When you mention trading life in the United States for a third world country you get looks of shock, amazement or sometimes pity. No one understands the need to leave. I don’t blame them, there’s plenty I don’t understand about others and that is why life works. Balance between differing passions. When I first exposed my dream to family and friends I was asked several question which I can sum up into just one – “Why can’t I get my humanitarian dosage here, at home?”
My favorite movie comes to mind: “Beyond Borders.” Of course, any human being feels gut wrenched watching it. There is this sudden surge of energy and feeling that you need to do something. It is natural to get angry, and rage about how tragedies like the ones in the movie shouldn’t happen and you wonder why more isn’t being done to stop it. Then, you go to sleep. Then, you wake up and suddenly you feel better – or have simply forgotten. You are content to go on with your jobs, friends, and lives doing nothing until you watch the next heart-tugging movie. Sound familiar? Well it should, we all do this.
The difference is, I have not forgotten what I saw in this movie or the countless other movies that are similar, nor have I forgotten the news casts and books I have read. I do not know if this is because leaving the country to help is in a very near line of sight, or because I am growing up and the realness of these tragedies are making a permanent imprint. Either way I have been changed because no longer were the answers simple.
While there are countless problems in America, there are also great non-profit and humanitarian groups on every corner doing their best to make a difference. The United States has more resources for struggling citizens than any other country in the world. Between City Year, AmeriCorps, Brothers and Sisters, Hospitals, Fire Stations, Police Stations and Churches on pretty much every corner, people here have options when they are hurting. They can take advantage of those if they so choose or they don’t have to. The point is – they have them available to help.
However, throughout the rest of the world there are thousands of children being brain-washed into war and hatred and hundreds of thousands of people who die needlessly through lack of simple education and clean water. While it is the selfless calling of many to give aid in first-world countries, it by proportion alone should be the calling of MANY MANY more to bring simple aid, education, and love to the millions who are not receiving it elsewhere. The reality of this is an inverted number, with many staying on the home front and few serving the multitude.
It is not every person’s responsibility to go out into the world. It is not everyone’s passion. There are more than enough people that do not have the pull to leave America, and that is important because not everyone can go. However, for some of us, the pull is so difficult to ignore that if we tried, parts of us might die. I cannot in good conscious hear of the tragedies in other countries and still stay in my comfortable home going on with day to day American activities.
The Bottom Line: Someone has to do it. If you can handle the difficulties that come with leaving, it makes it your responsibility.
Photo of Nycole and Brett © Nycole Werkheiser – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
I am a graduate from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Psychology. I use my degree daily by building relationships and trying to understand and connect to different cultures. My husband and I are professional nomads and have spent our first three years of marriage traveling and learning about the great United States. Now, we are thrilled to be on our way out of here. We have been invited to serve with the Peace Corps in West Africa and can’t wait to start this next phase of life. I write about what inspires me to become a better, more worldly person, and most of the time I take my own advice. I hope I can motivate others to do the same.
Blog / Website: bbwerkheiser.wordpress.com