by Zofia, London
There was a major feature-length BBC4 documentary broadcast in December 2012 – “The Trouble With Aid”, and in it were longstanding senior members/General Director of leading charities from Medecins Sans Frontiers, Oxfam and others, who were exposing the rot and corruption that existed with (millions of) monies donated by ordinary people like us to such charities – money designed to help countries suffering from poignant natural disasters/famines etc.
The program told the stories of those who had gone out to the conflict zones to help humanity, and actually what really happened behind the scenes with such humanitarian disasters over the last 50 years, including – the Biafran War, Ethiopian famine, military intervention in Somalia, and also Afghanistan today.
It was revealed that funds and worldwide music events, such as Live Aid (attended by thousands and watched by millions on TV), contributed not wholly to resolving the matter in hand, say of starvation, but instead towards (and sustaining) activities that most of us would not be aware of and/or choose to simply not know, and thus require no action. These included aid funding rebel arms which exacerbated the unrest and arising civil wars, leading to further and increased levels of starvation experienced by thousands of people. That the rebel armies had positioned themselves actually inside the refugee camps and were sabotaging food mountains that fed (with plenty) their armies, and that the aid organisations were being blackmailed so they could get relief through to those desperate and in dire need of relief. That monies obtained were then used, in places like Rwanda, to buy (even) more weapons to fight, eventuating in the killing of countless genocide survivors…
This whistle-blowing (an evident and increasing trend today with the exposing of various media celebrities, high profile chiefs of industries, financial institutions, and national governments, etc.) sheds much needed light on the deep corruption and abuse that is at hand: to which we, the public have given our money, investments and trust towards in the hope of ‘doing something good’.
If anything, this program has highlighted the necessary fact that we all need to be much, much more discerning and careful about where we might put/save/invest our money, considering what it actually might be aiding or sustaining ‘down the line’; who it is helping or truly benefitting. That we as people/donors really do need to be open and aware of what chain of consequences there might be as a result of all our ‘good intentions’.
It can be easy to see or view from this BBC program that this gross misappropriation of monies has led to devastation and mass disharmony on an international scale with national wars, famines and deaths – which could have been prevented or significantly lessened, had it been appropriately whistle-blown (by the press/media) at the time…
But what about taking this a little closer to home perhaps, and asking those very same questions about our own money/salaries/wages that we use for our own personal living – let alone to help another ‘doing good’ via giving our monies towards a charity, for example.
And what if we allowed ourselves to question what all this is truly showing us? What if we were to look much closer to home and ‘whistle-blow’ here? As in, those such ‘activities’ (calamities, etc.) that we get so involved with and which are happening on a worldwide scale, could actually also be occurring on a domestic or rather more, a personal and individual scale, within our physical frames.
That in spite of how ‘good’ things might be looking on the surface ‘at home and with our lives’, there may be experiences of abuse, neglect and malpractice which we as individuals have chosen to put up with, or undergo, which can lead to unrest and conflict within our physical body and impact wellbeing i.e. a war within ourselves.
OR, do we conveniently choose to simply not know, to not do anything and carry on giving away our energy to activities, pastimes and pursuits that in-truth do not support us, but instead ‘make us feel as if we are doing or being good in others’ eyes?,’ somewhat akin to this charity example.
Ignorance is bliss, so they say. But it is in the awareness that leads to (necessary) truth being established.
If we can be as conscious and as loving about the world, helping those in desperate need etc., as we could about loving our own and personal physical frames, regarding them as being just like another ‘country’ or ‘crisis zone’ on the world map that we are trying to help via aid, then how different would our race of mankind look today? Perhaps anxiety, nervous tension, stress, cancers, diabetes, addictions, obesity, and all other diseases, etc. ought to be considered and viewed as being crises and conflicts which are occurring within our own bodies…
Each one of us is a part of the global society we have created today. And thus, each one of us also has a unique responsibility which can impact greatly the whole world we all live in.
So how great and needed would it be to begin to look after our very own ‘country’ or ‘crisis zone’ first?
Yes!… absolutely such global crises lead us all to question why, and what we can we do (to help). And the idealists (like on the BBC Program) who were (at the time) wanting to create “a new mass movement – humanitarianism” did today but a great thing in exposing the truth from the profiteering and terrible consequences that ensued following the abuse of power and greed by governments and organisations.
Yet perhaps though, the ‘seeds of humanitarianism’ initially can begin to be sown a little closer to home, beginning first within ourselves and then extending outwards to then reach another in true equalness and brotherhood to all.