I go through life with a general sense of my flaws like anyone. I can be petty, sometimes childish, have an addiction to bad food and (this is especially true when one is an online person) have used whataboutery at times.
Those unfamiliar with the term still have likely seen it in an argument or two. Someone says something is bad and someone else in favor of the bit criticized replies saying another item is bad without refuting the initial argument. I did this when former President Trump said America had a lot of “killers” and sarcastically questioned whether the nation was “so innocent” and saw it happen just recently when I mused about doing charity work.
“How about for our own countries’ homeless children?” a relative I like asked when I posted about doing a toy drive for any refugee children from Afghanistan who may soon end up at a military base in Wisconsin. While it is fair to pose the query especially when one considers the suffering too many turn a blind eye to, to me this fit into the concept I cited above. Yes, why help those others? Why lend one’s time to people who aren’t wholesome purebred citizens of the place which borrows concepts, individuals and ideas from all other parts of the world?
Uh, can a society not do both?
There are plenty of initiatives already doing this very activity in my community and region. A quick Google search finds scores of them while a similar one for refugee-focused work shows none. Unfortunate, but not unexpected.
This reminds me of the comparison I have often used with extremely rare diseases and more common ones like cancer. Plenty of support exists for these and there should always be, but it can also be said those with more obscure conditions deserve just as much help and those fleeing one of the worst places on earth deserve kindness, comfort and compassion from all of us just as much as anyone here and already suffering does.
The bottom line is, when it comes to the desperate and dejected, let us never resort to cheap comparisons and contrasts while never helping those in need. One can do multiple things for many people and to say one is worthier than another is silly, unwarranted and is a disservice to those out and about working on these issues.
Top Photo: Afghan refugees in Iran. EU/Echo Pierre Prakash/Flickr.