posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 04:32 PM
I had come across an article recently that was discussing Oprah's latest efforts. She has built a school in Africa that is worth $40 Million. Now
the article went through all of the details and it was quite interesting. But as it progressed, it began to criticize her for looking at the children
of Africa and building them a school, while children right here in America could use the money to further their own schools. I could not believe that
they would actually criticize someone for making a donation to a nation that is as impoverished as Africa. Now this is not the first time I had come
across it, and it was actually discussed on this site more than once.
This whole "Me First" mentality has me shaking my head. As the gap between first world and third world nations continues to grow, the importance of
assisting those who are not as lucky becomes more and more important. There is a big difference in building a school for a child in Africa and
upgrading an existing school on our side of the world. Frankly, I get disgusted when individuals place themself before the starving and the needy on
issues that pertain to survival.
The first world countries, or developed nations, are guilty of consuming a hefty amount of the resources. A very minuscule portion of the population
is consuming more than their fair share of resources. We are labeled as greedy and ungrateful. What do we do to shake this stigma? Well some of us
bitch and complain when someone makes an effort to assist a child who is starving in Africa. We respond to third-world donations with petty bickering
and complaints that our own children could use that for internet access, more books, etc. That issue was discussed before, and it was quite strange.
Individuals were comparing their own children having internet access to children in Africa having drinking water. I mean, if some of us
actually believed that, how could you look yourself in the mirror?
At some point in time, we all need to look out for number one. Our family, children, spouses, etc., are the primary focus in our lives and they
always come before anyone else. But where do we draw the line? At what point do we say, I'm not willing to sacrifice this for a complete stranger.
We are all lucky in the aspect that we were born into a very civilized society. The more we come accustomed to these "benefits" we begin to take
them for granted and expect more. Our deprived children are the ones who go to inferior schools and read from outdated books. The problems our
children go through are peer pressure, stress, and worst case scenario, abuse. These are serious issues that need to be dealt with. But they do not
wake up in the morning wondering if they can manage to come across drinking water. They do not wake up each morning wondering if at some point in
their life, will they be lucky enough to attend a school. Wondering if their brother or sister will make it through the night?
I really wish some of our "thick headed" citizens, who can not see past the end of their noses, would begin to see how great we have it. Even if we
have it bad, believe me, we have it pretty damn good.
I am interested to hear what our members think of the subject. Should "our" children come before "them"? Is it the ultimate form of greed to
even suggest it? We can not end poverty or world hunger, so should we focus on our own?
It is quite clear where I stand on the subject, but I am wide open to hear other opinions. Agree or disagree, this is a discussion I look forward to.