damnation detectors

the latest issue of time magazine features an update on sudan
and the article presupposes that its readers know what an ngo is
that it need not be spelled out any more than gmo or std need be
alas i did not and needed to conduct an “ngo definition” search

“non-governmental organization” –it shames me i didn’t know
wikipedia says there are 1.5mil in the us and over 2mil in india
and wikipedia delivers one paragraph that gets to the heart of it:

“One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that
their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term
financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves
to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate
change, malaria prevention or a global ban on landmines. Public
surveys reveal that NGOs often enjoy a high degree of public trust,
which can make them a useful – but not always sufficient – proxy
for the concerns of society and stakeholders.”

the best of them have an ongoing mission: to seek out damnation
that may be vulnerable to intervention and intervene to the full extent

a word applied to many of these damnation detectors is “relief”
and one ngo even i in my ignorance had heard of is the red cross

looking for the red cross on the internet reveals more of my ignorance
i learned that the red cross symbol has less to do with christianity
and more to do with reversing the colors of the flag of switzerland
‘croix rouge’ began when swiss businessman jean-henri dunant
was chilled by his visit to the field of the battle of solferino’s aftermath

dunant changed his personal life mission on the spot
used his acumen to organize relief efforts among locals
succeeding in compelling them to look beyond animosity

he then wrote an account of his experience and self-published
in 1862 sent his “a memory of solferino” far and wide to leaders
and the following year this advocative account found fertile soil

the geneva society for public welfare commissioned a feasibility study
the ‘international committee for relief to the wounded’ came to exist
and the following year the committee reached out to other nations

we all have damnation detection capability
slums are everywhere as are homeless
suffering is concentrated in hospitals and clinics

but it is difficult to dissolve ignorance
as i discovered to my chagrin this morning

and it is difficult to change one’s life mission
the inertia of day-to-day is forcible and constant

and few of us realize
that particular damnation
in and of ourselves


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