Nov 13, 2008


Living in the US certainly has it's perks, access to healthcare, available jobs, social security, temporary assistance, public charities, etc... but it isn't without it's downfalls either. One of the biggest, in my opinion, is the fact that we live extremely sheltered lives. We may read the newspaper every day and tune into the morning or evening news, but that really doesn't tell us anything about what's going on in the world around us. I'm constantly amazed by what I read during my morning news site hops. Here are a few headlines from just today:

Congo rebels make roadblock out of bodies

Acid attack on Afghan schoolgirls

At least 8 killed in Afghan suicide attack

Former El Salvador leader in war crimes case

Congolese children forced to fight

Widespread Flooding in Bangladesh

US aid worker killed in Pakistan

Heavy Rain Causes Flooding in Guatemala

Did you read about any of this? Hear about it on the news? Yeah, that's what I thought. It's because the media decides what is important. They look at current events but use a formula that also mixes in proximity, interest, and relevance. It's pathetic really. Mostly because by doing so, THEY control what WE know. Unless you have time during the day to truly search for what is going on, how would you know?

Point in case, do you know about the current global food crisis? It's a BIG deal. You can read all about it here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here... oh and by the way, this is a link to USAID's FEWSN (Famine Early Warning Systems Network). Yeah, it's that big -- big enough that The Economist calls it a "silent tsunami." I agree.

Why isn't the food crisis as big of a deal as the credit crunch? I'll tell you why, because we are a selfish nation. We see; we want; we buy. Why? It's a march to the top, to be the best, to have the biggest house, newest car, best technology... in the end, all that stuff is a giant heap of garbage. Why would we want to be on top of garbage?

More than one billion people live on less than $1/day. If you were to divide everything, how much do you live on in one day? I did the math, I live on about $21/day (credit cards not included). Twenty times more than one billion people in the world. And I complain about not having enough money. Now I feel like crap. No, less than that. I feel like the scum that lives off the bacteria that feeds off of crap.

These statistics aren't new to me. When I started Hope Aid I did so because of what I knew. Now, it's just a constant battle to remind myself of why I'm here and what I am able to do.

What can you do? This isn't all about the global food crisis despite my passtionate tirade just now... it's about being informed and knowing what goes on in the world. Could you imagine the field day Nancy Grace would have if someone in OUR country was attacked in a drive by acid attack? The media would be all over that. Why does it matter that it's a little further away? Why don't we care?

No comments:

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub