Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Swine Flu, Self-Absorption and Doing What's Right

So far, according to the BBC, there have been 152 deaths from the swine flu in Mexico, 51 confirmed cases (but no deaths) in the US, 3 confirmed cases in New Zealand, and 2 in the UK. The swine flu is everywhere on the news, and well it should be, if human life is valued.

But what if I told you that 60,000 people died of cholera in Zimbabwe a few months back? Or that 1,000 people die from AIDS every day in South Africa (and that's just South Africa; not the rest of the continent)? Or that 2,000,000 children are orphans here in South Africa because of AIDS, or that 34% of the population lives on less than $2 a day?

Why is it that the US only seems to care about and report on catastrophes that might affect its own borders/people? With all due respect, I guess we're all self-absorbed to some extent: we only care when something affects or might affect us.

I've been thinking a lot about the need to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, whether anyone notices or not, whether there is any incentive or not... even if I suffer for it - the right thing is still the right thing to do. May we all have such courage as the times demand, to rise to new levels of integrity and purposeful living.


Mbini said...

Whilst death is death and is worrying, I was a bit relieved that the US is forced to do something about the swine flu. I cant imagine what a mess it would be if this was in our continent.

When it comes to orphans, every little bit helps.


Melanie said...

well said Angela! I can't help but be irritated as people here freak out at the smallest thing when the death is sweeping through other nations at such an alarming speed!
blessings to you friend!