My oatmeal and banana this morning was bloodied by global injustice and crimes against humanity in the news. I chewed on one atrocity after the other (Woman; wakes from a coma, locked in a cellar for 25 years by her father for whom she bore 7 children), and (State-sponsored terror; Zimbabwe self-destructs) to name just two. How I managed to swallow the lump in my throat is a mystery. Finishing up, I washed my bowl, folded the paper in the recycling bin, and started my day.

Guilt is a black hole.

When my late grandmother’s brother was sick and they wouldn’t let her sleep overnight in his hospital room, she slept on the cold, hard floor of her flat, because if Moe couldn’t sleep in his own bed, neither could she.

Guilt, as Mordechai Richler would say, is a sure-fire way to raise money. I believe it was Barney’s Version– where he pointed out that as soon as vandals (terrorists?) deface a Jewish cemetery or wreck a Jewish library, the requests for pledges for Israel pour in. The pressure is on.

Guilt is my birthright.

I, who generally (and apologetically) shun the headlines, am amazed that not only do I live a remarkably privileged life in a tolerant society, I can read the bad news and get on with my life.

Christopher Hitchens demands that Nelson Mandela speak out against the tortuous reign of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Check it out in Slate.com.

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