Red Letters

Groundhog Day 2011 is tomorrow, February 2. Today the high in Colorado is about zero, so I am hoping Punxsutawney Phil does NOT see his shadow and give us six more weeks of winter weather.

Tomorrow is the 125th anniversary of Groundhog Day, a wholly nonsensical tradition. The prediction is only right about 40 percent of the time, but the history of the tradition, I must admit, is interesting.

Many people are more familiar with the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. Infinitely more interesting to me, in the Groundhog Day movie, Murray is a reporter who keeps waking up on the same day, Groundhog Day, where he is sent on assignment to report on the event.

Murray’s dilemma is only apparent to himself. No one else is aware that he is stuck in a time loop.

I imagine being trapped by extreme poverty, by sex trafficking, by injustice, must feel a bit like that. Stuck in loop. Waking up every day to the same horrific circumstances.

Imagine you are a sex slave in India and you are trapped in a brothel. Each new day is the same. But this is not like the mundane routine of our Western lives. This is hell.

Imagine you are a child in Africa who must walk to fetch water from a dirty river. Each new day is the same. Walk with the bucket. Get the water. Walk back. Hope the water doesn’t kill you.

Imagine you have not eaten anything but grass for the past three weeks. Each new day is the same. Look for food. Find nothing. Eat whatever you can keep down. Get thinner. Weaker.

Billions are living in a social justice Groundhog Day. They wake up to the same injustice. But the watching world is oddly silent. Like they don’t notice. Like the movie. Imagine you are one of those people.

And now imagine that you knew that there were people in Europe or America or wherever who were content to live their lives and do nothing to help you.

What will it take to end their Groundhog Day? What will you do?

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