Wendy Kalman
There are many ways to see and understand

Why we should care about others

In the aftermath of the discovery of what our administration is doing to families as they come through our borders, I have seen a number of disturbing reactions. One cable personality doesn’t understand why anyone should care about them, since “these aren’t our kids.” Last week, I wrote about the toll the trauma our country is putting these children through; this week I am writing about the toll on our soul.

A post I’ve seen on Facebook asks people to envision how much our country could be spending on elderly, vets, mental health, healthcare, education and caring for our own if it wasn’t spending billions on others. From what I’ve read about the administration’s budget proposals and other actions it has taken, other than increasing funding for the military, I’ve not seen any social area be increased. If anything, it’s all been decreased. It is a fallacy in logic to think that cuts in one area would be shifted to another. To me, this is just another excuse for callousness.

It is also factually incorrect to say that the government’s actions will save our country money, even though that is besides the point. But quickly – (1) one 2016 article explains how undocumented immigrants pour billions into the economy and (2) more taxpayer money is being spent on tearing up families and housing children. Read how the administration is spending $775 per person per night to keep the children in tent camps and plans to spend almost a billion dollars to detain and house children, almost half of which will be funneled to the “non-profit” Southwest Key, whose CEO himself earns a $1.5 million dollars a year.

So why are we doing this?

I wrote about this in a different context, back when I started blogging. In the aftermath of last summer’s news, I started typing away. One week I shared my theory of why people choose to behave with hate in their hearts, another I wrote about how we need to see each other as individuals and not judge others by our own yardstick, in a third I explained how Americans lack that necessary sense of community to feel connected and part of something better, and in yet another I titled There but for the grace of God go I, I try to imprint upon the reader the need to care even for communities beyond one’s own.

And that is back to where we are now.

If all we ever care about is our own selves, our own families, our own “kind,” we will be the personification of selfishness and self-centeredness. That is not who I want to be.

This Goalcast video, called “This will change how you see people forever,” brings it home rather well. “”Your life is not about you. It’s about all the people around you…” and those others you’ve not yet met, learned from, read about, considered. It is about all of us.

Now, that might be too large a concept to capture, but we are all connected, part of a larger picture, a universe that has enough space in it to accommodate all of us – as long as we want to share resources and help each other get ahead. We lose nothing by being nice. Nothing.

I prefer to be grateful for what I have and to want the same and more for others. If there is a problem, let’s find a way to work together to solve it. If there is any issue, let’s try to deeply understand the underlying causes and address them.

A self-centered person is missing out on the beauty of the world, of what we all bring to it, and how we can all inform and complement each other. A self-centered people is toxic to others, for who would want to have their lives wrapped up in one who cares not for others. No man is an island and no one people matter more than any other.

And this is why we should care about others.

About the Author
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Wendy lived in Jerusalem for over a decade submerged in Israeli culture; she has been soaked in Southern life in metro Atlanta since returning to the U.S. in 2003. An Ashkenazi mom to Mizrahi sons born in Israel and the US, a DIL born in France and a step mom to sons born in the South, she celebrates trying to see from multiple perspectives and hope this comes out in her blogs. Wendy splits her time between her research position at the Center for Israel Education, completing dual master's degrees in public administration and integrated global communications, digging into genealogy and bring distant family together, relentlessly Facebooking, and enjoying the arts as well. All of this is to say -- there are many ways to see and understand.