Your Yoga ain’t $#!& unless…

Via Roger Wolsey
on Aug 19, 2011
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… or your Judaism, your Christianity, your Buddhism, your Suffism, your Islam, your Paganism, your New-Agism, your humanism, your atheism…

unless you do something about this.

What appears to be the worst human catastrophe in our lifetimes is occurring now and we each have the ability to do something about it.

Twelve million people are facing a hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, and they are in desperate need of help. The United Nations declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia, calling for a widespread international response to end the suffering.

Thousands of Somalis have been fleeing the country each week in search of food, water and shelter — many of them walking for days in the sweltering sun toward refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Nearly half a million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition and disease. Relief organizations are calling on the international community to join together to end the crisis, and they’re working to gain entrance into areas with limited humanitarian access. 

Over 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died in just the past few weeks and 640,000 are severely malnourished which suggests the death toll will rise even more.

There are ways you can help.

This link provides MANY ways we can make a difference.

In addition, if you want to give serious $, consider doing so through UMCOR. Unlike most big name charities, 100% of every dollar that is donated to UMCOR goes solely to direct aide on the ground (administrative expenses are covered through other sources).

Parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing one of the worst droughts in 60 years, and more than 12 million people are desperately in need of food, clean water and basic sanitation.

Despite the urgency of the situation, most world leaders are responding too slowly. Immediate aid is essential. Yet at the same time we must not let them drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past.

Here’s a Petition to consider signing to urge world leaders to act.

If you do nothing else, here’s a really simple, and free, way to make a small difference.  Click on this link once each day to provide 1.1 cups of food to needy people in that region. Seriously, if we can log onto our computer to check our email once a day, we can do this.

The true test of spiritual practice is how we respond in situations that warrant compassion – and action.

May we all pass with flying colors.


Roger is a yogi, a progressive Christian, and the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

see also this fine article by Elephant contributor Amanda Ramcharitar


About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity


17 Responses to “Your Yoga ain’t $#!& unless…”

  1. Holly says:

    Thank you for caring. This is an issue close to my heart…

  2. Barb Harris says:

    please check out what Feed My Starving Children is doing. They're sending meals via Kenya now.

  3. Cynthia says:

    This is a devastating humanitarian crisis that needs "all hands on deck" immediately. Thank you for raising awareness about this tragedy.

  4. Sskar says:

    UMCOR – a great suggestion. Done.

  5. Padma Kadag says:

    Don't see the association of the disaster to the inference in your title. What could possibly be your intention? Please explain how a Christian should react and because you have mentioned Buddhism please tell us how a Buddhist should react. Actually, maybe go through all the faiths you have mentioned and give us an accurate portrayal on how the faithful should react. If your reply to this disaster were left on a secular level then it would have been….secular. But, you have made this a spiritual challenge. So please tell us in each faith how one should react.

  6. MojaveMama says:

    Thank you, Roger! I'll also post this on my facebook wall as well. (you and I are FB friends, but you know me as Debi Davis).
    We all need to join in to make compassion in action a priority. Thank you for the helpful links, as well. BTW, though, as you know I don't identify as a Christian, I have passed your excellent book, "Kissing Fish," on to several friends who are Christians, but are not able to identify with the current conservative Christian movement. They felt an amazing kinship with your words, and you have helped them immensely to find peace again within. Thank you for all you are, all you do to make a difference in our world.

  7. YoginiBunny says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. This is a much needed wake up call.

  8. Roger Wolsey says:

    some good places to start are stated (or linked to) in the article.

  9. anna says:

    Wait! Think before you act.

    People have good intentions and want to help those who are suffering. Their intentions speak to their kindness. But as the saying goes, "Beware of those with good intentions."

    Famine is a symptom of the drought.
    Drought is the disease.
    Climate change caused the disease.
    Chances are, you caused climate change.

    More importantly, the drought extends beyond the borders with Somalia, yet the famine ends at the borders. Why? Broken politics, a broken marketplace and learned helplessness.

    History has shown that warlords exacerbate starvation to profit from the deluge of donor.
    History has shown that donor aid kills the one thing that can prevent future famine, a thriving market.
    History has shown that donor aid fosters aid dependency and learned helplessness.
    History has shown that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Good intentions are not enough. They are dangerous.

    There is a growing chorus of African economists who are begging us to stop sending aid.

    Heed their call.

  10. NotSoSure says:

    err, Padma. The author appears to believe that one should react in a way that is consistent with the teachings of his/her moral system. So, if ones moral system is to help those in need then one should help those in need. If one's moral system teaches that one should become outraged when one is challenged to behave compassionately to those in need then one should become outraged. I find it curious that a call to help desperate people invoked such a reaction in you.

  11. Padma Kadag says:

    Isn't it obvious that money should be thrown at this problem? Of course it is but the politics of why so many people are living in a drought prone area with little or no reliable subsistence from year to year is the issue. What is your plan for that? So though my previous questions deserved a {-1} from a reader I still am wondering how each of us should react within the different faiths we practice…judging by the title of your article you seem to know.

  12. NotSoSure says:

    And there is a much larger chorus begging people to overcome their apathy and stop making sad excuses for doing nothing to help those in need.

  13. anna says:

    Yes, that is true. That chorus has been singing the same song, over and over' for a hundred years. Yet the problems get worse.

    Our version of "doing something" is worse than doing nothing.

    I spent two and a half years on the ground in Africa learning that hard lesson.

  14. NotSoSure says:

    I both agree that helping people in the wrong way can can in the long run be destructive. Creating a dependence on foreign aid is destructive in the long run.

    But there is a difference between and emergency and a long term aid solution. This situation is an emergency. An emergency brought on long term political failures,yes, but an emergency still. Political failures should be addressed separately. People in mass graves cannot be a part of any future debate. And not providing aid now only increases the number dead people.

  15. Sol says:


    What we nd is a move to a more intelligent resource management system. There is enough land, resources, and technological know-how to provide for ALL the world's people. There just isn't enough MONEY! Resource Based Economy FOR THE WIN!!!!

  16. anna says:

    The worst famine ever occurred in the Horn of Africa during the late 1880s because the cattle became infected. Nearly 1/3 of the population died.

    After that the horn was considered famine-proof because the population were self-sufficient herders and agriculturalists. All that changed in the 1970s when the population lost that self-sufficiency because of bad governance. Band Aid, the aptly named concert raised millions and rushed food to the scene of a famine of biblical proportions in the 80s. Since then the cycle has continued every three years or so with each emergency.

    But nothing changes. Over and over again people suffer unimaginably but never become self-sufficient.


    Back at home if my teenage neighbor with a serious drug problem knocked at my door at 3am begging for an oxycontin I would take her to her parents.

    If she did it again, I might take her to rehab myself, make sure she was fed and well cared for.

    If she did it every few years FOR FORTY YEARS, the kindest most compassionate thing I could do for her is to not answer the door, allow the crisis to happen and allow her to sort it out.

    Otherwise, I am the perpetuator of her pain. I am causing the suffering of her children and grandchildren. I am her enabler.

  17. […] no resources to help themselves. Finally I was knocked into action by a web site with a post titled Your Yoga ain’t $#!& unless… The rest of the opening sentence says “… or your Judaism, your Christianity, your Buddhism, […]