Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina thoughts

I hate the pain and suffering that has occurred in the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina dealt her blow. But I'm thankful that it has awakened our country to better understand and know that there is a lost society out there. There is a mass of people struggling in poverty in our inner cities and poorest regions of our own country that we are now much more aware of and I hope our actions will change towards.

What will it take now for us to wake up to global poverty? Another Rwanda? No, that doesn't affect our own pocketbooks like Katrina did. (Did you know that there were approximately 800,000 more deaths in Rwanda than from Katrina? Can we even get our minds around that number?) By the way, I'm noticing similar complaints about how the government failed to respond to New Orleans as how the government failed to respond to Rwanda's genocide. Let's stop blaming specific people and acknowledge that our big government doesn't lend itself to quick response to major crises. Let's instead ask our leaders to get creative in how we can overcome the big government effect when we need rapid response.

Back to my point, I think it is going to continue to take a stronger will and more intentional actions to wake up to and deal with global poverty. What we have seen in New Orleans happens hundreds of times worse EACH DAY in AFRICA through HUNGER and PREVENTABLE DISEASES. As Bono has said many times, we in the developed countries have the capacity and the resources to do something about that, but do we have the will? We got excited during Live 8 this past summer. Have we already forgotten and lost that excitement?

I'm thrilled that we have the will to respond to Katrina victims like we now are responding. We should continue on serving those affected in a passionate way. Let's also carry that passion and help through to the rest of God's creation - and not rest until there is much more justice in this world.


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