Just as the birth of a new baby into this vast world, the birth of a new country is the cause of excitement and optimism. The majority of this excitement and intrigue is because the birth of a new nation is a rarity and because citizens’ clamoring for independence from colonial or abusive powers is a struggle that rarely goes unnoticed. A great example of this is the break of the 13 Colonies from Great Britain through the American Revolution. The subsequent building of a nation from scratch commenced after independence was won and the story grew into the powerful country we now know today as The United States of America. Like a new baby, a country comes from humble and difficult beginnings. The newest country in the world, South Sudan, is no different. The struggle for freedom is an amazing testament to the tenacity of a person or a collective people. To endure the pressures and hurdles of declaring and being granted independence to form a new country is a paramount endeavor that deserves the support and recognition of the entire world. South Sudan has practically nothing but a future to hold and pursue.
Why should South Sudan matter is us? The answer is simple…the similarity in historic narratives between our country and their country on many levels. The citizens of the world’s newest country are struggling the way our country’s Founding Fathers and subsequent generations struggled to build a nation. There were elements and evidence of a civil rights struggle before the divorce of Sudan and now South Sudan, a dynamic that is still very pronounced. The Islamic and Arabic-speaking North routinely treated the Christian and Animist-practicing and majority English-speaking South as second class citizens. Religion, language, and ethnicity had much to do with the separation of the two nations as much as the desire to break away from the British-Egyptian colonial stronghold on back in 1955. Story sounds a lot like the America story in many ways, although the American story of independence was 236 years ago.
South Sudan has a long way to go with concern to development and the strengthening of their country’s foundation to providing an environment conducive for sustainable growth. As Americans who are beginning to train ourselves to THINK GLOBAL and ACT LOCAL, raising awareness within and lobbying our colleagues, government representatives, and faith communities of the world events, struggles for liberation, and opportunities where we can be of a more direct help is imperative. After all, the human experience is shared by everyone all over the globe. The yearn for peace, prosperity, and protection are universal. A majority of people desire life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness. (I love that movie and thus could not resist the spelling.) It is one of our global citizenship duties to remain aware and to always share. Liberty is not just ours, its owed and belongs to everyone.