By Jason Lamin
As a Sierra Leonean, bearing witness to the Ebola crisis that continues to ravage West Africa has been particularly difficult. Over the past six months, my thoughts have been constant and heavy for victims of this deadly virus, and the thousands of families who will have to cope with losing loved ones – especially the most innocent of all: children.
Whether we choose to acknowledge our global connectedness or not, isolated incidents of Ebola here in the U.S. are an acute reminder that we share this earth with others.
Ebola also reminds us that we all share responsibility in ensuring that the billion+ people across the globe that are hanging on to the bottom rung of humanity, are not forgotten. The slow and inefficient response by the developed world to assist in containing Ebola 6 months ago is testament to what seems like a prevailing mindset of… “us” and “them”.
For those of us with roots in West Africa, this has been more than discouraging and painful to observe.
My hope is that as the world now hustles to contain this virus, that we learn from this horrific experience; and the urgency with which developed nations have addressed the disease in their own back yards, will be the same urgency applied in the future. Even in the farthest corners of the globe, and to other matters of humanity that connect us all: poverty & hunger, human trafficking, education, gender equality, disease and healthcare and of course climate change.