Posted by: Ryan Schoenefeld | January 1, 2011

The American Mind

I consider myself to be fortunate and cannot imagine being born anywhere else in the world. As an American, I realize that I take many elements of my life for granted. Among these are my personal freedom, education, World Relationspublic infrastructure, clean drinking water, the ability to find a satisfying career and the relatively safe communities that we have to choose from. But we didn’t do anything to enable our success – we just happened to be born in a place that values liberty and the capacity to become anything that you want. At least it seems as though this particular mantra has been communicated to us since we were young.

This approach has a tendency to create a population that remains motivated and even helps maintain a degree of optimism. Obviously this frame of mind isn’t present throughout the world, especially in countries that are classified as underdeveloped. Within a country that is classified by this terminology, it can be challenging to cultivate happiness and a degree of optimism. Citizens don’t envision more fulfilling days, because they grow accustomed to the reality that they experience on a daily basis.

It can be hard to understand another perspective and way of life, especially if you haven’t experienced it for yourself. This seems to be the case for a majority of individuals that live in the United States. We cannot actually fathom the reality in opposing countries that are less fortunate than us. We can only imagine what it would be like, but will never have to face such dire circumstances. Even though we cannot fully understand what it would be like, that doesn’t excuse us from at least trying to permit growth and prospective success in such places.

As a result, I believe that more developed countries have an obligation to help enable success in underdeveloped nations. It could either be financially, democratically or even emotionally. Less fortunate countries and individuals want to feel as though they aren’t alone in the lingering chaos.

However it can be tough to decipher if assistance will truly benefit an underdeveloped country. If the support happens to be economic, it can be difficult to guarantee that the monetary help won’t be utilized in selfish ways, by manipulative individuals. Who knows, it may not even reach the individuals that truly need it.

They may not even have the ability to drink fresh water and shower on a daily basis. Many remain rural and don’t consist of public transportation and urban development, making citizens to some extent stationary. This limits their potential for job opportunities, unless they are employed within the place they directly live. With this in mind, more fortunate countries should even consider commencing businesses in such locations, which will hopefully help provide stability and opportunities for personal economic growth.

If they do incorporate business in such a place, they need to make sure to not take advantage of the situation. They must provide considerable wages that can benefit citizens, who happen to be on the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum. The work must also be safe and ethical, without potential for health issues and prospective concerns that may occur because of the work itself. Organizations may also need to provide transportation to and from work.

Not to mention, external assistance can even help create a safer environment within particular communities. People in ominous circumstances may potentially resort to crime, which generates unsafe neighbors in devastated areas. This can be another area for interaction by more fortunate countries, which may have resources to provide heightened security.

All in all, I cannot help but question if developed nations have an obligation to facilitate success in such countries. We have extensive resources and seemingly unlimited opportunities for citizens to flourish from. At times our resources even seem quite unnecessary, especially considering they have been ingrained in our lives since youth. Take the time to consider those that are less fortunate, who need assistance – assistance that we merely take care granted on a perpetual basis.

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