Over Whelming Odds

HERD ABOUT IT!
by Ana Grarian

What is the sensible thing to do in the face of overwhelming odds? As a Christian I was brought up to admire Bible characters such as: the boy David slaying Goliath with a sling shot; Meschach, Shadrach and Abednego going to the fiery furnace rather than deny their God, Christ going willingly to the cross, giving his life to save ours. In school I learned about Patriots who went against all odds to fight for their country. Movies and books portrayed the hero or heroine who stood up bravely against a bully or criminal.
I can remember clearly being shocked and confused in my 1st aid class when we were cautioned not to put our own lives in danger in order to save someone else. Wait a minute! Isn’t that what firemen, policemen and 1st responders do every day? Isn’t that their calling?
In recent years we have heard disdain for those who have martyred themselves for their cause. Now I certainly don’t believe that killing people in a suicide bombing is the right way to advance your cause, but I think I can start to imagine the frustration they must feel, to drive them that far.

I must confess that if I believed I could make a big enough difference in the world,
I would lay my life on the line to do it.

I wasn’t going to post this article. I was afraid my dark frustrations over the apparent hopelessness of fighting for honesty and integrity and ethics in the agri-business world, in this time of over vigilant homeland security types, would be viewed at best as a suicide note and at worst as a threat. Then today I read an article by Jonathan Kime. Mr. Kime described a time when he was a witness to a man burning to death. He was a Tamil man, desperate over the plight of his people being exterminated in Sri Lanka. He wanted people to pay attention and to care. He didn’t know what else to do, so he set himself on fire, on a street in Geneva Switzerland.
Mr. Kime went on to describe the rest of his day and that of a colleague who was also a witness to the event. He talked about how strange it was to go to a business dinner where everyone carried on as usual, because they didn’t know what had happened. Even something as immense as burning to death on a city street, is only a blip of media time, a tiny memory somewhere that doesn’t get re-membered.
So what’s left when the frustration over a cause begins to drag you down to a level that you feel you can’t rise up again? After you’ve done the research, spoken out, blogged, written letters to government officials and letters to the editor. When you’ve attended meetings and rallies, yet it seems to be like moving a mountain with a toothpick.

I guess you take a step back. You realize that there’s always tomorrow to try again
as long as you leave yourself the possibility of a tomorrow.