One of my favorite things to do on our family vacations was build sand castles. It was an exercise in futility as the tides would come in and wash all my labor away. No amount of sand walls in front or drainage ditches around the circumference could fend off the rising waters; but what fun it was.
Childhood joy gives way to adult frustration when the things we work hard for suddenly disappear or are taken from us. As true as this is for an individual, it is even more disturbing for organizations. I was introduced to a movement called “Global Friends”. It is all about philanthropy and the ongoing efforts – dare I say, struggles – to fend off the rising tides of poverty and human suffering. What is becoming more apparent is the fact that progress on one front is undermined by regress on another. No matter what a politician might promise, the simple fact is that the community in which we live is both more intensely local and more unabashedly global.
NAFTA didn’t bring this about. The EU didn’t force it down our throats. We have done it to ourselves. We want cheap goods, coffee from around the world, access to information. What we are experiencing in the global community is exciting and frightening. There is a “togetherness” that creates opportunity even as it makes us more vulnerable. The child peering into the empty refrigerator – that could just as easily be happening next door as on the other side of the planet.
If you want to help the planet, make sure you know your neighbor; and if you care about your neighbor, you will have to be attentive to what’s happening thousands of miles away. “Community” has gone “glocal”. The real threat is not the fact of globalization; it is the determination to remain ignorant.
“Love your neighbor” – those words have never been more important than they are today.
A blessed Tuesday.