Why do we, americans, feel it necessary to fix the world before our own country?

United States
April 21, 2007 9:35am CST
I love my country, really I do, but I've come to the point where I can't just sit back and watch. Everyday, I see more groups trying to help the poor and starving in places, that undeniably need the help, but what about the poor and starving in Kansas or Illinois. We want to give medical assistance to those that can't afford it in places that need it, but we have millions of Americans without adequate medical care. We want to stop terrorists, but we made them! We gave them everything from training to weapons (do the research before yelling at me about this). We need to fix our own problems before we can fix anyone else's. I'm not saying we shouldn't care and we shouldn't help, but I think we need to focus on ourselves first. I mean if you had only enough resources to care for your own family, would you take from your family and give it away? You might help, but you will care for your own family first.
9 people like this
17 responses
@abroji (3247)
• India
22 Apr 07
After reading the responses and comments in this thread the impression I get about the Americans is that they think their nation is helping other countries in alluviating poverty and facing disasters. But let me humbly say that it is far from the truth. Any help they render to another country have strings behind them which bring home some benefits. Do you think the US is helping Iraq. They have totally ruined that country. Who will compensate Iraq for their loss of lives and properties caused because of this war. How can the Iraqi people think of the Americans as their saviours? Now what was the real reason for the US to interfere in Iraq? It was nothing but the enirmous stock of crude petrolium available in the coffers of Iraq. Formerly during the post Second world war and during the cold war eras the US made more effective poverty alluviation programmes in third world countries. There was good reason for that. They had to keep those nations from going to the camp of the Soviet Block. But now in this so called unipolar world there is no such clear reasons for the Americans to carry out such selfless charity. Now everything is done for profitable returns. The world would be a much better place if the United States stop their policing of the world. They dont get help to the poorer nations. They get war and missry for them. They have lost their credibility as a helping nation.
• United States
23 Apr 07
I think we have done a incredible disservice to the people of Iraq. I believe we went in for the wrong reasons and we caused the violence there to escolate. I also believe that while we should defend ourselves, we had better make sure we're retaliating against the right people. I do think our government's greed gets in the way of doing true good for other countries. I just hope that after our next election things get better all the way across the board.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I agree with you wholeheartedly! I, too, am very sympathetic toward the many people on this earth who are deprived, but I also realize that we have so many in need right here in our back yards. It's like that quote, "Charity begins at home and then goes abroad." This fact was really brought home to me a few days ago. I was talking to a couple of my neighbors and one of them pointed out the fact that all of these celebrities are going out of the country to adopt children when there are many children in desperate need of a family right here at home. When you think about it, they seem to view this acquiring of foreign children as adopting an exotic pet. Maybe I am somewhat guilty because (while I have not adopted anyone) I do sponsor a child in a third world country, but I am going to see what I can do right here at home from now on.
• United States
23 Apr 07
Your comment really touched me because I felt the world change slightly. I applaud you for helping the child in the other country and I applaud you for trying to see what you can do here at home. It doesn't really take much to help a child, even if you can volunteer some time at a children's shelter (you'd probably have to get a background check cuz the world's a scary place) that is showing a child that someone cares for them. It'd be great if everyone could open their heart and home to an unwanted child regardless of where the child came from, but sometimes that's just not possible. In any case, I really hope you continue trying to make a difference in some child's life. Thank you!
@jbrooks0127 (2326)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I am in complete agreement with you. Often it is much easier to look at the horizon and see the problems than the ones right under our feet. This issue speaks directly at why this country is rapidly becoming less of a leadership country and one that follows. We seem to believe that no other country in the world has caught up with us yet. The United States for many decades has been the shinning star that all other countries wanted to be. That desire has changed whole societies and made them prosper. Some of us, in our delusion, believe it is still that way but it is not so. In less than 50 years we have changed from an industrialized nation to an ownership nation. We now build very little that the world wants. Less and less of what we buy is still made in the USA. And if it is there is a good chance it is not of good quality. And many companies, trying to survive, have exported jobs to other countries because the labor force is cheaper and no unions. More and more we place our priorities in the wrong place. And our government is after all a direct refection of us. In the last seven years we have gone from a nation attached to an attack nation. We rattle our sabers at every opportunity. And we seem to work less with other countries. There was a time we did not consider ourselves the world police force. No more. And yet, at home, the gap between the haves and have not's widen. While I am not an historian it seems to me we are rapidly moving to where we were just before the great depression. The country prospered as never before and more and more investment was based upon nothing solid. I do hope it does not happen again for I fear now people would not know how to survive it.
• United States
22 Apr 07
I do not think I could hav said this with any better words that the ones you have used....I totally agree with you on this matter. While I remain a proud and loyal American. I am also a realistic person, as well as. not blind so....I see it the same way!!!
@mahmah (436)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I want to thank you for posting this discussion. I agree with you so much. Another one I want to add to your list is adoption. It would be easier for me as a single American female to adopt a child from another country than it is to adopt on from here. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people adopting from other countries but their are so many children here that need a family (or someone) to love them. I don't know why we end up taking care of others before ourselves. This country in some ways is so upside down and backwards and the people that run this country wonder why we are the target of so much hate from other countries. Well maybe because we stick our noses where they don't belong and we don't care for our own the way we should be.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Apr 07
This is one of my biggest issues, I don't know why I didn't put it in the initial discussion but thanks for bringing it up. I wholeheartedly agree with you. The adoption issue is all messed up here adn when I think about what they're trying to do with abortion rights (don't want to start a second topic here) it's just going to make for more unwanted kids with no place to go.
2 people like this
@cikedo (3486)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I don't believe it is Americas place to try and fix everything that goes wrong with the world, but we should at least get an A for effort. There are less poor and severely ill people in the US compared to the countries we try too help which is one of the reasons we try and help others.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
22 Apr 07
yes.. i do agree with you .. why must america care for other country instead of their own country? and yes.. i do heard of the facts that weapons are actually provided by the americans.. and now.. they want to stop terrorism....what is this suppose to mean? the cause and the effect? they make the wrong decision to give out weapons? and now they wish to do some amendment? owh.. i think it's very necessary to care for the americans first.. doesn't mean that if you're a superpower.. you have to care for everyone.. you can't do such things.. and of course.. never ever use your superpower to look down on other country as well. .isn't that true? :)
2 people like this
@eyewitness (1577)
• Netherlands
21 Apr 07
It's because america wants to be the police man over the whole world.And i think America does not want to admit they are in big trouble with their own people.I'v seen some really poor places in america it's like going to africa.America has to stop and buzz out someone elses business.Bush needs to focus himself on America.Help the people in his own country.He has to open his eyes and just face he's doing wrong things.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Apr 07
i wish i knew i am a katrina survivor who moved to another state but i know that whilst we are spending mega bucks building iraq ther eare still folke here in this country on the coast of louisiana and Mississippi that are in dire need of help two years after the storm.Charity should begin a t home
• India
21 Apr 07
If America would reduce her spending in the military development then lot of her domestic problems could be taken care of. By the way, this is true of china or Russia or France or UK too.
2 people like this
• Kottayam, India
21 Apr 07
We appreciate Americans for what they have got, but it is not good for them, subdue other sovereign nations this is just like wrestling in the star sports channel, those have big body kill the weaker one, this is not fair.If you can make atom bomb Iran could not make ? We cannot police all nations.
@PunkyMcPunk (1477)
• Canada
21 Apr 07
What a wonderful thread! I couldn't agree with you more (as it seems almost everyone else that posted does!). I am not American, I am Canadian but I feel the same way about my country. Don't get me wrong, I support the effort in Afganistan and in Iraq however, when I come to work everyday and I see homeless people, or see the statistics of people going to food banks and shelters it boggles my mind! I don't even want to think about the amount of money Canada spends on international charity or aid. I feel there is so much we could be doing here at home. My family has always raised me to help when I can but take care of your family needs first. Maybe that is selfish but no one else is going to look after me and my family but me, right? The issue that made me ANGRY stemmed from the Tsunami, I am sorry to those who were affected and suffered the loss of homes, jobs and loved ones but, Canada was one of the first to pledge money, we offered 30 million dollars. We were CHASTIZED! for offering so little. Of course we kept uping our offer. I don't know what the end figure came out to but I was thinking, 30 million dollars... Well, the population of Canada is around 33 million, that means that our government could have (technically) given each Canadian person almost 1 million dollars each... hmmm, makes you think doesn't it? I know I could use that money, heck if my government decided to give me an extra $10,000 it would clear me of debt completely and leave me with LOTS in the bank. If we have all of this extra money lying around can't we spend it on our country to ensure that kids here have what they need and the older folks are looked after and that people ike me (single parents) don't have to work 60 hours a week away from my child to pay the bills so much. Don't get me wrong, it is good to be charitible because although I am NOT rich by any stretch fo the imagination I do have a roof over my head (even if it is at my parents home), my bills are paid, my son is fed, and at the end of the day although it isn't much I do have a few bucks in my pocket. I contribute to local charities when I have the funds to. Enough of my ranting though, great thread!
2 people like this
@psyche49f (2511)
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
Ya, I agree...charity begins at home. But we Filipinos admire your country for being the hero of the world. You fix everything from wars to poverty, to disasters anywhere in the world. I guess this is what we call as the social responsibility of your country, a sense of service to humanity. I understand that you feel that this charity should be extended first in your own country since you observe of the poverty of some of your people. Well, I guess this also happens in families. My parents, particularly my mother, used to help a neighbor who always asks or borrows money, and yet we ourselves are impoverished. I did not understand her then. Today, as Ilook back, I am thankful to my mother for leaving the legacy of her generosity. I guess you are fortunate because you have more resources than the world ever would have imagined. And I guess this is the secret of your country's power--it extends help where help is needed. We salute you.
• United States
23 Apr 07
Thank you for the look on the other side of things. I don't think we should stop helping, especially when we are actually helping, but I think maybe if we took the politics out of the aid, it would be a better situation for all involved. If we left the aid efforts to the private organizations that would leave our government to deal with domestic aid issues. I'm not sure how well it would work, but if Oprah can build a school by herself (well of her own money) in Africa, then I'm sure the private organizations can do at least as much good.
• India
22 Apr 07
America today as i see is not what it has been sometime ago. There is too much spending on defence which in turn is costing the internal infrastructure as a whole. I agree with you all but what i want to say is the thinking has to change, US is not & cannot be a dominating country & get involved in others Countries Business. I have seen the recent Market crash around the world which was triggered due to Mortgage fears in USA. The Effects of War can be clearly seen & deploying more troops in Countries like Afghanistan or in Iraq is not going to solve the problem of Terrorism which is rampant in almost all the countries around the World. I am sorry to say but USA was encouraging Terrorism in the past & when the country got hit, the encouragement was stopped & turned the tide against them. For now the most important thing for them to look is at improving the standard of living of the people & give better facilities in terms of Medical & so on. But of all these there should be a change in the attitude which will in turn help the country to be there in a better position & handle itself well.
@semak76 (187)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I generally stay out of political discussions, because they get me so angry. I am very uspet at the way our country is run, yet feel powerless to do anything about it. I do the best i can for myself. I am eligable for welfare...I am that poor...but yet I don't take it because I figure there are people worse off than me that need it more. I find a way to pay my bills somehow every month, so I guess I dont need it that bad. I would like to see our country help our own a little more. We are the ones who live here, pay our taxes and should be benefeiting from that money. Our technologies are starting to lag, and our people are actually getting stupider! We are not a police force..we are a country, full of human beings, who lives are no less important that those living in other countries. We all came here from somewhere originally, we all remember our origins, no matter how many generations back, but yet we stay here, not back to our homelands...why...there was a reason our ancestors left in the first place, and it was to make a better life for themselves. Why did they come here if its the people who they left behind that are the ones benefeiting from their hard earned money, as they sit here, working for minimum wage, struggling daily... As I said, I rant on all this, but this was a great way for me to get some venting out...thanks..
@Chrqsh (71)
• China
22 Apr 07
Less invasion will get you American more money.
@kabuki (152)
• Singapore
22 Apr 07
Americans have a deep need of upholding the world's security since the Pearl Harbour days when they adopted a hands-off policy. But somehow i feel that the Bush administration has carried things a little too far with his fight against terrorists and Iraq invasion.
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
22 Apr 07
Well I love my country Australia as well and I do not understand this at all why our countries have to fix other people problems when we have our own problems that should be corrected first. So I would have to agree with you 100% on this point there are starving people in my country as well and people that have no home to go home too. And in regards to medical care this is appauling in some places even the city is getting worse now and you have to wait so long for medical treatment.