Craig Kielburger

Changing the World by stepping up

Darbella just attended “Me to We” Toronto — a gathering of 16,000 7–12th graders committed to

…free children from poverty and exploitation, and to empower young people to take action to improve the lives of their peers in developing countries.”

More on this in a moment.

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel

One of the speakers was Elie Weisel —

(Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE (born September 30, 1928)[1] is a writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps. His diverse range of other writings offer powerful and poetic contributions to literature, theology, and his own articulation of Jewish spirituality today.
{Link to Wikipedia article} )

Dar remembered one of the lines in Wiesel’s speech this way:

The opposite of love is not hate.
The opposite of love is indifference.”

The chief form of indifference is talk without action.

Many are the people that think decrying evil, or injustice, or going on at length about how tough their life is, is equivalent to actually doing something.

In Buddhism, one key concept is “no duality.” This means, simply, not engaging in process that creates divisions—in other words, to resist the urge to place things into categories like good and bad, right and wrong.

Now, it may seem that this is condoning “bad” things. It’s not.

It’s about recognizing our tendency to point our fingers at things, and label it “bad, bad, bad.” And then to assume that such labelling has changed anything at all.

This applies to everything from genocide to dysfunctional relationships. Calling a thing “bad” changes nothing about the thing. Getting up and doing something to change the condition does change the thing.

Taking a thing to death is the height of indifference. Standing up and shifting the thing is both courageous and loving.

we day

Me to We” just finished a week ago, and was held in Vancouver and Toronto. In addition to Wiesel, the Dalai Lama, Paul Martin (former Prime Minister of Canada,) and Robert Kennedy Jr. and other luminaries were in attendance.

The message to the kids was this: go back to your schools and do something to make a difference, locally and internationally. The kids are empowered to generate change.

Here’s the point:

Many people endlessly whine about how powerless they are to change the way they communicate with loved-ones, to change the way they make a living, to change their stare of mind, let alone to change the world. They blame others for their dilemma, and stay stuck and indifferent.

Me to We” is a part of Free the Children, an organization that has a sterling reputation for doing what it says it will do — helping to end the exploitation of children, and improving their living conditions.

Now, here’s the kicker.

This organization was formed in 1997…
by a 12-year-old Canadian boy!

To quote from their site:

One day while searching for the funny pages in the newspaper, a morning ritual, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger was stopped by a headline that read, “Battled Child Labor, Boy, 12, Murdered.” Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani boy, had escaped child labour at age nine to become a leader in the movement against bonded labour and child slavery. He was eventually shot and killed for speaking out.

Craig brought the article into his Grade 7 class to ask if anyone would help him continue Iqbal’s fight. Eleven hands shot up, and Free The Children was born. Since that day, Craig and his friends haven’t stopped. He has travelled the world, learning from thousands of forgotten and voiceless people, and giving inspirational speeches to world leaders and youth.

The cure for indifference is not more words. It’s action.

Be the change the world, your relationships, and your self needs to see.

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Go to the top of this article, click on the title, and leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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