Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

It’s being reported upwardsof a hundred lives may have been lost in Samoa and American Samoa, tiny South Pacific islands far, far away from most of us (assuming you’re a continental American reading this). Closer to home, floods inGeorgia recently destroyed parts of 17 counties and cost 5 lives. Which disaster caused a greater pang in your heart?

Is it harder to care about people suffering at a distance?Does your conscience tell you “I only need to worry about my own family,” or “myown community” or “my own country”? (American Samoa has hosted a U.S. Navalbase since 1899, by the way, and I think it’s been considered a U.S. territorythat long, but please don’t quote me.) Also, at the risk of sounding like I’m taking an anthropological study here, I’ll ask this as well: 

Considering the awful recession affecting most of us today, do you help when times are lean, or only when you’re flush?

What’s the moral obligation to our fellows around the world when disaster strikes?

Here are links to the Red CrossMercycorps, and other disaster relief organizations.

And here’s what the aftermath of the storm looks like in the town of Leone.

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