A lot of times we speak without knowing. I think when it comes to Africa, foreign aid, poverty and other social topics we are all guilty. I’m reading a book right now called the Road to Hell which is about how foreign aid organizations are hurting the third world countries and keeping them poor (or making them poorer). This was a concept way beyond anything I could have imagined five years ago. But now, it doesn’t surprise me as I am a bit more enlightened. It hurts to read, not because I’m eating up everything he’s saying and taking it for pure factual truth, but because it reveals a side to the situations that if we don’t look for it, we’ll never find it and we’ll never care.
What ends up happening is we take what we think we know from whatever source whether it be hear-say, propaganda or intuition and we base our own beliefs and standards off these things. How many times have you heard the age-old saying of eat your food there is poor kids in Africa who don’t even get dinner. Or just the idea that those in Africa need or want our help. Or the idea that homeless people who beg for money don’t want to get a job. Or that all native people are a certain stereotype. Or that all Christians are anti-intelligent. Or that all Christians are perfect. Or that we should do everything that Jesus did. We all have our ideals that we want to hold on to with all our hearts.
The point. Not everything you believe is right. And it never will be. Never assume just because it’s on TV, your parents told you so or it just is ‘obvious’ or ‘common sense’ that there is no need for further inquisition. There always is. Nothing can slip through.
I think I wrote that because I was annoyed. I’m annoyed that all this time I thought sponsoring children, missions trips to Africa and all the poor big bellied children on TV were the real thing. Now I’m starting a harsh realization that maybe I’m being naïve to think it is how it’s presented to me. Maybe I need to dig a bit deeper. Maybe there is a lot to learn, and maybe my bubble is far from even being burst. I’ll probably be posting more as I trek through this book and a few others.