04 August 2008

of responsibility

Where does responsibility begin?

If you have a child, it becomes your responsibility, right? The child gets sick, needs care, whatever… You are responsible. What if something tragic happened to your sibling who has children – do their children become your responsibility? What if a neighbor’s child is suddenly in need? Is that your business? What if you hear of a child in your church that is desperately in need? A child in your city? Your region? Your country? Your world?

You see, somewhere in there, there is a line for all of us. Because, obviously, there are millions of starving, disease-infested children in this world that could really use a little bit of help.

We hem and haw and I think we generally have great intentions. We think things like, “If there was no one else to do it, then I would” and “If I could help everyone then I would but I am only one person”. Then we smile as we think that Bill Gates sure is doing a lot with his money (and we would too if we were him and really we helped him get that money when we bought Microsoft products so in a sense he is really just giving away our money for us which we sort of wanted him to do anyway).

But would we? Do we? Where does responsibility begin?

We know a gem of a soul in Johannesburg right now, who is seeing some difficult things, some of them for the very first time. (Her blog, How to Save the Kosmos, is worth the read and linked to along the right side of my page…) The first day that she walks into a squatter camp, she will have no choice – on some level, she will feel very responsible. So must you see it? Is that the line? Will it be the look in a child’s eyes or the touch of their little hands? And could she have ever felt that responsibility from her American living room, watching a Feed the Children infomercial at 3am?

Strange isn’t it? Where does responsibility begin?

1 comment:

  1. In reading that "Jesus for President" book you suggested, I was struck by Claiborne's connection of being Pro-Life with responsibility to local children. That being "ProLife" meant having skin in the game when a local 16 year old gets pregnant and can't support her baby...somehow stepping in to preserve life that does exist, not just protesting the concept of preventing life.