My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Monday, January 10, 2005

Beyond comprehension

I have not blogged concerning the tsunami and the horrendous events in its wake so far. It is such a tragedy and so sad, that I just couldn’t find any words for something meaningful about it.
This post though is a reaction of a discussion (if you can call it one) concerning the relief efforts by the Western world.

It caught my eye when I read a post at the anchoress quoting another blog describing a confrontation between an American, his Hindi collegue and some Europeans. Here is the link to that original post at Varifrank. Please read it and the comments.
Some (in my view inappropriate) comment ridiculing Bush’s reaction to the disaster – sending an air craft carrier – let to an outburst by Varifrank, violently criticizing th European relief efforts. So bush-bashing let to some European-bashing ...
Maybe also read a post at Sweet and Sour Spectator. I could give more links, but it isn't really necessary.

I am not taking sides (neither in the Bush debate, nor the US-European one that seems to be going on). But it made me SO mad. Southeast Asia is facing a major disaster. Something horrendous has happened, hundreds of thousands are dead, injured, homeless, starving – and what do we do? We fight who is the best helper! Can you believe that??
In my view this discussion and the comments on several blogs miss the important point. This is about helping, about compassion, about loving your neighbor. And not some stupid competition between the US and Europe – cause that’s what we’re turning it into. If we cannot overcome prejudices, stupid hatreds and injured feelings between Americans and Europeans in the face of tragedy, our Western world is in a sad state. Especially if we consider us as Christians. Following Jesus is about compassion, about loving your neighbor – and not checking how your other neighbors are doing in the effort...

There’s a lot more I would love to say. I guess I got a little hurt by some blog comments against Europeans ... So I really would love to show how we Europeans (at least I know about Germany) are helping and caring (not just by moments of silence, but by donations in money and goods, by air force hospital planes etc.), but I’m already joining the debate I dislike. It’s so easy to get drawn into it, especially if one feels that all your country has done (be it the US or a European country) is not given its proper value. It would be appropriate and great if we could be glad about everybody’s effort, be it small or big, cause it will help the people in Southeast Asia. And the relief work is about them – and not some version of the “we are better than you” – competition, no matter who starts it!