A New Idea
I haven’t posted anything like this on this blog yet so I guess I’ll try something different. I was reading some other blogs tonight and came across the following. What first pulled me to this piece was the name of Paul Farmer. He is a dynamic medical doctor who is making a huge impact in many lives in many countries which include
Pity and Compassion are not Enough
Paul Farmer gave a talk recently at the
Paul talked about the fact that more than 80 million Africans might die from AIDS by 2025 with a similar toll on that continent by tuberculosis and malaria. He states that “these numbers have lost their ability to shock or even move us.”
Paul goes on to ask, “What sort of human values might be necessary to save a young man’s life (someone dying from AIDS, for example). Compassion, pity, mercy solidarity and empathy come immediately to mind. But we also must have hope and imagination in order to make sure that proper medical care reaches the destitute sick.
“Are the human values of compassion, pity, mercy, solidarity, and empathy all there is to it? How might the notion of rights reframe a question often put as a matter of charity or compassion?
“Do the destitute sick of
“To move from pity and compassion for a sufferer...to the values inherent in notions of human rights is along leap. For many, especially those far removed from conditions such as those faced in rural
Paul finishes with the following:
“The language of political rights has become meaningless to many people living in the world’s unimaginable poverty. Conversely, the language of economic rights is sometimes viewed as excessive, menacing, and irresponsible in the eyes of people living in the midst of plenty. This growing rift, I would argue is the most pressing human rights problem of our times.”