Thursday, April 10, 2008

A solution - not a bandage

This post is not going to make me popular. Not that I care to be...but I thought I needed a disclaimer before someone's irrational, knee-jerk anger rears it's ugly head.

I'm a fan of helping people. I don't like helping people who take advantage of me or people who never learn to help themselves. I'm a big believer in personal accountability. I also believe in the whole idea that when you pick up one end of the stick it brings the other end too. There are consequences - the natural laws of cause and effect are in play in our world. I believe in these laws.

Another disclaimer - I did donate last year to Idol Gives Back. I was so manipulated by the images and the injustice of children growing up in that horrific environment that I gave with tears streaking down my face. I'll admit I cried again. I blame my hormones.

This year however, I felt empty. Empty because I looked and the nagging feeling kept entering my mind. How did these adults get aids? Why do these people who can't afford to have children in squalor, keep mating?

I know these questions are not politically correct - this blog is mine - I don't give a doo-doo about being PC. It's not my style. I prefer truth. I want honest answers.

I would think that a solution to stopping people from doing things that give them aids - would be a better torch to carry, than a bandage approach to the disease. I would imagine that preventing a disease would be 100x more helpful than just some meds to deal with a disease. I would think a birth control program would also be better than another million orphans left to fend for themselves and carry the burden that no child should have to shoulder.

Why doesn't anyone mention accountability in these glorified documentaries...paid for by Exxon Mobil? (ps. I'm annoyed that my gas at Costco is 3.65) Why is it my responsibility to fix someone else's poor choices? I don't mind helping someone once - but when they continue the same behavior... honestly - what the?

My husband told me he listened to some radio guy talk about this. He was giving the analogy of removing all the traffic signs and instead just having ambulances sit around on the street to save people after they were in accidents due to the removal of all the traffic signs. This is how the aids issue is currently handled. Anyone would think that the traffic analogy is irrational and insane... where is the voice of reason about this aids issue? Is it the trendy thing to do? Are we lemmings who follow whatever celebrity cause is blowing in the wind?

The ones I feel most sorry for are the children. It seems whenever adults screw up - in the third world or ours... the ones that suffer...the ones that lose are the children. As a mother it infuriates me. Do all of us a favor - tie those tubes - wear a condom - stop mating like rabbits. I find it hard to believe that anyone would willingly put a child at risk of starvation, knowing they can't feed the ones they already have. Why?

Certain things I do believe in. I believe that each child deserves a loving home. A home that will take care of their physical and emotional needs. I believe that despite what "forward thinkers" say - there is still right and wrong in the world. I believe that the mass of society that would like to blur this line and elevate tolerance into an exalted position are fooling themselves and the rest of the world. In regards to last night's charity event, I do believe in helping folks with the Malaria nets - the vaccinations... but really... stop engaging in activities (*wink, wink*) that put more innocents at risk regarding starvation and aids.

Yes, I know there are other circumstances... but it would be nice to have some accountability and a real solution... no more ineffective bandages... bandages that will have to be applied over and over and over until the behavior that put us here is changed.

ps. One more thing... all these celebrities travel out to Africa and see the squalor and suffering of individuals and families. Do they just talk to them? Or do they actually provide some food, clothing...necessities? I kept wondering as I watched Annie Lenox talk about the family of boys with no adult relatives - well, did you give them food, money, clothing? Or did you just interview them, play with them and send them back into their meager lives? How disconcerting to be the people who these rich folks come, visit, interview, act sad and then... adios? I want to know that they did something... rather than just make a pretty documentary. This feeling kept nagging me through the night. These folks have so much... millions... and here they are asking for help...I'd like to see a disclosure of how much each of these celebrities is giving. Seriously. I don't want to hear..."I gave my name..." oh shut-up and show me - put your money where your mouth is. Then I also think of the widow's mite... but that's another post.


~j. said...

I think this is something that bek has done when she goes to Africa -- educating about abstinence. And teaching: "This is the behaviour that will lead to this illness. Stop it." There are legends/myths/whatever over there that if a man is infected with AIDS, he will be cured by having relations with a virgin, so he takes on a 12-year old and there you have it. Education.

Queen Scarlett said...

Right - I'm like...why aren't we giving money to groups like Bek's? The behemoth that is idol gives back just sort of keeps chugging... I always get worried about things like that... sometimes the momentum outruns due diligence...

Amy said...

Seriously, great post. It all gets so confusing!! And aggravating!!!

I love church humanitarian aid! (Go !!!!) There are SO many ways to get involved and so many ways lives are blessed through it. And it helps take my mind off of all the wretched things that happen (or DON'T happen) in most "charity" organizations.