The Dali Llama and Passion

compassion - image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricklibrarian/ This post is part of a series by my students at Mississippi Governor’s School. As a final project, they were challenged with creating an idea that could be used on a massive scale to help others live the good life.

One of the topics I most enjoyed discussing in philosophy was compassion. Learning Dali Llama’s view on compassion was particularly insightful. I am definitely more aware of the fact that humans are not all that different. For the most part, we have general needs and desires. Though people are similar, where you are born determines a lot about your life. It was thought provoking to discuss how impoverished children are affected by society. I kept thinking that it just is not fair that some children are automatically thrown into an impoverished existence because of the country in which they were born.

Something that really gets me is that some people do not receive adequate or any health care because of where they are born. The issue of world health is major, and I feel that there is a need to view health care with a global perspective. Just because it is not a problem in the United States does not mean we should not care.  Millions worldwide are dying from malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and malnutrition – things we are not necessarily worried about in the United States, but are still a huge problem. Although Malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS are treatable, many countries cannot afford or do not have access to medical care necessary for treatment.

One organization doing an incredible job tackling world health issues is Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is a worldwide humanitarian aid organization. The organization recruits medical workers to provide health care and medical training to populations in about 70 countries threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. Doctors Without Borders also uses its platform to give a voice to the neglected, to challenge inadequacies, and to advocate for improved medical treatments. Their belief is that all people have the right to medical care regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. Doctors Without Borders is independent of any political or religious power, which I like because they are doing good for the pure sake of doing good.

Obviously at 16 I do not have a medical license, nulling me from being one of the medical workers sent out into the world; but it is a possibility I am interested in exploring after I do have a medical license.  Also, I unfortunately do not have residency in New York and cannot intern at the Doctors Without Borders office. But, there are things I can do. One of the most important things is just getting the word out. Talking. Giving the voiceless a voice. Many people are so content and comfortable in their own lives that they do not think about the less fortunate. Discussing the Doctors Without Borders organization to people who are in or interested in the medical field is something I can do. It was a friend who is also interested in going into the medical field who told me about Doctors Without Borders, and now it is something I am really interested in. It is not difficult to simply speak about world health issues and speak about an organization that is trying to solve them. Another way to get involved with Doctors Without Borders and involve others in the organization is to create a tribute page. A tribute page is a customized web page in support of Doctors Without Borders in order to honor a loved one or collect donations in lieu of gifts for a special occasion.  For my next birthday, I can set up a tribute page and have friends and family leave comments there instead of writing on my Facebook wall and give donations there instead of giving me presents. It would get others involved and give them an opportunity to learn more about the organization as well as world health issues.  Maybe someone that goes to the tribute page will consider working for Doctors Without Borders. Maybe someone will be inspired to do something else about world health issues. Maybe another will consider creating his or her own tribute page. It is all about just getting the idea out there, and Doctors Without Borders is an incredible organization to get out.

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