Social Issues

Oh, What a Night

It is Thanksgiving Eve here in the states and I, like so many others, have much to be thankful for.  Health, family, a career I love, a house that isn’t going into foreclosure, new energy in the country after the elections….I could go on and on.

Tonight is a night that many of us are focusing on preparing a feast for our loved ones.   I should be making pie crust and pondering the intricacies of the vegetable dishes I’m preparing.

But I’m not.  Tonight I’m glued to Twitter, watching real-time updates of the situation in Mumbai, and alternately cringing in horror at what is going on over there and marveling that I can be so up to date on it through the power of social networking.   People on the scene are tweeting, people in other parts of Mumbai are tweeting, people are aggregating news from TVs and other sources and tweeting.  It is citizen journalism at its finest, and it is beating out any other media source for real-time news.

What’s happening in Mumbai is shocking and horrible beyond imagining.  My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is affected and to all of India.

But in an odd, strange way, the reaction on Twitter tonight gives me hope.  Terrorism and evil breeds in hidden, dark places and citizen journalism shines a light on those dark places so that the rats and vermin have to scatter.  Physicists say that all matter changes just by being observed.  Social networking, at its finest, has the capacity to change matter and more by virtue of the fact that everyone is paying attention now.

Global is now truly local.  General is specific.  The universal is in the details.

Join with me in sending prayers, or positive thoughts, or good wishes for the people in Mumbai.  And let’s all be grateful for what we have on this Thanksgiving Eve, okay?

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

BlogCatalog Community Organ Donation Awareness Campaign

Organ donation?  I know, I know, it has nothing to do with writing.  Unless you happen to be a writer in need of an organ, or perhaps a writer who is planning to donate an organ.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing a post about organ donation is because the blogging directory and network BlogCatalog is doing this really cool thing today.  They have organized bloggers to raise awareness about the issue of organ donation.

Why organ donation?  Perhaps because of figures like these:  170,000 in Europe and the United States waiting for organ transplants; 1,700 in Australia; 50,000 in Latin America; 2 million in China.  The sad truth is that without an organ transplant, these people will die.  For more information on the breadth of the problem, go here.   

If you’d like to read an interesting piece about the growing problem of the black market for organ donation, read this article in Slate.  In some parts of the world, poor people are being encouraged to sell their organs on the black market.

It’s so easy to become an organ donor.  In many places, all you have to do is note your intentions on your driver’s license AND be sure to tell your family your intentions.  For more information on organ donation in the United States, click here.

Many thanks to the great people at BlogCatalog for organizing this blogging campaign!