Over the weekend, I heard another interesting piece in NPR’s Crossing the Divide series. This one explored stereotypes and the different ways that they hinder our efforts at collaboration and reconciliation across political and cultural lines. “Superficial calls for unity won’t work,” says reporter Nell Boyce in conclusion to the story. “People have to believe they’re really working toward a common goal, and sometimes that goal can be hard to find.”
Some of you have mentioned other excellent installments in the series that I did not reference in my earlier post. Thanks for that. Let me just say again, listen to the entire collection of reports. It’s worth you while.
I’m wondering, did anyone see Friday night’s episode of ABC’s 20/20? Diane Sawyer did a powerful–and often heart-wrenching–report on poverty in America. She followed three Camden, New Jersey, kids for more than a year to share their stories and reveal how in some pockets of the United States there are conditions bordering on third-world poverty.
This was a truly sobering broadcast. In one scene, Ivan, a precious little kindergartener whose family is homeless, surprises a school administrator when it becomes clear that the little boy didn’t realize that people are supposed to eat three meals a day (since his family barely gets one).
My feeble attempts at describing Sawyer’s report could never do it justice. Suffice to say, at the end of the show, my wife and I sat on the sofa stunned, with tears in our eyes. I think it would be impossible for anyone to watch the show and not be deeply affected. Personally, I don’t know what God is calling me to do with it. But I do know he’s calling all of us to respond in some way.
As of this post, ABCNews.com features select segments from the show, but not the entire broadcast. If anyone knows whether it’s available in its entirety online, please let me know. One more thing: Diane Sawyer appeared on NPR’s News & Notes last Friday to preview her report.