I realize the photo with this blog is gruesome. If you’ve read many of my blogs you know that I’m an optimist and solutions oriented person – I don’t usually dwell on the daily tragedies of the world. Rather, I try to figure out what needs to be done differently in the philanthropic and human rights world so that bodies like the one shown stop coming down the river.
There’s a story I’d like to tell to help explain my vision of what we need to do differently:
Once there was a river that flowed through a town. One day bodies started coming down the river, some were dead, others seriously injured. The people in the town were caring and compassionate. They started pulling bodies out of the river. When bodies kept coming they built hospitals and other facilities near the river. Then one day while a group was taking another body out of the water, a young woman helping looked up and said “this is very important, we have to get this body out of the water, but shouldn’t somebody go upstream?”
She was right, and Unite is taking path upstream. It’s the climb up to where the bodies are being thrown into the water. It’s a steep climb, psychologically as well as physically, and at times financially difficult as well. Most people and businesses will not bother to go upstream, at least not at first.
Unite does not begrudge those who want to keep doing what we are doing and not go upstream. Valiant work is being done just getting the bodies out of the water, but for the 1% of people and businesses who are ready to go upstream, Unite wants to help prepare the path and travel with them.
If you are one of the people willing to go upstream, you can start by signing to support the idea of a Global Bill of Rights on this Unite website. After signing, the most helpful thing you can do is to tell folks you think might be also be interested in traveling with us upstream.
This does not mean that all the valiant people and organizations pulling bodies our should stop their work! Unite commends those pulling the bodies out of the river. It’s the hardest work there is, and it certainly matters to those who are saved. But at some point if we do not also go upstream, then we are the institutionalizing tragedy.
So when it comes to philanthropy for human rights, and our daily human rights efforts, let’s spend 99% of our time getting the bodies getting the bodies out of the river and 1% to go upstream!