Thursday, March 04, 2010

Clearing a few things up.

I've been reading the comments that I got for my 'People are people' post, and I feel I have a little more to say:

My overall point is that people in America, the UK and all over the developed world seem to answer every call for aid with 'We should help our own people first'…and This is perfectly right and I agree with this view completely, except for one thing…we're not helping our own.

What it boils down to is that there is enough wealth, knowledge and manpower in America (and most countries of the developed world) to make sure everyone has a place to live, enough to eat and the medical attention they need…but that's never going to happen…and here's why:

We're human beings, we love to divide the world into 'Us' and 'Them'. When there's a disaster in some far off country, people ask why we should help them when so many of us need help.

But the problem is that 'domestic homeless' people are only 'us' in that particular context. When someone turns up on TV asking for help for our homeless, they suddenly stop being 'us' and start being 'them' again. The poor homeless that are going without while we throw money at those damn foreigners are suddenly back to being the people we ignore or tell to get a job when they ask for spare change.

Then we hear about the kids who are starving through no fault of their own, and we're sad and all, but we can't really help them when we have our own kids to take care of.

Then, especially in America, when someone or something comes along that will help people, suddenly it's socialism and we're not interested.

RayRay's original posting of the Facebook meme commented on how so many people in America are going without the medical attention they need. Then, when the President starts talking about health care reform which will get everyone the basic level of healthcare they need, everyone starts fighting against it tooth and nail… basically because socialized healthcare means 'we' will have to pay for 'them'.

Anyway, my whole point isn't that we should help everyone who asks for it, or that solving another country's problems should take precendence over solving our own… it's that the majority of people who scream and shout that we should 'help our own first' really mean is 'I don't want to help anyone but myself because, at my core, I'm a selfish asshole.'

I'm going to quote fellow blogger Evan here, someone that recently donated a lot of his own time and energy helping remodel flood-damaged homes with his church:

"if you're not giving to anyone -- and taxes don't count -- you don't really belong in this discussion."


Sunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunny said...

I think the best thing we can do is take care of our own family as best we can to not add to the problems that already exist.
It's what they used to do in the old days, take care of the family first- and help those in their community if they had anything extra to give afterwards.
If the whole country did that, everyone would benefit.....or am I being simplistic?
Sometimes simple is better.

(Sorry bout the delete. I hate mis-spelled words in my comments and it seems no matter how many times I proof-read, I still have at least ONE, so I re-do...often.)

Kelly said...

Well said.

Incidentally, I did donate to the fund for Haiti.....and did so willingly.
I am of the belief that we should all be guided by our own morals. Even the poorest family can afford $1 to help someone less fortunate. Whether that person be homeless in the US, UK or a 3rd world country.

I believe in an ideal world, we would all be more socially aware and far less selfish. Even those with no money can help by donating time to a worthy cause.

There is no excuse for the selfishness of individuals.

Having said all of this, I don't believe it should be the resposibility of the government to use money that was paid in taxes to fund education, or healthcare or anything redirect those funds to Haiti or another disaster struck country.

What is the population of the USA? Over 300 million. If only a third of those people donated a single dollar, then the USA would have voluntarily contributed over $100 million.

Just a thought.........

rayray said...

well said

Evan 08 said...

That's a good clarification. Don't you just hate it when it takes days and days to formulate the words in to a coherent post?

But then again, maybe not. You did an excellent job of bringing points and counter-points from your readers.