Struggling with hope: Louisa Lim’s account of reporting in Tibet under Chinese police
Lim closes her piece with commentary about the necessary yet dangerous mission of journalism to document and expose the abuses of the Tibetans she writes about. At the end she names what global human-rights measures need to be taken yet also questions the possibility of impact. Struggling with hope and loss is the context against which Lim writes, informed by the recent deaths of journalists who had also risked their lives, Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid who died in Syria, and many others. Emphasis mine:
So given the dangers, is it worth it? For that, I go back to the testimony of Jigme Gyatso. Our greatest hope, he said, is for a fact-finding team of the international media and U.N. representatives to come to Tibet, to investigate the conditions and then dare to report what they find.
As journalists, our job is to bear witness. We like to think we are doing what we can with these hurried, fervid incursions into Tibetan areas. But it will never be enough.
Coffee’s history of social dissent (and persecution)
He observed that the people drinking alcohol would just get drunk and sing and be jolly, whereas the people drinking coffee remained sober and plotted against the government”
- Stewart Allen, author of The Devil’s Cup: Coffee, the Driving Force in History
Coffee fueled dissent — not just in the Ottoman Empire but all through the Western world. The French and American Revolutions were planned, in part, in the dark corners of coffeehouses. In Germany, a fearful Frederick the Great demanded that Germans switch from coffee to beer. He sent soldiers sniffing through the streets, searching for the slightest whiff of the illegal bean.
From NPR: The Salt: “Drink Coffee? Off with your Head!”
[inspiration] [intuitive interventions]
You may have heard this story from StoryCorps in 2008 (it recently bubbled up on NPR’s most popular posts), but it’s a great example of human selflessness and unexpected connection.
What I marvel at (and aspire to) are: how unconcerned the narrator, Julio Diaz, is with his material possessions in the moment, and when many of us might go victim/woe-is-me/angry after being stolen from, he immediately shifts to empathize with and center the needs of his mugger, whom he rightly identifies as someone driven by need/circumstance. And while we may or may not believe this particular story, I recognize in it the actions/interventions I’ve seen by many amazing youth workers and community organizers I’ve known, as well as social workers (like my friend Jia!), care providers, and parents (even at times my own). Hope you enjoy.
NPR: Charities Predict A Slight Increase In 2012 Donations
An indicator of hope for individual/donor fundraising, but perhaps primarily for organizations and non-profits at scale to utilize awareness campaigns and new technologies for donations like sms.
PAM FESSLER: In a survey last month, the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that a slight majority of nonprofits were seeing an increase in end-of-year giving, some as high as 20 percent. But editor Stacy Palmer says most groups are not raising nearly as much as they did before the recession.
STACY PALMER: “So it’s going to be a tough year and some people think it’s going to be a tough year for fundraising until 2016.”