Friday, June 1, 2007

On knitting for others...

Above, some finished objects for the Dulaan project. If you're not familiar with Dulaan, let me give you the synopsis.

Dulaan was started by Ryan over at Mossy Cottage Knits. Her cousin is a Buddhist monk in Mongolia, and they got their heads together and realized two very important facts. Fact 1--there are lots of cold children and adults in Mongolia, many of them homeless and living in heating ducts during the frigid winters.

Fact 2--there are lots of insatiable knitters around the know the kind...they've knitted hats, scarves, sweaters, gloves, tea cozies, socks, and more, for all their loved ones, and even for some people they don't particularly like. So much so that family, friends, co-workers, and strangers passing on the street stay away for fear of receiving yet one more knitted item. These knitters can be convinced to knit for good causes rather than beleaguered loved ones, rather easily, in fact.

I happen to know a few knitters like that, so I got together with the lovely and charming Molly (pictured above) to organize some knitters. Thanks to Amy, Monica, Saundra, Tanya, Ginny! (did I miss anyone?)

Seriously, we knit for Dulaan because we love to knit, yes, but also because the stories that Ryan posts are heart-breaking. When I was a young adult, I truly believed I could "save the world." Or at least make a significant impact. I still believe that there are people who have big ideas that have a big impact on the world.

But I also believe that these small acts of compassion are just as important, just individuals making the time to do something for someone they don't know, halfway across the world, to say, "We know that you are cold. We wish we could do more. We wish we could make sure that you and everyone else had a warm home to go to. We don't know how to make that happen, but we're thinking about it. Meanwhile, here is something to keep you a little warmer. We hope it will help a little."

And by the way, this is not 'charity.' This is a small portion of the debt owed by those of us who happened to have been born into circumstances where we can turn our heat up to 80 if we want. Dulaan reminds me that the lifestyle which I take for granted is unsustainable from a global perspective, and is mine at the expense of others.

Excuse me while I get back to my knitting...

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