America / College / Money

Should we really help ourselves before helping others?

It’s a controversial topic, my readers, but one that must be discussed if we are ever to really make some progress in our relationships with other countries.

You may have seen it on Facebook, but it is something that makes me embarrassed and ashamed to read, and I feel that I must post something about it.

“Doesn’t make sense, does it? Homeless in the U.S. go without eating. Elderly in the U.S. go without needed medicines. Mentally ill in the U.S. go without treatment. American troops go without proper equipment. American veterans go without benefits that were promised. Yet we donate billions to other countries before helping our own first. 1% will re-post and 99% won’t. Have the guts to re-post this. I KNOW I’M IN THE 1%.”

That really makes me sick to read. I cannot believe I’m part of a country that would be so arrogant and so selfish. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep love and passion for Africa, so why not use it as my example? I believe that if someone is much better off in terms of power and wealth, then that person should help another less fortunate. What is the point of reaping the benefits of what you sow if you won’t share them with others? How can we say we’re part of a great country if we don’t “donate billions” to other countries first? America has, for a long time, been the “richest and most powerful country in the world”… what they forgot to include in that fact is that apparently we are also the most selfish.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Hart

I respect everyone’s opinion (it is, after all, just an opinion), and I love that I have friends who love our country and its people so much that they are standing up for it (even if it is on Facebook). But where do you draw the line between having pride in your home country.. and being hateful towards another?

Our people have food, they have shelter, they have medicine, and our military has equipment. That’s it and frankly, that’s all that should be required. I really don’t think the first thing our country needs right now is to send yet another trillion dollars, or however much it is, to our military so they can invest in some weapons to blow off a person’s head. (Yes, I’m exaggerating a bit here to make a point.)

Africa is poor and in poverty and just two weeks ago, was declared in a state of famine by the U.N. Wake up, people! How can we not help a country that has always been our source for our own resources? You can’t just take, take, take and not give anything in return. When we’re all acting so cruel, it’s no wonder so many countries dislike us.

I believe there are certain cases when, yes, you should help yourself before helping others. For example, on a plane. You know how after everyone has found their seats, the flight attendants give that little speech about how to work the oxygen mask? They tell you to put yours on first before helping your neighbor, right? Right.

This is different, of course, because we’re talking about world relations. I just hope that most of my friends aren’t as selfish as the one who said that quote. I guess I have to think that not everyone is like that, though, because if they were, we wouldn’t have as many people out there in the world raising money and sending volunteers over to Africa.

Readers, be kind with your words and be kind to your fellow person. Not to go all High School Musical on you, but we’re all in this together; we’re all here for the same reason so why not make it a little easier for each other and help a stranger out?

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