Let’s keep a sense of perspective.

There is no doubt that the current economic crisis in the U.S. is the worst that many of us have seen in living memory.  Baby boomers have lost their jobs, and often, their homes.  20-somethings are unemployed, and Wall Street is outpacing the income of the average American in a discouragingly rapid manner, even while so-called experts claim that extending the Bush tax cuts will lead us further into recession.  All of these are indeed scary and depressing trends, but for most of us, they mean that we must tighten our belts and soldier on. 

Meanwhile, because our own situations are worse than normal, we feel as if we cannot and  should not spare the money to help others.  Experts cite donor fatique and fear of government corruption as reasons why people are less willing to contribute to the relief effort in Pakistan, and while these are real concerns, we should be reminded of how much worse things could be for us here in America.  But for a stroke of pure, random luck, we were all fortunate to be born in the right hemisphere, on the correct side of our southern border.  And for that, we should feel not only fortunate, but also responsible for those who didn’t share in such random luck. 

This past weekend, over 50 people were murdered in Ciudad Juarez alone, and in an article in today’s New York Times, Pakistani writer and resident Daniyal Mueenuddin give us a glimpse beyond the photos of the extent of the devastation in him home country. 

Let us all keep these tragedies in our minds and in our perspectives when we lament how terrible our own lives are, and feel lucky that the situation in which we find ourselves isn’t worse.

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~ by iamtomjoad on August 19, 2010.

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