I wrote this a few days ago...I'd to add a part 2 to it for my next blog though. It was a little more harsh than I meant for it to be...
What have I seen/thought/felt? It's good to debrief.
What have I not seen? At 22 years old I sit here on the third floor
of a missionary complex in Ghana, Africa, trying to figure out where in the
world I am being called to go. Africa,
from my narrow exploration of it, is a place with an extreme amount of
potential, full of people and places that vary greatly from area to area,
crossing the spectrums of morally good to bad and monetarily rich to poor, but
mostly poor. Abandoned by the materially
developed world rests a beautiful people who have an understanding of their
environment completely different than I do.
I use the word "different," not to be confused with better or
worse, but different for I believe they have been created equally to myself. When an African child is born, his slate is
as empty as mine was. If evolution thrives
from variety, then why is it that most citizens of the western thought have let
Africa lay to waste? Is it the innate
human desire to be better than someone?
Has our selfish desire to feel better about ourselves come at the
expense of placing a lid on our potential to learn from a society that has
survived longer as a species than most countries of the modern world? It doesn't take a scholar to realize how stupid
that sounds, yet we perpetuate this concept daily.
Please, lest we forget that at
one point in time every person living today has ancestors who lived in a
primitive lifestyle, living a less sophisticated life than most of our
"primitive" African brothers and sisters today. Primitive is not a word that we should
associate with cognitive ability--need we pull up statistics? Yet we do it anyway--assuming businesses
won't work and explorers won't survive it.
I thought we stopped believing in fairy tales as children, yet just west
of Asia and south of Europe is a forbidden forest where humanity doesn't
exist--only savages and only the daring come back. Try this for a fairy tale:
2 hours ago I with 3 other
Americans stood in front of 40+ children with a large piece of luggage we had
brought from home filled to the brim with homemade dresses. The little girls were eager to try on their
new presents, but filled with even more joy than the child were the children's
mothers. I recall one particular instance
when I was maybe 12 years old. I had
gone to maybe 3 different shoe stores with my mother trying to find the perfect
new pair of kicks for school. We finally
found the pair and took them up to the counter to make the purchase, and the
clerk told me that I could put those shoes on and wear them out the store if I
wanted. Without hesitation, I pulled
open the box and put on my new pair of shoes and walked proudly out of that
shoe store. Unlike my adolescent
experience, these dresses were taken back off the little girls, exposing again
the rags of clothes they were previously wearing, the dress not to be worn
again until a special occasion were to arise.
And they lived together happily ever after.
What is it then? Where is the disconnect? Why does that little girl not to get to enjoy
her dress daily when I can not even remember what my aforementioned pair of
shoes looked like because my memory is clouded from all the other shoes I have
owned? I would love to blame one blame
one place, a nation perhaps; China for seeping in and stealing their resources,
17th century Europe for excluding them in the partial success of quest for
total enlightenment, 18th and 19th century America and Portugal for exploiting
the slavery system put in place by the Arabians and the Dutch, or any other
crimes from both our past and present that have caused the stint of Africa's
progress. More than any of that I, as a
Christian myself, would love (and hate) to point fingers at the religious sect
for allowing these things to happen--for, in some cases, encouraging these
things to happen. A million things are
to blame, including myself in my unintentional pursuit of ignorance, that could
be bickered over all day, and are, but the question that I think we need to
focus on is what are we going to do about it?
Are we, as fellow citizens of the world, going to help? Or is it too late? I don't believe it is, but until we drop our
egos and chase after righteousness, the death and torture of the people on an
entire continent is not going to rest solely on the conscious of our ancestors,
but ours as well.
It takes forever to upload photos, and none have been edited, but here are a few: