Thought For The Day #3901 December 2014
Broadcast 1st of December 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
Today is World AIDS Day, where we raise awareness for one of the worst pandemics in human history. The stats for the disease are horrendous, especially when you consider the numbers of children that suffer from it. Not to mention the stigma still associated with being HIV Positive.
However, if I’m to be completely honest, I find it difficult to generate much concern or interest in the cause. I know how that might sound, especially if you are suffering, or know someone suffering, from AIDS. But I feel it’s better to be frank than to pretend to care more than I do. When I was younger my mum always used to complain that our estranged father would spend lots of money on me and my brother. I never understood until much later that my mum was right to be frustrated. My dad gave us money because it helped him feel better about not being around. So in a strange way the money helped him more than it helped me and my brother.
I don’t want to pretend to care about AIDS or anything else for that matter. A person wiser than me once said that compassion is like the hand that instantly reaches for a stubbed toe. The hand has no thoughts about being compassionate, it’s just its natural and spontaneous response. The only possible reason that my hand wouldn’t reach for my toe is that I wasn’t aware it was in pain.
Today is about raising awareness not about raising money. The broken toe of AIDS causes suffering. It is enough to simply know that. We are the hand of humanity and we can trust that it will reach for whatever response is most compassionate.