Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In your own county, state and country

I always did wonder why people take off to Africa or Mexico to help the starving population or the illiterate kids there. It’s some righteous mission from God to help those less fortunate in other countries because other countries are the “third world.” People in other countries live in poverty, they have no electricity, no clean water and they just can’t seem to help themselves because of their governments and lack of funds and productivity.
Maybe these righteous missionaries didn’t grow up where I come from.
At anytime, my tiny house is filled with 15 people; my grandparents, my parents, my aunt, my uncles, my siblings and my cousins. I share a bedroom with four of my cousins and sometimes during the summer, we sleep in the bed of my uncle’s truck.
My neighbors never have electricity and we thought it was just for fun that they always used candles and ceresin lamps. My other neighbors haul water three times a week to bath and cook.
Disease ravages the people too. Many legs have been lost and many eyes have been rendered useless. The mortality rate where I come from is easily higher than those who live in the United States. The crime, suicide, poverty and other rates are higher too.
Our government is very one-sided too, and that side is usually their own. Many officials are greedy and uneducated and don’t know how to do what’s best for 600 to 300,000 people.
 Invisible borderlines and boundaries keep American businesses away from our foreign land. There are no stores. There is no fun. From the inside, our government and land systems are a mess. Nothing gets done and no one can ever say, “I have a business.”
Where I’m from you need a passport to live there but you don’t need anything to get out. I live in every one of the United States. My  foreign land is surrounded by America and Americans. I’m American.
Maybe it’s because we have “American” attached to our name. “American” makes it sound like we live a good life full of HD TV’s, nice clothes, good health and full refrigerators. It makes it sound like we don’t need help because we live in this great country.
We need lots of help and ideas.
And my thinking is: we should help the people in our own country, especially those who had everything stolen from them, before we go off across the globe on some righteous mission to feed and educate the world. Take a look at your neighbors, take a look at the tribes and find out what you can do.


  1. Hi Andi. My family and I have discussed this same issue. While so many celebrities and other public figures went on and on about helping people in third world countries, places like New Orleans hardly received help after the hurricane. And it is ridiculous how little attention is spent on Native reservations.

    I would like to help any cause as much as I can. If there is any Native American philanthropic projects going on that people from anywhere (and people close by as well) can contribute to, please let me know.

    "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."
    -Mother Teresa

  2. So true Andi. So many people in need. Why can't these missionaries see that their neighbors need help!