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Words Work!

Essay Contest

Why is it important to reach out to our global neighbors?

We asked that question in our Words Work Essay Contest, and gave parents a chance to get their kids talking about the importance of humanitarian aid. Whether it’s at home or abroad, when disaster strikes, we see neighbors unite to provide funds, supplies, and in many cases, the human resources necessary to help rebuild a nation in ruins.

Since the devastating earthquake that brought Haiti to its knees last January, countless catastrophes, both natural and man-made, have destroyed communities and families around the world. Sadly, almost every day presents another opportunity to help our global neighbors. Read what the Words Work essay winners have to say about why reaching out is so important. And thanks to everyone who entered.

Elementary School Winner – Tatyanna Moore

It’s important to reach out to our global neighbors because what happens around us can affect us in different ways, like family, trade and economy. You could have family all over the globe, and what happens to your family can affect you and your daily life. Trade is something our country depends on, so other countries’ economies and events can and do affect us.

Family is very important and many people have family all over the globe. When something bad happens to an uncle in France, the whole family experiences the problem. For example, that uncle’s income could be directly affected by the economic problems in the U.S. because of trade.

Through trade (import and export), we have a direct relationship with countries all over the globe. For example, we import oil from other countries, so how much they sell it to us for does affect our economy through higher or lower gas prices.

This creates a need to understand and learn about other countries so we can communicate and understand different cultures.

Our economy is affected by other countries. For instance, aiding other countries like Haiti with millions of dollars and volunteers who left their jobs to help the cause. Our economy had just improved some so that we could provide relief.

These are just some of the reasons why you should reach out to your global neighbors. Family, trade, and economy are the biggest reasons, in my opinion, to know our global community.

Middle School Winner – Elizabeth Bell

As a 14-year-old, I don’t have too much experience with global affairs. I’ve never run for office or been a diplomat. But I have been part of a team. I have worked together with my youth group on mission trips. I have been taught, from an early age, how to share. Ask any young child, and you will find that their answers are uniform: teamwork and cooperation are important.

We teach our children to share their toys with friends, or to split the last cookie. “Work together” and “help each other” are some of the most common parent catch phrases. But why, you may ask, is cooperation such an important life lesson? Why do we bother drilling it into our children’s heads? The answer boils down to the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Split the cookie, or else your brother won’t split one with you. Share the toys, or the next time you’re at a friend’s house, you’ll have nothing to play with. Simple, basic logic.

Right now you’re probably thinking, “That’s easy. That’s obvious. Don’t we already know this?” True, adults all know that teamwork is important. But despite how often we try to implement these basic skills in our households, they rarely seem to be applied to the real world. For the most part, our planet is an ethnocentric one. However, how effective can this system be? If only one country took measures to reverse global warming, the goal would never be accomplished. Had we not reached out to our neighbors in Haiti, an already struggling nation would have been even more devastated.

We owe it to our planet to work together. We have a responsibility to share our planet’s resources, to help countries in need, to establish firm ties with other nations. If we don’t fulfill these duties, we will never work effectively as one world, one body composed of many parts. It is only through working together that problems can be solved, disasters be averted, and the world peace we strive for be achieved. Just ask a kid.

Karen Schwartzkopf has her dream job as managing editor of RFM. Wife, mother, arts and sports lover, she lives and works in the West End with her family, including husband Scott, who not coincidentally is RFM’s creative director. You can read Karen’s take on parenting her three daughters – Sam, Robin, and Lindsey, also known as the women-children – in the Editor’s Voice.
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