Africa for Norway and narratives of pity

Dianna Anderson

December 3, 2012

"Pity of a people group makes their life circumstances an inherent part of their being, rather than part of a system in which everyone is complicit." Well put, Dianna

It's that whole brother's-keeper and who-is-my-neighbor thing. People in other countries are more like us than different. So are the people who live across town in a much poorer or much wealthier neighborhood than I do. Proximity is not the deciding factor, nor is socio-economic status.

In fact, there is no deciding factor other than the one that tells us to love others as we love ourselves. That deciding factor is God himself, not a factor to be ignored.

April 22, 2013

Well, with regard to "Pity of a people group makes their life circumstances an inherent part of their being" ... yes, but how does this play out when Jesus says "I have pity ..."?

Notwithstanding that question, dealing with a me-them perspective is subtle and pervasive. As a white African who lived in the USA for a number of years, and am now back in Africa, I am so very conscious of the us-you attitude I experienced in the USA when people discouvered my origin. And now, how I in turn fall into the trap of me-them in the midst of the poverty that surrounds me.

The reality is that the me-them is real in circumstance and culture, but not real in the sense of human value. My challange is to stop letting the circumstance dictate the value framework I see others in. And it's not only poverty, but also the LGBT, atheist, business, NGO, activist, politician, etc., etc communities.

My long time prayer is that I see with God's eyes. Too often, I fear, I still have the eye's shut.


Add your comment to join the discussion!