Join the International Community; be an International Citizen

There are so many things going on in the international community and you should really consider getting involved. Why wouldn't you? You can maintain that you struggle to pay your own bills, fill your gas tank, feed your children. What's that in your hand? A Starbucks double-mocha frappuccino? That was like... a double negative at one point. We could all gain from sacrificing one unnecessary luxury for a day.

I can gladly wait to pre-order Coldplay's new album, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, and patiently wait for its release in June. I can go a week without eating raw fish and tofu. I can do without my usual candy fix, or not tempt myself by looking through the sales rack at Hot Topic and Dick's Sporting Goods. I'll only use Barnes and Noble as a stationary library for awhile, and Amazon... you can forget it. Surely, and I will.

I don't entirely mean to be so critical. Initiative is based on ability, and priority is based on desire. If you truly can't afford to donate, then I will not only donate for you, but I hope my donation goes towards helping you too. There are still other things you can do that do not require a monetary donation, that is, if you so desire to.

I donated this week to Oxfam to help aid in important issues such as: the growing world food shortage, fair trade support, and legal initiatives for humanitarian and environmental freedoms. Most importantly though, I donated to support relief aid in the two most recent tragedies--Myanmar/Burma's devastating cyclone that has killed an estimated 78,000 people, and left 1.5 million homeless, and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck China's Sichuan province that has killed an estimated 22,000 people, and left 5 million homeless.

I believe tragedies are only going to rise, especially in the shape of natural disasters. We can't save everybody, but we can always help in any noble way--take soup to your sick friend; help carry an elder person's groceries; volunteer at the local food shelter; donate old clothes to the free store; send school supplies to children in Kenya. Some of us aren't willing to physically volunteer our assistance, but I will. I'm often torn between saving the environment and saving the people within it. I will do what I can to aid in both, after all, the substance of this planet is all that naturally exists within it. I think that, that alone is more important than everything else--more important than cultural entertainment, than profitable commercial development and expansion, than this mindless disposable culture we live in.



After I wrote the above, I left for my International Terrorism class, where I ironically found myself in heated discussion over viewing war and politics from a humanitarian standpoint. I absolutely despise the class and generally choose not to express my opinions, but today all the questions kept coming back to me; sometimes (most of the time) I think I am the only sane person in there--because I don't believe that torturing and/or killing everyone is the answer to anything at all. Anyway, the professor asked me why I think human rights are important and why the world should get involved. I said that I view myself as an international citizen and I think that it is our responsibility to take care of our fellow man, no matter the demographics. I believe this, but more so I believe that there needs to be a balance between all things that exist. I don't have answers on how to do this... and I realistically don't even think that it can ever be done, but if I alone can impact one, one can impact another, and then another. And in terms of the environment, and my responsibilities that stand before me in November, saving one sea turtle's life can produce a hundred new lives that can further aid in the fertilization of the beaches, the sea grass, thus producing healthier, nutrient-rich ecosystems that other sea creatures can rely on for a protective habitat, breeding grounds, food and so on.

People ask me why I am a political science major all the time; why I even care. Politics makes the world go round... and I am here to combat it. How can you save or face anything if you do not have the structural knowledge initially? I'm a political science major, because I am an environmental junkie... so there.

Now go get out there and do something with yourself :)

Oh, and Happy Endangered Species Day!

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