair to consider how toxic the atmosphere can become once we are fixated on a difficult subject, especially for those struggling to recover from emotional wounds that get strained a little every time the subject arises.
Please read the entire post on my c3 blog at We need to talk about this, just maybe not so much.
Those of us not in politics have few ways to steer the human race away from the machinery of war. One of those is travel. As we spend time with others who are currently demonized, or who once were, we learn to question the assumptions about other nations, religions, races, continents, and what ever else you have when you describe “those people” in terms vile enough to make the average citizen believe that they must die. Of course, you can’t just get on a bus or plane and go somewhere. You need to interact.
Read the entire post on my x0 blog at Happy International Day of Peace, Alberto and Maria!
On the whole, all people prefer to live in a society which is fair, or at least in one that they think is fair. Yes, the difference between the perceptions of the privileged and the reality of the situation is another whole problem, and another blog post. So is having the courage to try to change an unfair system. But in spite of the fact that most people in both groups will tolerate inequities, at least up to a point, the fact is that most folks would rather not have them. Interesting, huh?
Read the entire post on my y1 blog at The fairest of them all?
Is a course of action better if it results in less harm? Most people would say yes, at least until they are confronted with the reality of the choices made by those who struggle to improve the world without making it perfectly right.
What am I talking about here? Well, drug addiction and educating women in Afghanistan and preventing pedophiles from molesting children and female genital mutilation and pretty much everything else I’d rather not discuss or think about. It turns out that there is a lot of icky stuff in the world, and it’s hard to make it any of it go away.
Read the rest of this post on my x0 blog at Do Less Harm.