I started saying the word globalization a few years ago because it was not a mainstream word yet and I thought it would make me sound smart. Today, it’s nearly impossible to open a newspaper or turn on the television without a form of that word being used. Most of us have our own definition of globalization. To me, it means we are all connected and that every one of our actions has a rippling, exponential impact on the entire world.
Should we fear this change? Well, first of all it’s not really a change as much as us finally realizing what has always been true. Ignorance is indeed bliss, and we’ve enjoyed our bliss. But mass communication is erasing our ability to be ignorant. Ignorance is no longer a product of passivity, but is now an active choice. It’s difficult to escape the pictures, videos, and stories of injustice around the world. We cannot escape the fact that there are injustices that exist because we allow them to exist.
Lack of clean water is an unnecessary injustice.
If my neighbor across the street was dying because of a lack of clean water, would I do something? Most definitely. What about a person that lived a mile away from me? I hope so. 10 miles away? In another state? In another country? On another continent? When would I start making excuses?
When does a person stop being my neighbor? Globalization is teaching us that the answer is never.
Give water to your neighbor on another continent or tell your neighbor across the street about what is going on. And if you really want to raise awareness and have some fun, go to the Skybridge in Davenport, Iowa at 11:00pm on a Saturday night and have a dance party with random high school age kids (all of whom were intrigued by the idea of dancing for water and wanted to know about the wells being dug and what they could do to help. Hopefully, we’ll see their Dancing for Water video soon). I have to apologize to the pregnant girl who allowed me to rub her belly for the camera. We just couldn’t find a way to make it fit into the video.
“Can our prizing of each human life weaken with the square of the distance between us, as gravity does?” -Annie Dillard