I was very moved by the recent new film “Hotel Rwanda”, about the genocide
of the Tutsi people ten years ago while the world stood aside. I recommend
this new film to you. It follows along with other Downtown Lama pics
including “Dead Man Walking” and “Schindler’s List”, fine examples of art
that raises social conscience and consciousness and can move us to
However, I am tired of seeing these things a decade after the fact. When
can we see something like this while it is happening, given our modern
media? Then the world could react in a more timely fashion, with more
information, with more effectiveness.
Bewailing the horrors of genocide much later is good: tears pour forth, one
wonders what can be done to prevent it from happening again. But how to
effectively and skillfully help now, in Dafur, Sudan and in other hot spots
of the world where similar atrocities are being committed? Perhaps things
are getting slightly better in this regard, as I have noticed the alacrity
and vivid immediacy with which new technology has brought the recent
tsunami’s tragedy and devastation into our homes and consciousness, and
almost immediately produced huge aid efforts .
The spiritual activist has to wake up and catch up to pain of the world and
hear its cries, right now, and be moved to compassionate action and
selfless service. That is the true meaning of compassion. Service to the
highest through serving the lowest, the neediest.
I vote for Oscars to be given for categories of caring and compassion,
consciousness raising, and most dedicated unselfish celebrity of the year–
a Hollywood Peace Award.
When his daughter drowned, Victor Hugo wrote a poem, saying: “Mankind can
only see one side of reality. The other side is plunged in the darkness of
a frightening mystery. Mankind bears the yoke without knowing why.
Everything he sees is short-lived, futile and fleeting….I come to you,
God, the Father in whom we must believe. Calmly I bring you the pieces of my heart filled with your glory, which you have broken. I accept that only you know what you do, and that mankind is only a reed that trembles in the wind.”