We are so eager to prove to each other and show in government and society as a whole that Class systems are a thing of the past in our modern age? Yet I was moved today while listening to a BBC presenter reading out emails from people who know of or have loved ones stuck in some horrendous conditions in the earth quake hit city of Christchurch on the south Island of New Zealand. While I was sitting listening to the difficulties and hardships that so many people are still living through several weeks after the quake devastated the city, I had to ask myself where is the international arm of assistance? Where are the Disaster Emergency Committee’s appeals? Where are the international rescue teams, and more over why are we quite happy to sit back and do nothing about it?
It troubles me that in today’s day and age, in the middle of humanitarian crisis around our world there is a clear cut gauge used in response to a natural disaster. I would like an explanation as to how the nations and governments of the world decide who is deserved of international crisis aid and who is not. I have not once heard the British Prime Minister stand up before parliament or our nation and declare and emergency response to the devastation caused by the 22nd February 2011 earthquake.
Does this mean that the residents of Christchurch are any less deserving of our support and aid as an international community? Does it mean that we consider the population of New Zealand to be of a class non deserving of our help at a time of great need? Who is it that makes these decisions, and how is it that if such a disaster were to happen in a third world nation, our outcry would be instant and immediate? Yet when such a disaster hits a first world nation we all sit back and say well just let them get on with it on their own.
I’ve sat and watched the television as millions of pounds are spent around the world helping those who have gone through devastation of one nature or another, and while I do not begrudge the aid that these people receive, for it is clearly needed, but I do however have issue with the way that we choose which crisis we will endeavour to support and which we will ignore.
It irritates me that when a White run government is in power in a fairly stable and economically productive country in the world it is automatically deemed that in the event of a natural disaster that the country is capable and has means and the ability to deal with the unfolding scale of the human tragedy by itself. A perfect example of this was the crisis that befell the citizens of New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina obliterated their city. In the wake of one of the most devastating hurricanes of the last 25 years, the world sat back and watched as hundreds of thousands of people were left to fend for themselves. I remember being struck by anger at that time at how lethargic the world were to pull their hands out their pockets and send assistance to a community caught up in the horrors of surviving a natural disaster.
America is one of the most giving nations on our planet, and if it were not for the USA, which so many of us choose to hate, we would see millions of people in worse of conditions than they find themselves today. They are not perfect, but they sure know what the word charity means, and I am sick and tired of watching nation after nation holding out its begging plate to a nation that its very own people have no respect for, and would choose gladly to go to war with expecting to receive US Aid, food, medical supplies and infrastructural support. Yet when the Americans needed us, where were we?
And now once again I see the exact same thing befalling the citizens of Christchurch, New Zealand. Not one of our reporters has visited the city to tell the story of the devastation and hardships that its people have experienced. ITV TV, one of what I consider to be the better British news channels clearly has its priorities all wrong, as when the Haitian earthquake hit in 2010, reporter were camped on the streets to tell of the hardships of the local people. We saw film footage of the power of nature and the effects it has on people as rescuers fought to save victims caught in the rubble. We visited camps and were shown the difficulties of feeding the people, the sanitation problems and the woes of those who had little access to the simplest of things like water.
Yet are these not the same difficulties facing the victims of the Christchurch earth quake? I listened to narration of people letting two, three and four families stay in houses built to house one. I heard talk of the lack of power, sanitation and running water through much of the city three weeks on from the disaster. I heard tails of the difficulties of getting supplies and survival, while families wait to find out if their homes are safe to return to or need to be demolished. This is very much in my opinion news worthy material, that our news teams just have no interest in covering, as it is more sensational to show us film footage from five days ago that they shot in Libya as they choose to cover a civil war in a war torn part of Africa.
I guess there is nothing wrong with telling us about the efforts of the rebels to overthrow an evil dictatorship, I just feel that there is an issue here, as judgement clouds the eyes, brains and human affiliations to people who are just as credible and deserved of our attention and support. I strongly believe that if the New Zealand government had been a native Maori government would we be more active in putting foreign aid their way, and doing more to cover the issues affecting the people of a native New Zealand. In today’s day and age to be able to even think such things is incredible, as our world is affected by a great many manmade crisis’s, but when it comes to nature, it does not choose colour, creed, nationality, rich or poor. It randomly strikes out and takes loved ones from every race and family. Choosing to leave others to struggle on in the wake of the weight of survival and the guilt of being left behind, but also to deal with the clean up and process of getting on in life.
In this modern world, in this day and age, class systems should not exist when it comes to human suffering. It is wrong for nations, governments, organisations, you and me to turn a blind eye when disaster hits a part of the world we consider to be richer than other places. Every disaster is a tragedy and deserves our attention, support, charity and assistance. Lets strive to be better people and learn that alone we are pathetic, weak and at the mercies of mother nature. Yet together we can learn to make life better, to help and support one another through pain, hurt and loss. Together we can make tomorrow a better place where the woes of today are carried on equal yokes, shared and carried together. Helping your brother does not mean helping those you only choose deserve your help. It means helping even those that maybe you dislike, hate or feel are less deserving of your time and effort.
I don’t care what religion you are from, even if you’re a pagan, you know it is right to help those in times of need. Your god, allah, spiritual force or whatever it is that you believe does not teach us to be selfish and full of hate. It does not teach us that we are better than one another. True humility is to respect your own humanity and realise that you are just as vulnerable and needy as anyone else around you. This class driven society in which we live is foolish and sets us up to look like hypocrites. I personally don’t wish to be known as that kind of person. My time and effort is there to help anyone I am able and to call to each and every one of you that read this to strive to do the same. Don’t bring shame on yourself by your actions, rather be meek and strive to be all you can to everyone you can.