I’ve had a couple of tears-streaming-down my face moments, this week. Last night I watched a DVD from my local library called What Would Jesus Buy? It’s a documentary film by Morgan Spurlock, the same man who did Supersize Me.
The documentary is funny, but by the end, I found myself with those tears running right down my face.
Just now in the car, I was listening to this song, by Christian music artist Jason Gray:
Good to Be Alive
I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
If the life that we’ve been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I’m singing out
Full lyrics are here. I feel obligated to mention that I’m not actually a Christian, neither in the religious nor the secular sense. I am a committed atheist and humanist. But, I listen to Christian music a lot. It’s something I’m working out, and maybe I can talk about that in another post, but I just like to be very clear that though I find inspiration in their work, I don’t share the evangelizing goals of the artists I listen to. I’m not citing this song with any buried motive to bring anyone round to being “saved,” or anything like that.
On the other hand, I really DO want to save people, just not in the religious sense. (Some people, I would love to save *from* religion!) I want to save people from the prisons of the mind that keep them stuck, trapped, and in pain. I want to free them, and myself, from habits of thought and of unconscious living that are causing real and present harm to other living and suffering human beings.
The haunting moment in the documentary for me came in a scene where some young girls are told for the first time about sweatshop labor. I watched their loss of innocence as they realize what’s behind the shiny facades at their favorite stores. I watched the dawning of compassion on their faces. Even though it was excruciatingly painful to watch them have the veil ripped away, I also felt so much hope. People feel for each other. These children are absolutely not shopping at Wal-Mart because they want to hurt children in far away foreign countries. Ignorance and indifference can be overcome.
At some point in the movie, Charles Kernaghan shows a picture of himself with a thirteen year old girl, a girl who works in a sweatshop doing child labor for Wal-Mart under horrific conditions. I tried to find out who she was, but I can’t find any details. Here’s a shot of her image, though:
I’m making a promise right NOW to that little girl. I’m going to work to change conditions in this country that lead to the kind of suffering she endures daily.
I will change my own consumption habits, and I will educate others. I refuse to wait.
After all, I’m living on borrowed time. We all are.