Us Versus Them
This morning I had a phone call from someone who had read that we were helping children in China. What I thought was going to be a pleasant call actually gave me great pause when the woman asked me, “But why should WE help THEM?”
It probably didn’t help my mood that I had just finished reading Sarah’s Key, a book that took place during World War II. This book made me wonder how people can ever reach a point where they don’t see each other as fellow humans, but instead as “others,” somehow lesser and not worthy of help. My caller’s use of the word “them” cut through my heart like a knife, bringing images of tiny babies abandoned in cardboard boxes and toddlers shut down and in shock at suddenly finding themselves in an orphanage without their parents. As she continued to try to shove home her point on why what I was doing was somehow “wrong” and un-American, I closed my eyes and gave thanks that I get to work each day with hundreds of volunteers who understand that there are no politics involved when a child is hurting.
Needless to say, I didn’t end the call with a donation to help the orphaned. (Darn.) But the woman’s call definitely made me feel that anyone who lives in an “us versus them” world is missing out on one of the true wonders of the human experience. Just yesterday I said to one of my sons home from college that I still can’t believe that I get to meet people all around the world because of my job. My life has been enriched in countless ways because I get to keep learning every day about cultures and customs all over this amazing, incredible earth. When I think that supporters in the U.S. or Spain or Ireland can all give their own small part TOGETHER — to help a tiny baby girl in Asia receive a second chance at life through heart surgery –- well, that is just miraculous to me. The internet has made our world so very small, and it has brought us together in astonishing ways to share gestures of compassion and love with those who need our help the most.
As we head into 2012, I am hoping that with each passing year we as adults realize that regardless of where a child lives, they are so deserving of love. I like to think that when we help children around the world, we are not only helping that child have a better life, but we are also spreading seeds of empathy and understanding to those surrounding them.
When we chose the name of our charity, “Love Without Boundaries,” we truly believed that love makes no boundaries between countries. Instead, love is the one thing that can unite us into a beautiful humanity. So until every child born is safe, warm, and fed……today I give thanks for those around the world who realize that we are one human race – and that this life is infinitely better when shared.
~Amy Eldridge, Executive Director