We often hear the saying “Charity starts at home”…which implies that we shouldn’t really go too afar abroad with our money and time and heart, until our own country’s problems are solved.
And while I believe that our families come first (mother Teresa said in answer to solving world peace ‘go home and love your family’), I wonder if it matters which country injustice and inequality are taking place in, for us to make a difference there?
Nick Kristoff, author of Half the Sky, gave this brilliant answer recently in a Q&A forum with Melinda Gates.
“…there are two reasons why I understand a focus abroad. First, poverty in the world’s poorest countries really is different than poverty in America. The second point I would make is to push back at the idea that we should solve our own problems first, before we try to solve Congo’s or Bangladesh’s. At some point we are all humans, connected by a web of humanity, and that’s true whether we are New Yorkers and Californians – or whether we are Alabamans and Bangladeshis. It doesn’t feel right to me to ignore people’s needs and lives because they didn’t win the lottery of birth and end up with American citizenship. What matters most is their humanity, not their passport.”
There is need everywhere and it’s easy to be overwhelmed and throw our hands up in despair. My question would be what moves you? What issues do you get angry about? Do you have any personal connections to people who need you to help them find their own solutions and be lifted out of poverty or injustice? Are there opportunities staring you in the face?
My opportunity came when a friend in the Pacific asked for help sending her daughter to school. The light went on and now a whole group of lovely girls started school this week as others got excited about the opportunity as well.
Love you to get involved,
Comment on Twitter or Facebook and tell me what you think about this topic, love to hear your thoughts…