When our organization where we belong to announced that we are doing an outreach project somewhere in South America, I thought I would join the event and lend a helping hand. Apparently, the community lives on a mountain, meaning they do not have any power supply. They have schools but they do not have slippers to go with their travel going to school. To 'lend a helping hand' we will be bringing staple food, bags and slippers for children, and medicine. However, I found out that we are extending 'help' to a small community where indigenous people thrive, I started asking questions to myself whether what we are doing is right. I was thinking, do they really need help when these people have existed long before we were born, that the community where they belong to had been self-sustaining even before we learned the word civilization. Would not we be the ones to 'disrupt' their way of life and introduce a more 'material' way of living, which causes people to have more needs than what's necessary?
I immediately saw the danger in introducing foreign ideas and material things and in a way, sparking change in their culture. I have read this phenomenon in a term paper
in my anthropology class. If this is going to be a series of outreach activities then it would come a time when they would be used to the 'help' that they are receiving and they might just be dependent on such things. In addition, the introduction of material things might cause them to yearn for more.
To us, we might see that we are extending help and we might even feel as if it is Christmas every time we make someone 'happy.' But ignorance of the natural laws or what really is necessary brings us to darkness. I am planning to write to our president about my thoughts and perhaps submit an output to bestessays