As the father of a 4-year-old girl, I am heartsick and shattered over the Newtown carnage, as I know all Americans are. These unfathomable mass tragedies shake us out of ordinary reality and seem far more disturbing than the daily dose of suffering and injustice that takes place around the globe, suffering and injustice that goes largely unmentioned and unnoticed.

Although we can’t spend every waking hour consumed by the anguish that pervades human existence, we should still use these terrible occasions to ask difficult questions and face difficult truths about our own ethical responsibility in the face of the unthinkable.

This is the truth no one will tell:

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to virtual silence in the face of the global oppression of girls and women, who are beaten, abused, maimed and murdered every minute of every day simply for being born female;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to a culture that glorifies frivolous consumption while hundreds of millions starve;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to the profound unfairness of a handful of CEOs, hedge fund managers, bankers, athletes and entertainers earning more in a month than most teachers, nurses and first responders earn in a lifetime;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to a corporate media that wastes precious airtime covering inanities like the British “royals” instead of educating the public about the countless ethical travesties that permeate our lives;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to civil liberties violations by our own government where hundreds of children, as beautiful and precious as the angels of Sandy Hook Elementary are blown up by drones paid for with our tax dollars;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to politicians spending more time and effort raising money and campaigning than dealing with urgent real-world problems;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to military budgets so bloated that diseases like cancer could be cured for a fraction of their costs;

Until we each take time to speak out, contribute, protest, donate, volunteer, act in opposition to elected officials, pockets lined with oil-stained contributions, ignoring the dire peril of man-made climate change, which poses an existential threat to every child on this planet;

Until then, we are each morally culpable in our own way.