This Century’s Great Moral Problem
Sheryl WuDunn calls attention to the powerful positive impact helping a girl get educated can have on a village. She shares stories of triumph and struggle. She highlights the injustices that are perpetrated on women and girls. Then she offers opportunities for improvement.
In this blog, I want to focus on the social problems right here at home. While I am writing from the state of Louisiana, in this post I am considering home to be anywhere in the United States of America. Lest we forget, most of the issues we face are minimal as compared to much of the world. We definitely want to pay attention to the least of these in this whole world.
Here at Home
In our own towns and states, it is in our own best interest to help the people who struggle. Excessive prisons and mass incarceration are a drain on the economy, even though they provide employment in the communities that house them. Addiction and the underground economy of drug dealing create more violent communities. The stresses from violence ripple throughout our structure, law enforcement gets stretched, trauma units in hospitals are expensive, and the unrelenting stress of feeling unsafe is a health risk for humans. Underemployed single mothers not only do not have enough discretionary income to add to the economic well-being of your town, their teenagers are often up to no good. Family dysfunction, loneliness and a sense of hopelessness all contribute to mental health issues.
The Common Thread
The common thread of these issues is that they impact women and children disproportionately. Imprisoned parents mean lonely children. Drug addiction contributes to violence in many ways, including domestic violence. Dysfunctional families are a factor in mental and behavioral health issues. Unsupervised young people are often detrimental to the community.
What’s That Got to Do With Me?
We are our society. We are our government. Remember the Gettysburg address, “of the people for the people and by the people”? It means all of us. Sheryl WuDunn ends this TED talk with two primary reasons we should take on these issues.
Paraphrased, she says, “Once we have our material needs taken care of, one of the only things that can make us happier is contributing to a cause greater than ourselves.”
Call to Action
Privilege and responsibility are Siamese twins.
In addition to contributing to international causes (e.g. Heifer International, Kiva, Samaritan’s Purse, UMCOR, etc.) how can you find a way to reach out in your own community?