~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2004-06-24 - 6:11 p.m.

Of course life isn't all about being on "the cocktail", but at the same time, I can't help the fact that my eye is often drawn to AIDS/HIV-related stories in the press.

Today's coverage, for example, of "Prez Shrub's" announcement at an African Methodist-Episcopal church in Philadelphia about his new budget's global AIDS funding plan:

I don't want to be so cynical as to think that he's *merely* doing it for political gain, but one wonders how much of a priority it really is for the man. Then again, how much of a priority is it for any of us?

Maybe the typical HIV-afflicted white gay man (maybe even the typical HIV-afflicted straight black woman) probably doesn't really feel that much kinship with the Botswanan mother of 5 who has no access to drugs and whose health dwindles by the day, or the Ugandan 12-year-old AIDS orphan who has had to support his or her siblings through subsistence garden-farming since the age of 8 or so. However, I'd like to guess that they do feel a *little* more kinship than do the talking heads who are stressing "abstinence-based hiv prevention" (the catchily-named "ABC method": Abstinence >> Being Faithful within Marriage >> Condoms".

I often wonder if I'd really have it in me to do anything related to public health in the developing world. Am I just too selfish and lazy, even if it meant just getting a job with an NGO or other nonprofit based in Washington DC, San Francisco, or New York -- and not necessarily going all the way to Africa, India, or wherever to work "in the field"?

Sometimes I wonder if I should just "shut the hell up" and stop complaining -- even if the complaining only takes place in my own mind. But then I feel I have to give myself a little credit for at least contemplating these things.

Several more reasons for feeling lucky to live in this particular time and location...

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