The Ebola Crisis

The Ebola Crisis is a good case that shows 1) how we are all interconnected and 2) why we should care for our brothers and sisters.

1. We can pretend that we don’t know what’s going on or what’s happening to our brothers and sisters but it will eventually present itself at our doors. Our media had mentioned only a little about the Ebola crisis in Africa before it made it to the US. However, even with that little bit, we could have still rallied forth to do something to help. I’m sure there were probably some groups and organizations that tried to do something to help but by and large, the US did little to help. Some probably felt like, ‘Oh, it’s over there. What does that have to do with me?” You can keep telling yourself that only up until the moment you are faced with it directly, and then what…. So, if Ebola is over there then we don’t have to worry about it impacting our lives and we don’t even have to prepare for it.

You don’t even have to look overseas for examples. Right here in the US there are people being abused, mistreated, oppressed and yet we sit by and do nothing. “It’s not our problem.” “They brought it on themselves.” “They deserve it.” “I feel sorry for them but what can I do?” “It’s a shame they are doing that to those people.” Do any of these sound familiar? The time for burying our heads in the sand, or trying to isolate ourselves from the problems are over. It’s time for all people but in particular Christians to say enough! We are our brothers and sisters keepers. It does affect us. You don’t see the elevated crime rates? You don’t see the fluctuating state of our economy? You don’t see the children and young adults who feel as if they’ve been abandoned yet again. Well, keep ignoring the situation and you will.

2. Why should we care for our brothers and sisters? Why is that so important? The South African concept of Ubuntu, social unity and generosity of spirit, is widely known here in the US but only practiced sparingly. A society does better when it cares for its entire people. When all have the necessities, then everyone is contributing to the benefit and growth of society. We seem to think that if we spend money to help people, that it’s wasting our money. However, it’s actually the best way to spend money – investing in people. Otherwise, we will be investing in prisons, medicines, and other negative expenditures. Looking at the Ebola crisis, we see that when we don’t care for some and think it doesn’t matter to us, then we are living irrationally. To think that we can ever be isolated from the problems and woes of our brothers and sisters is ludicrous. It will impact our lives and families one way or another. However, if we collectively reach out to the hurting, sick, lost or oppressed, we can aide in their successes in life, which will ultimately help our own successes. Had we collectively reached out to Africa when Ebola was first found, then we could have worked together to minimize the deaths and spread of it. The thinking that one life is less important than another and therefore disposable goes against the whole concept of Ubuntu and, I believe, God.

So, with all this in mind and this model of the Ebola crisis:
Look anew at what’s going on in the world, Israel, Palestine, Middle East, Africa, Asia, etc.
Look anew at what’s going on in the US and all the senseless killings by police and other racists. Look anew at the attempts to suppress voters from exercising their right to vote
Look anew at how separated and disjointed our country has become, racially, economically, etc.
Look anew at the unequal education system, judicial system, housing system, etc.
Look anew and begin to talk with those in your community (whether they look like you or not, whether they think like you or not, whether they have as much as you or not, etc.) about possible things that can be done by you individually and you as part of a group.

A good place to start for resources, suggestions, etc. is your local place of faith – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. They will typically have some working knowledge of who the organizers and workers are in the community on the different issues. You can also search the internet for nonprofits, community development groups, outreach and community centers, etc. I would not limit my online search to the local area because you can get great general information that can be applied locally.

I’d love to hear back from you about what you did and how you felt when doing it.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ann Fields
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 21:12:37

    Reading this post I am reminded of the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote…”A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The ebola disease is not “justice” as we might initially think of the word or is it?


  2. Trackback: The Ebola Crisis | Ann Fields
  3. Diversity and Reconciliation
    Oct 15, 2014 @ 08:47:51

    You’re right in that it’s not “justice” as we might initially think of it but as we look further, we begin to see it more clearly. The Bible and Martin Luther King, Jr. also spoke about ‘justice rolling down.’ With this in mind, I think of something rolling down and how it increases in size and encompasses more than the original item. “Justice,” for Martin Luther King, Jr. began with civil rights but the ‘dream’ included justice in health care, justice in housing, justice in the judicial and prison systems, justice in every aspect of our lives. It is only when we have justice for all that people and society benefit. Without ‘justice’ in all aspects, we are threatened at every turn and leave ourselves vulnerable for anything.


  4. Dana Friedel
    Oct 09, 2015 @ 10:34:55

    We’re all better off when we’re all better off.


  5. Ann Fields
    Jun 07, 2016 @ 11:24:16

    Amen, Pam and Amen, Dana.


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