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Friday, January 07, 2005

Why are they all still going on about it?

I can't believe it! Why are some sections of media (and around blogosphere) still bothered about the question whether or not America (or Americans) is (are) stingy. The comments were never in the first place directed at America. If any fingers were pointed, they were more like imaginary fingers pointed by the press, or other overly sensitive Americans whining, "Look what they are calling me, Mom!"

And, that is the point. Has America become overly sensitive? On the one hand, we feel the obligation as a member of the global community of nations to participate in global affairs to help eradicate this world of evils (either natural, political or otherwise. Yet, in doing so, the US has not always been seen to be helping - sometimes they are seen as the enemy. So, we are caught in a dilemma.

While a lot of the problems that the US get itself into are from its decidedly political and the execution of its foreign policies, the situation we have here is a natural disaster of global dimensions. We should just give the political talk a rest, put our heads down and get focused on helping. The US government seems to be slowly getting this message and are responding admirably, including playing ball with their erstwhile thorn-in-the-side UN. But, around blogosphere and the media, we still have hypersensitive, opinionated journalists and bloggers who are still dancing to a tune long after the music has stopped.

I say we give this thing a rest, and go about our business of helping, caring and working to rebuild, reconstruct and heal. There is so much to be done, and in some parts of the affected areas, no aid has arrived almost two weeks after the devastation.

As I
have said before, let me once again remind everyone that... "when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matthew 6:3). As Frederick Barton, an economist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, quoted in the Money Central article above, says, "Not to belittle what we are doing, we shouldn't get too self-congratulatory."

Rather than rest on our laurels and think we have now done our bit, we ought to continue to find ways to give and to support. The death toll continue to rise, even before we start factoring in deaths from diseases and the repercussions from the loss of livelihood and homes of millions. Already news about profiteers and other undesirables are coming in. Rather than whine and complain, let us support the work that is going on right now to help and repair. Let us pray, and when we have done so, let us give, and give more! Perhaps we can learn from the example of
this man who shut down his company's operations for two weeks in order to go with his wife and team to a remote area in India to help the orphans. In the meantime, he converted his company's office to be the mission control central to coordinate donations and aid to this remote part of India that is currently missed by the world media and aid agencies because it is so remote. Why can you do to help? If you need suggestions, here are some, and I am sure you can think of some more.