I don’t think I need to explain why I chose to go to Pakistan this week. If any explaining needs to be done, it should be why I didn’t go earlier. If you’ve read the news lately you know that the country is suffering one of the worst natural disasters it has ever seen. Thousands of deaths, millions displaced and even more property destroyed. The country not only battles the immediate realities of environmental disaster such as starvation and disease, but a disaster that is exacerbated by Pakistan’s troubled relationships with the international community and internal struggle with an increasingly influential Taliban. So even after a month of relief efforts, it shouldn’t be that surprising that responses to the tragedy currently unfolding (yes, it’s still ongoing) are tepid. For example, the American Red Cross raised close to $32 million from text donations for relief funds in Haiti and only $10,000 thus far for Pakistan with the same campaign. Discussion as to why we’re turning a blind eye or why we’re hesitant to make donations I won’t get into here, but suffice it to say, we should be paying more attention, learning more and acting more.
The purpose of this week’s post isn’t meant to make angels or saints of all of us (whoever is out there reading this). Or to change the $10,000 into a significantly larger number. But highlighting events like what’s going on in Pakistan at its core is what underlies the purpose of this blog and this blog’s philosophy towards food. Even though we live in an increasingly interconnected world, our shared sense of humanity sometimes eludes us, taking a backseat to politics, ideology and ignorance. And in my opinion, there are few opportunities to return to these altruistic fundamentals. Now that there is one, I choose to take it and I hope you do the same. Be it through your stomach or your heart.