Acting Globally (and why I'm messed up)


When you live in a rich county in the middle of America, with your friends, church and little family in a nice little home ... it's quite convenient to disappear into lifeassuch and forget.

For me, it doesn't happen very often. But sometimes, I forget what I've seen, who I know, and my responsibility as a global citizen. 


James 2:14-17 (NLT, emphasis mine)
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

I believe this more a result of an inability to act - in truth, I am stuck. I literally have contemplated this for months: what do I, a wife and mother in suburbia with fairly small resources, do to care for the wider world?

My perspective has been broadened, my heart opened to the things of the world, I cannot return to my previous bliss. There are faces I cannot and will not forget. I also cannot return to life in the third world. I am literally stuck between worlds. I feel the duality.

It has me messed up. (And I'm glad.)

I've accepted that after living in a third world county, I will struggle with these issues for the rest of my life. (Joking with a friend, I mentioned that since I have mini life-crises every few months, maybe I will avoid the big mid-life crisis?)

But I've felt ready to act. Yet I have been unable to find any outlet to satisfy this desire.

So sometimes it's just easier to "forget" and get caught up in daily life. I am supposed to be present here and now. Right?

But, as healthy as living in the present is, something in my life is missing. There is a disconnect between my thoughts and actions. Do I just resign myself to feeling this way? Or do I work to resolve it in some way?

I feel an enormous yearning to "make my feelings, actions and life congruent" (Voluntary Simplicity, p. 36).

This article (written by an ex-pat too!) takes the "think globally, act locally" to a different place - and a perspective I really like - think and act locally.

Yes, please. I love the idea of supporting local economy, small business and keeping revenue in the community. It's amazing to make friends with your neighbors at the farm, the post office, coffee shop, and antique stores. But, for me, it's not enough.

When I came across "think globally, act locally" in my reading about simplicity, all I wanted to do was think AND act globally. But how?

(Am I missing the point? Am I trying too hard? Can I think and act locally and globally or am I out of my mind?)

What do you think? How do you act globally?


  1. Anonymous12:29 AM

    I don't have any answers, but I wrestle with this too. Thanks for writing this-it helps me not feel so alone in my searching. I'll pray you find some answers.


  2. Hi, Lisa, this is Danielle from HA (I was checking out your cute shelf dilemma post - I have no ideas, it already looks amazing to me!)
    I have wrestled with this a lot, too. It's like our whole financial/economic system supports injustice, but it's so hard to do anything outside that system. But anything you can do "outside the system" like buying local food, or second-hand/craftsman-made goods instead of shopping at a Big Box store is helpful, I think. Like every time I don't buy something made in a way I don't agree with, it's a tiny boycott of that unjust practice. I don't know if it actually helps in the grand scheme of things, but it's kind of all I know to do right now. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting Danielle! Yes, those are two things that I love to do as well right now and I'm trying to be thankful for the small ways I can participate. This desire to do something BIG is just something I'm still trying to know what to do with. :-) Glad to know I'm not alone!!