Mar 1, 2010

Global vs. Local. (One or the other)

Isn’t it funny how so many people seem to have a preconceived notion as to which one is more important than the other. Today I was in my Literature class and made a comment about my experiences in South Africa when the topic of Foreign Aid came up. Immediately I became the new target of the conversation.

Now I could care less if they think I’m some socialist that hates America. But what really bothered me was that after my comment the classroom seemed to split into three groups:

1= Those for local help only.

2= Those for global help only.

3= And those that just didn’t care.

This really bothered me. Somehow in showing support for the help of those that are starving 9200 miles away, I discounted those starving just around the corner. I can’t lie, I was a little taken back…how did they take that out of what I said?

Then I realized that this is a extremely common belief… So many of us think that in some way one is more important than the other.

The Nationalists would say, “There are people here that need help. Take care of OURS before someone else.”

The more Globally minded would say, “NO WAY! There is plenty of help here for those that want it. We must focus on those that don’t have this luxury.”

Both arguments each hold some merit…and I must admit that upon returning from Africa, I was very much a member of the last group for quite some time. But I would like to raise the question. Why does one life have to be more important than the other? Why can’t the drunk under the American overpass be just as important as the orphan? Regardless of your citizenship or location, isn’t life just as precious?

I just wanted to throw this idea out there and ask each of you who somehow stumble upon it to think about where you stand on the issue. Think about if you harbor some sort of favoritism towards a group of people in need. But I beg you to see that they are BOTH in need, and we (humanity) are responsible. Either way, I would rather you have some active opinion on the issue than be the group in the back of the classroom that just doesn’t care.


jose said...

Good post, better question. I use to be like you and take the global side. But since doing the Monday night homeless every Monday. I started to realize, that I care for both parties.

That its not, a matter of where. But why? Why do you do it? There's help needed everywhere. Sure, places need it more, than others.

But what's the motive behind the help? Some like to go global, because it gives them a new perspective. Others like local, because they don't like traveling.

The undeline point is, there's a lot of people in dire need. It all starts and ends with the heart of the indivdual.

Taylor said...

Absolutely!! I do believe the giver's heart is an important thing. But I can also promise you the person receiving the sandwich, or money, or what have you will be thankful, regardless of your heart when giving. I think the difference is if you have the right attitude ....YOU receive something too. You receive the joy that comes in knowing that you have just made an impact in that person's life. Joy in knowing you have been God's love...

Mike Sharrow said...

God never demonstrated monotonous consistency in His narratives. We see Paul leaving perfectly needy towns to take the Gospel where it was needed, then being repressed by the very SPirit of God to not go where He wasn't called. Phillip get's called to leave a very fruitful ministry in Cana where over 3,000 people were saved to go save 1 black guy on a dusty road to Ethiopia. God's economy is not about local vs. global.

Very rarely does the Kingdom economy have an "or" statement unless in matters of devotion (serve me or them but not both), holiness and salvation.

I'm a huge advocate of Tertium Quid (kudos to Kyle) as the remedy for determinental False Dichotomies (kudos to Jon Lunde). There's a third way, it's a false impasse...those who bow out to apathy are lame and just sticking their head in the sand. Those who become militant on either poles are missing the point. Many are too disengaged to even realize the battle rages.