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Giving a shi-

Been an interesting 48 hours or so in the big State of Ohio. In case you somehow missed it, a man in Zanesville released his exotic pets from their cages and committed suicide. Such a tragic story on so many levels. Local authorities approached the situation on Monday night with a “shoot to kill” mentality. Not equipped for big game hunting, they did what they had to do to protect human life. The debates on facebook and all over the web are pretty heated. Discussions I read argued for the animals, argued for using tranquilizer rifles and others argued for protection of human life. As I read them, this quote came to mind…

“I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.” -Tony Campolo

I guess I bring that up because I am intrigued by what we become passionate about. I am saddened by the situation in Zanesville, but the reality is there is nothing I can or could have done about it. However there are people right here in Columbus that will go without food or shelter tonight and there IS something I can do about that. Places like the Mid-Ohio Foodbank can feed and house the homeless for what you or I will spend on a cup of coffee today. Globally, there are so many organizations that are doing so much good in this world. I wonder what would happen if we re-direct our passion to these causes. Imagine the impact.

I made the statement yesterday that “facebook has become the new soapbox”. It’s so easy to throw a comment on the wall and rally others for or against your point. Debate is healthy, but imagine if we rallied for things that matter. Imagine if we gave so that 30,000 children won’t die of starvation or treatable diseases. You’d be amazed how little this actually costs.

I’m not just talking or hiding behind a keyboard. I recently began putting together a “Black Friday” page which I will post here on this blog in the coming weeks you can now find HERE. Rather than going out and fighting the crowds for the holiday rush, why not do all of your shopping with organizations that donate the majority of their profits to causes around the world? Organizations like Hello Somebody, Toms Shoes and Soles 4 Souls. This could be the start of something that will change your life and the lives of all that you touched. Then you can answer Tony Campolo by saying that you do give a sh–.



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Comments · 14

  • David · October 20, 2011

    Great post Aaron. As a Western society, our priorities are upside down. We’ve become a society of wimps more concerned that we are offending someone rather than doing or defending what is right. Just sayin’… Anyway, right on, bro.


  • aaron · October 20, 2011

    Thanks David. I am always amazed at how little it actually takes or costs to do so much for someone else. I know I am guilty of always thinking “there’s nothing I can do” or “It costs too much”. When I see how easy organizations have made it and how little it costs, it really is surprising. Just trying to do pay it forward.

  • Sean · October 20, 2011

    holy shi-, Aaron,

    Excellent. Was surprised at myself for racing to the bottom of the quote and seeing who said such a racy thing- and finding out it was Tony Campolo. That guy’s the shi-. Interesting because I *was* more intrigued by the fact he said “shi-” than by what he’d said prior to that. So calloused. not so good.

    • aaron · October 20, 2011

      Yep, I’m guilty too Sean. I think that is what makes the quote so powerful. We’re all probably a little guilty of that. Campolo gets his fair share of criticism, but this one was pretty hard to argue.

  • Amanda · October 20, 2011

    Great post to make people aware of the starving children but starving children really don’t have anything to do with the slaughter of these innocent animals. These are 2 totally separate issues. The exotic animal situation could have been handled differently….they did not need to be killed. I am passionate about a lot of things and I do what I can to help others in need, but I also am outraged at how the situation with the animals was handled.

    • aaron · October 20, 2011

      Completely understand Amanda. It is a tragic situation and one I don’t think anyone was prepared for. I’m most surprised that this man was able to house these dangerous “pets” and so many of them while apparently no one was monitoring it. The local authorities we simply not prepared for the tragedy that unfolded. Agreed that it’s not related to starving children, but was a wake up call to me to make sure I direct my passion to something I can influence or change. I didn’t even know this man, or these animals were in Zanesville. I appreciate the point you made. It is tragic.

  • Roxanne · October 20, 2011

    The owner is to blame for keeping them illegally as pets! Now the animals and the people involved had to suffer for his selfishness. How sad that so many innocent people and animals had to go through this because of one individuals mistake!

    • aaron · October 20, 2011

      So tragic and a reminder that the actions and decisions of just one individual can have a huge impact on others either positive and negative.

  • Matt Manes · October 20, 2011

    I’m excited to hear more about your Black Friday idea!

  • aaron · October 20, 2011

    Absolutely! I’m working with a new friend from Rock City Church to put it together. Open to any recommendations you might have too. There are so many with so much to offer. I think people could literally tackle their Christmas lists with gifts that are great and help others. The Hello Somebody watches are a great example. Let me know if you have any that you’re aware of and I’ll get them added!

  • Ryan Grammatico · October 21, 2011

    I chalked the animal incident up to “those people from ohio” (lower case letters intended). Go Blue!
    But Tony Campolo’s statement sticks with me and I haven’t thought about anything else for the last 10 minutes. As I ponder, the idea of the callousness of people’s hearts, I am reminded of the times that my callousness was forced to be removed when I got in the middle of the injustices that there are. Whether it meant coaching a youth bball team in Charlotte, taking the family and serving on Christmas morning at a local food kitchen, or even flying to Africa to dig wells….cohabitating with the humanity that is neglected made the callus get smaller. But the big key is to continue to remove the callus by staying engaged. IMHO,laziness is the greatest contributor to callousness. Fight the laziness and change the world!
    We are embarking on some really cool things this Christmas in terms of justice and I will share those with you when we nail them down.
    My @HelloSomebody watch should be ordered through you guys soon!
    Keep sharing the options and keep going bro!

  • aaron · October 21, 2011

    You rock on so many levels. Can’t wait to hear about your Christmas plans too. I like to believe it’s just a matter of people not realizing how little it takes, how much they can do. The American Spirit to rally around a cause is amazing. We just need to guide and direct where they can do so. Thank you a TON for ordering a Hello Somebody watch. I’d love for Austin and I to hand one to Vedaste in person one day. Great stuff.

  • Rachel Wojnarowski · October 21, 2011

    Friend, Dude, fellow countryman. Had no idea you posted this until just now when I was told. Interesting we had similar thoughts. You rock as always. And I’m pretty crazy about your wife too. :)

  • aaron · October 21, 2011

    Great minds…. :) I had no idea when I threw some thoughts onto the web at 6am yesterday morning it would explode. Crazy. As you know, my wife is my MUCH better half. The grace in my life.

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