11 September 2009

86 Days - No Time for Empty Gestures

This one's pretty personal, but please bear with me. I'm trying to make sense of something.

Because of complications in my injured leg, I've been to the local hospital 10 times in the last week (and not always in a vehicle I was proud of, because I couldn't drive our little standard car with a broken ankle).

These visits have had me pondering green health care, "building health instead of hospitals" (a slogan I saw somewhere), how sick and injured people can't be expected to focus on the climate change emergency (this blog was about all I could manage all week), and whether it's all worth it. (A little existential angst to go with my life-threatening blood clots.)

So here's what I want to share with you. I'm almost out of my cast, and thought out loud today that it might be nice to get a pedicure when this whole fiasco is over with, as a treat and a sort of celebration. (And to help my left foot look normal again!) I've never had a pedicure or a manicure before.

I then told my husband that I probably wouldn't go through with it because I'd feel guilty about getting a pedicure when there are people in the world who don't have enough food and water. A pedicure seems obscene and decadent in that light.

Well, he pointed out, unless I then give the money that I would have spent on a pedicure to a charity that feeds the poor, it's an empty gesture. My guilt would be useless. And I would still have one foot that looks funny.

So, Oxfam, you'll be getting my cheque in the mail. And maybe my girlfriend and I can spend a fun afternoon soaking our feet in the lake and talking about how we're going to save the world. So ... yeah. I feel better now.

UPDATE: Just wanted to let everyone know that I did send a cheque to Oxfam, an NGO with a heart that understands who is going to bear the brunt of climate disruption: women and children [pdf], especially in disadvantaged regions.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?