A "Black Swan Event" is when the unexpected occurs, causing a huge mindshift and change in how the world works. People never imagined that Black Swans existed, until the discovery of the first Black Swan... (as per book "The Black Swan", by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2007, that sold over 3 million copies)

Is a perception change the next Black Swan Event? Consider that by changing perception we might change the world. Look at everyday things from different angles. Find beauty in the unexpected...
Change our thinking, change our actions, change our world!

See that all people are part of God's puzzle and have something to give. Black swans do exist. The ugly duckling was actually a swan who needed to discover himself and where he fitted and be who he was meant to be. To the last, the lost and the least, you are beautiful as you are.
May all who visit this page feel God's touch and experience His blessing...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Is It Politically Correct to Help People On the Other Side of the World?

I have mentioned how I see homelessness and poverty growing around me (Tipping Point--What's Below the Iceberg?). It is an entrenched part of society. The usual response to these problems seems to be to ignore them and the people involved. I have noticed a general stereotype forming where we tend to look down on the people in poverty around us. We tend to place them in another bracket, creating an us and them mindset. These people are all around us but we don't really see them and, if we do, we tend to avoid any interaction. Maybe we do so to obliterate guilt from our minds and to make sure other people's problems do not become our own? Perhaps we do not understand these other people and we fear them as we are not sure how they will react in a given situation? Maybe we don't like to burden ourselves with the dark parts of life, instead preferring to surround ourselves only with uplifting and positive images to lull ourselves into thinking life is all good?

Yet, I notice that oftentimes people will contribute towards ending poverty on another continent. People in a western country will fly to a third world country and start up mission groups, yet these same people are surrounded by home grown poverty which is accepted as the norm, and the people in poverty at home are labelled as people who take advantage of social security, instead of people to be helped. The people others go to help in third world countries are looked on with fondness, and are passionately helped to overcome their endemic poverty. Is this because it is seen as politically correct to do so and an admirable way to spend one's time and money? Of course the reverse occurs too, and wealthy people who live in those same third world countries may have the same negative mindsets against helping the people in poverty they are surrounded with. In other cases, many might state one should help people in one's own country first before helping others, yet I suspect some of these people would also be aghast to help the people I mention previously who live in homegrown poverty and would instead prefer to help people who are hurt by domestic violence or a specific cause. Why do we tend to think the people in poverty all around us are any different to the people in poverty in another country?

Ask yourself what your own mindsets are towards helping people the world over. As examples: Do you see enticing reasons to help people living in poverty in another country? Do you see any need to help people all around you in home grown poverty? There are many people who do say to help your own first, yet on the whole I sense a zeal to help distant people in preference. In a similar vein, what do you think of the plight of refugees fleeing famine and war in an overseas country? What is your attitude towards refugees who arrive to live amongst the community in large numbers in your own country? Is it possible that we are sensitised to only see the need to help people when it is safe and considered politically correct to do so?

Note: I realise there are no absolutes, though to illustrate a point in this article I have painted quite strong stereotypes. I do believe anyone is free to help whomever he or she pleases, according to individual calling, and life is a free choice. But I do ask that you not consider people around you as being inferior to anyone else and worthy of less assistance.

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