So, this isn't necessarily a pregnancy post, but I needed to get it out there anyway.
I keep hearing the following statement: "I feel bad for Haiti...but we need to take care of our own country first!"
Now, here I have an opportunity to be all nice, and explain my opinion in the kindest of ways. But ya know what? I don't feel like it. So often I want to "keep the peace" and listen to all sides, but I get completely fired up about this. And it's my blog, so I can say whatever I damn well please.
What has happened to our world when we completely focus on ourselves? What kind of place do we live in if it's fight for ourselves? It seems as if we are in purely survival mode, even when we don't necessarily need to fight each other.
I will discuss this in two parts.
One - "We don't do anything for our own country!"
Although I agree that we don't have the best processes in this country, there are many, many, many assistance programs designed to assist American citizens. It's not perfect - however, there are organizations across this country who help citizens, as well as government assistance programs to help. AGAIN, not perfect, and we could do a whole hell of a lot better - but our country DOES help people who live here. (The fact that we need to help MORE IS OUT THERE - but my point is that it's not like we are COMPLETELY ignoring our own people. We just don't offer the best right now.)
Two - "I care about ________ but..."
Dear world, humanity has no borders. I don't give a shit if you live next door, across the street, in the next country. I don't care if you a white, black, german, asian, mexican. I don't care if you are living in this country "legally" or "illegally". I don't care if you can ever help me back - at one point, everyone needs help. In this particular situation, Haiti needs supplies, needs help. I am damn proud of our country for stepping up and helping them out. I don't think it necessarily has to be financial - sending doctors, etc will help. In the end, the people who are there need help. Just like people in other countries experiencing genocide, natural disasters, and poor living conditions need help.
There are ways this nation helps out people, whether it's domestically or abroad - don't go running around saying "But we need to help our people!" We are helping our people, and although we have a long way to go, we cannot ignore what is happening in this world.
Forget about countries and governments for a minute. The people that are hurting next door, across the street, or across the world - they bleed red, too. They have minds, spirits, souls. They have the same nutritional and psychological needs that we do. Why is it that borders of a country get in the way? What makes an American citizen so much more important that a citizen of another country?
Some may say "Well, they are using tax money to pay for assistance to other countries". While you may have a point, are you so hard hearted that you feel that some of your tax dollars go towards getting water and aid to a country who is in desperate need of it?
Others may say, "Well, look at Hurricane Katrina - why did it take so long for them to get stuff to the Superdome, and it only took 24 hours to get to Haiti?" Well, because FEMA f-ed up, that's why. If I am correct, the Red Cross is a non-profit organization - they are the ones sending most of the aid at this point - and while the gov't is donating money, I don't think it's through FEMA.
AGAIN, I think our country needs to improve on a LOT - government assistance programs, health care, etc. But we can't forget about our freaking fellow human beings.
It absolutely shocks me that people are upset about helping other people in this way. Do you remember how other countries came to our aid with Katrina hit? Or what about 9/11? If my daughter needed help, if she was sick, if she was in an earthquake, if she needed medical attention - I would want someone to help us! Is that so much to ask?
If you give something to someone - say, volunteer your time, give $5, whatever - do you expect something back other than gratitude? If so, you are doing it for the wrong reasons, my friend. If someone helped my daughter, our family, I would try to not only pay them back, but I would do the same for something else. In the end, it's about helping your fellow human beings.
I'm not sure what it is about different nations/borders that make people less likely to support our gov't assisting other gov'ts in a time of need, but get the hell over it.
I could start another blog on how our country can improve on helping our own population - but that's a whole other topic, which I will probably address later.
But in the end, here is my basics: help where help is needed, regardless of background, circumstance, socio-economic status, or citizenship. Stop this bullshit of "well, they should help themselves" - I mean that domestically AND in emergency situations abroad. Is money tight for our gov't? You betcha, but we spend STUPID amounts of money on bullshit around here - and we bitch and complain about helping people live and eat after an earthquake. You have got to be shitting me.
So, if you agree with me, great. If you don't, fine. But I would hope that someone would come help your child, your spouse, your parents if faced with a dire situation. Or would your opinion stay the same, your pride get in the way and say "I want to do it myself because I don't want to cost the gov't money?".
I hope that you don't have to live in dire circumstances that people in our country AND around the world live in. If you are reading my blog, it means we are friends, or we have mutual friends, or what have you. I am pretty confident that although we have bills, responsibilities, children, debt, health problems, etc, we are ALL completely and totally blessed. You are reading this using internet, yes? So, that means you have a computer or have access to a computer. Are you eating? Do you have to choose between paying rent or feeding your children/family? Are you sleeping in a shelter?
It's so easy for us all to throw stones, and say "I think we should do this" and "What the heck, why are they doing that". But if we just sit here, either as individuals or as a country, and don't fight for our fellow man, that makes us selfish pigs.
So, tonight, as you are watching your movies, playing on the internet, bitching about our government, cooking food, playing with your kids and pets, and making plans for the weekend, think about those who are less fortunate, domestically and abroad. In the end, it matters that we help our fellow man. Help doesn't necessarily come in currency. Michael and I can't afford to really give a lot to Haiti - but I'll say lots of prayers. Maybe instead of buying bagels this week, we'll buy regular bread for toast - that will save some money, and we can send our grocery savings this week. That's how we can help - how can you?
Humanity knows no borders.