Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Presidents Respond

The Washington Post is running an article an article entitled, "Bush, Clinton: Haiti Response Not About Politics." The article begins, "Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and say the earthquake in Haiti offers a chance to put aside politics and help people in despair. Bush and Clinton appeared on five Sunday talk shows as part of their effort to lead private fundraising efforts for Haitian relief, including immediate needs and the long-term rebuilding effort. President Barack Obama asked them to lead the bipartisan effort."

Questions to Consider:

1. President Clinton explained that the disaster in Haiti reminds us of our "common humanity." What does the word humanity mean? Do people have responsibility towards fellow members of the human race? Why or why not? If people do have these kinds of responsibilities, what kinds of responsibilities do they have?

2. Imagine that there was a terrible earthquake in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Al-Qaeda apparently keeps its headquarters. Would Western nations have a responsibility to help these people? Why or why not? What kinds of responsibilities would Western nations have towards these people?

3. Can any tangible benefit come to individuals who help those in need, in distant parts of the world? Why or why not? Can any tangible benefit come to individuals who help those in need in their own community? Why or why not?

4. According to the article, "(Rush Limbaugh) urged people not to donate and said he wouldn't trust that money donated to Haiti through the White House Web site would go to the relief efforts." Rush Limbaugh is considered a distinguished individual and leader of the Republican party, by many. What can we learn from his statement? If you were in a conversation with Mr. Limbaugh, how would you respond to him?

Questions for Younger Children and Anybody Else:

1. Is it possible for you to benefit by helping somebody else? Why or why not?

2. Can you think of any times when you should simply do what somebody else asks you to do and not question why they are asking you to do something? If so, when? Is it ever appropriate to question why somebody else is asking you to do something? Explain!

3. Do you think that you should help people who may dislike you when they need help? Why or why not?

4. Who should you help first, another person or an animal? Why?

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