Warning, I am about to step on my soap box...
The other morning, as I was perusing the FaceBook Statuses of my "friends" I came across this status:
shame on you America: the only country where they have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet they have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations,and I have to get asked to donate $ every where I go but yet we...can't keep our own country right!! 99% of people won't have balls to copy and report this!
I can't even begin to tell you how much this particular post annoyed, angered and offended me.
I'm not close enough with this particular "friend" to engage in an all out "you are ignorant because" discussion on facebook, so I let it pass. And yet, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Later that day I went back to visit this particular individual's page, so i could copy his status message for this post, and I happened to read some of the comments to his post. I was even more astounded and angered by the ignorance, and outright ugliness of some of his commenters.
It is amazing to me that in light of such a tragedy, with over 100,000 people having lost their lives, people can be so callous, so insensitive, so selfish.
Let me make something clear, I am WELL aware of how messed up our country is. I realize we are in the middle of an economic crisis the likes of which this country has not seen in an extremely long time (if ever). I realize there are thousands upon thousands of Americans without jobs, without health care, and even, yes, without homes.
I realize that something has to be done.
Don't think that when I heard that the Hope For Haiti Telethon raised over $60 million dollars, I thought "wow, imagine if we could pool our resources to raise that kind of money for this country, for our economy". Because, really, how amazing would that be?
But never, not for a minute, did I think that it was WRONG for us to be raising money for another nation. For a nation so much more in need. So much more in pain.
Let's be honest, yes, there is poverty in this country, and I know there are areas in this country where the poverty is far beyond anything I can begin to imagine in my "world". That being said, even in the worst areas, we have an infrastructure, we have programs, we have aid. I realize people slip through the cracks, I realize that much more needs to be done, but we have HOPE.
WE DO help our own country. I don't know about you, and I certainly don't know about the individuals posting on that particular facebook status, but I donate to charity, to American charities, whenever I can. I give goods, food, clothing, jackets, and money, whenever the need arises, whenever I get an urge to do something for someone else.
And there are so many wonderful organizations and programs you can join to help out. So many charities out there, reaching out to those less fortunate in this country.
Even in our toughest economic times, we are a rich nation, rich in generosity, rich in resources, rich in opportunity.
Haiti, on the other hand, is not. Even in their best times, outside such a tragedy, they are a nation with less. Less infrastructure, less opportunities, less hope.
So, we step up. WE, the INDIVIDUALS, reach into our purses, our pockets, and we give. Of our OWN MONEY. Of our OWN FREE WILL. We give.
And what could possibly be so wrong in that?
This particular individual who posted that status message calls himself a Christian. As a Christian myself, I find that laughable. As Christians, how can we speak against anyone willing to help fellow humans? Regardless of what nation they live in?
There is a difference between wanting to help your own nation, and criticizing it for helping others in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.
I wonder myself how much this individual, and those who commented with such ignorance to his post, have donated to ANY charity in the last month? Year? Lifetime? I wonder how much they have done besides bitch about the state of our economy?
I wonder, but I won't lose any sleep over it...Because I know the rest of us are doing enough to cover the rest of them.
Ignorance...not always bliss, is it?