Monday, December 20, 2010

It is time to circle the those around us first.

Is it just me or are American’s more interested in helping, well … just about anyone and anything rather than ourselves?

I know that much of the rhetoric is just “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but many of the causes which we are subjected to on a regular basis border on the absurd when you look at the “big picture.”

What I am talking about is our obsession with helping everyone but ourselves. The other issue is that we seem to put more emphasis and importance on the care and safety of animals that our own children.

Do not get me wrong. I love animals and I do not believe in mistreating pets or in the inhumane treatment of either livestock or wild animals.

A series of television commercials for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the ASPCA, features a video montage of a variety of sad-eyed dogs and cats looking at the camera while an actor, in her most sorrowful voice talks about the animal’s plight. 

For less than $20 per month, you can help support the ASPCA’s cause, and, they will send you the photo of some poor animal. A photo? Really? 

All the ASPCA did, it seems, is use the dialogue from the decades-old “Save the Children” campaign, meant to supposedly help starving African kids and replace the video of kids with video of dogs and cats. I just wonder how hard the actress who reads the script had to work in order to get that almost tearful tone to her voice. 

If the ASPCA is in such dire straits that it needs your, and my, twenty bucks a month, how can they afford such a lavish television ad campaign?

Our second item is agendas such as the old “Save the Children” and similar quests to dig into our pockets. I would also add to this, the current adoption trend. Led by a litany of celebrities, we are being shown that if you are considering adopting a child, you just aren’t cool unless you adopt one from a foreign country.

When was the last time we saw a commercial for helping underprivileged kids in Dayton, Cincinnati, or even Piqua? We have families, and children, who could surely use monetary assistance right here, in our own back yards. Why do we feel that we must give first, and many times only, consideration to kids in other countries? 

I see that we have our priorities all screwed up. I see people who would rather help a dog than a child. I see people who would rather help a child in Africa than a child in their own neighborhood. 

In the years following World War II, when America truly was the “land of milk and honey,” maybe some of this was possible. Today though, things are very different and if we don’t begin to look after ourselves, it is a sure bet that no one else will.

Part of the blame, I believe, is the fault of Hollywood. Bleeding heart liberal actors have abused their status as celebrities for decades to pitch some of the dumbest causes. One of the reasons they do these types of things is, quite simply – publicity.  You can’t keep your name in the news if you are main stream.

Of course, as true Americans, we follow in the footsteps of our celebrity “gods and goddesses.” Many of us are gullible enough to do their bidding. We send money to groups and causes that are tens of thousands of miles away. Meanwhile, children, yes, and pets, in our own back yards suffer.

If you have a few extra dollars to spend and wish to donate to a good cause, look around you before sending your money to another continent. There are children, adults and families who really need help. If helping pets is your desire, how about donating to our local animal shelter?

I mean no offense to those in need in other countries, but the truth is, that, with very rare exceptions, no one in any other country is going to lift a finger to help our citizens in need of assistance. It seems, in fact, that many of those we try to help would rather kill us, given the opportunity.

That is another popular American idiosyncrasy. American mindset seems to be that we can purchase the popularity and favor of others. You would think that, by now, we would have learned that is not true.

America has enough problems. We will not solve them by feeding children in Africa. We have starving kids at home. How about looking to adopt American orphans instead of foreign kids? Why not look to help pets locally instead of in New York?

For those of you who read this and decide that my outlook may be cruel and cold-hearted, I say to you, we must look out for ourselves. America and Americans must come first. We better look out for ourselves … no one else will

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