Today, May 15th, is Blogging for Hope Day.
Bloggers everywhere are supposed to stray from their usual topics and encourage readers to take action to stop the shocking human rights violations in the world.
I heard about this effort early in the morning on CNN in a hotel, where I was attending a non blog-related conference. At first I wondered if this Human Rights Awareness campaign applied to bloggers like me. But then CNN correspondent Alina Cho, a graduate of Northwestern, clarified:
"Even if you are a neurotic parent who writes a satirical blog about the college admissions process," she said, "it is your duty to blog for hope today."
So I am asking each of you to cut one college from your son’s and daughter’s lists and send the money that you would have spent on that application to Oxfam instead. (If you are unsure about which college to eliminate, I would suggest Case Western Reserve, the college with the most ridiculous name of them all – Is it a naval militia or a university? And how, by any stretch of the imagination, is it "western"? Even compared to the geographically-misleading Northwestern, it is eastern.)
Below is Oxfam’s link for donating money to Cyclone Relief in Myanmar. We visited Myanmar on a day trip from Thailand last year and fell in love with the people, particularly the children. (But we didn’t know what to call them – Myanmarese? Burmese was so much simpler; the military junta must have used the same branding company as Case Western Reserve.)
Things were bad enough in Myanmar human rights-wise before a cyclone killed 100,000 people. Unless you like getting depressed, don’t look at any of the photos of the tragedy. Al Gore says the cyclone was caused by global warming, but we’ll save that issue for Blogging for Icebergs Day.
It will take two minutes to click and send your money to people who really, really need it. Then you can get back to your usual neuroses. For me, remembering those beautiful children in Myanmar puts things in context: Getting into college may be a surreal and annoying process, but the bottom line is that our kids are extremely lucky to be part of it.
And a final note to college admissions officers: Take a moment to think about the human rights of stressed-out high school-age students and cut them some slack – they deserve to enjoy their teenage years.