In a year when the world has seen a plethora of violence, both in natural disasters and in man-made carnage, how can we prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas?
It is a given that we have no power over the natural disasters. The tsunami in southeast Asia, the back-to-back hurricanes, the deadly earthquakes that have wrought massive destruction and death have all struck in areas of the world where poverty, depressed economies and tribal strife seem to be an on-going phenomenon. Any one of these social sources in itself demands the attention of “the haves” in the haves/haves-not world we live in.
When one is tied to any of the others, the addition of man-made violence presents an unparalleled challenge to the ideologies in the world, which serve as the basis for the world’s humanitarian response to such calamities. The ability to see our response to those peoples who are historically poor and down-trodden as a cup of cold water, with the biblical implications, become the true test of our religious faiths.
A natural response to the people in need of life-giving food, water and shelter is to act in the same way as the lower creatures in the natural world act, to guarantee the survival of the species. In many ways, the inhabitants of the animal kingdom have a natural advantage over the higher levels of creation. In so far as their self-preservation instincts vary, they always store the necessities for life. The honeybees, as examples, spend their lifetime stockpiling food for that proverbial “famine” or natural disaster.
As much as we respect these simpler societies, we often ignore their instincts to prepare on a worldwide scale for such human disasters. Thus a rapid response to react to such disasters must go through many political entities before the help can reach the people in need.
So the high level of charitable giving we have seen from some segments of the world community is cause for “thanks” to a creator who has taught us to exercise Christian compassion for our brothers and sisters and their children. Take note, that the animal world doesn’t act with the primary concern of political gain. The sacrificial giving could become a national priority to deal with such natural disasters and hopefully eliminate the perceived need for man-made carnage.
I have not even hinted at the hundreds of billions of dollars in our national debt spent in the national paranoia of peace-keeping forces, which we have somehow convinced ourselves are absolutely essential to the maintenance of world peace.
If that same level of concern were an accepted part of true peacemaking foreign policy, we could deal with natural disasters without superimposing man-made disasters, which are far wider in scope and ferocity. The toll in human lives both present and past make all of the lives lost in natural disasters pale in comparison with those lost in mans hatred for each other.
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