The Art of Helpful Destruction

Something that has always bugged me is how much help we give to other countries.

Yeah, that's a great start to a flame worthy debate, isn't it? But, it's true! It bugs me that we pump millions of dollars into Haiti or Tanzania or a myriad of other 3rd world countries. We send them barrels of food and water. We deliver trucks full of clothing and blankets.

Yet, they need more and more every day.

Why does this bug me so much?

It's not really the fact that they NEED so much. This is a dying and brutal world. I know that I don't have it as bad a lot of people. I know I should be (and am) grateful for my carpeted floors and a non-leaky roof. I'm glad I have a car I don't have to share with 15 other people who all ride at the same time. I'm glad the roads I travel are paved. I don't have to drive 4 hours to get to the doctor.

My problem is this: Self reliance. This is the big problem I have. These countries rely on gifts and hand outs so much, they can't survive on their own. We give billions of dollars a year to charitable cases - which is awesome - but when the day is done, have we really helped them?

And old proverb goes "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime."

Why don't we help people to learn to farm, irrigate, make their own clothing, build houses ... we go out there all the time and do it for them and they learn nothing.

Maybe it's just me.