I've always thought that those who could, should, because many can't.
So did 'Teddy' Kennedy, JFK's last surviving brother, who has just died of brain cancer aged 77. In a life of public service, he helped enact measures to protect civil and labour rights, expand healthcare, upgrade schools, increase student aid and contain the spread of nuclear weapons.
"There's a lot to do," Kennedy said in 2006. "I think most of all it's the injustice that I continue to see and the opportunity to have some impact on it."
It's not just those who come from 'privileged' backgrounds who are able to do their bit for social justice. With no false modesty, my colleague and I took on our recent battle because we felt that firstly, we were owed recompense within the law but also because too many colleagues, both Indonesian and expat, had shied away from standing up for their rights, even though they too had been severely wronged.
Teddy Kennedy's lifetime and our nigh on three years of are demonstrations of persistence. Sometimes, however, swift reactions can strike a blow for justice, and in a case reported yesterday, this was literally true.
A woman in Medan beat an armed robber to death early on Sunday morning at the North Sumatra Adminstrative Housing Complex.
Deli Tua Police chief Adj. Comr. Yoris Marzuki said the robber, identified as Budi Santoso, 40, and his accomplice, who were armed with guns, tried to snatch a bracelet of the wrist of the victim, who is a martial arts instructor.
"The victim fought and beat Budi to death, while the other accomplice managed to escape," Yoris said, not disclosing the name of the victim.
He said residents found Budi lying dead on the ground.
I'm not sure who the real victim is here given that the unidentified woman had, in Teddy Kennedy's words, "an opportunity to have an impact." .............................
"I buy a lot of books from Amazon.com. They have a page where they recommend books based on my purchasing history. I was looking through this list when I noticed One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss because, Amazon said "you purchased Culture Shock! Jakarta".