We’ve all heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” I would like to think the saying is true, but this is not what’s happening in societies of many civilized countries around the world. When it comes to our own local humanitarian efforts, we all are accountable individually for our actions as we support or neglect humanitarian aid. Let’s zoom in on the homeless and the hungry for a moment.
I’ll give you a surprising example about how some people view this matter at home and abroad. A homeless man is sitting on the street corner holding a cardboard sign. He is dirty and ragged and hungry. His hair is long and oily, and his teeth are rotting. His clothes are torn and soiled, and his unshaven face looks weathered. Mr. Homeless Guy asks the walkers for money but the people pass by him and look the other way. They act like they don’t see him sitting there. Nobody stops to talk to him and no one buys him lunch. Very few individuals attempt to find spare coins to hand him. Some of the people are disgusted by the spectacle of the grubby guy sitting on their neighborhood street. He makes them feel uncomfortable. Why do people hurry by the homeless guy without a care for him?
Fast forward a couple of hours. The people who ignored the homeless man return to their houses from an afternoon of shopping, dining, and running errands. Comfortable in their surroundings, they turn on the television. A TV commercial asks for humanitarian aid: “Help feed the starving people in country XYZ.”
The people who shunned a hungry man in their home town are now saddened by the view of hungry people they see on television. “I want to help those people who live 5,000 miles from me” so they send $100 bucks to assist in the effort. Maybe they commit to a $20 dollar reoccurring monthly donation.
The same uncaring people, who didn’t have a dollar to spare for the nasty looking hungry man in their home town, freely send money to fund “non-profit” organizations that tell you they help people over-seas. They also give money in church collection baskets, bring free household items to Goodwill, and donate can & dry storage goods to their local food panty. Why didn’t they help the man in front of their eyes and face?
If they don’t care about the one local homeless hungry person on their city sidewalk, why do they care about organizations that care about the hungry people? Can anyone please explain the rationale behind this type of thinking?
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