Are our national policies based on the WIIFM principle—What’s in it for me? Maturity is determined by how much we grow out of self-centeredness and how far we can attend to the other. Though the most powerful nation on earth, we are childish in practice. Does it always have to be “my way”? To the rest of the world do we sound like spoiled children never sharing our toys? Just a few examples:
Nearly 700 million people lack safe drinking water causing 800 children to die every day. Drilling a well costs under $5000 and will give a thousand people clean water for the rest of their and the lives of their progeny. With all the money spent on sending troops to the border—for what purpose?—we could make friends around the globe with just buckets of clean water.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts environmental catastrophe by 2040. We could afford sustainable energy if we weren’t wasting talent and resources on nuclear weapons that sit in storage and campaign ads that say nothing.
We protect ourselves from potential attack and imagined enemies while ignoring Syrian Christians who escaped from ISIS in 2014 only to spend the last four years without hope in camps.
How many meals could an assault rifle buy? How many diseases could be eradicated with the cost of refurbishing an old warhead? How many young lives could be rehabilitated for the cost of incarceration?
What our nation fails to realize that what’s in it for me is the opportunity to assure our citizens and the citizens of the globe the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that we profess. Let’s grow up.