Now that it’s April, I come to that critical juncture. Given that I’ve done absolutely nothing so far, will I persevere in the resolution, or will it become a forgotten intention? And really, who has time for resolutions anyway? Much less blogging about them. In fact, resolving to blog about a resolution—that’s just asking for it. What was I thinking? I resolve not to do this next year. This year, however, I’m unfortunately trapped by my keen sense of obligation and my deep psychological aversion to incomplete undertakings. Moving on then . . .
Livermore’s first strategy for making a global difference right now is, Be aware.
The idea here is to realize how wrapped up we are in the personal, local, familiar stuff around us and make an effort to broaden our horizons. Most of us wouldn’t even pass a high school world geography exam, forget being conversant on child trafficking in Myanmar or political unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Confession: just last night I was trying to sort out the difference between Suiza (Switzerland) and Suecia (Sweden) in Spanish. I was having quite a difficult time of it, because I kind of forgot about there being such a thing as Sweden. Apologies to my Nordic readers.
Some practical steps toward awareness
Livermore lists some suggestions, a couple of which I tweak and add to below:
1. “Consume a variety of news sources to see how the ‘same’ events get reported differently.” This alone can make a huge difference in your perspective. There is no such thing as unbiased media. If you only watch one network because of political views, which seems to have become normal in the US, then repent. You shouldn’t be listening to hear what you want, you should be listening to get informed. The only option we have to offset journalistic bias is to diversify and compare with a vengeance.
2. I broaden another of Livermore’s suggestions a bit: take full advantage of the internet’s news collating potential. He lists http://worldpress.org as a source of info., which is great. But don’t overlook über powerful tools like Google News. When you are logged into your Google account, you can customize your Google news feed to your interests.
3. Focus your prayer. Rather than making awareness about the drudgery of homework, make your awareness-building an act of prayer. Use something like the World Food Programme’s Hunger Map. Pray for one of the hungriest countries each day. You can compliment this with information on that country from a site like the Joshua Project. I’m not an advocate of their rubric for determining what is an unreached people, but they have a phenomenally systematized database. A variety of different vantage points are available on the site’s Discover page. There is an overwhelming amount of information here, so don’t get bogged down or discouraged by lack of time to absorb it all. Just pick a country or people cluster, for example, pay attention to where it is, learn a bit about it, and take a few minutes to pray for it.