Ask, don’t tell

This is why I shouldn’t sit so long on the toilet scrolling through Facebook.

As I was scrolling I saw a headline about the U.S. sending soldiers to Iraq fight ISIS. I’m just like, come on. We just bombed civilians. The people we want to help are not going to want our “help.”

So I thought, how could we actually help? The U.S.’s immediate actions are usually sending people and supplies over to affected areas. Which is helpful, but is the manner in which it is done truly helpful and effective? Could we instead utilize resources that are already on the ground and supplement them?

Like, Humans of New York and Al Jazeera probably know of organizations, businesses, or even just organized groups of civilians who are trying to answer the gaps and chaos caused by the fighting of different groups. My thoughts are to contact these organizations, businesses, and groups and ask “What do you need?” They need the war, terror, death, and random violence to stop of course. The immediate needs are survival needs: food, water, shelter, medical treatment. Is it possible to contact multiple food suppliers/growers in the regions and buy food for those affected by the violence and chaos? This boosts the local economies but also doesn’t deplete the amount of food available to other customers of the food suppliers/growers if the food is bought in small quantities from many businesses. That’s the only idea that might actually work without knowing more about the on-the-ground situation. I am sitting in my comfy bed with a permanent roof over my head. I do not know anything about what the refugees are experiencing. All I can think of is my training with Anthropology is that while we think we know what is best for the people we want to help, ultimately, they are the ones who know their needs and wants. We cannot assume and make decisions for them. The people who are living through the attacks, it doesn’t matter who from (well, it does, but no matter who is attacking civilians, they are still suffering and in need of aid), are the ones who know who to trust or not to trust, whose businesses are still open, which sources of water are unpolluted, etc. We have to trust their knowledge and their leadership. Yeah we can and should supply labor and goods, but before adding what we think they need, we should address what they decide they need and want.

P.S. Tags are stupid. Trying to think of relevant tags that won’t bring fire from Big Brother


Manga over Movie (this time)

I’m usually one of those people who prefers the book over the movie. There are a few exceptions. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is both a fantastic book and movie. While the movie is very different from the book, it is fantastic in its own right. Another exception are the Miyazaki movies based on books, such as Howl’s Moving Castle. I have not read Tales From Earthsea (though this series is on my to-read list) or the books that Kiki’s Delivery Service, Arietty, Grave of the Fireflies, and When Marnie Was There were based off of. So I cannot speak for them. But I really do love Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle better than the book by Diana Wynne Jones.

A recent exception that I discovered is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I only recently discovered that Miyazaki wrote and illustrated a seven volume manga of the series many years before the movie was produced. Obviously the movie had to be condensed and a few things changed for the continuity of the condensed version, but the movie still holds true to the main ideas of the manga. However, the manga is so much better. There are characters, events, and subplots that just create a masterpiece greater than the movie is considered.

I probably shouldn’t have read all seven volumes in a row rather than do my homework xD

P.S. Totally can’t remember if I posted about this before or not, but my friend Sarah and I are doing our honor’s senior project on Miyazaki’s movies 😀