Staying in one of the poorest countries in the world (40% of Bangladesh lives below the poverty line) I have to say has changed me.
First and foremost I find how Americans react to poverty to be absolutely appauling. The jokes, the snickers, the general lack of human dignity and respect afforded to human beings who like us (Americans), were in fact created in the image of God is very difficult for me to deal with. As such, I just cannot stomach the treatment of the less fortunate as different categories of people who somehow are less than worthy of the dignity and respect we expect.
I guess as a Christian I am not surprised to feel the anguish that I feel as I often pray to God to break my heart for the things that breaks His. Unwittingly, I got what I asked for and didn't like what I saw.
My eyes have been opened from the sleepy slumber of home where we consider it a tradgedy to have to clean up the mess after a flood for example, never once considering that not only will we replace our stuff, but that other people on this planet actually lose everything when a similar tradgedy strikes. My eyes have been opened to the fact that we are in fact an extremely spoiled people, insensitve for the most part (and quite literally in every respect) and sheltered beyond the capability of the average Banglasheshi to comprehend.
We weren't always like this though. Our nation was founded by a tough stock of folk, accustomed to overcoming hardship and unaccustomed to soft hands and financial security from cradle to grave.
Sorry for the bummer of a writing again, but I'm just calling it like I see it.
© 2011 Peter Lounsbury - 8/5/11