Egocentricity: The real-world problem

The proclivity of a body of people to reject responsibility for their actions is especially prominent in the western world. When faced with the prospect of scorn suddenly the ability to evade is heightened. It’s never the fault of the individual, always another group that’s not connected in any way to themselves. The cycle continues endlessly and the neglect for a problem increases until it may become too late.

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Take the issue of the unavailability of clean water  in regions of the developing world for example. An area may only contain one standing body of water that is used communally as a means for bathing, drinking water, and cleaning clothes. It then becomes a breeding ground for diseases like cholera, adenovirus, and legionellosis. According to WHO an estimated “42 000 and 142 000 people die of cholera each year”, not counting the people infected with the three diseases. Not only are these prevalent in diseased bodies of water but the standing bodies of water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The mosquitoes factor in other diseases like the West Nile virus and malaria. WHO reports that “128 million” people in sub-Saharan Africa contracted malaria in 2013, 1/3rd the population of the US.

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Yet, the issue does not come up on how to support these nations, but how to end general aid being sent to them. Public media depicts these areas as “slums” with dirty people who don’t deserve the aid. Never is there any good news about the areas, only the idea that contact with the developing world brings disease, war, terror and ruin to the rest of the world. The Ebola virus and the Zika virus existed way before the outbreaks that public media captures and sends to the US. But since the outbreak never spread over to the developed world, it wasn’t considered a topic to discuss. Suddenly, have some citizens fall ill with the virus and it becomes an actual pandemic. However, the issue is not to end the outbreak and cure it, but to limit the influx of people from the nations passing through the border. Aid is sparse and the people who do help are quarantined and slandered when they return home.

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If the issue isn’t prevalent in the developed world, resources aren’t put into it. When 1,000 Americans were asked what the worst disease they face, 40% list cancer, followed by heart disease and diabetes. This is where the money goes because it is prevalent to us. That’s not to say that cancer research shouldn’t be funded, but there’s no solution yet. When there’s such a simple solution is already present, why aren’t we correcting it?

Simple: because it’s not “our problem”. It’s the ignorant belief that the nations brought it upon themselves and need to fix it themselves. While we have our plumbing systems use drinkable water just to simply use the facilities, so to speak, millions of others are suffering from illnesses that should be already eradicated. Rather than make the tuberculosis vaccine available to the 9.6 million people who contracted the disease in 2014, we protest over the incorrect notion that vaccines cause autism. While we gripe over the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t won an Oscar yet, women are dying during childbirth because of the improper equipment and women are getting dangerous procedures to have abortions because of the cultural stigma.

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But of course, please continue complaining about how the players in NBA 2K15 don’t have accurate statistics. Tune me out, just like you, the media, and the developed world tune out the rest of the world.

 

“Americans Rank Cancer As Nation’s Worst Disease.” – Rasmussen Reports™. Lifestyle, 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

“Number of Reported Deaths Due to Cholera.” WHO. World Health Organization, 2014.

“Scale-up in Effective Malaria Control Dramatically Reduces Deaths.”WHO. World Health Organization, 9 Dec. 2014. Web.

 

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