Reverand Al Sharpton was the guest speaker at an event hosted by Operation Black Vote, while he spoke specifically about racisim and social injustice, his words moved to me think about the fight against AIDS. One of the things he spoke about was being relevant, about standing up and being counted.
That’s what we need to think about in our individual role in the global response to HIV/AIDS. We need to ask ourselves, are we doing all we can do? Or are we accepting the status quo?
The epidemic does seem insurmountable but the reality is, all battles that need to be won seem that way, but we battle on if we want to see a change. And each and every one of us has to play a role. We can make excuses that it’s a problem over there, that all things are equal and people should be able to access life-saving treatment, or that there are a lot of people already working on the issue, will one more person make a difference. Or whatever excuse you tell yourself to not get involved. But if you’re not engaged, you’re irrelevant – well that’s what the Reverand says and honestly, it makes sense.
And it’s not just about AIDS, its about all the other social ills in our society and the injustice that surrounds us, like what’s going on in Haiti. Haiti is poor for many reasons and one of the reasons is because of the economic injustice that engulfs it. Funningly enough, some people are now saying that that’s actually lucky for them because the poor structures of the buildings might just be what has saved lots of people. Hmmmmm…
But I’m going off on a tangent. My point is, be relevant, however you chose to be, just be relevant.