Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times – times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation – that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.
What difference can words possibly make in the face of such problems?
With our words, with our writing we can:
Words give us the potential to make a difference. It’s what’s driving just under 9,000 bloggers around the world to take part in Blog Action Day. Looking for the words to change the conversation, and make a lasting difference.
Powerful words change things.
Mandela’s words give a sense of power, of possibility, of necessity.
In this new century, millions of people in the world’s poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved, and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free.
Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.
And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.
While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.
But words on their own are not enough. Mandela’s plea was for action, not words. A plea to world leaders – and to a whole generation.
I say to all those leaders: do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognise that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision…
Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.
Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up.
So share words today. Write, link, comment and connect. Teach, read, inspire and learn.
But don’t forget to work out what you’ll do, once tomorrow dawns.
October 15th is Blog Action Day. This year the campaign theme is poverty.
Nelson Mandela quotes are extracts from the speech he delivered in 2005 as part of the Make Poverty History campaign. You can read the full speech here.
For ideas and inspiration on things you can do: some posts from Blog Action Day. Thousands more on their site to chose from.
10 Things You Can Do To Make Poverty History by Wonderwebby
Blog Action Day Challenge: Look, See, Do Something by Amy Derby
Fight Poverty by Promoting Education by On Simplicity
When Did You Last Show Anyone How to Fish? by Janice Cartier