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Qualifying People You Help

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  • Qualifying People You Help

    Was having dinner with family tonight and it somehow came up that there are people in developing countries who don't have modern conveniences and the question posed by one person was "Why can't they figure this out like other civilizations?" I commiserated that some groups of people could get to clean water if it weren't underground but they don't have the resources to build pumps to get to it. We went round and round about the why of that which honestly, doesn't matter to me as much as to him. The example given was some countries in Africa where a favorite charity of mine builds pumps for the people there. The result is that the kids can now go to school instead of hiking for water, and dirty water at that. There were several remarks about how they must be stupid or lazy. I didn't think at the time about how if your kids can't go to school, how can they be educated? (He's acting like it's stupidity when in my view, it's not a problem of natural intelligence but rather education and resources they don't have.) I don't think people who hike literal miles to get dirty water are lazy. "Why can't they figure out how to fix the problem?" Because, as I said, THEY DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES. If he's so concerned, why doesn't he fly to one of those villages and tell them what to do? I repeated a couple of times that people in some places just don't have the resources to make it better but that there are organizations who can help and that that makes me happy (when I see the final result--people not being laid out by water borne illness and kids finally in school and adults able to attend to other things). I mean, it swells my heart to see that. What was the reply? "Well, it's a good thing there are people there to save their rears." Yes, it's a very good thing. Caring about others, even those you don't know, is a good thing. Well, I guess there are just people out there who want to just criticize the downtrodden. I'm not saying you shouldn't have discernment in where you send resources and help, but to just dismiss entire groups of people as stupid and lazy leaves a bad taste in my mouth. He ended it by saying that you can help people in your community. Agreed. But I guess don't help anyone in another country because they need to figure it out for themselves? Uh, there are people in the U.S. of whom he could say that. I really don't know where this came from or why it needed to be brought up at dinner. Thanks for the indigestion. I'm about done having dinner with this person.
    Last edited by Food Lady; 01-17-2022, 04:23 AM.

  • #2
    People have this unearned sense of superiority because the people who build the things they rely on for survival live in the same culture as them so it's their accomplishment and not their good fortune.

    It's why they HATE when something good comes from another country because they can't claim credit for it.
    Jack Faire


    • #3
      It's been two years and the thing that still stands out to me--having heard other things said later--is his idea that black people are to blame for a lot of things. I think humans are to blame. We're imperfect. Sure, he can fix and build things, but can he build people, as in encouraging them and cheering them on?


      • #4
        As jackfaire said, people have this smug sense of superiority over things they didn't build but which make their lives immeasurably easier and safer. If you were to drop these same people into these other countries, they'd be doing well to last a week.
        "Well, why didn't you fix things if it was so difficult??"
        And of course they'd have endless lame excuses for why they couldn't fix anything, but the people who already live there should have.