Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Addendum to my Haiti/US Post...

I was humbled and brought back to the importance of the day by a commenter yet again.

I mentioned the devastation this oil spill will bring to US soil. I mentioned how we can reach out to countries in their time of need, such as Haiti as a recent example.

What I didn't mention was what the commenter shared. Every day...every single day...here in the US, we have people losing jobs, suffering losses due to tornadoes, floods, economics as more and more jobs leave the US. We have countless families so far below the poverty level they aren't even counted in the system anymore.

The Gulf Coast is a highlight in the news...along with recent storm devastation in the midwest. But these are just specific events. We have people living in near-homelessness, if not complete homelessness, in our own backyards all across the US.

The point behind the Haiti/US post on my part at least, was the pride of the US -- we send aid of all kinds as a government, as well as individuals, to other countries every day, yet we have families without housing, without food, without jobs, right here. As a country, our hands should be extended in a short reach (locally) long before they extend into farther areas (nationally) and beyond.

I have as much compassion for the world as anyone, but when you spend your resources to the point of exhaustion elsewhere, there's just nothing left for the ones who should count the highest...your neighbors. If we can't help our neighbors, what makes us think we can or should offer a hand to anyone else?

Where will British Petroleum be when it's all said and done? The Gulf is still a good 85% unrecovered from Katrina and now this on top of it.

As a country, we are bankrupt, monetarily as well as emotionally. Sure, we cry with compassion over the destruction suffered by Haiti and feel compelled to do something in even a small way, because it was plastered over our television screens daily. Were we to put the same news level on the daily suffering of people all across the US, we'd do the same I'm sure. But we aren't seeing the constant news clips about the families who have nothing because they've lost their jobs and have found little if any work after a year or two. We don't see the children without food living in the poverty-ridden areas that hide in every State. We have enormous levels of shame right here at our back doors, yet we stand as though we have everything to be prideful of at the front door.

The US is going to be hard-pressed to find even a small level of 'recovery' in this oil spill for decades to come. We are bankrupt and cannot even begin to afford the clean-up costs; the loss on an economic level to the immediate Gulf region will cripple it for years to come, causing an already 'economically depressed' area to collapse even more; the entire US will feel the extending ripples, through 'simple' things like a loss of wildlife, up through more tangible things like fuel costs, fresh food shortages and so forth.

Who do you suppose will come knocking on our door offering a hand? Most nations don't much care for us if you watch how the world arena operates. They have our oil, they have our food and other resources that we have leased out for the forseeable future with absolutely nothing given in return, they have our manufacturing on every scale. What's left? They don't want what's left of our money, it's useless to even us. We are a nation of non-importance in the world's eyes. We have even allowed foreign countries to stand on our own soil and run us down.

It's a shame we won't finally wake up and realize that with, or because of, all we've freely given of the US, we have crippled ourselves to the point we may not have a chance of recovery on even a small level. It's not because of recent events as much as because of on-going blindness.

I don't believe we as a people should turn our backs to the suffering we can offer some assistance in, such as that with Haiti, but really, if we can't mend our own suffering, should we be offering amends to others?

1 comment:

Life of a plainlady said...

Just a quick question, or two....
Have you ever been to Haiti?
How many hours a day do you spend in prayer for the situations you blog about? Just curious.
(You can delete these so they don't show up publicly and answer me privately.)

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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