Think Local | Live Global

We live in a society that is torn between two perspectives: local and global. We’re really concerned about the food growing in our backyard, the economic and civic health of our communities, and the kids that go to the school down the street. We give our time and other resources where we think we can have an impact in our community and we feel pretty good about ourselves.

Disasters strike, natural and unnatural, and when they do, we get to see the best and worst in ourselves and others. We suddenly find extra money to donate when disaster strikes, our pockets suddenly get a little deeper. We saw it with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy here in the US, and we saw it with the disasters in Haiti and Japan in the past five years. I don’t know if it’s something about disasters that shake us up a little bit so that we remember there’s more out there than just our communities, or if there’s something deeper to it, but I’m always amazed at the capacity for generosity in times of tragedy. 

Our politics, economies, wars, and media tie us all together beyond our national boundaries. Often times leaders, like Miss. America, talk not about civic peace but world peace. It isn’t enough any more to simply care about a few people; it seems that each of us must be concerned with the fates of the other six billion plus people living on this planet. We’re told to save planet earth, to reduce our carbon foot print. Feed the poor and provide them with means to provide for themselves. Donate to NGOs and pray for those near and far.

I try to remind myself that life’s not all about getting more things, but sometimes I like getting things. Yesterday I bought a cutting board shaped like the United States for 75% off at Target. I bought it as a promise to myself to remember to care for our country, not just my immediate community. Oh, and sure, I bought it because I think it will look awesome in my someday kitchen in the next season of life when I’m not living at home with mom and dad, and I will actually use it to prepare fresh veggies each and every day.

Want more perspective on poverty near and far? Check out When Helping Hurts and The Hole in Our Gospel