Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Starving Kids in Africa...

I happened to be at the mall yesterday during lunch. Well, that's not entirely true, I didn't "happen" to be there, I went with a specific purpose in mind. I was in "the Girl Store" as my brother-in-law called it the other day. They sell bath products but since they don't pay me to advertise I'll leave out the name. Anyway, I was in a hurry, looking for the thing that I had gone there to get, not simply browsing. I saw an older, white woman with her arms full of things and she must have walked up to her shopping companion, another older, white woman because woman #2 said, "What are you spending money on now? I'm going to tell all those starving kids in Africa!"


Excuse me?

Did you just use the famine, the very real and heartbreaking famine in East Africa to guilt trip your friend about buying stuff?

Did you just use the death of thousands of children to shame your friend about spending money?

Along the lines of the post I wrote about removing the exaggeration of "starving" out of my everyday vocabulary, the idea that anyone would use the deaths of thousands of men,women and children in order to shame or poke fun at another person is mind-boggling to me.

There are many upsetting things about the famine in Somalia and Ethiopia.
The fact that there is little to no coverage about it in US media..
The fact that whent here is a story on Yahoo the comments that people post are so horrifying, so degrading...
The fact that every photo I see of a dying child makes me think of my own little babes who was once in that very same state...
The fact that despite the aid being sent to the famine afflicted areas very little headway is being made...
The fact that I have overwhelming guilt about my place of privilege which I know does absolutely nothing about any of this at all...

Maybe I got so upset about that woman's comment because it touched too close to home. What was I doing in the stupid "Girl Store" when there are women having to choose which dying child to leave on the side of the road as they make their way to the refugee camp in Kenya? What right to I have to even be wasting money like that when there are families the world over that need the 10 bucks I might as well have set on fire?

I know the guilt isn't going to do anyone any good. So for now I ask myself what good CAN I do? Where can I send my money? How can I help?

I think that's a good place to start.

1 comment:

jessica said...

I am feeling a lot of guilt for all that I have. Even though I have donated quite a bit of money recently to help East Africa, I feel like it isn't nearly enough. This famine is so devastating and HEARTBREAKING and I can't believe how few people know about it.