Taking a look at self

I normally don't pay a whole lot of attention to the editorial letters written in to my local paper. Most of the people are upset about a school bond or President Bush or some land ordinance controversy and, not that those aren't important issues, they usually don't appeal too much to me to garner my attention.

But in today's edition I read an editorial by a man named Patrick R. McMullen, Associate Professor at the Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management. Instead of rehashing the article I'll just past it here for you:

Why do so many people abroad have such disdain for Americans?

I recently read an article about how an upstart competitive eater, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, ate 4.1 pounds of chicken to beat legends Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut. We Americans celebrate these gluttonous heroics. Meanwhile, I failed to see any articles about the continuing famine in Bangladesh. This irony would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic.

We’re more interested in Britney Spears’ custody battle than we are the humanitarian crisis in Darfur that has claimed over 400,000 lives. We’re more sympathetic toward George Clooney’s motorcycle accident than we are the current crisis in Myanmar. The amount of hair-gel used by Mitt Romney garners more interest than does the erosion of democracy in Russia.

If the electronic news media in this country are any barometer for what we’re interested in hearing about, our priorities are flawed and our isolation is justified.

It is my belief, however, that we’re not evil, just lazy. Without scrutiny, we consume what the media feed us. Until we demand information from the electronic news media that is of real consequence, we’ll happily continue on our journey toward absolute ignorance.

McMullen makes what I believe are some very important arguments. I'm not sure what his spiritual stance is, but his words should serve as a wake up call to Christians everywhere. How many of us get caught up in gossip columns and useless media rambling while disregarding the real issues of world hunger and ethnic oppression? I know that I get caught in this trap and I consider myself a little more awake because of this article.

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