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Injustice May 13, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Compassion.
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One out, bottom of the ninth. Runner on second. My beloved Braves lead the despised Mets in New York, 3-2. Baserunner attempts to steal third but is tagged out after a stellar throw by Brian McCann. But wait – the umpire inexplicably calls him safe! The home crowd cheers. The out is taken off the books, and the runner stands on third. A sacrifice fly then brings him home, the game is tied, and the Mets go on to win in the bottom of the tenth. We were robbed! Home call! Injustice!

6:00 pm. Dinner time. The family is out at Quiznos for Hannah’s birthday dinner before heading to the pool. There’s only one person working there, and we’re in line behind an entire baseball team. That one person working there is grumpy. She speaks in barely audible single syllables. “Next sub”, she says with a resigned sigh. As our order is totaled I hand her a coupon that Sarah found for free chips and a drink. It will save us $1.99. A bit of sunshine during our Eeyore experience.

Later, as we eat our subs, I check the receipt, which seemed too high. I’m not a habitual receipt-checker, but I had a feeling on this one, and sure enough, the coupon was not taken off. We were charged an extra $1.99. Injustice!

I did not go back to the counter. I did not demand my one dollar and ninety nine cents. Yes, it was, and still is, rightfully mine, but it would have cost me something to demand justice. It would have cost time with my family. Confrontation gets me worked up, and that’s a cost. It would have probably made the one Quiznos employee, who didn’t seem to be having the best day, worse. Besides, I did not get the impression that Eeyore would have known how to issue a refund in the first place.

I also did not shout at the umps when the Braves were robbed. I did not throw a shoe at the TV. I was downright mature. Yes, I thought of the injustice again when we lost the game an inning later, but I also realized that losing the game on a bases loaded walk was not directly attributable to that missed call.

These are injustices that, for various reasons, do not demand action. There are far more important injustices in the world. For many children in India, this is home sweet home:

 compassion-international-india__5143

There are observers who will make impassioned arguments that there are reasons the poor are poor. They don’t work hard enough, they’ll say. Their government is corrupt. They spend the money they do have on various vices.

And we don’t?

I don’t think anyone can argue that the child born into poverty is somehow deserving of this lot. This is injustice about which we must care. Shout at the symbolic TV, go to the counter and demand action. Do something.

Sponsor a child. Donate to onemillioncan. Ask your church if you can go somewhere and use your abilities to help. Cross the street to a shelter and ask them what they need. Do something.

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