I hope this topic isn’t mind numbing, and I hope it’s not the same old, same old, that everyone is thinking.
My goal is that this will trigger some productive thought, because I know I don’t have all the answers, just a lot to think about.
Here we go-
One of the curses of the internet is the instant knowledge that people all over the world are suffering in some way. We have crisis alert fatigue. Earthquake in Chili? Tsunami? War? Famine? Daughters kidnapped by extremists? Epidemic? It’s so, so far away, and it’s so, so safe here. It’s not real for us. It’s like watching a fictitious movie, we feel a twinge of compassion…or was it compassion? Maybe I just need a snack.
One of the blessings of the internet is the instantaneous knowledge of the horror of the affected people. An instantaneous S.O.S. beacon, and everyone can see it.
Everyone knows, and what do we do? We, who have more ability than most to help, waste our time arguing about who we should help. And when. And how much. So then we don’t help at all, or we are too late for too many.
In the end, our country officials (elected by you and I) might do the minimum necessary to provide foreign aid. Maybe they’ll do more than we expect, but for the wrong group(depending on one’s perspective). It seems that there isn’t much we can do about it, after all, we are busy blaming the other political party, remember?
Some thoughts to ponder:
1) If someone requires our assistance, and we have it to give, who cares if they are refugees or veterans?
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (KJV)
It doesn’t say, “For I was a war veteran from United States” or “I was a Syrian Refugee”. I’m pretty sure that we don’t have a choice. If we see a need it is our responsibility and no one else’s to do what we can.
2) Where is our compassion? Are we so jaded by obvious cons that we ignore real need?
3) Why are we waiting for our country to decide to help? Haven’t we heard many times that with great privilege comes great responsibility? We are enormously privileged, not just as a country, but individually. Individually we each have a responsibility to provide aid.
Our government does not bear the full responsibility of neglect. They have the resources to provide large scale aid, but the family who just showed up at your local shelter doesn’t need large scale aid. They need safe place and maybe a toothbrush.
That homeless veteran on the corner needs a hamburger. The kids removed from drugs and neglect need a foster parent. The mom trying to get her life back together needs a professional outfit for her interview. So many needs, and so many people in a crisis close to home. Some just need a warm smile, and a listening ear. These are all things that we can provide individually without waiting for the approval of funds, or for bipartisan cooperation.
Personally, I think people like to support popular causes. Trendy causes. This isn’t a bad thing, but it could be if we only do so when it is cool or when somebody is watching or for attention.
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching”
I wrote this to encourage myself and others to pay it forward, because we should. You should pay it forward if you are able. You should if you are a human. You especially should if you are a Christian.
Here is the rest of that thought from the verses in Mathew:
Matthew 25:37-40 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.(KJV)
Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.